|Founder: Dr. Kimm - 1975|
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A major turning point in the growth of Hapkido popularity was due to the movie Billy Jack that was technically supervised by Master Han Bong-soo. His unbelievable kicking techniques grabbed the attention of the American public and inspired many young people to begin training in Hapkido. Martial arts magazines also responded and began publishing numerous articles about Hapkido. Dr. Kimm was the first Hapkido master featured on the cover of the national martial arts magazine, Black Belt, in January of 1975.
During this period of time Dr. Kimm did not have much time to sleep due to trying to balance his school studies for his Ph.D. with his martial arts training for his 8th degree Black Belt in Hapkido. Two factors that helped him through the difficult and trying time were the strong mind and body he had developed through martial arts training and the endless sacrificed of his wife. She worked inside their home taking care of their two sons and him as well as working hard at a local bank.
In the 1970's, Dr. Kimm traveled a great deal to perform demonstrations at tournaments. For the fifteen to twenty minute demonstrations, he required at least eight people and good mats. Most tournament sponsors did not have suitable mats so he and his demonstration team had to bring their own. Dr. Kimm was the southern distributor of Jhoon Rhee Safety Equipment and, since all of their expenses were not normally covered, they sold the safety equipment in order to cover their costs. Major members of his demonstration team were Kim Tate, Ricky Haig, Keith Johnson, Phillip Morrow, Kathy Any, and Janet Foster. This group would normally leave Baton Rouge on Friday afternoon and drive to their destination. They would arrive at their destination between midnight and 4:00 am, depending on the distance they traveled. At tournaments, the group helped the tournament directors and sponsors with organizing, judging and/or refereeing. One member of the group was placed in charge of selling the safety equipment. They always attended the post-tournament parties, driving home around midnight to arrive back in Baton Rouge early Sunday. This gave them time to relax and get ready for another week of work, school and training.
An unforgettable incident occurred at the Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. They had been invited to demonstrate at the American Karate Championship by the tournament director, Allen Steen, who was a student of Jhoon Rhee. There were approximately five thousand spectators watching their demonstration and they were honored to receive several standing ovations. Many spectators approached the group afterwards, asking for their autographs. They were all busy talking to the spectators and signing autographs when a very young Korean instructor approached and, in Korean, said "What are you doing in my territory?" Dr. Kimm had never seen this person before and never expected to hear this from him. At the same time, Master Jack Hwang, a pioneer of Tae Kwon Do in the southwest, approached Dr. Kimm and greeted Dr. Kimm. He said to the young instructor, also in Korean, "You stupid idiot! You only know how to count to one and not to two. After seeing Master Dr. Kimm's demonstration, the spectators will want to learn Korean martial arts. Do you think they are going to flip open the Dallas telephone book or the Baton Rouge telephone book?" Master Whang then commanded that the young instructor apologize to Dr. Kimm, which he promptly did. Luckily, none of Dr. Kimm's students understood Korean and it ended without incident.
In the early 1970's there was no Hapkido book available in the United States and Dr. Kimm had the privilege of translating the book, Korean Hapkido, written by Grandmaster Myung Kwang-shik. This was the official book used by the AHA. His next step was to publish a Kuk Sool training manual for the non-Hapkido members of the Association that was published in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Ron Turche was a member of the Association who devoted much of his time to the preparation and publication of this book. In 1973, Grandmaster Myung Kwon-sik came to the United Stated and visited Dr. Kimm in Baton Rouge for ten days. Together, they held a seminar at LSU in Baton Rouge and at the Keju Dojang in Alexandria, Louisiana. The following weekend Grandmaster Myung, Kim Tate, Kathy Army, Donald Dr. Kimm, Frank Curtis and Dr. Kimm drove to Atlanta, Georgia to perform a demonstration at the "Battle of Atlanta." This was the first demonstration that Grandmaster Myung had done in the United States. On the way back to Baton Rouge, they stopped in Birmingham, Alabama to look for a site for Grandmaster Myung's Hapkido school. They drove around the city for two days and then returned to Baton Rouge with no decision having been made. In Baton Rouge, Grandmaster Myung suggested that he and Dr. Kimm write a Hapkido book (in English). Dr. Kimm was honored to have been asked, but had to decline due to the amount of work that he was already doing between his studies for is Doctorate Degree and his martial arts training. A short time later, grandmaster Myung left for Cincinnati where he was temporarily living. Master Myung later informed Dr. Kimm that the city of Birmingham was too small for him and he had decided to move to Detroit. Dr. Kimm received a letter from Grandmaster Myung after he had settled in Detroit. He asked Dr. Kimm to work with him in order to organize the World Hapkido Association.