Our Journey25 October 2021
Legacies are entrusted to those who will take on the mantle of preserving them for generations to come.
Our unique brand of Taekwondo, under the guidance of Grandmaster Jae Hun Kim, is our contribution to the preservation and promotion of the martial art in the region.
In the year 2000, I left Boston for Singapore, with the goal of setting up the first JH Kim Taekwondo school outside of the US. Being the top disciple of Grandmaster JH Kim and the first to venture overseas, it was a heavy responsibility that I had, but I was determined to succeed.
In 2003, I set up my first Taekwondo school at the Golden Mile Complex, and I put in everything I had – from finances, to the almost 24/7 hours of work, and the resulting blood, sweat and tears laid the foundation of my Rivas-JH Kim Taekwondo schools now.
I was also the first to set up a full-time, fully-equipped martial arts school in a shopping center, and that paved the way for many other schools to follow suit subsequently. The obstacles seemed insurmountable at the beginning – I needed to work hard to change people’s mindsets, to encourage parents that Taekwondo would be a beneficial children’s enrichment and to develop a syllabus which would be suitable for the students here. I pushed myself harder and further than before and it was with perseverance, diligence and resilience that saw us succeeding within the first year.
My passion lies in teaching, from carefully crafting daily class plans to the practical execution of these techniques during lessons. I enjoy passing on what I’ve learnt as a student, to my students now, and to inculcate in them the values which I live by.
In 2004, a year after establishing my first school in Singapore, I was awarded a plaque from Grandmaster Kim : “Instructor Of The Year – in recognition of your achievement in establishing an outstanding Tae Kwon Do school in Singapore”. It was an extremely humbling moment, knowing that my toils and sacrifices had paid off and were recognized by my Grandmaster.
An instructor is more than someone who stands in front of a class and recites instructions. A instructor is a coach, a mentor who teaches by example, who breathes and lives by the values he preaches.
Taekwondo is more than techniques and skills, it is also the beliefs and values that shape us as martial artists. I will continue to devote my efforts to learn more and work better to promote Taekwondo. And I will aim to be the best instructor that I can be, deserving of the accolade GM Kim had bestowed, and to continue our school’s legacy.
*My journey has only just begun. *