Monday, February 13, 2017

Chayon-Ryu Holds 295th Rank Examination

295th Rank Examination Held by Grandmaster Kim Soo
Saturday, February 11th, 2017-Houston, TX
by Kyosanim, Melissa L. Nichols, Baytown Kim Soo

Grandmaster Kim Soo held his 295th rank examination for members of Chayon-Ryu. Chayon-Ryu is in its 49th year as a recognized world class martial arts system. Students from many branch schools attended the exam, including students from Rosenberg, Kingwood, Baytown, Clear Lake, Austin, and the Spring Branch headquarters.Congratulations to all of the students who tested for rank!

2017 New Year Message From Grandmaster Kim Soo

2017 New Year Message From Grandmaster Kim Soo
Happy New Year Everyone!
This year marks 49 years of Chayon Ryu improving lives in Houston Texas. Please continue training not only for your own benefit but so that you can pass on the traditions and knowledge that you’ve gained through your training to others.  

 Moving into the New Year please keep the following in mind, and practice this both in and out of the Dojang.

Have an unselfish attitude. Help others wherever you can. Offer encouraging words and praise and give hope. Something as small as acknowledging someone and giving a smile when you normally wouldn’t could make someone’s day. Make those that you train with comfortable around you. Offer something that you have to someone that needs it more than you. Help to clean and maintain the Dojang. Being humble is part of your training. Cleaning and helping to keep the Dojang in good operational condition is not only part of your training but your Duty.

Keep an open mind and heart.  Do not have preconceived notions or harbor prejudice. Just because someone is on a different path than you, doesn’t mean they’re lost. See things as they are, without making assumptions or projecting possible different scenarios onto them.

Respect Others. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Be considerate and polite. Adhere to the etiquette of the Dojang. Be aware of those around you.
Do not gossip in or around the Dojang. Gossip is poison that is spread to others. It is usually based on conjecture and rumors, and is usually partially or completely untrue. Gossip often causes unnecessary ill will and is bad Karma.

When you enter the Dojang, leave the outside behind. Meditate, stretch, and warm up. It is not a social venue for students to converse about their day, sports or whatever. If you speak with one another, speak quietly. This has gotten very lax over time. If you walked in to a Church, would you talk with one another loudly? Please treat the Dojang respectfully.

Just like you take care of yourself every day, you eat, you drink, you take a vitamin; you should train a little every day.  At home, at work, anywhere; do a little training. Even in your mind, go over a form or a technique. This too, is taking care of yourself.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Good Medicine: CHAYON-RYU

A letter to Grandmaster from
Alberto Borjas
Dear Grandmaster,

First I would like to say thank you for allowing me be part of your Sunday invitational class. It is a privilege to receive direct instruction from you, and I highly value it.

Grandmaster Kim Soo Awards Alberto Borjas
his third degree black belt
I came to you almost four years ago with all sort of physical problems: back pain, high blood pressure and digestion problems. 
I just got the results of a recent physical check up and everything is fine: my blood pressure is normal (Doctor reduced the doses of my medication and now I’m taking a minimal doses). 
My digestion is fine now, I have gained almost 10 pounds and recovered  muscle mass. The other day a friend of mine asked me about my back and I was like: "My back?…It’s fine"; I almost forgot that I had such a serious back problem that, four years ago, the Doctor suggested I have surgery. 
In addition to that I now have more energy and I always looking forward to my training.

Thank you Sir for sharing the good medicine: Chayon Ryu.

Best Regards,

Alberto Borjas

Houston Mayor Declares Grandmaster Kim Soo Day

Houston Mayor Declares Grandmaster Kim Soo Day
October 13th, 2016-Houston, TX, USA
by Kyosanim Melissa L. Nichols

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a proclamation declaring Grandmaster Kim Soo Day in the City of Houston; an honor bestowed on Grandmaster Kim Soo by every sitting Mayor for the past several decades. Grandmaster receives this honor for his status in the Korean business community, and his model citizenship in the city of Houston, being a role model and mentor to thousands of Houstonians since he arrived in 1968. Grandmaster Kim Soo celebrates 48 years of teaching Chayon-Ryu in Houston, and around the world.

