At the age of five in Seoul, Korea, Grandmaster Charles Kim was a reluctant student of Tae Kwan Do. In his native country, young men were expected to start training very early and it was a highly demanding, almost militaristic regimen — not easy for such a young boy. While the training was rigorous, Master Kim keenly remembers when his passion ignited. It was when he entered his first tournament at the age of 13. From that moment on, he knew he would devote his life’s work to Martial Arts. In 1979, Master Kim represented the U.S. at the World Games in Korea and won the Gold Medal, making him Martial Arts World Champion.
For over 25 years, Master Kim has been a highly respected leader and teacher in the Martial Arts community of Southern California and has taught his unique form of Martial Arts to adults and children alike. He and his wife, Elizabeth, founded the Beverly Hills Martial Arts Center in 1990 and now have two studios on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood and Tumblekick Studios in Studio City.
Perhaps the spark to Master Kim’s unique training style was his stringent introduction to Martial Arts as a boy. He says of his classes today, “Many of the games and drills we use to motivate the children, we use in the adult class. The goal is to return adults to being kids…to return them to a time when natural curiosity, physical expression, and joy ruled their lives.” For all ages, a spark of fun in anything we are doing or learning makes everything better. You might say, Master Kim has mastered this philosophy as well.
In his culmination of many years of knowledge and observations, Master Kim created the unparalleled Tumblekick Airtrack, replacing the need for trampolines or noisy air tracks requiring forced air. After four years of intensive research, he engineered the unique, dual-sided air track to provide just the right bounce for varied training activities. The Tumblekick Airtrack provides fast and remarkable results in his students while maintaining the utmost in safety. Students boast of improved balance, coordination and overall health benefits.
Master Kim rounds out his practice by offering acupuncture and herbology treatments. For training and wellness, Master Kim’s loyal following includes well-known sports and entertainment celebrities who attest to his healing abilities. Among them, Mireille Enos, Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green. Mr. Greene stated recently, “Master Kim’s use of Acupuncture, Herbs and Physical Fitness has completely changed my views on Eastern medicine. Thanks to him, I’m in the best shape of my life.“
When practicing Martial Arts as a young child, Master Kim would get injured and his grandfather, who was an acupuncturist and herbologist, would heal him with his traditional Eastern methods. Inspired by his grandfather, Master Kim went on to become certified in both fields and feels strongly the West would benefit in exploring alternative healing methods and steer away from pharmaceutical drugs and their damaging side effects. Master Kim has helped transform many to a healthier and more revitalized state of being.
When someone walks into Master Kim’s studio, he sees the whole person and how they can improve their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The goal is “whole healing” and to bring more joy and vitality to everyone who walks through his doors — Master Kim has successfully done this for almost three decades.
Charmian Carl is a writer, editor and independent documentary producer living and working in Los Angeles.