Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim was received Knighthood into the order of Constantine the Great and St. Helen, the first woman ever in the 1,700 years of history of the Order to receive Knighthood.
Each step of the way, through Dr. Tae Yun Kim, Grandmaster’s life, Dr. Kim has risen above all the challenges she has faced, and broken history.
Tae Yun Kim’s challenges started at her birth in 1946 in Korea, when she was ostracized by her family and Korea for being a first-born daughter. Despite her family and culture calling her bad luck and a curse, Tae Yun Kim never gave up, instead living her person motto, “He can do, She can do, Why not me!”
Dr. Kim’s motto and spirit saw her through incredible challenges. At age 5 Dr. Kim went through the Korean war, where her family abandoned her as just another mouth to feed, and a girl. At age 7, with the Korean war still a recent memory, Dr. Kim saw her 7 uncles training in Tae Kwon Do in the early morning mist, and decided at that moment, that that was what she wanted to do. Train in the martial arts. This was despite the fact that in 5000 years of Korea history girls were just not taught martial arts. To train in Tae Kwon Do, and eventually become a black belt and then a Grandmaster, Dr. Kim broke 5000 years of Korean culture.
Dr. Kim carried her unending unflagging spirit to America. Today, as a result despite un ending personal and business challenges, Dr. Kim is one of the world’s highest ranked female martial arts, the CEO of a Silicon Valley technology company, and a mentor, author and keynote, motivational speaker.
Recognizing Dr. Kim’s spirit, the Imperial and Charitable Order of Constantine and St Helen, a chivalric order founded in 322 AD by the Emperor Constantine, approached Dr. Kim, wishing to award her recognition as a Dame of St Helen.
When asked if women were Knights, the Grand Prior of the Order of Constantine replied that in its 1700 years of its existence however no woman had ever been knighted into the Order of Constantine. Women could only be invited into the Order as Dames.
Dr. Kim said thank you, but I am a not a woman, I am a warrior, and politely declined the award.
Over the next months, the Grand Prior of the Order of Constantine pressed his case for Dr. Kim to accept the honor of membership in the Order as a Dame. Each time Dr. Kim thanked him graciously, but stated again, that she was a warrior.
Then Grand Prior of the Order of Constantine attended a color belt testing at Dr. Kim’s martial art headquarters, Jung SuWon Martial Arts. At the belt testing the Grand Prior watched as Dr. Kim worked with her students, who ranged from 3 years old to 70+ years old, motivating and inspiring them to challenge themselves. The Grand Prior saw the students’ joy training at Jung Suwon, and he heard from them how training at Dr. Kim’s Jung Suwon had helped them personally to overcome suicidal thoughts, bullying, stress, become confident and able to speak in public, and in all ways, transform their lives.
The Grand Prior went home from Dr. Kim’s Jung Suwon belt testing inspired and motivated by Dr. Kim’s spirit and energy. He was so inspired that he and the Order of Constantine broke 1700 years of the Order of Constantine’s history, and recognized Dr. Kim as a Knight, the first female Knight, in the Order of Constantine and St. Helene.
To be inducted into the Order of Constantine as a knight, Dr. Kim designed a truly unique and one of a kind stunning full length, mermaid silhouette white satin and silk tulle evening dress with a train that gracefully followed Dr. Kim’s every move. Every light in the room caught and magnified the sparkle of the over 47,000 hand applied Swarovski crystals that covered the body and train of Dr. Kim’s dress with yellow, rose, and orange flowers and green leaves.
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