Y. J. Kim

2nd degree Black Belt, Shotokan Karate
1st degree Black Belt, Tae Kwon Do (Youn Wha Ryu)
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Instructor Y. J. Kim

Y. J. began training in Tae Kwon Do, Youn Wha Ryu (YWR) style under Master (now Grandmaster) Man Hee Han in October of 1979. He attained the rank of Black Belt in 1982 and received his 1st dan in 1984. In addition to Tae Kwon Do as a base style, his training in YWR also incorporated many elements of Karate, Hapkido, and cane fighting. Y. J. left Youn Wha Ryu in 1986 to make final preparations for a career in the military.

In 1987, he entered the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland as a member of the class of 1991. While a midshipman, he became a member of the Naval Academy Martial Arts Team from 1988 to 1990. During this time, he competed in various team tournaments against the martial arts teams of West Point, Air Force, and several other universities.

After graduating from Annapolis in 1991, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. During his five years of service in the Corps, Y. J. was stationed in various parts of the United States as well as in Okinawa, Japan. While in the Marines, Y. J. became proficient in the use of the rifle, pistol, bayonet (attached to rifle), and knife. He left the Marines as a captain in 1996 to pursue a career in the civilian world.

Y. J. continued his training in martial arts after leaving the military, but he did not join a dojang or dojo until 2011. Instead, he studied and practiced individually with training partners whom he met during his journey. During this time, he studied and trained in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Grappling, pressure point attacks, and weapons such as the bokken and bo. He was essentially a ‘wandering nomad’ among martial artists during these years.

It was not until he met Sensei Wade Kirkpatrick and began training at Fulshear Family Karate in October of 2011 that he rejoined a formal martial arts program that was not associated with the military. He has since become a regular member of Fulshear Family Karate, training regularly in the adult classes.  He is currently one of the program’s instructors, teaching the weapons, tournament team, children, and adult classes each night.