About Steve

Steve Kim, born in Seoul, Korea as Heung Sup Kim flourished from a shy kid to an accomplished artist, martial artist, and stuntman. Steve is survived by his son Journey Kim, his wife Meggin Penkal Kim, his mother, sister, and two brothers. Steve discovered his joy for artwork around the same time he began writing his name.

Steve moved from Korea to Boston, Massachusetts with his family at age 13 without knowing a lick of English.  He persevered winning multiple art awards including most artistic in middle school; two Blue Ribbon awards, and three Gold Keys in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards beating out thousands in high school. He was also executing double leg take downs, throws, and pinning someone down on the wrestling mat. Steve was part of the wrestling team for all four years of high school (Cambridge Rindge Latin High School).

Following high school, he was accepted (based on his portfolio) to the prestigious New England School of Art and Design. Next, he made a daring move that would change his life. He jumped in a two door Chevy hatchback with two buddies and fled to Hollywood, California luring twenty plus friends to come test the LA waters with them.  Steve Kim was the only one who remained in the end!  He worked in a Hollywood tattoo shop doing custom airbrush artwork on just about every object you can think of.  Steve can do it all when it comes to his artwork. He creates logos, illustrations, conceptual art, portraits, murals, storyboards, tattooing, etc.

While living in Los Angeles he began training karate, tae kwon do, and judo with his best friend Mike Mitch McClanahan who was his first instructor.  Mitch introduced Steve to Judo Gene LeBell in 1995. Gene LeBell is a one of a kind who was a Judo champion, pro-wrestling champion, an accomplished stuntman, and pioneer of mixed martial arts. He taught the best of the best such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez and the list goes on. Besides being Steve’s sensei, Gene LeBell has played many other vital roles in Steve’s life. He is Steve’s mentor, father figure, and lifelong friend. Gene even guided Steve’s wife to train at Hayastan where their relationship blossomed. Steve is grateful for the past twenty years he has shared with Gene.

Steve thrived while training at The Hayastan Submission Grappling Academy landing him a rare black belt in 2007 given by both sensei Gene LeBell and Gokor Chivichyan. Very few fortunate souls have worn this belt and Steve is one of them!  Steve’s bumps and bruises also earned him a 1st degree Black Belt in Karate tested by Moo Do won on October 31st 1998 followed by a 4th Degree Black Belt in Shorinjo Ryu Ju-jutsu received from Santos Flaniken on April 20th, 2006. Steve also learned a great deal of knowledge from his sensei’s, George R. Gardoni, and Lari Beebe (RIP Lari).

While Steve focused on fine tuning his martial arts skills at Hayastan Academy, he took notice to many top stunt performers rehearsing fight scenes for upcoming tv and film projects under Gene LeBell.  Before Steve new it, his first national commercial and stunt job on a tv show fell into his lap. This was the beginning of his unsuspecting career as a stuntman. His knowledge of martial arts and guidance from Gene LeBell helped him tremendously. Usually playing the bad guy, Steve has racked up some awesome credits. A few of Steve’s most memorable stunt jobs he will probably tell his grandchildren about are:  Fighting Gerald Butler as himself and as Rick Yune’s stunt double, getting bit by a K9, dying multiple times, and much more on “Olympus Has Fallen”; fighting Chris Hemsworth  in “Cyber”, getting to work on an acting contract with Will Smith as a bodyguard in “Focus”, and transforming into an animated character (judo fighter) in the video game MMA Supremacy!

If Steve is not on set, he is either teaching, training, spending time with his family, or creating his next masterpiece!