Posts Tagged ‘taekwondo’

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?


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!

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!

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: MERGE

August 23, 2012

At Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches all students a Code of Ethics.  The first line of our Code of Ethics is:
As a Jung SuWon Warrior, I will strive to merge my Body & Mind as One…
I don’t actively think about what photo I can take for the weekly photo challenge…sometimes the photo just presents itself…
I was at a BBQ last night and there were candles on the table.  At first the candles weren’t lit so someone came around and lit them.  I had my water bottle on the table…and another person just pushed the candle to the middle of the table….then I looked and saw this:

Merging Light and Water…

and I just thought…what a cool merging of light and water…

Check this:

Pictures, Director, Recent Press Release, Amazon, Search, Philanthropy, Business Card, Biography, Jung SuWon blog, Dojo ReviewLife Story, Woman’s Summit speaker, Martial Art Demos, TKD Hall of Fame

Archery – 양궁

August 6, 2012

Did you see any of the archery competition at the Olympics?

Did you know that Korea has a legally blind archer??  And he’s REALLY good!!

Im Dong-hyun, who is registered as blind, set an individual world record at Lord’s and helped South Korea to a team world best. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim inspires me to be the BEST I can be in whatever I do.

This morning at 6:15am, I got up to train – practice my forms and 양궁 (archery) … it was fantastic!  The early morning sky was filled with fog.  When I first approached the training area, there were about a hundred turkeys roaming around there!

I did my morning warmup (Jung SuWon style warm up exercises) and then practiced each one of my martial art forms from lowest to highest and 2 energy forms: mul kyul (물결) and nabi (나비).  It felt so GREAT to sweat!

I’m still a novice archer… but I’m getting better at actually aiming and hitting the target!  Before, months ago, I would be lucky to hit the target maybe 3 out of 10 times.  Now I hit the target mostly 10 out of 10 times!

at least I hit the target!

My next goal: Grouping.  That is trying to get all the arrows to be grouped around a common area… close together… see Paul Newman’s blog for a photo of his shooting.. where all the arrows are almost right on top of each other!

getting a little closer…

My arrows go all over the target… I haven’t yet found my groove in aiming for the same spot consistently.  But I have hit the bulls eye and close to the bulls eye several times!  It’s like hitting the sweet spot on a golf ball!  Once you do it ONCE, you’re hooked and you want to keep trying to do it again!


If I weren’t training with Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, I wouldn’t have the self-discipline or motivation to go out and do this on my own.

I love training at Jung SuWon and with Great Grandmaster Kim and my fellow warriors!  I can’t believe that it’s been over 21 years!

It’s my Great honor to be one of Great Grandmaster Kim‘s students and black belts!

I love my life!!



August 5, 2012

I’ve been watching the Olympics and checking the news for competition results.

It’s funny…I don’t really care if I know the results before I watch it on TV… I still get excited when I’m watching the actual competition and I scream and cheer as if it will help the athlete win the gold!!

15 year old Katie Ledecky wins gold!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches about energy and generating positive energy no matter where you are.

Besides, I LIKE to generate positive energy!  When I’m cheering for the athletes, I feel like it is really helping!

I love watching the athletes when they win. It is a testament to their training and focus for the past 4+ years.

Great Grandmaster Kim also teaches about FOCUS and DETERMINATION – that we can have the same victories and wins in our lives as Olympic athletes do in their competitions.  It is just a matter of our own mind and thinking!

I love this teaching. There are so many people in the world. Not all can win gold medals at the Olympics…BUT, everyone in the world has the potential, the possibility, the opportunity to be the WINNER in their lives!

I love my life!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

July 30, 2012

ahhh!!! the color purple!!  My FAVORITE color!  it is also, according to Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, a spiritual color…


Check these out!

Pictures, Director, Recent Press Release, Amazon, Search, Philanthropy, Business Card, Biography, Jung SuWon blog, Dojo Review,


I am in LOVE with my Life!!!

July 23, 2012

The tragedy in Colorado is still fresh in everyone’s minds.  I read a bunch of news articles about those who lost their lives.

One woman had escaped a shooting in Canada last year.  She said it made her realize how lucky she was and how much she appreciated her life.

Now, sadly, she lost her life in another shooting.


This is why Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says to “Celebrate Every Living Breath as if it were Your Last!”  Because you never know what might happen the next day, the next hour or the next minute.

I was in a major car accident in 1992…I rolled my car.  I remember crawling out the passenger side window thinking, “Oh my God.”

I DEFINITELY did NOT wake up that morning and say to myself, I think I’ll get in a car accident today!

With God’s blessings and lots of guardian angels, I survived that crash with just a tiny scratch on my knee.

Life is temporal.  Though when we are young…teens, twenties… we tend to feel like we will live forever.  I definitely did.  I took life for granted and assumed it would always be there for me…my life.  I also assumed that everyone I love would always be there.  Death was not a reality for me.

Great Grandmaster Kim teaches that no matter what your age is, we should always have gratitude for our life, our family and friends, our breath.  We should take care of each other and ourselves – Body, Mind and Spirit…

It’s funny how the paths of our lives change… When I was in high school and college, I didn’t appreciate my life or celebrate life.  I had frequent thoughts of dying… because I was just not happy in my life.

But today, I can confidently say that I am in LOVE with my Life!

I thank Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim for inspiring me to fall in love with my life!  She is full of energy and dynamic spirit.  She lives her life fully with every breath.

Her spirit is contagious!

In the spirit of sharing, I like to share that contagious happiness with you!

are you smiling yet??

The Secret to Being Happy!

July 17, 2012

It’s really easy!

Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim is my teacher.  I talk about her a lot because she really has impacted my life, changed it in so many ways.

I used to be so discontented with my life, with who I was, with everything around me.  In college, my best friend (Jewish guy) called me a kvetch…that’s someone who complains a lot.

I complained a lot because I was Just Not Happy.

I could always find reasons why I should cry… and I did,… often.  But no one knew it.

I didn’t like to feel this way.  But there was something unsettled inside of me…something that I had felt for my entire life…

Then I found Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy and Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim.

Manna from Heaven!!!

After I had been training for several months, I had the opportunity to meet with Great Grandmaster Kim personally.

I shared about how I felt inside and do you know what Great Grandmaster Kim suggested for me to do?


I thought…but how can I really smile if I don’t feel happy inside?

Just do it…practice it…and soon, you WILL feel it, is what Great Grandmaster told me!

It’s like when you do something over and over again…repetition…then it becomes a part of you.  A reflex.  You don’t have to think about it… you just do it!

Later I learned, also from Great Grandmaster Kim, that when you smile and project a positive mental attitude, you ATTRACT the same energy back to you!  Like Attracts Like…Energy Attracts Energy!  (the same is true on the opposite end of the scale… if you project negative energy, you will attract negative energy to you!)

So smiling just multiplied the positive energy coming from inside of me and coming to me from outside sources.

And you know what?  It happened!  I felt, for the first time in my life, a true feeling of peace and happiness coming from within me.

I am thankful to Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim, for teaching me how to be truly happy in my life!!