Posts Tagged ‘tkd’

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!


Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, Great Teacher!

March 25, 2012

Last night, I saw another GREAT Korean movie that had some amazing lessons about being a Warrior, just as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim teaches in her classes.

It’s called “The Legend of the Shadowless Sword”.  

The main character is a Warrior named Soha.  She was raised and trained to be a warrior, a fighter.  She was also taught that her sword’s purpose is not to kill, but to protect what is precious.

Great Grandmaster Kim teaches that in Jung SuWon Class, we learn how to spar… but the purpose isn’t to fight people, to be a bully or to hurt others…but is only to be used in Self Defense or protecting our loved ones.

This lesson was very strong in the movie.  The Warrior did not just kill because she had the power to kill.  She only acted to protect the future King.

She had a mission and purpose and she never forgot her mission or purpose, even when the battles seemed to be impossible.  Completely surrounded by enemies, she held her ground and defended herself and the future king against them.  In the first battle, she didn’t draw her sword at all.  It was obvious that the enemies she faced were not that skilled or competent and their intent wasn’t to kill her or the future king, so she didn’t kill any of them.

The next battles, against the Killer Blade Army were much more intense because their mission was to kill her and the future king.

At the end of the movie, they flashback into the past where the future king, as a 15 year old warrior in his father’s army, met a young girl and taught her a few things and made her promise to always honor and respect and then flashback to the present time when she tells him, “I kept my promise”.

I really like movies like this!  Not just for the awesome martial arts… but because the messages are so powerful.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim is a true teacher.  She has taught these same messages for so many years…. to be a true Warrior in your life, not just on a physical battlefield, but in the daily battles we face every day in our lives…


For more info on Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim:  Executive officer at Jung SuWon,TYK Hall of Fame,  Squidoo- Tae Yun Kim,  Workface: Tae Yun Kim as Jung SuWon martial artist, Tae Yun Kim Life Story, Ki-Energy Forms,  3rd Party review of Tae Yun Kim,  Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim – background info

Speed Brick Break with Long Staff!! Jung SuWon Rocks!!

August 30, 2009

This was the first time I have ever done this kind of thing!! It was very awesome!!

Check out this BREAK by Jonathan Palmer – Jung SuWon Instructor

August 4, 2009

Physically, he is small, yet he packs an incredible amount of energy & strength in every technique…

Demonstration of Great Grandmaster Kim’s Teachings through Power Break

March 16, 2009

Dr. Tae Yun Kim – CEO Human Documentary on KBS-America!

February 24, 2009

Dr. Tae Yun Kim has been highlighted in a special CEO Documentary project called Human Documentary on KBS-America… it was aired twice on Sunday, Feb 15, 2009…(it’s mostly in Korean…but you can get a good feeling from watching it!  Some of it is in English)

It also shows a little about the recent birthday event that we had for Dr. Kim at City Team Ministries!  It was a Highly Successful Event!!  Many of the homeless commented how much they were inspired by Dr. Kim.

Life is a Precious Gift

February 16, 2009

Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim wrote an amazing book called “The Silent Master: Awakening the Power Within“…the other day, I opened it to this section… and it really touched my heart:

ponder this:

“Life is such a precious gift. But we tend to treat every day as though life is never going to end, as though we have an unlimited amount of time to find the happiness we want. As a result, instead of challenging our fears right now, we go on day after day, year after year, making excuses for our failure to accomplish our true desires. Good intentions don’t seem to be enough to make big changes in your life. Think about all the New Year’s resolutions you’ve made in the past, and you realize that good intentions alone aren’t sufficient to introduce changes. Making real and lasting change requires that you make a commitment and take constructive action!”

Powerful words.

more on this later…

A Silent Master Moment…

November 18, 2008

What is your “Silent Master”?  It is your intuition…that voice inside your head that suggests something to you that you know to be true…but don’t always listen and follow its lead…

Great Grandmaster Kim teaches this at Jung SuWon and has written about it in her books, Seven Steps to Inner Power and The Silent Master: Awakening the Power Within.

How do you listen to your Silent Master? Great Grandmaster Dr. Kim says this in her book:

“The first step is to develop the ability to let go, to refuse to hold onto any condition as being permanent. When you can let your thoughts and emotions come and go freely, you keep your mind swept clean of obstructing mental debris. How can you hear your Silent Master this very moment if your mind is occupied with yesterday’s resentment? or today’s panic? Or tomorrow’s anticipation? Or with fear, worry, and anger?”

How many times do you know you should do or say something at a particular time…and it happens to be just the right action or the right words… you’re not quite sure how you knew to do or say it…but you did.

How many times does a moment pass… and you realize that you should have said or done something right at that moment?

When I get a feeling to say or do something…I call that my “Silent Master Moment”…that moment when I know I should do or say something…. it is when my Silent Master is silently screaming at me to “STOP!” or to “GO!” or to just “DO IT!”… I am learning to let go of my logical, rational mind that tries to reason with the feeling of the moment.  Sometimes that reasoning is just noise that interferes with my ability to clearly “hear” my Silent Master talking to me.

