Song Duk Ki
Seoul, Korea, Dec. 1983


"My own life and my students' lives prove that the benefits of martial arts training are rich and varied and outweigh any perceived sacrifices."
Grandmaster Kim Soo

Song Duk Ki

Song Duk Ki was a Taek Kyon Master who was critically responsible for preserving the art, and thus designated by the South Korean government as a national treasure.

The following photos of Song Duk Ki were taken by Grandmaster Kim Soo over a period of years. As far as we know, these are the oldest photos taken of him. Grandmaster Kim recognized Song Duk Ki's importance early on and began documenting him through these photographs.
(•Using these photos for any purpose requires permission from Grandmaster Kim Soo.)


Bulgoki with Song Duk Ki: Taken 12/19/83 at a private restaurant (now torn down) across the street from the New Naija Hotel, where Grandmaster Kim treated him to bulgoki.

Song Duk Ki with John Coon: Taken in 1971 on the way to the archery range, on Grandmaster Kim’s first return visit to Korea, on which he took his student John Coon. A blue belt at the time, John Coon was eventually promoted to black belt before becoming a renowned yoga instructor.

Song Duk Ki at mountain base: Taken 12/19/83 at the base of In-Wang Mountain.

Song Duk Ki sitting: Taken 12/19/83 at the recreation center next to the Hwang Hak Jung archery range at In Wang Mountain, about one mile from Grandmaster Kim’s home.

Visiting with Song Duk Ki: Taken in 1973 on Grandmaster Kim’s second return visit to Korea, at the Seoul Rin Hotel tea room in Seoul where they had lunch.