Young Kun Kim (김영군, born November 29, 1946), known as Y.K. Kim, is a Korean-born taekwondo martial artist who resides in Florida. Kim was the producer and main actor of the film Miami Connection. He also publishes Martial Arts World Magazine, a quarterly magazine for professionals in the martial arts, and wrote the book Winning Is a Choice.
Kim received a taekwondo black belt at age 13, making him among the youngest in Korea to do so. At first he studied and taught taekwondo in Korea. In 1976 he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina and taught taekwondo there. In 1977 he moved to New York City. In 1978 he moved to Orlando, Florida and opened Y.K. Kim's TaeKwon-Do, his first taekwondo school. The school, on Colonial Drive, became the Martial Arts World, a franchise that Erin Sullivan of the Orlando Weekly described as "the McDonald's of martial arts schools" in Central Florida. The school was originally on Robinson Street, then on Mills Avenue, then its current location on Colonial Drive. As of 1988 Y.K. Kim only claimed ownership of the East Colonial Drive martial arts school. As of that year the other schools are part of the American TaeKwon-Do Federation, which Kim founded. The federation establishes the philosophies and rules used by the schools within the federation.
In the mid-1980s, Korean film director Richard Park met Kim after seeing Kim interviewed on the Korean talk show Meet at 11 p.m. (11시에 만납시다) and the two agreed to produce a film, Miami Connection. Originally the film had a very limited release with no significant attention. The production of the film almost lead to bankruptcy for Kim. In the meantime he established his business and became a motivational speaker.
In 2002 Y.K. Kim and Choung Byoung-gug, a legislator in Korea, proposed building a Korea pavilion at Epcot. In 2012 Drafthouse Cinemas redistributed the Miami Connection film, leading to a positive reception.
- Hagstrom, Suzy. "BE+HONEST%2C+AND+ALWAYS+STAND+FOR+JUSTICE.+RESPECT+AND+HELP+EACH+OTHER.+BE+LOYAL+AND+COURTEOUS.&pqatl=google CUSTOMERS: Y.K. KIM BLINDSIDED US SEVERAL OF HIS STUDENTS CLAIM REPRESENTATIVES MISLED THEM BE HONEST, AND ALWAYS STAND FOR JUSTICE. RESPECT AND HELP EACH OTHER. BE LOYAL AND COURTEOUS.." Orlando Sentinel. June 20, 1994. Central Florida Business p. 20. "Company profile Y.K. [KIM]'s School of Tae Kwon Do Inc. Headquarters: Orlando. Chief executive officer: Young Kun Kim"
- "‘마이애미 커넥션’ 내달 DC서 상영." Korea Times. November 1, 2012.
- "NAMES & FACES HAPPY BIRTHDAY." Orlando Sentinel. November 29, 1995. A Section A2. Retrieved on February 12, 2013. "Karate expert YK Kim is 49."
- "NAMES & FACES HAPPY BIRTHDAY." Orlando Sentinel. November 29, 1996. A Section A2. Retrieved on February 12, 2013. "Karate expert YK Kim is 50.
- "Petrosexuals." Riverfront Times. January 4, 2006. p. 2. Retrieved on February 12, 2013.
- Argetsinger, Amy and Roxanne Roberts. "George Allen, Willing to Go to the Mat for Martial Arts?" (Preview version) Washington Post. Sunday April 23, 2006. Retrieved on February 12, 2013. "Sen. George Allen's little-known life as a taekwondo aficionado was exposed in an exclusive interview this month in Martial Arts World, a quarterly magazine for professionals." and "Key excerpts of a five-page interview with Publisher Y. K. Kim:"
- "YONG KING KIM." Orlando Sentinel. September 12, 1988. Central Florida Business p. 13. Retrieved on February 12, 2013. "Milestones: At age 13, was among youngest in Korea to achieve black belt in TaeKwon-Do. Studied and taught TaeKwon-Do in Korea until 1976, when he moved to Buenos Aires to teach the martial art. Moved to New York in 1977 and then to Orlando in 1978, where he opened his first school, Y.K. Kim's TaeKwon- Do." and "President and founder of The American[...]"
- Sullivan, Erin. "Orlando's Grandmaster Y.K. Kim just wanted to make a good taekwondo movie." Orlando Weekly. December 12, 2012. Retrieved on February 12, 2013.
- Smith, Denise L. "GRAND MASTER OF DARING MOVES Y.K. KIM KEEPS COMING BACK WHEN ODDS SEEM TO MOUNT AGAINST HIM." Orlando Sentinel. September 12, 1988. Central Florida Business p. 13. Retrieved on February 12, 2013. "Some of [Moon Kim]'s first students opened the other Central Florida schools bearing his name. Although Kim claims ownership in only the East Colonial Drive school, all Y.K. Kim's are united under the American TaeKwon-Do Federation, an association founded by Kim that sets the rules and philosophies of the schools."
- Ayers, Mike. "'Miami Connection' goes from flop to fame." CNN. November 8, 2012. Retrieved on December 1, 2012.
- Johnson, Robert. "DREAM OF KOREA PAVILION MEETS WITH COOL RECEPTION FROM EPCOT." Orlando Sentinel. January 19, 2002. B1 Money. "Too similar? A former Epcot official says a Korea pavilion would be too much like Asian exhibits such as China's. But a backer argued, `Koreans have better food . . . and superior martial arts.' PHELAN M. EBENHACK/ORLANDO SENTINEL Hopeful. Orlando businessman Y.K. [Kim] and Korean legislator [Byoung Gug Choung] want to build a pavilion at Epcot. RED HUBER/ORLANDO SENTINEL"
- Gordon, Cheryl (compiled by) "TAE KWON DO." Orlando Sentinel. October 11, 1987. Orange Sentinel South p. 19.