Archive for the ‘jung suwon’ Category

You Are Creative Energy! 

March 17, 2017

My spiritual teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, teaches that we all have creative energy within us.

Also, she has been emphasizing about how God gave us food as a blessing. (Reference Genesis 1:12-13)

So it is important to not waste food. (Remember the stories of starving children in Africa?)

Anyway, I had the opportunity to make lunch for a work crew of 3 people.

I wasn’t sure what to make…

My friend mentioned how easy a casserole is to make but I’m a kitchen newbie! Casserole sounded way complicated….

But running out of time, I did a quick search on Google for easy casserole recipes using macaroni elbows (found in the pantry!)

I didn’t find one that I really liked. So instead, I just winged it.

I had some leftover spicy galbi hot dogs… Some roasted goguma (고구마) potatoes, some leftover cut up vegetables that weren’t used last night… The macaroni elbows and a jar of organic marinara sauce. Oh, and a nearly empty bag of mixed cheddar cheese.

As I boiled the macaroni with garlic & salt, I mixed up everything else… And came up with this:

After the macaroni boiled… just slightly al dente, I started to put the casserole together.

In the pans, I did a layer of macaroni, a layer of the chunky vegetable sauce and a layer of cheese….

Here it is in the oven:
I was unsure if the veggies would cook… Or if I would burn the cheese….or,… So I just watched it.

Though most of the recipes said 30 min, I kept checking because I didn’t want the cheese to burn. Usually, when I start something boiling or put something in the oven, I walk away to do something else…but become engrossed in what I’m doing and lose track of time… and then bingo…over boiling pot or burnt food in the oven. So these days, I just watch the food as it cooks 🙂  …I took the casseroles out at 20 min….

I put the lunches together then thought, maybe I should taste it first?

So I did….

And guess what? It actually tasted good!

And it took me less than 40 min to put it together and cook it!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim is totally right! The creative energy is there. We just need to tap into it.

If I can do it, ANYONE can do it!

He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me!!



Spring is Springing! 

March 13, 2017

I love seeing the signs of springtime…

My martial arts teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim teaches about color.

“God loves color! How do I know? Look all around you and see the color that God has given to us!” Dr. Tae Yun Kim exclaims.

So true.

My 2 favorite seasons are Spring and Fall.

The colors are the most vivid then.

But I also love winter…. Especially when there is snow…

I sent these photos to a friend and he commented that it looks so lonely…

I was surprised!

I see so much color in these snowy photos… They don’t feel lonely to me… They feel peaceful and breathtaking.

Isn’t that interesting? This is a wonderful benefit of training with Dr. Tae Yun Kim, Great Grandmaster.

Before I started training, I, too, would’ve felt loneliness in those photos. But that’s because that is where my mind and heart were at the time.

But my life is filled with so much color now… That all I see is beauty everywhere.

What do you see?

The Groundhog was Right!! 

March 5, 2017

Ok, so I never really paid much attention to Mr. Groundhog on Groundhogs Day….. But this year he was right!

It’s March 5th and it’s SNOWING!!!

Ok, call me a kid….But having lived in California for 24+ years, I didn’t see any snow whenever I looked out the window or walked outside.

Look what greeted me this morning! 


Some people think snow is a nuisance…and wish for sunshine.

But if you never see snow, this is Heaven!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim tells a story about a beach where a man is playing a flute in the evening hours. The sounds of the flute filled the air.

In a nearby villa, a woman who was feeling very lonely, sitting near her window, hears the flute and feels a warm sense of peace as the melody wafts through the air.

Next to the villa, is another house where a man has had a long, hard day and was trying to sleep. The sounds of the flute were like fingernails on a chalkboard and he yelled out the window to stop making all that noise!

Did the flute music change?

It was the attitude that was different. No matter what is going on around us, or what we are doing, it is our Attitude that makes all the difference in the world.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches about attitude because it is one of the most important things we can have. One of the 6 principles of mental conduct that Great Grandmaster Kim teaches at her martial art school, Jung SuWon, is to have a positive mental attitude.

Having a positive mental attitude gives you a positive perspective on life so give it a shot!

And have a great day! 🙂

Looking for a Good Martial Art School

February 19, 2017

Bruce Lee… Jackie Chan… Jet Li…Tony Jaa…


I love martial art action! Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I used to watch Black Belt Theater every Saturday afternoon…it was back to back B-rated movies of the greats…Bruce Lee…Jackie Chan before he was “Jackie Chan”…and a whole slew of unknowns….

Back then, I was 10-11 years old…a small Korean girl who was born in America. I didn’t speak any Korean but for some reason, I was fascinated by the martial arts. Of course, growing up in a small dinky town in the middle of Tennessee…there weren’t any martial art schools nearby…and besides, my mom would have NEVER allowed me to start training.  (boys aren’t going to like girls who train!)  She nearly freaked out when I started training in Taekwondo in college!

