I had always wanted to train in the martial arts...not to be a tough guy or a bully...not to be able to fight people... there was always something mystical about the martial arts that drew me to it.
I used to watch all the martial art movies when I was growing up...B rated & C rated TV movies with the characters who could get shot with 5 spears and still not die!
I was always lonely growing up. I'm not sure why I was so drawn to the martial arts, but Bruce Lee was one of my heroes. He could always get himself out of a tight spot!
Growing up in Tennessee, I didn't have any opportunities to study a martial art...besides, my mom is traditional Korean and she is not supportive of girls training in the martial arts.
That's why, when I first read about Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim's life story, I was so amazed. How could she start training at age 7 in Korea? My mom gave me such a hard time all throughout college when I was studying Taekwondo for P.E. class.
So I started learning Taekwondo when I was 18. I took it for P.E. class at Dartmouth College. It was fun!
After college, I wanted to continue training, but wasn't sure where I should go. I had just moved out to California.
Her story inspired me so much so I went to check out the school and I started training at Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy on July 2, 1991.
I remember when it came time for me to test for my Yellow belt...breaking 1 wooden board was one of the requirements. I was so nervous. Though I had tested up to Blue belt with Red stripe in college, this was different. It was more real than anything I had done before.
This board seemed much thicker, much harder, and more real than any board I had ever seen before. I remember sitting there holding the board, feeling how thick it was, and wondering if I could really do it.
I had chosen to do a middle punch to break the board...and I was really nervous about that too!
But I did it! One shot!
It was one of the most exhilarating feelings I had ever had in my life up to that point. It felt like I had truly accomplished something in my life...something that no one else did for me. It was a very liberating feeling.
This is when I truly became a Jung SuWon Warrior! The start of my journey...
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