Development in Europe
Grand Master Kim Sou Bong cam to the Ruhr area in German in 1964 together with a handfull of korean men. Amonst them were some that had learned the martial art of Hapkido and Taekyon. And it was their aspiration to continue their training there. Initially this took place amongst their country men in the basement of their accomodation. Some German miners heard about those training sessions. Those miners were doing Judo at the sports club in Oberader – Judo was then the only know martial art.
Those German sportsmen, amongst them also Judo Dan fighter Klaus Stöckner and Klaus Steubel, as well as their student Karl-Heins Kickuth started now to take lessons from Kim Sou Bong. Initially at their place, later in a hall since the group was growing continuosly. Due to language barriers and differences in mentality, Kim returned after a one-year stay to the America following an invitation from the „American Association of Hapkido“. In 1966 he took part in an event led by Chuck Noris: „Karate Black Belt Championships“, whereby he got to meet many world-renowned martial art masters , such as the legendary Bruce Lee. Together with his friend Choi he taught for 6 months in Los Angeles. In 1968 Kim returned to Germany via France.
Following the support of many who did Judo, in particular Anton Greven and Klaus Stöckner, they succeeded in teaching Hapkido trainings within the Judo clubs. Klaus Stöckner was ultimately the first German to take the first Dan exam with Kim Sou Bong in 1968.
As the 5th Dan, Kim taught together with Manfred Kraft at the Sport center „Nippon“ in Mühlheim/Ruhr. In that same year, Kim founded the first Hapkido-sportsschool there. The training room was a room with 25m2 in Heissenstrasse 63. Here, the independent career as Hapkido Grand Master started for Kim in Germany and Europe. In 1969, the German Hapkido Dan College under his chairmanship was founded. (Second chairman was Sigmund Lindener). In the following year, another Hapkido club was founded in Essen. In that club almost exclusively policemen were trained there. Together with Wolfgang Kruse, Kim taught at the police academy in Duisburg practical martial art.
In 1973, the German Judo-Bund supported Hapkido training modules led by Grand Master Kim Sou Bon (6th Dan) across the country. Thanks to Judo pioneer Anton Greven from Dortmund, who participated in many training sessions led by Master Kim, a special Hapkido division was founded within the Judo Club in Nordrhein-Westphalia of which Kim was named the country trainer. Within this function, he led many training modules and helped to spread Hapkido within the Dortmund and Bochum area.