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2003 Archive

These notices appeared on our web site during the year and were moved off as they became obsolete. They are in reverse order -- most recent to oldest. Links were good at the time we posted them, but they often go bad after a while -- we don't guarantee them.

What's New

Beginning January 2, 2004, the 7 p.m. adult classes will change to 6:50 - 7:40 p.m. and the 8 p.m. black belt classes will change to 7:40 - 8:30 p.m.

The next belt test will be held either on Friday, January 9, or Saturday, January 10, 2004. Check back in a few days for more information. If the test is Saturday, it will be at 3 p.m. and be a combined children's and adult's test. Afterward, the new TKD master will give a demonstration.

Need help getting ready for the belt test? White belts: click here to read our section on taekwondo basics. Color belts: click here for taegeuk poomse help.

Check out our new section on martial arts book reviews.

Please contact our webmaster and let her know if you like these new features.

Be sure to see our calendar of events.

Real Estate agents: Master Kim would like to lease better space or to build a new school. We want to stay in the same area of McLean. If you have any leads on property with the proper zoning, please call Master Kim at (703) 442-3232.

Holiday Schedule

We will be operating on the following schedule during the holidays:

Monday 12/22/03 5:30 - 6:45 children; 7 - 8 adult
Tuesday 12/23/03 5:30 - 6:45 children; 7 - 8 adult
Wednesday 12/24/03 Closed
Thursday 12/25/03 Closed
Friday 12/26/03 Closed
Saturday 12/27/03 Closed
Sunday 12/28/03 Closed
Monday 12/29/03 5:30 - 6:45 children; 7 - 8 adult
Tuesday 12/30/03 5:30 - 6:45 children; 7 - 8 adult
Wednesday 12/31/03 Closed
Thursday 1/01/04 Closed
Friday 1/02/04 Back to NEW regular schedule

If you are interested in attending the Monday 11:00 a.m. adult class on December 22 or December 29, please contact our webmaster and we will arrange to hold class.

Dong-Yeong Jeong

Master Jeong began training in Tae Kwon Do in Korea at a young age. He won a number of awards and competitions. He promises to write us a short bio and pose for photos very soon. Master Jeong came to the United States in January 2003 to teach Tae Kwon Do at our school.

October 2003 Belt Test

The October belt test was a great one! Everyone has clearly been working very hard this Fall and it showed. Techniques were sharper, breaking kicks were more successful, and students were more disciplined. A round of applause for all our students!

We were privileged to watch two students test for 2nd dan black belt. Eric and Donald did an outstanding job. We also had several black belts taking gup tests, in preparation for their next dan tests. The black belt forms and breaks were exciting to watch!

On a happy but sad note, one of our students earned his first dan black belt at this test, but will be leaving us. His family is moving to Korea. We wish him well and hope that he continues his taekwondo training in his new home town.

At the end of the children's test, Master Kim talked to the children about controlling and using their power. Demonstrating on Master Jeong (who looked a little concerned), Master Kim showed the difference between punching with 10% power and 30, 50, 75 or 100% power. Then he led the students through the beginning of Kibon Hana, using 20, 50 and 100% of their power. The children were very excited and you could see them working very hard to show off their strongest blocks and punches. Then Master Kim told them that on the next test, they should use 100% of their power when they're demonstrating their techniques and poomse.

The belt ceremony was well attended and rewarding for all who showed up. Not only did we get to celebrate with all our newly promoted students, but we were treated to a really fine demonstration. Students Eric, Donald, Peter, JJ, and Chul Woong did some really impressive board breaking. Some of our younger students helped out with the flying kicks by volunteering to have the older students jump over them. Then Peter climbed on Chul Woong's shoulders to hold boards ceiling high so that we could see a couple of very high spinning jump kicks performed by Master Jeong!

Master Kim then teased us, hinting that he might give a demonstration, too. But, then he told us that he requires a much larger audience and asked that everyone bring their classmates, friends, and family to the next belt ceremony. So, let's get to it, people. Let's make sure that next time we give Master Kim an audience he can't refuse!

VA State Open Tae Kwon Do Festival

The VA State Open Tae Kwon Do Festival will be held Saturday, November 8, 2003 at Lake Braddock High School in Burke, VA. It is hosted by the Virginia Tae Kwon Do Association and sanctioned by the USTU. The Director is Grand Master Myung Hak Kang. For more information, call (703) 455-3300, (703) 492-7757, or (703) 521-8100. Please see Master Kim if you are interested in participating.

Hurricane Isabel

Hurricane Isabel may force us to cancel classes. If you have any doubt, please call before going to the school. Power outages could make it impossible for us to post notices on this web site. Stay tuned to local weather and news stations and keep safe. Click here for the National Hurricane Center web site.

Looking to learn more about Tae Kwon Do?