Anyway, so I’ve been interested in Martial Arts since I was 10.

When I went away to college, I decided to try Taekwondo for P.E. credit!  It was a great way to start and be introduced to the world of martial arts.

But, if you are not in college, you may not have this opportunity.

I had trained in college and when I was studying in France, I trained at a gym there. On my off term from college, I trained at a school in Cambridge, MA. So I got to see and experience different teachers, different schools.

Fortunately, I found a martial art school only a year after I graduated from college, Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy, founded by Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim. I learned a LOT when I visited this school for the first time.


Here are some steps you can take and what to look out for!

  1. Check your local yellow pages or google to see how many martial art schools are in a 20 mile radius from your home or work.
  2. Look at their ads first – seem geared more towards kids? towards flashy acrobatics? or do they emphasize more spiritual and mental aspects?
  3. When you first walk into the school, do you feel anything? Does it feel warm & inviting? Is everything neat and orderly?
  4. Are the other students smiling and talking with each other when they are in the lobby?
  5. Are the students focused on training when they are on the training floor?
  6. Are the students’ uniforms clean and looking good?
  7. Meet the instructors, how do you feel about them? Are they personable and easy to talk to?
  8. Check out the bathrooms… You can learn a LOT from bathrooms 🙂 – are they clean & tidy? are there showers and/or lockers? are all the supplies well stocked?
  9. Are the kids running around wildly and out of control?
  10. Does everyone seem happy?

Every martial art is different from each other. The physical moves may differ, the commands/terminology may differ, but all martial art schools should project the same/or similar tenets and philosophies…based on honor, discipline and respect.

I learned the most from Great Grandmaster Kim because her school and her art form were so different from anything I had done before. Not the actual movements, but with the philosophies and practices.

I had become disillusioned with the belt ranking system in college when I saw one Master promote students who never even came to class much, but had paid their $45 testing fee. To me that meant the belt color didn’t mean anything.

Paying a fee for testing is standard in all martial art systems. But when I found out at Jung SuWon was that if a student wasn’t ready to test, they weren’t allowed to test…not even if they brought the fee money with them!

I was impressed with that. That meant that Jung SuWon wasn’t just collecting testing fees for students who weren’t ready to move to the next rank.

The most important thing about choosing a good martial art school is that you have to feel good about the environment and about the instructors.

Every school is not for every person. So the best thing you can do is to visit the school, try out a class if it is allowed, and meet the instructors.

You’ll know if that school is right for you… you will feel it inside. As Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches, trust your Silent Master (your sixth sense).

Check it out!


January 21, 2017

My martial arts teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, shares a story called “The Maybe Story”. 

It’s a very interesting story about when things happen, we tend to judge them based on our emotions. It’s about how we react to things that happen without thinking.

The story goes something like this:

There was a farmer who lived in a village with his son. He raised beautiful horses that worked on his farm and he took great care of them.

One day there was a lightning storm that riled the horses and they broke through the fence and ran away. All the men in the village came to this man and said “oh how terrible for you! How terrible that all your horses ran away! What bad luck!”

And the farmer said “Maybe.”

And all the villagers said, “How can you say maybe? All your horses are gone!”

But still the man just nodded his head and said “maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.”

The villagers just left, shaking their heads in dismay.

Well, those horses were completely spooked by the lightning and they just ran off. They found themselves amongst a whole herd of wild horses…beautiful mustangs and pintos and all different kinds of wild horses. 

At first they felt good being with all these new friends, but after a few days, they started missing their regular schedule and food with the farmer and his son. So they told all the wild horses about their life with the farmer and all the regular food they got. The wild horses started talking amongst themselves and decided that they were tired of just roaming around aimlessly with no purpose so they told the other horses that they would follow them back to their home.

The next day, the farmer’s son started yelling and screaming and the farmer went outside to see what all the ruckus was. There inside the corral were not only his original horses but a whole herd of new horses!

The local villagers heard what had happened and all came to see for themselves.

“You are SO lucky that your horses ran away and brought all these new horses to you! What good luck you have!”

The farmer only replied with a smile, “Maybe.”

The farmer’s son decided to try and ride one of the new horses, but when he got on the horse, the horse, who had never had a rider before, got scared and started bucking wildly. The son was thrown off the horse and broke his leg! The local doctor came and set the leg in a cast and said it would take 8 weeks to heal.

Again the villagers heard the news and came by to visit the farmer.

“What bad luck you have! How could your son break his leg? Who will help you with your farm work? Those horses have brought you such bad luck!”

The farmer smiled, and said “Maybe.”

The villagers were shocked! “How can you say ‘maybe’?? Your son can’t walk normally for 8 weeks!!”

But the farmer just smiled.

