Kickin’ it with Kim: Coach finds personal growth in Brazilian martial art


Moon Kim works with students at Reign Jiu-Jitsu in Katy. Photo courtesy Moon Kim

Written by Maikel De Avila

The fighter ducked a blow from his opponent, slipping under the other man’s outstretched fist. He quickly threw out his own fist in a fast jab, sending it into the adversary’s ribs with a satisfying crunch, making him plunge into the ground.

Moon Kim watched in awe and disbelief. Mixed Martial Arts fighter Royce Gracie, a 135-pound man, was battling an opponent who outweighed him by more than 60 pounds. Effortlessly, Gracie used leverage and technique to bring his opponent down and forced him into submission.

How did he do that? Kim wondered. What was the key to this seemingly impossible win?
The answer, it turned out, was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. An answer that would change Kim’s life forever.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and self defense system that is mainly focused on grappling, submission, and ground fighting. It’s based around the concept that smaller people can overpower bigger, stronger fighters with the proper technique and training. BJJ is considered to be one of the best self-defense techniques in the martial arts world.

“It’s like physical chess,” Kim said, when speaking about the strategies behind the sport. “But there’s more to it than that. There’s fitness, social, and mental benefits that come with the art as well.”

For more than 10 years, physical education teacher Kim has been practicing the art. He said he fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2008 through the teachings of Pablo Silva — a black belt world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who had recently opened his own dojo in the city of Houston.

Throughout his many years of training in this martial art, Kim said he has experienced a significant improvement on his sleep, eating habits, and physical abilities. He believes that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helps individuals discover themselves and acquire new skills, which will make them more confident, stronger, and flexible.

“In a world of overpromising and under-delivering products and services, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the opposite,” Kim said. He recently earned a black belt in the sport. “It has really changed my life and it keeps me physically and mentally stimulated.”

To share his passion and beliefs for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, while also advocating for active lifestyles, he founded Reign Jiu Jitsu, located in Katy, with Silva and fellow instructors Rob Rivera and Sean Robertson. The dojo’s website says their goal is for students to “grow together through Jiu-Jitsu,” and to “stimulate and challenge the mind as well as the body; utilizing full maximum potential” (

The dojo is usually open Monday-Friday from 4:30 to 8 PM, and from 10 AM to noon on Saturdays.

Kim is passionate about the benefits of sport.

“There’s so many skills that come with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Self-discovery is one. You will acquire skills that will make you more confident, stronger, and flexible,” he said. “You will also learn how to utilize your full potential.”