Grandmaster Kim Pyung Soo, widely known as Kim Soo, holds a ninth-dan in Chang Moo Kwan. He is founder of one of the most comprehensive systems of martial arts called Cha Yon Ryu or the Natural Way.
Kim Soo was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1938 while the Japanese still occupied his homeland and three years before America’s involvement in World
War II. Surviving that war as a young child, Kim found himself in the middle of another conflict as a teenager. It was in the early spring at the beginning of the Korean War that he began his martial art training in Seoul with Grandmaster Nam Sok Lee of the Chang Moo Kwan. Even at this early age, he had already decided to dedi cate his life to the development of martial arts.
In 1957, Grandmaster Kim’s education took him in two directions. He entered Hankuk University and majored in foreign studies. He graduated in 1961 proficient in English, Spanish and Russian. Concurrently, he continued his martial education, receiving much help from Grandmaster Chull
Hee Park. Also during this time, he began delving into other arts, studying and dissecting them as he learned them: Kang Moo Kwan, Shito Ryu
Karate, Hapkido, Judo, and Chan Fau Kung Fu. He extended his martial art studies even further throughout the years by working with such grandmasters as Myung Soo Kim of Switzerland; Kang Rhee of Memphis, Tennessee; Hwa Chong of Detroit; and Kum Hong Lee of Korea. During these years he also taught the bodyguards for Korea’s Head of State, President Syngman Rhee; taught at the Korean Military Intelligence Agency and at the U. S. Army Personnel and I Corps Headquarters; and was the first Korean correspondent for Black Belt magazine.
Cha Yon Ryu incorporates Tae Kwon Do, Japanese Karatel, Northern Shaolin Chuan Fa, and Hapkido into its techniques and forms.
He also received special citations from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
In 1968, following his dream of promulgating his own system of martial arts, Kim Soo came to America. He had the bad luck to arrive the day after the North Koreans had captured and kid-napped the U. S. S. Pueblo and its entire crew. This was a time when Koreans were not the most popular group in the United States.
Establishing himself in Houston, Texas, Kim Soo joined the staff of Rice University’s Houston Central Campus. During this period, he laid the cornerstones for his art of Cha Yon Ryu. He worked hard in both fields of endeavor and in 1985 was chosen one of the 25 best faculty members of
Rice University. In 1986, he was selected as Tae Kwon Do Coordinator for the Olympic Festival held in the summer of that year in Houston. Busy as he was, the Grandmaster found time to author three books: Palque 1, 2 and 3; Palque 4, 5 and 6; and Palque 7 and 8. One of the specialties that this Grandmaster prides himself on is his professional management ability. Further, he is widely known as one of the most knowledgeable teachers of martial arts in the United States.
The Grandmaster’s Cha Yon Ryu—which this author didn’t appreciate until he saw a demonstra-tion of it incorporates Tae Kwon Do, Japanese
Karatel, Northern Shaolin Chuan Fa, and Hapkido. In addition to the traditional training in those arts, Kim Soo teaches an endless array of traditional and realistic self-defense techniques to mold and to develop his students into solid martial artists. An outstanding feature of his style is the effortless grace with which the practitioners move. This system of Cha Yon Ryu has spread through this country and into Mexico.
The Grandmaster operates two branches of the Kim Soo College of Taekwondo that are open six days a week. He also maintains his Cha Yon Ryu headquarters in Houston at his dojang facility. Grandmaster Kim’s philosophy of life is: Whatever you do, do your best. Do things in the present and never procrastinate. Students training in martial arts should do so as a way of life, not as a sport or game. The Grandmaster admonishes: Good things result in a good outcome. Do things right. Bad things result in a bad outcome. Keep yourself happy. Learning from a teacher with a mission to really teach the martial arts will give you many wonderful benefits. Be cautious and choose a school that teaches it as a traditional art, not as a modern sport. Remember, one small mistake will result in a larger one. Words of wisdom from a distinguished educator and respected grandmaster: Kim Pyung Soo of Houston, Texas.