The villagers again left, shaking their heads.

Now a civil war had started to brew in the region, and the local militia came to each farm to conscript the young men who were able to fight. When they came to the farmer’s house, they saw that his son had a broken leg, so they didn’t draft him. But they went to all the other households and took all the ablebodied sons.

The villagers came to the farmer, weeping and sobbing, “what good luck you have! Our sons were all taken to the military, but your son stayed! How lucky that the horse broke his leg! We wish our sons had broken their legs too! You have such good luck!”

And the farmer just smiled, “Maybe.”

The farmer never took any situation as good or bad and he didn’t become emotional each time something happened.

What about in your life?  Do you make quick judgments whenever things happen? 

When you are driving and you get stuck behind a slow driver, do you start cursing and swearing at the driver? Or maybe there is a cop hiding ahead and if you hadn’t slowed down, surely you would’ve gotten a ticket!

When you miss your flight, do you become angry at the airline ticket counter people? Maybe that airplane ended up flying in a storm and crashed? (That happened to a friend of mine!)  Wouldn’t you count your blessings?

Dr. Tae Yun Kim teaches that we should not be quick to judge any situation and to look on the bright side. You know the saying that every cloud has a silver lining?

Check it out the next time you feel your anger or negative energy rising. Maybe you can see the good in the situation. Maybe?

Celebrate Every Living Breath as if it were Your Last!

January 12, 2017

Celebrate Every Living Breath as if it were Your Last!

Tae Yun Kim, Great Grandmaster, shouts this out with amazing energy and spirit whenever she gives a lecture or motivational speech.

Time is flying by. It is already the middle of January, 2017… Before you know it, it will be summertime…then fall…then Christmas time…

Why spend any time grumbling and mumbling…complaining about your life or your situation?

Dr. Kim shares that there is no more time for this. We are in a new time, a new age. If we don’t grab hold of our happiness RIGHT NOW, there will never be another time!

When was the last time you said “I love you” to your significant other?

When was the last time you hugged your child or your best friend?

Celebrate every living breath as if it were your last… what does this really mean?

It means, don’t waste any more time.

Do the things that make you happy. Do them now! Don’t wait!

Have you written up your bucket list? If you have, Start doing everything on your list and start crossing them off one by one. If you haven’t written your bucket list, do it now!

Eat dessert first because you never know what might happen!  That means Enjoy Life Now.

Don’t wait for “a better time”…don’t wait for “a better chance”…there is no time like the present.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim is the epitome of Celebrating Every Living Breath… sometimes, she will just jump in a car and drive to go see the sunset from a mountain top…or will just turn on some music and start dancing!

Why wait?

Why not express and feel joy and happiness right now? Right this moment? You never know what will happen in the next moment.

Guaranteed that people who get into serious car accidents did NOT decide that morning that they would get into a fatal car accident…

You could be the most careful driver on the road, but you have no control over the other drivers…so your fate is unknown.

What you do know is that you have This moment NOW.

So, like Dr. Tae Yun Kim says… let’s CELEBRATE every moment, every living breath because we never know…this may just be our Last!

He Can Do, She Can Do, Why Not Me!

Don’t have any regrets!

January 6, 2017

I played the piano from when I was age 6 through 18…12 years.  My mother used to always tell me to Practice, Practice, Practice!  She would say: Practice Makes Perfect!

Me, the rebellious one… my reply?  “No one can be perfect, so why practice?!”

Typical child, adolescent, teen..

Children never know what is good for them!

I definitely learned my lesson! Fast forward to my college years…when I discovered that NOT EVERYONE learned to play an instrument when they were younger! That gave me a new perspective on my life and I realized that I was grateful to my mom for pushing me for so  many years to learn to play the piano.  Now I can play!

I only wish that they had pushed me to learn to speak Korean!!!  Argh!! One of my biggest regrets in my life…not learning when I was growing up, when it would’ve been easier to master…

Hindsight is always 20/20…unfortunately, most of us go through life pretty blind…

My martial arts master, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has always encouraged me to learn more, to be educated in all different areas. I just never went all the way!

I don’t want to have any more regrets in my life.

This is my year to GO ALL THE WAY and really become educated in many different arenas. I am diving into a huge blue ocean and not looking back. Thank you Dr. Tae Yun Kim for always giving me wise advice!

Three Things for a Successful Life

June 2, 2013

Do you want to have Success in your life?

Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim shared her wisdom about how to have Success in your life.

1. Gratitude
You must have gratitude in your life. You must see the value in your life.

2. Courage
You have to be Bold, continuously face challenges. You can’t let fear imprison you. Be daring. Those who challenge and are daring are the ones who achieve success.

3. Surround yourself with right people, right environment
If you hang out with people who only do drugs, or who are lazy and have no ambition, then you will be affected by them. If you hang out with people who strive for success, then you will strive too!