Grandmaster Kim Soo issues honorary Black Belt to Mayor Turner.

Grandmaster was accompanied to City Hall by Master Sean Kim and the black belts and Masters of Chayon-Ryu.


Thursday, September 22, 2016



Are you ready for some serious training and teaching instruction? 

Train with Houston HQ in real time via LiveStream. 

We will be streaming Tuksu Suryon live 9/24/16 beginning at 10:00 AM Central Time. It’s as easy as going to and logging in to our account to watch the class and train along with us. 

Some locations have connected an external monitor and speakers (recommended) to their computer to optimize viewing and sound. 

The cost is $15.00 per individual, $45.00 for three or more payable via PayPal to 

Grandmaster is currently in Korea but will be back for this event. He should have some good information and stories to tell from his trip.


It is not for public viewing.

Please send your name, school location, student ID if applicable along with your PayPal receipt to and you will be provided the log in information. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if we can be of assistance.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Angel Ochoa Appointed Chief Instructor-Rice University Karat Club

Master Sean Kim, Sabeomnim Angel Ochoa, and Grandmaster Kim Soo
Angel Ochoa Appointed Chief Instructor of Rice University Karate Club
Houston, TX, USA

4th Degree Black Belt, Angel Ochoa was given his chief 
instructor citation by Grandmaster Kim Soo to head up the Rice University Chayon-Ryu club, which Grandmaster Kim Soo established in 1968. Rice Karate Club is the oldest University Martial arts club run by one system in the world. 

1968 Rice Karate Club Group Photo.

Mr. Ochoa is a dedicated and hardworking member of the Chayon-Ryu System. His siblings and he have been training for many years together under the direction of Grandmaster Kim Soo, and now Mr. Ochoa will be head instructor at the Rice club, Inside Chayon-Ryu congratulates you!

Chayon-Ryu Black Belt Promotions, Spring and Summer 2016

291st rank exam group photo
Black Belt Promotions

Congratulations to all the Black Belts who were promoted at the February, April, June and August promotional contests, held at the International Chayon-Ryu World Headquarters in Houston, TX.
Paula Wedegartner receives 2nd Dan certificate from
Grandmaster Kim Soo
292nd rank exam group photo

Test & Date
PromotedName & School
292nd Aug 20163rd DanTom Schamp (Arlington Chayon-Ryu)
291st Jun 20163rd DanJarrod Lanning (North Carolina Chayon-Ryu)
 3rd DanScott Perry (Rosenberg Chayon-Ryu)
 2nd DanJarod Pitcher (Wimberley Chayon-Ryu)
 1st DanDevin N. Mendez (Rosenberg Chayon-Ryu)
 1st DanChase Moye (World HQ)
 1st DanJacob Harrison (North Carolina Chayon-Ryu)
290th Apr 20162nd DanAhnan Naseem (Kingwood)
289th Feb 20162nd DanKasowski, Keith (Downtown)
 2nd DanPaula Wedegartner (Rosenberg Chayon-Ryu)

Hong Sangyong, Korea Taekwondo Times and executives of Korea Taekwondo Promotion Foundation visit Int. Chayon-Ryu

A Visit from Korea TKD Times and Korea TKDPF 

Korea Taekwondo Times Magazine Execs, and Korea Taekwondo Promotion Foundation pay a call on Grandmaster Kim Soo at the Chayon-Ryu International Headquarters in Houston, TX on July 20th, 2016.

Grandmaster was interviewed by the gentleman who sought his vast knowledge of martial arts fundamental principles, and history. Grandmaster held a class to be observed by the guests, gave special demonstrations, and was presented with a commemorative dish. 
Demonstration of martial arts basic principles.

Group photo of Grandmaster, students and Guests.
Grandmaster and Master Sean Kim Demonstrate "Jang Kwon" two man Chu'an Fa form, which is a legacy of Chayon-Ryu.

Grandmaster is presented with a commemorative dish.