Have you read books and magazines about tae kwon do? Do they all start to look and sound alike? Do you keep looking for the perfect book or article that would cover the topics that YOU find interesting?

Tell us what a Tae Kwon Do book or magazine article should contain to make you want to read it. Email us your ideas, and tell us what rank or experience you have in the martial arts. (We imagine a white belt might have different interests than a 3rd dan black belt.) We will see about trying to address your interests by writing or finding the information you want to read. Thank you!

September Belt Test

Thirty eight students attended the September 5th belt test. Traditionally, this test is one of the smallest, as many students are unprepared to test after extended vacations. Everyone was pleased that Master Kim was able to return from Korea in time to judge the test. One exciting aspect of the evening was watching two brothers test for 2nd dan black belt. It was exhausting just to watch them! Congratulations to all the students who received new belts!

Sparring Equipment: buy, sell, trade

One student has outgrown the smallest children's chest pad and needs one in the next size up. If you have or need this item, contact us and we'll put you in touch with the parent.

Have your children outgrown their sparring equipment? If you would like to buy, sell, or trade equipment with other parents, you may contact us via email only and we will place a free "ad" on our website. To protect your privacy, we won't put identifying information on the web site. Interested parties can contact us and we will send an email to the person who has and the person who wants the equipment. You can then finish up the exchange privately. We accept no responsibility for the transactions -- this is strictly done as a convenience for our members.

Help Improve our Web Site

If you wish to contribute any ideas or materials for our school website, contact our webmaster, Ms. Linnell, either in person or by email. Instructor Linnell is at the school on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings.

Photo Day

We are still in the planning stages, but are working to set up a photo day at our school in September. We will need volunteers to pose for photos demonstrating stances, kicks, blocks, sparring, etc. Photos will be posted on our web site and may be used in brochures, for publicity, or to decorate the school's hallways. In order to participate, students will need to wear a neat, clean, well fitting school uniform with the required patches (click on Equipment for more information). Why not beat the rush and replace or repair your worn uniform today? Watch for posters in the waiting room and check this space for more information as it becomes available.

U.S. Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championship

Congratulations to Sang Won Kim for earning a bronze medal in poomse at the U.S. Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championship! The competition was held in Orlando, Florida the first week of July [2003]. Results are on the USTU website (click on "events", then on "Jr. Olympics", then scroll down to "Results from Past Junior Olympics").

Day Class Change

Through the end of July [2003], the day classes on Monday and Thursday at 11:00 a.m. will be taught by Instructor Linnell. (Master Shepler is recovering from knee surgery.) This month ONLY, children older than 8 may attend the day class WITH their student parents. We will concentrate on proper technique and poomse. Children should be mature enough to handle a class that is oriented toward adults. Parents, please do not drop off children for this class -- we are not staffed to handle unaccompanied minors.

Junior Olympics

The U.S. Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championship is being held this week [June 30 - July 6, 2003] in Orlando, Florida. Master Kim is there with some of our students. Good luck to all our contestants!

Used Equipment

A number of parents have mentioned how quickly their children are outgrowing their sparring equipment. If you would like to buy, sell, or trade equipment with other parents, you may contact us via email only and we will place a free "ad" on our website. To protect your privacy, we won't put identifying information on the web site. Interested parties can contact us and we will send an email to the person who has and the person who wants the equipment. You can then finish up the exchange privately. We accept no responsibility for the transactions -- this is strictly done as a convenience for our members.

Contribute to our Web Site

If you wish to contribute any materials for our school website, contact our webmaster, Ms. Linnell, either in person or by email. Instructor Linnell is at the school on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings.

June Belt Test

The June belt test was held Friday, June 27, 2003. This was Master Jeong's first time leading a belt test at our school and he did a great job! In addition to the many color belts who tested, six students tested for first dan black belt. We also said goodbye to Jane, who is moving to Korea this week. Congratulations to all the students who were promoted.

McLean Day 2003

On Saturday, May 17th, students from our school performed on the stage at McLean Day in Lewinsville Park. Led by Master Jeong, students Alex, James, Drew, Seung Bin, Hannah, Donald, Christian, Michael, Steven, Laura, Chul Woong, and Song demonstrated blocks, attacks, kicks, forms, and breaking boards. Instructor Linnell was the emcee.

Click here to see McLean Day photos!

Win a Presidential Sports Award for Tae Kwon Do

You can win a Presidential Sports Award <http://www.fitness.gov/sports/sports.html> for Tae Kwon Do! How? You must be at least 6 years old. Within a four month period, practice Tae Kwon Do skills a minimum of 50 hours; no more than one hour credited daily. At least 30 of 50 hours must be under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

Participants should fulfill the requirements and mail the completed and signed fitness log with $5.00 per award to the Amateur Athletic Union. Recipients receive a personalized certificate of achievement with facsimile signature of the President of the United States; a letter of congratulations from the Executive Director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports; and a blazer patch (embroidered emblem) signifying the sport/activity in which the award was earned. Read all about it here <http://www.aausports.org/exec/aau/Presidents_Award.cfm?publicationID=12>.