It seems pretty simple but it’s not!

How much do you apply these in your life?

Black Belt Testing… 1997

March 9, 2013

My Black Belt testing given by Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim was one of the most memorable moments in my life.

Only 4 of us were in this testing cycle.  Three guys and me.

I was very nervous.  Though testing technically began at 6:00pm, I started warming up at 3:00pm.

I decided to swing my wooden nunchukkus… and in my nervousness, I made a mistake and one of the chucks swung back and slammed me in the back of the hand!  Oy. Now I had a big bruise on the back of my hand!  Bummer!  Testing night hadn’t even started yet!

I continued to warm up and stretch… then 6:00pm rolled around.

My parents came to watch my testing.  This was the first time they had ever seen me test in the martial arts.  They had been so against my training for my whole life.  It was interesting that they were there watching me.  They had no idea what I had gone through to get to that point. So I’m sure they would be surprised and nervous to see me go through all the upcoming challenges.

more on this later….

They had never even seen me spar before!

One of the challenges we had to face is being tied to a chair and facing multiple sparring partners.  For me, I think it is easier to be tied to the chair because you can use the chair to your advantage and swing the legs around to block incoming kicks!  Trust me, it’s more painful for the attackers!

It is interesting that my parents were there.

For 6 years, every time I talked to my mom on the phone (they were living in Tennessee), she ALWAYS asked me, “are you still doing that Jung SuWon?”

I couldn’t seem to convince her that I was training for the long haul and that I was determined to earn my Black Belt… and here I was… testing for Black Belt…and my parents were sitting right there in the dojang.  It was truly a Twilight zone feeling.

The Road to Black Belt…continued…

March 3, 2013

My Black Belt testing was scheduled for 6:00pm.  I was so nervous that I started warming up at 3:00pm.

I was very nervous…

In my Red belt testing, I faced a physical challenge that I couldn’t seem to overcome.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim put a stack of 4 bricks in front of me to break with an Axe kick.

I had broken bricks before but couldn’t break through this stack.  Starting with 4, SLAM! none broke.  After a few attempts, 1 brick was removed… BAM!  still, nothing broke.

1 more brick removed… only 2 left… WHAM! STILL! Nothing broke.

Now, this was more than a physical challenge.  I had broken 2 bricks before. But I couldn’t break through these 2 bricks.

Then, 1 more brick removed.  Only 1 brick left.

But, more than the brick itself, my MIND was the block.  I couldn’t even break through the 1 brick!

Now, logically and scientifically, my rational mind told me that I had a mental block.

But I couldn’t seem to disperse that mental block!  I couldn’t get past that 1 brick! I hit it over and over again and the only thing to break was my embarrassment because so many people were watching and I couldn’t get past this.

Then, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim did what only a master would do.

She restacked up the 4 bricks… then called up the 3 weakest women in the school.  Not to downplay those women, but 2 of them were much older than me and 1 was just more girly and not very athletic or physically strong.

Each one broke the stack of 4 bricks with an axe kick in one shot!


Again, rationally, I understood that my challenge wasn’t a physical one, but a mental one.

This time, Great Grandmaster put only 1 brick in front of me… SMASH! I broke it!

Then stacked 2 bricks… CRASH!  I Broke them!

Then 3…. BAM!  I broke them!

Then 4… again and again.. I couldn’t seem to get through 4… that seemed to be my mental limit.

Testing for that day ended…but as with all testings at Jung SuWon, testing ISN’T just a one day event.  Testing occurs every day, every moment.

Needless to say, my right heel was bruised and tender from smashing it against bricks all night.

I earned my Red Belt, but I had not finished testing yet.

Five months later… the next group of Brown belts were testing for their Red belt.  Coincidentally, one of the Brown belts testing was one of the “weak” women who was called up to break my 4 bricks…

This time, I was facing the student, taking pictures. I was cheering her on because she had already done it once before.

She tried several times, but couldn’t even break one brick. Funny how energy works!

Suddenly, Great Grandmaster called my name.

I stood up.

Great Grandmaster said, “she broke your bricks at your testing, now it’s your turn”

I think all the blood rushed out of my body. I was so nervous; I think I turned white. There were no thoughts in my mind. I was completely blank.

I removed all my camera gear and moved to behind the bricks. I turned around to straighten my uniform and then I turned to face Great Grandmaster and the Head table.

I came to attention and bowed.

Again, there were no thoughts in my mind. I breathed deeply and prepared for the break.  I looked at Great Grandmaster, then I looked down at the bricks.

I ki-yupped loudly and swung my leg up and SMASHED through the 4 bricks like they were nothing!


This was truly a lesson for me in ENERGY and to keep my mind clear.  When my mind is foggy with being embarrassed or thinking too much, I can’t focus.