The commemorative dish from the Taekwondo Promotion Federation of Korea

RIP Kyosanim "Tony" Zarate, Police Officer and Chayon-Ryu Black Belt

RIP Kyosanim "Tony" Zarate, Police Officer and Chayon-Ryu Black Belt  posted by Kyosanim, M. Nichols, Houston, TX, USA

It is with great sadness that we report the loss of Officer Marco Anthony "Tony" Zarate, a black belt member of Chayon-Ryu and Bellaire Police Officer.

Mr. Zarate was killed in the line of duty while in pursuit of robbery suspects July 13th.
Tony was an outstanding police officer, a seven year veteran of the Bellaire police department; family man, and devoted black belt in our system.He leaves behind his lovely wife and three beautiful daughters. All of Chayon-Ryu mourns his passing.

Condolence cards can be signed at the World Headquarters, and a fund was collected from members to help his family in their time of grief.

Grandmaster Kim Soo dedicated the annual beach training to his memory, July 16th, 2016.

Grandmaster Kim Soo and other Chayon-Ryu Members
attended his memorial service.
Funeral escort for Officer Marco Zarate

Monday, April 4, 2016

Chayon-Ryu Mourns The Passing of Grandmaster Park, Chull-Hee

Grandmaster Park with Grandmaster Kim Soo in Korea, 2012

RIP GRANDMASTER PARK, CHULL-HEE  by Kyosanim, Melissa L. Nichols

Grandmaster Kim Soo and the members of Chayon-Ryu International mourn the passing of  Grandmaster Park, Chull-Hee (1932 - 4 April 2016).
Grandmaster Park was one of the two co- founders, along with Grandmaster Hong Jong Pyo (who passed in 2011) of the Kang Duk Kwan, one of the original Nine Kwans of taekwondo.

Grandmaster Hong and Grandmaster Park were students at Chang Moo Kwan,  and in 1956 they opened their own school - the Kang Duk Kwan.
Grandmaster Kim Soo and his Invitational Class pose to honor
Grandmaster Park's memory.
Houston Texas, 1979
Grandmaster Chull-hee Park and (then)
 Master Kim Soo at the Spring Branch DoJang.

Grandmaster Kim Soo studied under and along side Grandmaster Park, and has revered him as an honored teacher from his early days in martial arts.

When news of Grandmaster Park's passing reached Grandmaster, he and the Chayon-Ryu members arranged memorial ceremonies to remember the senior teacher's passing.

Grandmaster Kim Soo, Black Belts, and students remember Grandmaster Park at the 290th Chayon-Ryu Rank Exam.
Grandmaster Kim Soo's Sunday Invitational Class 

all images copyright Kim Soo Karate, Inc. All right reserved.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Etiquette and Protocol in Chayon-Ryu


Etiquette of the Dojang in Chayon-Ryu

Chayon-Ryu is a traditional Martial Art System. Unlike other systems that focus on sport competition, Chayon-Ryu strives to preserve traditions.

Dojang Traditions: Bowing

Bowing in Asian cultures is a form of greeting just like shaking hands in Western cultures. In the Dojang bowing is also a form of showing respect to senior students and instructors. Beginner students should practice it until it becomes an unconscious habit.

Standing bow

The most common form of bowing in the Dojang is the standing bow.
The standing bow is performed from attention stance (Charyot).
Body is inclined 45 degrees at the hips.
Eyes look forward.
Hands are placed at the sides of the body.
The standing bow is performed about six feet away from the person you are bowing to.

Sitting Bow

Another form of bowing is the sitting bow. Traditionally, this bow is used to show utmost respect to the other person.
The sitting bow is performed from a kneeling position, coming to your knees at attention stance; the hands are placed on the mat in front of the knees. The forehead touches slightly to the mat, keeping this position for a few seconds.
The standing bow is always done in class, while the sitting bow is more formal and is only performed on special occasions.

Lower ranked students initiate the bow, while higher ranked students and instructors will release the bow. In case of a very senior ranking master, or Grandmaster Kim Soo, you should always hold the bow position a little longer than the person to whom you are bowing.  In all instances, you should show sincerity. Bow properly. Don’t walk and bow, or simply nod your head, as this is considered rude.

Students should always give their undivided
attention to instructors and masters.
When listening to the instructor who is addressing class, students should be at attention. Sometimes a more relaxed parade stance is acceptable, with arms crossed behind and feet shoulder width apart; the command to relax is “Shio.”  

