An odd conversation with my 1st instructor


El Conquistador nim!
MT Mentor
MTS Alumni
Nov 7, 2005
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Los Angeles, CA
I didn't know where else to put I put it here.

After searching for a number of years, I found my 1st instructor. I hadn't spoken to him in 22 years until 2 weeks ago. He taught TKD until about 10 years ago & now teaches golf in Hawaii. He was (like instructors many of us have had) a mentor for me.

I was struck by a few things he said to me. He was very pleased that I had continued to train after he moved away. He did not ask my belt rank, but only how many years I had trained. When I said 27 years, he was filled with pride and admiration. He said, "here I quit, but you are still training. THAT is indomitable spirit." (A TKD tenet) He did tell me that he does train, but no longer teaches. I'm humbled that my instructor would say such kind things about me.

I think it's odd that we Westerners are so obsessed with rank, while the Koreans (in this case) focus on how long a person has trained.

I don't know what to do with this praise from him. (I guess I'm uncomfortable with it. I was far from his most talented student). I appreciate his words beyond what I can express.

It makes me think of the thread I started last year about students who quit without reason or explaination. I think the praise I received almost makes up for the students who choose to leave.

Thanks for listening.


Orange Belt
Feb 26, 2009
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Denver, CO
That's a great story, you should be proud! I also know a lot of guys who have given up, it's fantastic that you stayed with it for that long.


Senior Master
Jan 20, 2009
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San Jose
Hi Iceman,

You PM'd me about this and my Sabunim's dad and your previous GM being old friends.

My GM (not my Sabunim) just told me that he plans to retire soon as well. But he has left a legacy of students to carry on his teaching. You are his legacy and he is proud of that. You should be proud as well. He has taught you well.