I have had the privilege to purchase the school I trained at for 28 years in 2014 And with the knowledge that it would be continuing the legacy of my instructor Grand Master Don Wells for said 28 years.
I cannot even come close to imaging what it was like for Grand Master Jung to build what probably is the largest Tae Kwon Do organizations in the Midwest from nothing. Zero. Zilch. Just the Indomitable spirit he learned from being a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Kamsahamnida Sir
Martial Arts America is my 2nd home and the people from the newest White belt to the previous owners are my other family. There are also many, many Tae Kwon Do " cousins" from other schools.
Our school has been in my home town for more than 30 years. And has touched the lives of hundreds maybe thousands. Running a school with this longevity has been better than any dream I had.
But I did not always think I could do it. When it becoming apparent I was the most likely to carry on what Grandmaster Wells and Master Bonnie Wells had built. I actually told GM Wells I did not think I could leave the safe and secure career I had for about 30 years. I had let fear stop me from pursuing my dream. It took awhile before I could put my fears aside and work out what it would take for me to make this work for everyone. They allowed me to exorcize my demons and bring the indomitable spirit they taught me to take over. Mr. and Mrs Wells, Thank you.
Over the years I have been blessed with people involved with TKD from Black Belts who have trained for over 35 years to the new Tiny Tiger. We are taught to be humble but there is a lot of pride involved when a tiny little girl who is shy and scared becomes confident and open to learning new and wonderful things. Or when you hear a Black belt not just repeat what they heard but really teach someone.
Everyone At Martial Arts America does a great job of showing their appreciation when they are helped in and outside of class by others. Courtesy is more than a word to anyone in the Jungs Tae Kwon Do organization.
One of the most difficult things I have had to learn over the years will sound prideful and self centered. But I am still having to work on how to take a compliment. A young man I had taught with his younger sister that trained under me early in my teaching career after he quit achieving a brown belt approached years later. He was in High school now and doing very well on the swim team. He started sincerely thanking me for teaching discipline and giving him the confidence to take on new challenges. This was one of the boys we have all had in class that seems to take up 50% of your class time getting him to kick hard and stay focused. But he had heart. I froze up and could only mumble something like "Ah Shucks"( not those exact words but that pathetic). I will never forget the look of disappointment he had after going to the trouble of letting me know that and I could not even muster up a simple " Your Welcome, good for you". This falls under courtesy. To acknowledge someone who is sincerely thanking you for something they feel strongly about is not in my opinion conceded but will make them feel good They will go on to letting others know how they touched their lives. So I will continue to work on thanking who needs to be thanked and answering in kind.
Recently I received a email from a Black belt who stopped training for some years because of a injury. Her daughter did not achieve Black belt like her mother and brother but was a high brown belt as a young girl. The email was to let me know the now freshman in college had been attacked leaving work. Some one grabbed her by her ponytail and started to pull her somewhere. She kept her cool elbowed him in the gut and struck him in the head with a book she was carrying. The coward/ creep ran off. The police were impressed with her ability to keep focused during the incident and she told them she learned it from Tae Kwon Do. This is why I teach.
More recently I was very publicly thank by a fellow Black belt who when was given bad news about his cancer mustered up the strength to come to a test anyway but was feeling low. He is always been a energetic and upbeat person and he wasn't today. I did the only thing I thought might helped and offered a hug. At our tournament he thanked me most graciously. He gave me credit for sparking his Indomitable spirit and he has gone on to "kicking cancer's butt"
What he did not know was that my spirit was in turmoil from a difficult action on my part and resulting consciences. I am not comparing it to having cancer but I was wondering if I know what I am doing running a Dojang. I was instantly lifted and renewed with Indomitable spirit. Thank You Sir.
The future is the most wondrous and frightening thing I know. With Tae Kwon Do all things are possible.