Sometimes students will be seated during speeches but only after they are directed to do so. Always the students should give undivided attention to instructors or masters when they are addressing the class.

Chayon-Ryu students are expected to show proper etiquette in the Dojang and it should always be reinforced by the instructors.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

MY KONG by Grandmaster Kim Soo

When Grandmaster Kim Soo asked me to publish his story of My Kong for 2015--I felt it was important to refresh readers and Chayon-Ryu students and Black Belts on What Kong is, and how is it created. So I asked him if I could republish his article "What is Kong?" which appears below the  article. I feel it is important to remind ourselves of the higher lessons we get through our training, and how Kong can affect our lives in very important ways, and also refresh our mindfulness of our Kong we build in our own lives.
by Mel Nichols, Kyosanim


MY KONG- by Grandmaster Kim Soo (Dec. 25, 2015)

The year of 2015 was a very difficult year in my life. I had been suffering from staph infection for a long time. 
Grandmaster in the hyperbaric chamber
I was in the hospital for over one month and then went back and forth for a few months for additional treatment.  

I received almost 60 hours of Hyperbaric treatment at Kindred hospital of Sugar Land.As soon as I got out from the hospital, I went to N.C. branch for a seminar on early part of April.

The four doctors involved in my case told me I am a “Miracle Man.” So I became puzzled over how I got this miracle. Later, I found out how I could get that miracle: I didn’t lose my right leg.

That was my “Kong.” 
I strongly believe that, all my life I have been teaching others as their mentor, not as a drill Sergent.
This Kong saved my leg.

This morning, after my shower, by accident I looked at the calendar on the wall. 

There were two little young children monks in the yard of an old Buddhist temple, chatting facing each other. 
 Below that I read these words: 

“Build the Kong in every day life, this will save and help you when you are in danger and hard situation.


What is Kong?

By Grandmaster Kim Soo, 10th. Dan & Founder, Chayon-Ryu
Written by Sabomnim Graeme Cox

Kong is merit or credit from your service and achievements.

If two soldiers are up for promotion, their superior officers will look at their records to see their respective achievements. If one has many awards and the other has few, it is obvious who will be promoted. Soldiers are promoted for what they have done for their nation, not because they are good looking or have a killer’s mind.

This is the same in martial arts. Many students attend classes expecting to be automatically promoted when they have served their time. They feel that by paying their dues and attending class they are doing enough.
Perhaps up to Blue belt level this is an acceptable attitude, as it takes some time to understand the importance of the Dojang in one’s life. However, above this level, students have been training for several years and should understand the importance of doing more around the Dojang.

Black Belt students, especially, should build up Kong in order to be promoted to the next Dan level. Without Kong why do you deserve to be promoted? To be promoted you must have special credit. You must have shown leadership qualities, and set a good example for other Black Belts and all junior students.
Do you think you get Kong from sparring hard, intimidating other students, showing how tough and strong you are, or having an "I am better than you" attitude?

Do you think that training once a week and not having a regular teaching commitment builds your Kong? What does that do for the organization?

Nothing! From my point of view this is building "minus" Kong, because your intention is wrong. To truly reach Master level you need to build Kong.

How do you get Kong?

Kong is easy to build. You just need to show the generosity you are learning from your training. Show your generosity by helping the system. You could donate some time to help maintain or repair the Dojang. Spend some time cleaning before or after class. At the very least you need to pick up the dust that you drop. You don’t need to make a special trip. Just do something other than train once a week. Show some initiative. Do not wait for someone to tell you what to do, take the responsibility yourself.

But, don’t clean for me! You benefit from cleaning by building your Kong, not mine.
If you clean for me your intention is wrong.

I have spoken about this on numerous occasions but I still see many students who do not understand. None of your efforts should be to impress me. If this is the case, then I am unimpressed.

When I see you are doing these things for the right reasons then I am surely satisfied. Although it may not be obvious to you, it is obvious to me when your attitude is correct and when it is not. Those who give their time freely, expect nothing in return. This is building your Kong.

