For the first time since it’s inception, The Black Belt Foundation has a student who is ranked number 1 in Brazil!  Marcelo Melo has been a student with The Black Belt Foundation since he was a kid.  He is going to be fighting in the Grand Slam this February which will determine the 2018 Brazilian National Team.  The Foundation is giving him a scholarship to allow him to go to Sao Paulo and train with Master Negrao for one month leading up to the Grand Slam.  Master Negrao’s team is the best in Brazil.  This is an amazing opportunity for Marcelo and The Black Belt Foundation.  We are extremely proud of him and excited for him on this journey.

Click here for a Brazilian news story that was done on his experience.

Click the "Donate" button above or email us to find out how you can support our cause.

Current board members include:

  • Grand Master J. W. Kim -- Founder/President
  • Miss Lisa Yacuzzo -- Vice President
  • Master Mike Schultz
  • Master Hugo Yamada (Brazil)

Other significant contributors include:

  • Grand Master Yeo Jun Kim (Brazil)
  • Master Marsha Shaw
  • Master Melanie Badesch
  • Master Gilberto da Silva (Brazil)

Contact any of the board members or e-mail us to find out how you can help!

The Black Belt Foundation is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization co founded by Grand Master J. W. Kim in 2007.  The goal of The Black Belt Foundation is to use the values of Taekwondo to help people break out of the restrictive cycles of poverty, poor education, and poor health.  Through teaching Taekwondo, it is the mission of The Black Belt Foundation to improve the lives of the extreme poor in Brazil by teaching them community, responsibility, perseverance, and teamwork.  Taekwondo training provides a constructive, healthy alternative to avoid the streets that are notorious for destroying lives.

The students served by The Black Belt Foundation are poor children who live in the favelas (slums) of Alagoas.  These children live in dilapidated shanties, and often go without food, medicine, and other basic needs.  They are exposed to drugs and violence early in life and often quit school to beg for food and money to help their families survive.


the black belt foundation