Kickin’ It

by Lily Hansen, Reporter

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Junior Instructor, Sangwon Lee ’20, teaches young gold belt how to defend yourself of a swinging punch. Sangwon has been in Taekwondo for 12 years of his life under his father’s (Olympic Medalist Han Lee) instruction. “You put in so much work for one goal so to achieve your goal, it means a lot,” Sangwon said. “I think I cried getting my black belt.”

After 12 years of training, Sangwon Lee ’20 has been trusted with the responsibility of teaching Taekwondo class at his father’s dojang.

A dojang is where Korean martial arts are performed, Taekwondo is normally performed in a dojang that is a formal training hall for participants in these martial arts.

“I like how you get a good sense of family, I like when I teach the kids I develop relationships that last a long time-I can see them grow,” Sangwon said.

Junior Instructor Sangwon Lee ’20 educates gold belt on how important it is to protect yourself while using nunchucks. Now being a black belt, Sangwon has worked his way up from being a white belt and hitting himself in the face with his nunchucks. “I see myself in undisciplined white belts but also I see how the instructors develop and learn and get more respectful and disciplined.” Sangwon said.

Along with Sangwon, Trent Alberts is Head Instructor with a 3 Dan.

Being a 3 Dan or 9 Dan typically means you’ve reached a certain level (degree) of knowledge in Taekwondo: you’ve learned all the proper forms, instruction, kicking techniques, weapon usage, and the discipline that is required to make it that far in a Taekwondo career.

“I get to see them grow up as they progress through the ranks,” Alberts said.

As many people may not want to have their family or child in a four-year program, the Black Belt Club grants family members access to the Nunchuck class and Self-defense portion before regular class. It also gives them the ability to learn sparring and techniques if they were to get into an actual fight.

“My favorite thing to do here is sparring! Easily! By far-I love the way the competition is these days, I love the electronics scoring systems, even though they have their buts sometimes. I also love how everyone here is very easy to teach-there’s a of of young talents at this school,” Alberts said.

Head Instructor Trent Alberts 3 Dan demonstrates side kick in the Dojang Dec. 6. Alberts has been teaching Taekwondo for 6 years and doing Taekwondo for 11 years. “I loved the family elements and loved the way that Grand Master Lee works with his students and the way that the competition program in run. I also love how anyone can do anything they like-how it’s open to all your avenues; it’s open to sparring and also Demo Team or any sort of other kind of other curriculum you’d like to pursue,” Alberts said.

Grand Master Han Won Lee is a 9 Dan and opened up his own franchise of academies.

“When I was coaching the Olympic team for 10 years, I realized; I have a family to feed, I have to take care of my family and they could fire me at any second. They don’t really care personally about me, they care about results. So that’s why I opened this school,” Han Won said.

Han Won gives red belt advice for low block Dec. 11. Han Won has been studying the martial art for 43 years. “”My favorite thing about Taekwondo is teaching kids, achieve their goals, teach them discipline, respect,” Han Won said.

Won Lee placed bronze during the Olympics.

“I see a shy kid come in and gain confidence,” Han Won said.

“It’s a wonderful place to be because we set minds for people who want to get better-improve their life through martial training. And there’s lots of kids who want to do better-who want to improve themselves. Not only kids but family members,” Han Won said.