Monday, May 21, 2018

In 1992 Joe Kim was a 24-year-old, 4th-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and national team member. One day a red Mercedes pulled up outside of the school his father had founded in North Ridgeville, Ohio. Two enormous men got out of the car, walked into the school, and asked, “Hey, are you Joe Kim?”

Bill Belichick was in his second season coaching the Browns that year and wasn’t yet revered for being a visionary. But he was.

Belichick dispatched two of his defensive linemen — Michael Dean Perry and Anthony Pleasant — to Kim’s school. That’s when that red Mercedes pulled up.

The next few weeks were spent with Pleasant, Perry, and Kim sharing knowledge of their crafts — the two players teaching Kim what they needed in terms of football and Kim designing a plan for them using martial arts principles specifically for football.

Belichick, unswayed by Kim’s lack of experience in football, came away from that meeting impressed enough to offer Kim a job. Kim has since worked or consulted for a number of other NFL teams since then, including the Redskins, Bears, Chiefs, Giants, Broncos, Bills, Packers, Cowboys, Dolphins, and most recently the Browns.

Now Kim been hired as a ‘Pass Rush Consultant’ by Belichick’s New England Patriots, to bring his Football Combatives for the 2018 season.

While Kim’s base is in Taekwondo, any MMA fan will recognize the techniques involved.

Martial arts in the NFL perhaps began with Chai Sirisute who was brought in by Tom Landry to train the Dallas Cowboys in 1983. Shortly thereafter karate black belt competitor Andre Tippett became a premiere pass rusher. Martial arts have played varying roles in different football programs, with the best known today being Jay Glazer’sUnbreakable Performance Center in West Hollywood, California. which boasts a number of NFL athletes upping their game.