Grandmaster Song Ki Kim Visits Darwin, Australia
by Master Sharon Kimberley, 5th Dan
April 2015 Australasia Tang Soo Do had the privilege
of hosting a visit from the President of the World
Dang Soo Do Union, Grandmaster Song Ki Kim, and the
Secretary, Master James Pumarejo to our headquarters
in Darwin Australia.
Master James Pumarejo, Grandmaster Song Ki Kim,
Master Sharon Kimberley
was a very significant visit in many ways.
Australasia Tang Soo Do recently joined the WDSU
after a long search for our organisation to
establish a strong connection with our Korean
lineage. For myself on a personal level, I had been
without an Instructor for eight years and was
acutely aware that I if I were to lead our
organisation into the future and preserve the art of
Tang Soo Do, honestly I needed further guidance.
After many conversations via phone and email we
asked Grandmaster Kim & Master Pumarejo if they
would be prepared to visit us here in Australia. To
say we were delighted when they said yes would be an
Travel arrangements were confirmed and we were soon
preparing for their visit in April. Grandmaster Kim
arrived first in the early hours of the morning.
Having never met him before and not being able to
speak any Korean other than our commands and
techniques in class, we were a little apprehensive.
As Grandmaster Kim came through customs we were met
with the warmest smile and a genuine demonstration
of happiness to be there! Any apprehension we had
previously was quickly abated.
After settling him into the hotel, as we were in the
car preparing to leave Grandmaster Kim was on the
balcony with a huge smile and his fists in the air
calling out 'Dang Soo!' I'm not sure what the other
guests were thinking as it was 3 o'clock in the
morning but we were so excited to have him here we
put the windows down and were calling out Dang Soo!
back to him!
Master Pumarejo arrived from America the next day
and we were again met with an immediate sense of
Tang Soo Do camaraderie, albeit a very tired one
after 33 hours of travel! After a day of rest, many
conversations and what must have been a million
questions from us about everything from history to
terminology, we got into the Dojang and got down to
Day one was a meet and greet with our younger
students who were super excited and very much in awe
to be meeting Grandmaster Kim. He was extremely
patient and answered every students question through
Master Pumarejo translating and was happy to share
his time with them.
Day two started with a pre-organised grading
& training clinic for myself and two of my senior
Sam Dans. I was very honoured to be graded to my 5th
Dan & Mr. Gamston and Mr. Osborn were graded to 4th
Dan Master rank. This was a very momentous occasion
not only for us personally but for the future of
Australasia Tang Soo Do.
Day three was spent with senior Dans
attending special morning training. We were taken
through our advanced hyungs with practical
applications and were taught some of the advanced
companion hyungs under Grandmaster Kim's watchful
Day four saw more morning training for senior
Dans giving us the opportunity to re visit not only
the new hyungs but also to workshop our existing
Unfortunately Grandmaster Kim had to return to Korea
that afternoon. It was a very speedy visit but one
that has left an everlasting impression on us all.
There was certainly a sense of sadness saying
goodbye to him so soon. The next day Master Pumarejo
delivered seminars for our Gup students. The
seminars covered a great range of things from Ho Sin
Sul, knife defence, ground work and much more.
All the students had a great time and really engaged
with Master Pumarejo's teaching style. After the
seminars we had enough time to grab a bite to eat
then get Master Pumarejo to the airport for his long
flight home. Master Pumarejo proved not only to be
an excellent instructor, he was also very inspiring
to watch as a martial artist. I know he has ignited
in many of us a renewed passion for our art and
certainly for me, a real aspiration to continue to
learn from him.
We have been a member of the World Dang Soo Do Union
for a little over 8 months. From here, we now have
connections throughout the world which all of our
members can benefit from and we are very much
looking forward to having WDSU members visiting us
here in Australia. I will be traveling to America in
October to train with Master Pumarejo and we are
planning a trip to Korea in 2016 for our Dans.
We are working on bringing Grandmaster Kim back to
Darwin again soon & we also hope to host a Union
event here in Australia in the future!
Meeting Grandmaster Kim and Master Pumarejo
confirmed to us that our new affiliation with the
World Dang Soo Do Union was truly like finding our
long lost family and we feel very confident we are
on our way to a significant new chapter on our
martial art journey.