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Grandmaster Randy Lee Ferkel

The heart of a great teacher is kind. A great teacher shows kindness to students, colleagues, parents and those around him/her. One of the best sayings is “kindness makes the world go round”. It truly changes the environment in the classroom and school. Being a kind teacher helps students feel welcomed, and cared for. 
Excellent teachers are compassionate. A compassionate teacher models that characteristic to the students with his/her actions, thus students will be more able to understand the world around them.  
Empathy is another important trait of a teacher. Being able to put yourself in another’s shoes and see things from their perspective can have such a powerful impact on our decisions and actions.  
Being positive. Being a positive teacher is even harder when we’re always met with problems with very limited solutions. However, staying positive when it’s tough, can have a tremendous impact on students and those around us.  
Being a builder. A great teacher bridges gaps, builds relationships, friendships, and a community. Teachers are always looking to make things better, improve things in and outside the classroom. 
Be an Inspiration to others. When one sees a great teacher, they want to be a better teacher, better student, and finally a better person.  

I believe deeply there should be SEVEN TENANTS of Tae-Kwon-Do. Courtesy (Ye-Ui) – This is kindness, humility, good manners, and politeness. Integrity (Yom-Chi) – This demonstrates honesty, purity, moral soundness, and uprightness. To have integrity means to be honest with everyone and with yourself at all times. Perseverance (In-Nae) –Persistence, a steadfast pursuit of an understanding of the aim, continuation in the practice of Tae-Kwon-Do regardless of the number of obstacles, hindering circumstances, or difficulties.  
Self-Control (Guk-Gi) It is the physical control with regard to motions, precision of execution, prevention of unnecessary injury. It is also the control of one’s emotions.  

Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul-Bool Gool) Unconquerable, unbreakable, unquenchable. Loyalty- The state or quality of being loyal, faithfulness to commitments, obligations. In Tae-Kwon-Do it is imperative to be loyal to your school and instructor. Also, in order to fully exercise the other tenants of Tae-Kwon-Do one must have loyalty. Loyalty implies a strict and continuing obligation or commitment (Self-Control, Perseverance, and Indomitable Spirit). RESPECT- an understanding of the fact that someone or something is important, serious, of value or important. Respect shows one values another as an individual. It demonstrates that he/she honors the personal rights and dignity of the person as a fellow human being. Respect is imperative to foster peace and kindness between all people. Respect is also a quality that is needed to exercise the other tenant of Tae-Kwon-Do one must be respectful. (Courtesy, Integrity).  
In closing I have always identified myself as a dedicated traditional martial artist. Believing in, and living the tenants, not just practicing the tenants of Tae-Kwon-Do. Constantly learning and growing as a student of Tae-Kwon-Do and as an instructor. My journey has changed me in ways I could have never imagined when I began. I have overcome many obstacles, become more confident, learned how to handle failure, and numerous unbelievable transformations. The journey is exciting and frustrating, but then there are constant reminders, that this the right path. In 40 years, I have changed thousands of people’s lives with the basics of Tae-Kwon-Do. It has been and always will be important to build these seven tenants in myself and others. It has been said “Every job is a self-portrait on the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” I truly believe by surrounding myself with true Grand Masters of Tae-Kwon-Do (Chung Eun Kim, until his death in 2010, then under the direction of Grandmaster Woo Jin Jung) I am still journeying, discovering, developing and strengthening the bond between my mind and my body. I am defying physical and mental limitations that are obstructions in my path (by the grace of God.) Giving all of who I am to God, allowing me to have a strong spirit, strength, patience, talents and the gift to help others. I would like to state that being a Black Belt has always been an honor and responsibility I am grateful for. Thank you. 

Every person must follow a path in life. The path that one chooses can lead them to a door that gives them a place. For some that is a place to grow, learn and belong. My life has brought me through such a path. My path led me to the door of Tae-Kwon-Do in 1974. Through my, 40 plus year, journey of Tae-Kwon-Do I have undergone many transformations, learned many things, and had numerous experiences and teachings. The Black Belt I currently wear does not represent who I am, but rather what I have become.