Grand master Se-Hyuk Kim has led Korean high performance teams since before Taekwondo debuted in the Olympic Games. He has the most official results on his resume dating back to World Championships, Asian Games, Olympics and can boast of being part of his country’s Olympic team from Seoul 88 to London 2012.



He knows perfectly the modern kicking mechanism that was implanted in Taekwondo since the transformation of the bamboo dungarees to the padded dungarees, being part of the developers of the diagonal kicks (Big chagui) and its technical variants (double, triple, mondolios or 360) that would give spectacularity to Taekwondo and much strength to its own style of combat.

Not satisfied with this, since the beginning of the 80’s it has remained a fundamental part of the technical apparatus of the national teams, university teams and professionals of Korea, such as the sponsored Samsung.

Today he continues in Korea showing new ideas to rescue the authentic Taekwondo of speed, power, distance, which he has judged to be contrary to what is being experienced today. He is aware of the global growth of the current TKD, but he has complained about the errors presented by the electronic systems, and he goes further to rescue the strength of the combat of this sport.

«I started practicing Taekwondo since I was 13, joining the Seoul Gwangseong High School team, where I trained as a competitor,» he tells mundotaekwondo in an exclusive interview.

He is a direct student of Grand Master Eui Min Ko (고의민), who now lives in Munich, Germany. «He has been the coach of the Korean national team in the 2nd and 3rd World Championships, 1st Asian Championships and 5 European Championships and was also the head of the technical unit of WTF (now called WT)», he tells us.

Masterful vision

For this mythical Grand Master, Taekwondo is a combat sport and also a martial art. That is to say, it realizes two dimensions in a relationship with another human being that may seem paradoxical: confrontation and respect. And that is what makes it special.

In martial art we train what humans must do to survive and we teach the basics of behavior that we need to know how to live as true human beings.

When we asked him what Taekwondo was for him, he answered: «It is everything in my life».

MT-. Master, let’s talk about some special moment.

GM Kim- When we won a very difficult fight that we were losing at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The fight when Taejin Son beat Mark Lopez with Dolyochagui right to the trunk with 4 seconds left. Another moment I remember was in Athens 2004, when Daesung Moon won his final with the DuiHurigui to the Greek, that technique is like the flower of our art. What more can I ask?.

MT- Master, let’s talk about your most outstanding students.

I remember many athletes, especially the gold winners in Olympic Games, for example: Ha Tae Kyoung, Kwon, Bongkwon Park and Myeongsam Jang in Seoul 1988, Kyunghun Kim, Seonhee Lee in Sydney 2000, Daeseong Moon, Jiwon Jang in Athens 2004 and Taejin Son in Beijing 2008.

MT. A sportsman?

GM Kim- It reminds me a lot of the fights in Taejin, since he was the youngest on the team for Beijing and there was a lot of questioning as to his ability to win such an important event. I also remember Jaegu Han, the winner of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games, who is currently teaching Taekwondo in the USA.

MT-. What technique do you like?

GM Kim- La Dolguechagui (360) is a very efficient kick so everyone on the Korean national team uses that kick a lot.

MT. We’re talking about your Olympic champions. But what about your life as an athlete and trainer?

MT- The best time in sports life began when I was 18 years old, winning the MVP in the Korean Republic President’s Cup. It was a very tough competition with great opponents.

In this WTF documentary, we can see GM Kim, leading classes and demonstrating the techniques.

MT- Besides your achievements as the coach with the most Olympic Champions, what work inspired you?

GM Kim- Being a coach and the coach of Dongseong High School where I trained many future great champions and some foreign athletes like Philippe Pinerd, Bobby Clayton, Steven Capener and others. Also when I was the general manager of the Samsung team with great success and prestige, where all were World Champions and some Olympic.

MT. What do you think of Poomsae?

GM Kim-. It’s important to develop Poomsaes and maintain self-defense education because it’s basic.

MT. What do you think of Taekwondo today?

GM Kim-. We must hurry to change the current pattern and return to the old Kyorugui rules, making some necessary adjustments to recover the essence (intensity, diversity…) of the Taekwondo championship.

MT- What do you think of General Choi Hong Hi?

GM Kim- From my point of view, I do not agree with what is said that Mr. Choi is the founder of Taekwondo. But I admire him very much. He developed Taekwondo in the Korean military and is also one of the first generations who went out to teach Taekwondo abroad and also worked hard to establish the bond with North Korea through Taekwondo, as there was a lot of sadness between two countries because of the separation of the territory.

MT- GM Kim, you are a living legend. We know about your work and incomparable achievements. What do you wish for?

GM Kim- First, I hope Taekwondo will be a martial art that everyone will love and be enthusiastic about. Second, it is important to develop physical ability but being disciplined is even more important, so I hope Taekwondo will stay in human history so that we can learn the discipline. And finally, I hope it will change the rules of WT. I want to thank Mundo Taekwondo for the interview.

MT. Any international colleagues to highlight?

GM Kim-. Philippe Pinerd (France), was my student. He is a world-class teacher and a successful coach and has my full confidence. We have the same total and pure passion for Taekwondo, so I ask all Taekwondo actors anywhere in the world to support him in his efforts to promote authentic Taekwondo.

Carlos Hernández CEO.