First Contact…

When I figured out the directions and found my way to the school, I was greeted by one of the instructors.  He explained the program that they offered.  I asked if there was a belt system and tests and he said yes.  I told him that I was looking for a school without a belt system because I had been disillusioned by my previous experience in college.  But somehow, he convinced me to try out a class and check it out.  So I signed up for an intro class on June 26, 1991.  It was a Friday.

I had finished my teaching stint for the Kindergarten group and was just rehired by the school to teach a 5th grade class in their new Year-Round school.  In a “year-round” school, there wasn’t a 3 month summer break. Instead, the 3 months were spread out throughout the year so that the kids would only have at most, 1 month of vacation time so that there was less time for their brains to forget everything from the previous year and become mush.

So transitioning from my K class to the 5th grade year round class, I didn’t have much prep time.

Even so, I decided to try out the intro class at Jung SuWon.

On Friday, June 26, 1991, I went to Jung SuWon in a pair of my old white uniform pants and a T-Shirt.  I stood in the back of the room; the instructor at the front seemed like a miniature toy doll.  He called my name out and asked me to run up to the front, which I did…then he asked me what my name was, my age, my occupation, and why I wanted to train at Jung SuWon.

“My name is Sarah. I’m 23 years old. I’m an elementary school teacher. I want to learn more about the ‘art’ in the martial arts.”

I said it.  But I wasn’t quite sure what I meant by “learn more about the art”…I had a feeling that there was something more to the martial arts than just kicking and punching.  When I was a sophomore in college, during one of our taekwondo workouts, the black belt in charge, “Bill”, at the beginning of class, had us all kneel down, put our hands on our knees, close our eyes and “meditate”…

I wasn’t sure what that was all about, but it seemed like a cool thing to do.

Now, here I was…in a martial art class in Milpitas, CA… where part of the regular class was to “meditate”.


After I announced myself in front of the whole class…TWICE…because somehow no one could hear me the first time…they sent me off to a private training room with one of the black belt instructors.

We went through a rigorous basic workout that had me yelling and punching and kicking… I was sweating by the end.

Afterwards, I felt so alive.

This is what I want to do.

I signed up for 3 months (as a first year elementary school teacher, I didn’t have much of a salary).

My first official class was July 1, 1991.

My Jung SuWon Training had begun…


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2 Responses to “First Contact…”

  1. Instructors of Jung SuWon are sharing their experiences! « The Art of Jung SuWon Says:

    […] A personal bolg from a female instructor Sarah: […]

  2. A deeper perspective for those of us ready to hear! « The Art of Jung SuWon Says:

    […] 1 when we decided to start training martial arts we had to overcome the excuses of our current situation.  Once we feel the thrill of success we […]

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