I used to dismiss those thoughts as unimportant… but after too many times when I realized that I should have said or done what I had just thought, I learned that I need to listen to my Silent Master.

How many “Silent Master Moments” do you have in a day? a week?…  next time you get that sudden urge to say or do something… just do it! 😉

Training at Jung SuWon… continuation…

September 30, 2008

Have you ever had the feeling inside that you just didn’t belong?  That no matter how hard you tried to “fit in”, things just didn’t feel right?  When I was in college, I did a lot of things… participated in a lot of activities…but I never seemed to find the place where I felt like I belonged.  I was a leaf blowing in the wind…no direction, no purpose.

After I got my first yellow belt at Jung SuWon in 1991, my training went to a deeper level.  I discovered that I was hungry to learn more and more. I discovered something that I was good at, something that I could excel at. I discovered people who I enjoyed being with.  Though we were all from different backgrounds, different ages, we shared a common love for training at Jung SuWon.

It was a spiritual hunger for Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s teachings and wisdom.  This was something that I had been searching for for my entire life.

I remember when I was about 10 years old…I used to watch all the kung fu – martial arts – black belt theater movies on Saturday afternoons…with my huge bowl of airpopped popcorn…smothered in butter and salt…and a tall glass of ice cold Coke (*fyi, I drank my last Coke on Friday, Aug 23, 1991…that’s another story!)…I dreamed of running away to the mountains of Korea and training with a true Master.  Bruce Lee was my idol.  A couple of times, I left the house and walked…as if I were going to run away… wishing that I had the courage and the knowledge to do it… I felt so alone at times, even in a room full of people.

I remember having long discussions with my sister when we were in college… about “love”.  What it was…what it felt like…how did you know when you were “in love”?

I know that I have talked about it before, but it is really true.  In Great Grandmaster Kim’s book, Seven Steps to Inner Power, she talks about how you have to love yourself before you can truly find love with your partner in life.  It is so true.

I never felt grounded about myself. I never loved myself. No wonder I always felt so lonely.

After training for a few years, I started to realize what Love really was all about. And it felt really good.

I wish more people could experience this feeling.  Whenever I read about quick marriages and divorces and new marriages and more divorces in Hollywood, I just wonder how life would be different for all those people if they could just experience what I have experienced in my life…the lessons that I have learned from Great Grandmaster Kim about life, about self-love, self-worth, self-respect…

What a different world we would be living in…

Jung SuWon Testings … unique… challenging…like no other…

September 16, 2008

We recently had a testing cycle at Jung SuWon.  If you’re not familiar with the martial arts, it’s when students are striving to earn their next color belt rank.

Testing at Jung SuWon is like no other testing I’ve seen or heard about from other martial art schools.  It’s not a 5 minute deal where you do a couple of moves and then all of a sudden you get your next color belt rank.

Great Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim has spent years and years of training and teaching to infuse a feeling of tradition and quality at Jung SuWon.

We’re not a “commercial” martial art… Joe Schmoe DoJo out to take your money & give you ranks…

We are a true martial art.

I spoke to a couple of the moms who watched testing and asked them if they enjoyed the testing… they both said, “yes, but I didn’t expect to cry!”


The tears were tears of joy.  One student struggled with her breaking techniques.  She is a yellow belt, a beginner…one of the shyest girls I have ever met.  Her boyfriend has been training for many years, but she only started recently coming to Jung SuWon.  She used to sit in the gallery with her head buried in a book.

Now, here she was, standing before parents, family, friends… before Great Grandmaster and all the Grandmasters and Masters and Black Belts… declaring that her goals for her 2 breaking techniques were to become more social and to have more confidence.

Yet she struggled with one of the breaks.  Over and over again she tried to break the board, but she couldn’t do it.  Tears flowed down her face and her emotions were rising.  Great Grandmaster went onto the floor to personally work with her until she broke her boards.  SUCCESS!

Then, the testing moved on, yet as she sat in the back of the room, tears continued to flow.

Seeing this, Great Grandmaster knew that the student was still feeling embarrassed and disappointed in herself.  Great Grandmaster knew that she had to continue to help this student to rise above and to overcome these emotions.

As testing progressed, suddenly, Great Grandmaster called the student back onto the floor…and setup for a flying side kick break over 2 other students.  Great Grandmaster asked this shy & timid yellow belt student to execute a flying side kick over the 2 other students.  This was something she had never done before.

After a few moments of doubt, she took Great Grandmaster’s strength and ran down the dojang floor, leaped up and flew over the 2 students to break the board with a flying side kick!


Everyone jumped up and started applauding and shouting and crying.  She was crying… tears of joy, she said!

It was very moving, very touching.

This is why we are a different martial art.  This is why there is something special at Jung SuWon.  Great Grandmaster reaches out to the students in the most powerful ways….showing each student in his or her own way how each of us can overcome the challenges that we all face in our lives.

It’s not about breaking boards.  It’s not about the flashiest techniques.  It’s not about jumping and kicking.  It’s about HEART.  INNER STRENGTH.  DISCOVERING WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

THAT’S what a REAL martial art is all about.

That’s what Jung SuWon is all about.

And THAT’S why I LOVE training at Jung SuWon!