ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - 1992 was a pivotal year for Sung Kim.
He was a 19-year-old SUNY Brockport student setting up a taekwondo school while also training for the U.S. Nationals where he would win gold.
Next year, Kim will bump up against another milestone.
He'll be traveling to South Korea to test for his 8th degree black belt.
If he succeeds, he'll become the youngest grandmaster in the U.S. – and possibly the world – to be recognized by Kukkiwon, the World Taekwondo Headquarters.
His wife and daughters will be looking on along with his father Sam Kim, who brought the family from South Korea to New York, leaving behind one taekwondo school to open another.
“It's even a surreal moment just thinking about it,” Sung Kim said. “Everything I have gained, everything I have learned, it started from my father. I could say that my father, I'm sure many fathers out there are, some of the hardest working people we've known, but he's set a great example for me to continue do my best and to give my life back to TKD.”
Kim has given back by growing his taekwondo schools in the Rochester area.
The schools offer classes, camps and after-school programs and all of it focuses on taekwondo's emphasis on self-improvement.
“Martial arts without philosophy is pointless so we need to teach the children, we need to instill the respect, the confidence, the focus, which is lacking in some of today's society,” Kim said.
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