GRANDMASTER KIM SOO THROUGH THE YEARS

Paul Pyungsoo Kim, more often known as Kim Soo or Grandmaster Kim Soo, was born in Seoul in 1939. During his childhood, the war caused his family to move around often, including a remote village in the mountains of what is today North Korea. To defend himself from bullies at his new schools, he began to study martial arts. He received his first-degree black belt at 13 years old. He continued to study martial arts during his time at Han Kuk University of Foreign Studies, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Language and Literature. After opening a martial arts school in Seoul, Kim emigrated to Houston in 1968. Choosing Houston intentionally to be a “pioneer,” Kim spent his first year in Houston living in his studio, the dojang. After obtaining permanent residency, he invited his wife and young son the following year. Grandmaster Kim Soo is the founder of Chayon-Ryu “Natural Way” Martial Arts, and has been recognized around the world. He has served as the Korean correspondent for Black Belt Magazine and named Summa Cum Laude Professor at Rice University. He currently continues to travel around the world for demonstrations, workshops and judging competitions, and hold class at his headquarters in Houston.

  Kim Soo in his first photograph after immigrating to Texas from South Korea in 1968.

Kim Soo in his first photograph after immigrating to Texas from South Korea in 1968.

  The exterior of the building on Clay Street in Downtown Houston's east side where Kim Soo lived when he first moved to Texas in 1968. It would serve as his dojang until 2001 when the area was cleared to build the Toyota Center.

The exterior of the building on Clay Street in Downtown Houston's east side where Kim Soo lived when he first moved to Texas in 1968. It would serve as his dojang until 2001 when the area was cleared to build the Toyota Center.

  Kim Soo in 1968 leaning on his first vehicle with his green card in his hand outside the Downtown Houston building that would become his dojang.

Kim Soo in 1968 leaning on his first vehicle with his green card in his hand outside the Downtown Houston building that would become his dojang.

  Kim Soo with his wife and son, Sean, upon arrival to the United States when he immigrated them here from South Korea in the late 1960s.

Kim Soo with his wife and son, Sean, upon arrival to the United States when he immigrated them here from South Korea in the late 1960s.

  Martial arts master Kim Pyung Soo in his school in Spring Branch in 1985.

Martial arts master Kim Pyung Soo in his school in Spring Branch in 1985.

  Kim Soo instructing a University of Houston physical education class at Hofheinz Pavilion in 1995.

Kim Soo instructing a University of Houston physical education class at Hofheinz Pavilion in 1995.

  Kim Soo striking a power kick pose in 1970.

Kim Soo striking a power kick pose in 1970.

 Grandmaster Kim Soo and his son, Master Sean Kim, in 2017.

Grandmaster Kim Soo and his son, Master Sean Kim, in 2017.

 Grandmaster Kim Soo.

Grandmaster Kim Soo.