Master Kim’s Induction into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame 2016

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Master Song Chul Kim was recently inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016!

The following is an excerpt from his profile page on the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame website:

In a sport built on respect, Burnaby’s Song Chul Kim receives plenty of it wherever he goes in the world of taekwondo. Kim has risen through the refereeing ranks to become vice-chair of the World Taekwondo Federation’s referee committee. In his 35 years in the sport, Kim has officiated at competitions in every corner of the globe. His stops include Azerbaijan, Denmark, Mexico, China, Bangkok, Egypt, Puerto Rico and Peru – to name just a few – as well as the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. In December, Master Kim was named the federation’s male referee of the year. Thanks to the universal respect he has garnered over the decades, Kim was a big influence in helping Burnaby secure the 2016 World Junior Taekwondo Championships held in November. Kim has been the owner and operator of SC Kim’s Taekwondo in Burnaby since 1994. He was secretary-treasurer (2000-2009) and vice-president (2009-2015) of the B.C. Taekwondo Federation before becoming the organization’s president, a position which he continues to hold.

For photos of the event, please go here.

City proclaims Aug. 8 Taekwondo Kukkiwon Day

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Tereza Verenca / Burnaby Now

Aug. 8, 2015 has been dubbed as Taekwondo Kukkiwon Day in the City of Burnaby.

City council made the proclamation at its meeting Monday night, with Mayor Derek Corrigan applauding Korea’s Kukkiwon taekwondo team and its huge success at the Korean Cultural Heritage Festival over the last two years.

“I do want to recognize this friendship that we’ve developed, a very special one,” said Corrigan. “Taekwondo in Korea is like hockey in Canada. It is the sport that really emulates the spirit of the Korean people. … I think all of us can agree, not only is it an athletic achievement, but it is one of the great character-building sports in our society.”

Corrigan went on to say he’d like to see such a proclamation made every year, and that he’s hopeful other communities will follow Burnaby’s lead.

Kukkiwon is the ultimate authority of taekwondo in Korea and throughout the world. The first time the sport was included in the Olympics was during the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.

The B.C. Taekwondo Federation and the Korean Cultural Heritage Society were the two other key organizations that helped bring forward the proclamation.

“We’ve come a long way, and we’re feeling so blessed to be a part of this,” said Mike Suk, executive director of the society, after the meeting. “It’s going to make a lot of positive impacts for a lot of people.”

Tony Kook, vice president of the federation, said the ultimate goal is to not only grow the cultural festival (which happened to land on Aug. 8 this year), but to bring taekwondo into local elementary schools, “to strengthen and empower children and youth and adults, and help them improve the qualities of their lives.”

“It’s not to get the exposure of where they’re learning punching and kicking,” Kook told the NOW. “But it’s learning the fundamental principles of respect and focus and teamwork.”

He added the logistics of bringing such a program to fruition are still being worked out.

This year’s 14th annual Korean Cultural Heritage Festival at Swangard Stadium attracted a crowd of about 30,000 people, according to Kook, making it the biggest one yet.

Going forward, Suk noted festival organizers are looking at making the event bigger by reaching out to more people, and will incorporate Olympic-style taekwondo tournaments.

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The Olympics is a Judgment Call

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Song Chul Kim can now call himself an Olympian.

The 44-year-old Burnaby resident is among the top 30 officials world-wide selected to judge the sport of taekwondo at the Summer Olympic Games in London in August.

“They say winning an Olympic medal is like a gift from the God, so even being able to go as a referee I feel lucky,” said Kim, who has operated S.C. Kim’s Taekwondo at McKay and Kingsway for the past 17 years. “I can still say I was an Olympian. It’s great. It’s a dream come true.”

But like most athletes, the road to the Games is no easier for officials.

Kim was among six Canadian officials initially nominated by Taekwondo Canada. He then underwent further scrutiny at a number of selection camps, including four days of training in Baku, Azerbaijan in February for the lucky final 30 referees.

Kim was shortlisted from a group of 51 Pan American referees at a regional camp held in Mexico City in April of last year.

Read the full article

The Martial Arts Birthday Party!

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