About Grand Master Shim/Our History
Tenets of United Tae Kwon Do
Belt Ranks
Frequently Asked Questions


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United Tae Kwon Do was established in 1964 by Grand Master Sang Kyu Shim.

He was known as the Master of masters. The author of three books, he was the guiding force in establishing the World Martial Arts Association and the publication Tae Kwon Do Times. Grand Master Shim relocated to Detroit from Seoul, Korea to promote the martial art he loved until his untimely death in November, 1992. Formally initiating his Tae Kwon Do instruction to U.S. servicemen stationed in Korea in August, 1957, he was recognized and sanctioned by the Korean government as an authority capable of accomplishing the task of introducing the art to those outside of his native Korea.

He traveled extensively throughout the United States during 1961 and 1962 for this purpose.  In January, 1964, he opened a studio in Detroit, Michigan, where he taught his beloved art.  At the time of his death in 1992, Grand Master Shim had built his school to several branches in and around the metro Detroit area.  The Warren branch opened in March, 1992.

His sole purpose was to teach and educate others in the true martial art (as opposed to sport).  His legacy continues to provide substance instead of symbolism, cultivating the higher aspects of the human being and developing the total individual - a person of theory and action.  United Tae Kwon Do strives to foster an educated person of action rather than a mere athlete.

Today United Tae Kwon Do is owned and operated by Master Don Shankin.  Masters David Juszczyk, Anita Skinner, and Diane Smalley also instruct classes at the Warren studio.  All four of Warren's Master Instructors trained directly under Grand Master Shim. All four earned Black Belt ranks under his as well.

Grand Master Shim was widely known to strive for quality, not quantity.  The instructors at United Tae Kwon Do continue to strive for quality.  Each student is encouraged to strive for the goal of 9th Degree Black Belt and is motivated to reach this highest level of Tae Kwon Do through dedication to acquiring knowledge and constant practice.