“Chayon-Ryu teaches natural body motion
as the basis of all techniques, in order to promote power, safety, health, and fitness.”
Grandmaster Kim Soo

History of Chayon-Ryu

Chayon-Ryu blends many different martial arts into one comprehensive system. Meaning “natural way,” Chayon-Ryu utilizes natural body movements that anyone can instinctively perform. Such simple human motions as twisting, throwing and running generate blocks, strikes and kicks. Anyone can practice Chayon-Ryu and gain health, longevity and safety – regardless of age, or physical limitations.

Among the arts in Chayon-Ryu’s lineage are karate, chu’an-fa, hapkido or aiki-jujitsu, judo and tae kwon do. In recent history, the leading influence on Chayon-Ryu came from Grandmaster Byung In Yoon. A Korean raised in Manchuria, Yoon mastered chu’an-fa before attending college at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan during the 1930’s. There he met Grandmaster Kanken Toyama, founder of Shudokan karate and a faculty member at Nihon University. Yoon and Toyama exchanged their knowledge of chu’an-fa and karate. Toyama recognized Yoon as a fourth degree black belt – one of the highest ranking at that time below Toyama himself.

After World War II, Grandmaster Yoon returned to Korea where he began teaching chu’an-fa and karate together in Seoul. Yoon became a leader in re-establishing martial arts practice in Korea following its liberation from Japanese occupation. During the Korean War, however, Grandmaster Yoon moved to North Korea. His original students have had no contact with him in over forty years. He may still be living in North Korea – or perhaps in Russia, where we believe he taught martial arts many years ago. Hopefully one day we can meet him so he can see that his teachings continue today. ‚Ä®‚Ä®Before his departure, Grandmaster Yoon trained several senior students extensively in chu’an-fa and karate. Three of those students – Grandmasters Namsok Lee, Chullhee Park, and Jong Pyo Hong later became instructors to Grandmaster Kim Soo. Though they are over 70 years old today, Grandmaster Park and Hong still teach together in Seoul.

Beginning his training at age thirteen, Grandmaster Kim Soo became the youngest black belt in South Korea. In the ensuing years, Grandmaster Kim formulated his dream to come to the United States. He committed himself to bring as much martial art knowledge with him as possible. Therefore, he separately undertook studies in hapkido and judo.

Grandmaster Kim mastered hapkido under a senior student of Grandmaster Yongsul Choi. Considered the founder of hapkido, Choi spent many years practicing in Japan under Grandmaster Shokaku Takeda, successor to the Takeda clan that developed and preserved daito-ryu aiki-jujitsu over the centuries. Grandmaster Kim also studied judo under Grandmaster Jin Hee Han, who trained at the Kodokan judo headquarters in Japan and was the highest ranking judo instructor in South Korea.

Grandmaster Kim Soo realized his dream in 1968 when he moved to Houston, Texas, U.S.A. There he founded the Chayon-Ryu martial art system, integrating all of the different arts of his predecessors. In addition to teaching at his private schools and overseeing the Chayon-Ryu organization internationally, Grandmaster Kim has served on the faculty of Rice University and the University of Houston for over twenty-six years.