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FROM SOUTH KOREA TO THE USA
Sang was born in South Korea where he experienced poverty in his younger years. In 1983 Sang moved to Miami in the US to live in a modest apartment with his father who has now passed away. When he enrolled in school a friend told everyone that he could do martial arts so he was constantly challenged and got into fights. The fighting soon stopped but the children told the school coach that Sang was great at kicking and soon he became the number one kicker for Miami Beach Senior High School. Later he became number the two kicker in the county. Because Sang was good at kicking field goals in high school Hurricane Coach Jimmy Johnson took notice of him. He also impressed the legendary Bobby Bowden and for four years was chosen as the Florida State Seminole field goal kicker.
Martial Arts Schools and Charity Work
After Sang left college, he began to open up his Martial Arts schools for the general public as well as private students. His success with the private lessons led to him having a fateful meeting with one of his private students, Steven Mariano – founder of Strategic Outsourcing Inc., Patriots National Inc., and founder of The Mariano Foundation. Steven Mariano was looking for a way to give back to his community and Sang had already set up programs to provide training and services to children from underprivileged homes and inner city schools, so they started working together through the Mariano Foundation. Sang was soon able to expand on the outreach community martial arts training and was appointed President of the Mariano Foundation.
Sang, together with his team, had been dedicating two days a week for an outreach training program for the students of Carol City Middle School in Miami Gardens and in April 2015 they held a graduation ceremony at the school. The program was designed to use the discipline of martial arts to boost the student’s confidence and keep them focused on education and positive aspects of their lives. Previously in 2014 Master Sang, through the Mariano Foundation and Patriot National Insurance Group, had also started a program of martial arts training for Miami Edison Middle School students.
It was during his time as a student at Miami Beach Senior High School that Sang met fellow student and future Hollywood producer and director Brett Ratner. They stayed in touch after High School and when Ratner directed “Rush Hour 2” in 2001, he cast Sang to act alongside Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Sang was already referred to as Master Sang by this time and he had opened his first martial arts schools in Pembroke Pines and Miami Beach. Brett Ratner also invited Sang back for fighting roles and behind the scenes martial arts coaching of Chris Tucker in the following “Rush Hour 3” feature film. Additionally, Master Sang was asked to be involved behind the scenes for some sequences in “Hercules”, another Brett Ratner directed movie staring Dwayne Johnson.
TV APPEARANCES, AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS
Sang has been featured in the South Korean national TV show, “The Age of Global Success”. He was also featured on the cover editorial of Mode Lifestyle magazine along with South Korean actress and celebrity Clara Lee.
Sang Koo Kang has also appeared in many Television News specials about self defense, especially for women and children, including on Fox News, Deco Drive, Channel 4 News, Sports Town 3, Rap Sports, CBS 7 News, and Chanel 6 News.
Master Sang’s Schools were awarded school of the year in 2009 by Tae Kwon Do Times in their Hall of Fame Awards.