Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim was born August 15, 1929 in Seoul, Korea to a father who was a world champion sumo wrestler. He died January 9, 2007 in Brandon, Florida at the age of 77.
Grandmaster He began training directly with Grandmaster Hwang Kee in 1945. He received his First Degree Black Belt in 1947.
In 1952, he assisted in the formation of the Korean Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk Do) Association. He served as a top master instructor from 1955 to 1959. In 1961 he was appointed Vice-President of the Association.
From 1967 to 1968, he was the Chief Master Instructor of Korean, U.S. and Vietnamese Special Forces in Vietnam.
Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim, at Grandmaster Hwang Kee’s request, brought Moo Duk Kwan to the United States and founded the Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Association in Detroit, Michigan. In 1969, Grandmaster Kim was awarded 8th Dan and appointed president of the US Chapter by Grandmaster Hwang Kee.
In the 1970’s, Grandmaster Kim founded his own organization called the World Traditional Tang Soo Do Federation, (formerly the World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation). In 1987 Grandmaster Kim moved the world headquarters and his family to Brandon, Florida.
In 2004 Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim was inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Times Hall of Fame, and in 2006 he was inducted into the Grandmaster’s Society Hall of Fame in 2006.
The martial art community around the world considered Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim to be a Master’s Master.
Jae Joon Kim
August 15, 1929 – January 9, 2007
To My Fellow Martial Artists,
I am writing you tonight as the bearer of sad news. Grand Master Jae Joon Kim passed away in Brandon, Florida January 9, 2007 from complications due to lymphoma. He was head of the World Traditional Tang Soo Do Federation and my master instructor for many years. Grand Master Kim was one of the earliest students of Grand Master Hwang Kee and was one of the people most instrumental in the continuing development of Tang Soo Do. His passing is a loss to martial artists everywhere, and I count myself fortunate to have had the benefit of his knowledge for so long a time. Please join me in extending condolences to Grand Master Kim’s family.
Grand Master Greg Boliard