Martial Arts Award

Grandmaster Mike Swope poses with his son, Stephen Swope, during the International Medal of Merit award ceremony in Tulsa, Okla.

Grandmaster Mike Swope of Derby’s Red Cape Martial Arts received an International Medal of Merit at a ceremony held Friday, Oct. 16, in Tulsa, Okla.

Swope received the Achievement Medal, given to those who have made significant contributions to the martial arts, from the United Taekwondo Alliance of Lake Jackson, Texas. Swope was nominated along with other martial artists from around the world to recognize their impact on martial arts.

The International Martial Arts Medal of Merit program recognizes the contributions of martial arts, police and military personnel for the greater good of modern society. The International Martial Arts Medal of Merit cannot be purchased or bought. Recipients earn the Medal of Merit through the selfless habit of sacrifice and achievement. All financial obligations of the Medal of Merit are sponsored by Medal of Merit alumni.

Swope, an 8th degree black belt, organized, designed and published Grandmaster Bok Man Kim's award-winning photo history book in 2015. Titled "Taekwon-Do: Origins of the Art: Bok Man Kim's Historic Photospective,” the book chronicles the development of Taekwondo into an internationally recognized martial art through the personal photographs of Grandmaster Bok Man Kim, one of the most influential of the early pioneers of Taekwondo. Swope continues to assist Grandmaster Kim's World Chun Kuhn Taekwondo Federation and the United Taekwondo Alliance to better serve martial artists from across the globe. Swope teaches traditional Chun Kuhn Taekwondo at Red Cape Martial Arts in Derby.

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