Dr. Daeshik Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1934. He graduated from Yudo College in Seoul, Korea, and came to the United States in 1960. After receiving his B.A. degree in political science from Georgia Southwestern College, he earned his M.Ed. at Emory College and then his doctorate in physical education and safety education from the University of Georgia. Dr. Kim also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from two American institutions of higher learning.
In 1961, Dr. Kim began his teaching career at several American and Canadian schools before returning to Korea where he accepted an associate professor position at Dan Kook University. In 1971, he became chairman of the Department of Physical Education at Yonsei University.
In 1974, the political climate in Korea was such that he and his family moved to the United States, and he was looking for employment. At the same time, The University of Texas Department of Physical and Health Education was looking for an expert in martial arts to begin a new program. We did not know how lucky we were to hire him before someone else did, given his outstanding expertise developed over 25 years of involvement in the martial arts. Dr. Kim also taught the philosophy of sports, comparative physical education, and safety education.
In addition to introducing the martial arts as a field of study here at UT Austin, Dr. Kim’s contributions were widely recognized both nationally and internationally. His honors, achievements, and awards include the following:
- He was the first person to introduce Martial Arts-Sport into the educational systems in Georgia, and he contributed greatly to the development of the martial arts in the southeastern United States.
- His contributions were formally recognized by the Georgia House of Representatives with the following statement: “The State of Georgia commends and thanks the Honorable Daeshik Kim for his magnificent achievements and his considerable contributions to Georgia’s educational and sporting worlds.”
- He was considered as one of the three Judo Masters and one of the five Taekwondo Masters who pioneered the martial arts in the United States.
- He founded the United States Martial Arts Institute (USMAI) in 1976 and established the Educational Martial Arts Program.
- He held a 10th Degree Black Belt in Hosin-Hapkido.
- He held a 9th Degree Black Belt in both Taekwondo and Judo.
- He was president of the Society of Hosinsul. It was Dr. Kim who truly defined Ho Sin Sul here in the United States to be “Conceptual Self-Defense.”
- He held the title, Great Grand Master Kim, which is the highest of all titles.
- In 1999, he was awarded a National Medal (Kul Min Hoon Jang) by the Republic of Korea in recognition of his dedicated lifetime service, outstanding contributions, and scholastic developments to the field of physical education, sport, and martial arts in Korea and abroad.
- Dr. Kim was internationally known as THE most knowledgeable expert in Karate and Judo and is considered to be the Father of Collegiate Martial Arts in the United States.
- He authored over 30 books and numerous articles about martial arts, philosophy, and education. This vast number of books includes eight volumes on Tae Kwon Do. He also held seminars in the United States, Canada, in the Far East, and in many European countries.
Dr. Daeshik Kim was a true gentleman, most courteous, industrious, and a loyal friend, who loved teaching at The University of Texas. After 22 years of great service, Dr. Kim retired in 1996 for medical reasons. Dr. Kim passed away in 2007.