Those who are trying to impress me always want some form of restitution or recognition, and it saddens me that these students don’t understand who benefits from their labors.

Master Don Martin facilitates a seminar on
the Dojang Hun
You also build your Kong by attending regular events such as Instructor Clinics, Black Belt classes, and Rank examinations. You are aware of the events on the calendar. Offer to help organize some of these events. Put together a special class for the annual seminar, or even just a special demonstration for the next rank test.  Something! Do you think a few forms, breaking a brick and sparring are your requirements?

Black Belt requirements are not tested during class. They are tested by your actions throughout the year. When you have met these requirements, then you will be permitted to test for your next Dan level.

Black Belts should attend 90% of all events if they expect to be promoted. Attending 10% of these functions means you are not meeting your requirements. It is worse that I have to hassle you to attend these functions. It means you do not understand that your rank imposes responsibilities on you, not "special guest" privileges.

You also build your Kong by lending your expertise to Chayon-Ryu. Wherever possible, you should freely offer your services to improve the image and status of Chayon-Ryu within the community.
Share your knowledge in the community either by helping promote Chayon-Ryu or offering to teach or demonstrate your skills at your workplace or community hall. By sharing the benefits you have received from your training we can make this world a better place in which to live.

Quite often, new students come to the Dojang and see their old friends. Their first statement is either "I didn’t know you were a Black Belt," or "I didn’t know you trained in martial arts." This is deplorable. 
How could you train for so long and not tell your friends or work-mates about it? Is this a "humble" attitude, or a negative attitude? I consider it the latter. You need to share the "good medicine" with your friends and co-workers.
You don’t need to drag them along to class, but let them know that you train and how it has helped your life. Put some flyers up so people realize that someone they know trains at the school. Remember how difficult it was for you to come to class when you didn’t know anyone. Probably many of your friends, relatives, or acquaintances would come to class if they knew someone. This is how you build your Kong. Share Chayon-Ryu with the world and see how many people you can help.

I have built up much Kong in my life. Your Kong shows what you want, what you have done, and your effort to achieve these goals. Every chance I got, I taught my friends and shared the benefits of my training. I have shared with you for 48 years in the USA, and 65 years since I started teaching in Korea.
Every time I share my knowledge I build my Kong.
When you teach, you build your Kong.

You never know, the lesson you teach might save a person’s life, or make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

You build Kong for your life. If you don’t build Kong then you get no result. The saying, In Gua Ung Bo means "Where there is cause there will be a result." The seeds you throw return to you. If you throw many "good" seeds you will get a plentiful return. If you throw no seeds then nothing returns to you. If you throw bad seeds ... well I am sure you understand.

Working on the landscaping at World Headquarters
 Students have too many excuses why they cannot help at the Dojang. They don’t have time, their spouse or children need them, or they are too tired from working all day. These are simply excuses, showing a lack of understanding about how training affects their lives.

Black Belts cleaning and doing maintenance work on the
dojang at World Headquarters
Do you think you get no other benefits in your life than the ability to fight and defend yourself. If so, you are surely missing the point of the lessons I am teaching. 

You should acknowledge how Chayon-Ryu has enhanced your life, and then you would be willing to donate some time and effort in the improvement of your school and system. 

However, until you acknowledge these benefits, you will just think I am asking you to work for me without being paid -- more "minus" Kong. I am not asking for a lot, just a little on a regular basis, so that you may benefit from your efforts.
Master Sean Kim, 8th Dan,
cleaning the dojang floor

If you don’t go to work, you don’t get paid. That is obvious, so you go to work. But, how many people say "Oh, all my problems would be over if I won the lottery." They do not want to work for their reward. They just want the reward -- no In, "Patience." What then? Do they have enough common sense to manage their money wisely if they did win? In most cases the answer is a resounding "NO."

By following the "Basic Principles," your training builds common sense. By helping the system you are building your Kong. In this manner, Kong is similar to Karma or "Grace." When you give freely of your time and effort, your merit and grace grow, and your life prospers.

Your annual dues are the absolute minimum to attend the school. Still, they do not even pay for the lesson. Your time and effort pay for the lesson, and you can only understand what you learn by giving back to the system.

How much Kong have you built?