From MMA to Boxing – An Interview with a South Korean Boxer: Taekyun Kim “TK”
Interview with a South Korean Boxer: Probably more than 5 years ago, TK and I used to train at the same gym. He’s been a great teammate, sparring partner and friend. I remember he would often kick my ass in sparring and I would also tap out many times when rolling with him. TK’s mix-up and uses of his techniques definitely made him a formidable foe. This southpaw featherweight fighter has his wrestling, jiujitsu and striking all on point.
Later on, as I had to move on outside of training, I wasn’t able to contact TK as much. We later caught up again, catching up by text messages here and there. I would take a look at his Facebook and notice that he was professionally boxing. Since I haven’t contacted TK in a while, I asked him if he was interested in having an interview for my blog. As for this fighter, I believe he is being kept under the limelight. I believe TK can go very far once given the opportunity.
What have you been up to these days?
I’m staying in Brisbane, Australia. These days, I’m trying to settle down here to train and fight.
Can you introduce yourself real quick?
My name is Tae Kyun Kim. I’m from South Korea. Just a typical guy but wants to live a romantic life.
Haha.. what do you mean by living a romantic life?
Okay, so living a romantic life means “낭만적인 삶”, literally translated to “romantic life”. It is difficult to explain in English, but when I get older, I know I need money for a living and a family. Also, I don’t want to forget about my ideas and views in life; do what I love and share my things. I met one family like this. His name is Cuki Alvarez, owner of Trench Tech Gym in Saipan. We can talk more about this if you want.
I think I understand what you mean by having a “romantic life”. Do you have a nickname?
What made you change from MMA to boxing?
Boxing is my first combat sport and I’ve always wanted to be a boxer even while I was training MMA. So I decided to move to Australia to become a pro boxer.
Why move to Australia?
I did some research online to see which country holds competitions. It’s also easy to get a visa in Australia, but I want to go Japan haha.
Why do you want to go to Japan?
Because I like an atmosphere that is peculiar to Japan. I always felt happy when I visited there, and you know what!? They have the second largest number of champions in the world.
Oh really? Wow! I didn’t know that… So why not do MMA and Boxing at the same time?
These are different sports, people who do not train think MMA fighters can throw a punch. Yes they can, but not like a boxer. It is a totally different sport and that’s why people were so hyped with Mayweather vs McGregor; but not me. You have to focus on one sport, BUT I will try MMA again.
That’s awesome how you want to do MMA again, why did you decide to become a professional fighter?
Long story. To sum it up, I’ve always wanted to be a pro fighter so I quit attending my university.
I hope you can go into more detail about your long story next time, when did you start training?
15 years old.
How do you supplement your income while training these days?
I’m working at campervan wash shop these days.
I know that you’re in Australia right now, how’s it training there?
To be honest, I’m not satisfied with it because I want to train at a high level. Australia boxing doesn’t have that sort of high level training. So if I can, I would like to move to America or Japan, but it’s hard.
What does “fighting” mean to you?
I feel “ALIVE” when I fight.
What kind of specific training do you do these days?
These days I feel like I understand how to “box” in boxing. It’s not just throwing a punch and trying to KO your opponent. It’s a sweet science: angles, set ups, footwork, rhythm, & etc. Also, it’s difficult to use all the techniques while my opponent is trying to throw a punch at me, so now I’m integrating all the skills that I have mentioned and “training smart”.
What do you usually do before and after training?
I always work for a living haha. Before I go to training, I would usually pick my training clothes, listen to my favorite music, drink coffee & etc. After training, I like to drink hot chocolate after a shower. I usually have my own rhythm or routine before and after I train.
How can people stay up to date with you?
Facebook, that’s all I use: facebook.com/taekyun.kim.9231
You also have a YouTube Channel, right?
Why should people be interested in you as a professional boxer?
People do not need to be interested. I don’t care about that.
Strong words, what are your strengths when competing? Or what do you think makes you unique as a fighter?
I keep reminding myself that I know boxing more than my opponent!!!
Is there anything else you want to say?
Thanks for giving me this opportunity to have this interview and I wish to meet up with you in Thailand. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
TK also has a wide experience as a coach to:
- former UFC welterweight fighter: Hyun Gyu “The Ace” Lim
- former PXC featherweight champion: Jang Yong “The Beast” Kim
- UFC lightweight fighter: Frank “The Crank” Camacho
- No. 2 ranked light heavyweight fighter in Asia: Hae Joon Yang
- No. 10 ranked lightweight figher in Asia: Gyo Pyung “Daepo” Hwang
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