Our style of martial arts is' in the direct lineage of the Song Moo Kwan which was founded by Grandmaster Byong Jick Ro. 

The teachings of Grand Master Ro were brought to the United States from Korea by several trustworthy students. One of whom was n Joo Kim who incorporated the philosophy (Ryu) of Ku Ki (conquering self). 

One of Grand Master Kim's first students was Bob Chaney. Grand Master Chaney continued to carryon the traditions of the Song Moo Kwan Kuk Ki Ryu while pursuing the knowledge of Muay Thai (kickboxing) a well as other martial arts. 

The teachings of Master Chaney were entrusted to Master Gary Mattevi who continues to carry on the traditions of  the Song Moo Kwan Kuk Ki Ryu, the teachings of Master Chaney while pursuing the knowledge of other martial arts

The follow is a brief synopsis of the history of the Song Moo Kwan. As with any ac mt of history, especially as it pertains to lineage, there are different views regarding facts and chronologies. 

Grand Master Byung Jick Ro

Song Moo Kwan is "The Ever Youthful House of Martial Arts all Training." Rich in history and  tradition, Song Moo Kwan is the  oldest and most famous school of  Taekwondo in Korea. Its founder,  Taekwondo pioneer Supreme Grand  Master Byung Jick Ro, is the  highest ranking Black Belt in the  world. Byung Jick Ro was born July  3, 1919 in Kaesung City, Korea.  

Frail health forced him to enter school a year later than the other children. At the age of twelve, his strong interest  in the ancient martial arts was intensified as he witnessed  the techniques practiced in the local temples. His youthful  spirit drove him to train with intense dedication  subsequently strengthening and improving his health. 

As  a young man, Supreme Grand Master Ro traveled to  Japan to attend college. It was during this time that his  passion for the martial arts led him to seek out Shotokan  founder Gichin Funakoshi. In May of 1936 he began  training under Funakoshi, subsequently earning his black  belt in Shotokan. 

During college vacations he returned  home and taught friends and neighbors the techniques he  had learned. In February of 1944 he returned to Korea, where he continued to create additional hand and foot  

techniques of his own. It is the combination of these techniques along with the ones he learned during his early  years of training that we know as Song Moo Kwan Taekwondo today.  

Honoring numerous training requests, he opened the kaesung dojang on March 11, 1944 in the Kwan Duck  

Jung archery school, establishing the first of the "original founding kwans." Unfortunately, due to the situation in Korea during this time the dojang was forced to close within three to four months after opening. It was the end of World War II and Korea was under Japanese occupation. 

Survival was the first priority for the people of Korea and training in the martial arts was far from their minds. On May 2, 1946, Supreme Grand Master Ro re-established his art at Dong Hung Dong.  

For the next few years martial arts swept through the Korean general population and began to thrive as additional Kwans sprung up. However, war would again cause Supreme Grand Master Ro and the rest of the founders to abandon their dreams as the Korean War forced them to close their doors. Not allowing  

themselves to be hindered, on May 25, 1953, Supreme Grand Master Ro, along with one delegate from each   of the original founding Kwans and seven representative held a conference and established the Korean Kong Soo Do Association. 

Supreme Grand Master Ro was chosen to serve as its Executive Director. He was also made the Chairman of the Rank Promotion Committee and the Master Instructor. Sadly, due in part to the Korean War,  

Supreme Grand Master Ro is the only founder of the original founding Kwans still active in Taekwondo  today.  

Grand Master II Joo Kim

Grand Master IL Joo Kim Grandmaster IL Joo Kim grew up in a rural setting near Wonju City Korea. He began  

practicing a variety of martial arts at an early age. Finally Kim decided that he wanted to devote his time to the  teachings of Grandmaster Byung Jick Ro's Song Moo Kwon School. Song Moo Kwon was one of the original  five kwans Grandmaster Ro was himself one of the early presidents of the Korean Tae Soo Do Association.  


Later, the five Kwans were united under the collective name, Taekwondo as a young black belt Kim taught at the main school under grandmaster Ro in Seoul and later operated his old-school while attending college at Sung Kyun Kwan University. America.  

When he enlisted in the Korean army Kim was a 2nd degree black belt. In 1964, now a 5th degree black belt Kim left Korea for the United States to further his education.  

While living in Louisville, Ohio Kim began teaching Taekwondo classes at the local YMCA. Two years later Kim would open his own dojang; this would be the beginning of an incredible martial arts success story.  

More than 4 decades later Master Kim is known as the father of Taekwondo in the Midwest. With numerous  

schools throughout Northeast Ohio and hundreds of students, Master Kim pioneered the ancient Korean art in America.


In addition to his many schools, Master Kim hosts one of the oldest annual tournaments in the United States.  

Grandmaster Kim was also one of 33 prominent Taekwondo masters who founded the organization that  

now defines Olympic style sport Taekwondo. 

Currently Grandmaster Kim is the President of the All-American  Song Moo Kwon Association and is on the Board of  Advisors of the Asian Taekwondo Union.

Grand Master Bob Chaney

Grand Master Bob Chaney was born in Wadsworth, Ohio on February 12, 1943. His family moved to Akron, Ohio in the early 1950's where Grand Master Chaney was raised and began boxing training under his father in


In 1960 he trained sporadically in the Isshin-Ryu style of karate and switched to Taekwondo under Grand master II Joo Kim at the YMCA in Canton, Ohio in 1964.

Grand Master Chaney received his rank promotions from 1st through 7th Dan under Grand Master Kim. He was

officially promoted to 7ID Dan in December, 1993. In April, 2000 General Choi (Founder of Taekwondo and

President of the International Taekwondo Federation) personally promoted Grand Master Chaney, along with

Bob Wall and Chuck Norris to 8th Degree Grand Master at a ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This

promotion was with the approval of his teacher, Grand Master Kim who was in attendance.

Grand Master Chaney has a prolific trail of awards and accolades to his credit.  

Master Gary Mattevi

He was born in Canton, Ohio in 1956 where he lived until he  was twenty-eight. Because he decided not to go to college write out of high school he began to train with Master Chaney in September, 1974 at the age of eighteen.  

Gary Mattevi martial arts accomplishments include: 

  • promoted to first degree black belt, May 21, 1977
  • over 25 years of tournament competition and won many Grand Championships
  • Began Gary Mattevi's Martial Arts Academy, Inc,
  • a full-time professional martial arts academy, 1994
  • Inductee in the International Karate & Kickboxing Hall of Fame, 1996
  • Inductee in the Martial Arts Museum of America, 1998
  • Promoted to sixth degree black belt, 2001
  • Received the title of Renshi (martial arts expert technician), 2002