An"nyong Ha Sip Ni Ka, I bow from the waist as I speak this word of greeting to my students ranging in age from five to seven years old. It is a word of greeting and respect for me, the teacher, and it is a greeting I learned when I started my training in Tang Soo in 1991. .
I was five years old when my parents enrolled me in the martial arts and I have pursued this science ever since. It has taught me discipline, sportsmanship, patience, and respect. Martial Arts is not just a sport, it is a way of life. I have been taught to defend myself and at the same time to respect my partner in the art. Above all, each student wants to excel while being mindful of his or her partner. While we lean to protect and defend ourselves we also learn to be humble, noble, respectful, courageous, and dedicated. We learn to temper the warrior's spirit with our heart. And in doing so, we add value in whatever we do. .
Many start on the path to become a black belt, but few make it. Even fewer seek to continue on the path after reaching black belt, which can take from four to six years. I chose to reach the goal of becoming a black belt. Commitment to what one believes in is crucial to success. If you are committed to a goal you will be successful and achieve anything you want.
While not an honor student, there is honor in my heart and soul. To finish what one started is paramount to me. And once reached, it is equally important to continue on the path of knowledge. There are ten belts required to reach black belt and ten more to reach grandmaster. The point is that no matter what you do, or what you know, you can always do more and learn more. Perfection is a never ending process.
I have earned a first degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a symbol that signifies my accomplishment. My father is a master in the martial arts, a symbol of his 35 years of training. The martial arts is more than a sport it is truly a way of life which teaches us to be fair, yet courageous, to stand up for what we think is right, to be loyal, and above all to strive for perfection in whatever you do.