Master Chung-Koo Kim ✵ 1938-1995

Master Chung-Koo Kim

Name at birth:  Chung-Koo Kim
Date of birth:  October 18, 1938
Place of birth:  Seoul, Korea
Date of death:  July 4, 1995
Place of death:  New York, New York, USA
Resting place:  Ridgewood, New Jersey
Submitted by:  Joseph R. Seda  (



A Tribute To Master C. K. Kim:

Born Kim, Chung-Koo on October 18, 1938 in Seoul, Korea, C. K. Kim was the son of a doctor. At the age of 14, he became the youngest student of the legendary Ji Do Kwan School in Korea, training under the venerable Grand Master Chung-Woo Lee. Eventually advancing amongst the senior ranks of Black belts, Master Kim grew to become a major force in the Martial Arts world. He was highly recognized among his peers, not only for his expert fighting skills, but also for his character and loyalty.

When Master C. K. Kim came to the U.S. in the mid 1960’s, he brought with him a method and style of fighting which to this day remains unsurpassed in excellence of skill and effect. A remarkably accomplished Instructor, he began teaching his dynamic Ji Do Kwan style, and within a few years was the founder of several Tae Kwon Do schools in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

Although known for his dislike of Instructors bragging about their rank, Master Chung-Koo Kim was truly one of the finest practitioners and teachers of Ji Do Kwan in the world. His promotion in January of 1984 to the coveted rank of 9th Dan, was the culmination of over 30 years of hard work and dedication. Through his efforts, thousands of men, women and children have witnessed the beauty of this dynamic Art.

In addition to his exemplary Martial Arts background, Master Kim was also a skilled photographer. True to character, he steadily advanced his photographic skills, eventually becoming one of the foremost medical photographers of the inner human eye in the United States. Accordingly, his skill and wisdom were highly regarded by the most respected medical specialists in the field of ophthalmology, and many of them routinely sought his advice. As with his Ji Do Kwan, Master Kim continued to use his refined photographic knowledge and skills to help enhance the lives of countless others.

After his marriage to Haeng-Sook Kim, he subsequently became the proud father of two daughters, Jeane and Margaret. Searching to find an established community which he felt would afford a healthy and comfortable environment for his family, C. K. Kim moved into a large one family home in the suburban town of Ridgewood, New Jersey. There he remained a highly respected member of the community, until his untimely death from cancer. Master Chung-Koo Kim died in New York’s Sloan Kettering Hospital on July 4, 1995, with his wife by his side, at the young age of 57.

Master Kim was a father figure not only to his children, but to his students as well. As a teacher he believed in the disciplined development of the person through Ji Do Kwan, and held a genuine concern for the overall well being of all his pupils. He repeatedly reminded each one to strive to be the best he or she could be, regardless of the task at hand. Through the implementation of unique teaching methods and amazing Martial Arts skills, Master Kim ignited a spark in the very souls of his students. In short, he was the driving force behind their own spirit.

Master Chung-Koo Kim, a great and noble warrior in the purest sense of the word, was truly a living legend. As his students, we shall be forever grateful to him for sharing a most precious part of his life with us. And through our loyal efforts, his legacy shall be passed on for generations to come. As he passes on to his next journey, we are comforted by one final thought …


The legend of C. K. Kim will never die.

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