Centennial of Korean Immigration

The year 2003 marks 100 years of Korean immigration to the United States. There will be activities throughout the year to commemorate the occasion. Click here < http://www.koreancentennial.org/> for centennial events.

23rd Virginia State Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championship

Several of our students participated in the Virginia State Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championship at Lake Braddock High School on Saturday, May 17, 2003. Master Kim attended the event and was very pleased with the results. Some of our students brought home medals! Congratulations to all participants!

A Taekwondo Special Event

The Korea National Demonstration team and the world famous Tiger Demo team performed at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax, VA on Sunday, May 4, 2003. It was an awesome display of traditional and contemporary Taekwondo. Boards were broken, apples were smashed, lights flashed, music blared, and everyone applauded the amazing displays of talent and hard work. This was the first time that these two teams ever performed together and on a concert hall stage, rather than in a gym.

Organizing this performance was a huge task. Master Kim extends his thanks to all the Tae Kwon Do masters and instructors located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area for helping with and supporting this event. He also thanks all the sponsors and all of you who attended this historic and entertaining show.

This Taekwondo performance was one of a number of events celebrating a centennial of Korean immigration to the United States. Click here for other centennial events.

Taekwondo at the Smithsonian

On Saturday, June 14, at 2 p.m. at the Baird Auditorium in the National Museum of Natural History, Master Jhoon Rhee, one of the most influential innovators to bring martial arts to the American public, will offer a history of tae kwon do, followed by a demonstration of the sport. For more information, click here. This event is part of the 2003 Korean American Centennial Commemoration.

A Taekwondo Special Event!

The Korean National Demonstration team and the world famous Tiger Demo team will be performing at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax, VA on Sunday, May 4, 2003 at 4:00 p.m. The show lasts approximately two hours. For directions and parking information, click here. Tickets are available for a $15 (or more) donation per ticket. Master Kim has reserved a block of tickets for our school in the best section. See Master Kim for tickets. Buy early for the best seats! No tickets will be sold at the door.

This Taekwondo performance is one of a number of events celebrating a centennial of Korean immigration to the United States. Members of Congress and other US government officials have been invited and several have already accepted. Anyone interested in sponsoring this event, either by placing an advertisement in the program or a banner at the event, should contact Master Kim at (703) 442-3232.

McLean Day 2003

Come to Lewinsville Park on Saturday, May 17th for McLean Day! Students from our school will be performing on the showmobile from 12:20 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. No classes that day - it's a school field trip!

There will be extra practices on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and/or 2:00 p.m. for all performers.

2003 National Capitol Open

The 2003 National Capitol Open Taekwondo Championship will be held Saturday, March 29, 2003 at Herndon High School from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door. Click here for more information.

This year they are selecting a special Championship Team for International Competitions (Summer 2003 Tour of Korea). Please see Master Kim if you are interested in competing.

February Belt Test

More than seventy five students and their families braved the snow on Friday night to come to the two belt tests. The group included two children testing for first degree black belt and four others taking a 2nd degree level test. After the tests, Master Kim addressed the group and talked about the Taekwondo spirit. Click here to read his remarks.

While the snow didn't dampen enthusiasm for testing, it did delay the arrival of belts! Announcing that Saturday's belt ceremony was canceled, Master Kim told the students that belts would be awarded during classes the following week. And, as a special bonus, he would be giving all those who passed their tests a medal! There was much cheering from the children. Afterwards, Master Kim thanked the masters, instructors, and black belts for their help both in running the tests and teaching students.

Master Kim's remarks at the February belt test

At the February 28, 2003 belt test, Master Kim likened growth in a martial art to the growth of a baby. When you're born, you can only move your arms and legs. As you get a little older, you can lift your head, then roll over, crawl, and sit. Eventually you learn to stand, first holding on, then without holding anything. You take a tentative step and soon are walking. Soon after you are running and jumping.

In Tae Kwon Do, you start out as a white belt. First you can do little more than follow basic directions. Then you learn more and earn your yellow belt. As you continue to learn and develop both physically and mentally, you gain self esteem and pride while earning your next belt.

When you are a white belt, you should have the pride of a white belt. You do the best you can so that you are the best white belt you can be. When you are yellow belt, you have the pride and confidence of being the best yellow belt you can be. And so on, as you move up toward black belt. At each belt level, you strive to be YOUR best. This leads to self confidence. As Master Kim said, "As your belt color grows [from white to black], your pride and your confidence level grow as well."

At our school, we expect this same attitude and confidence in all areas of life. Students should strive for all As in their classes. Adults should strive to be the best in their field of work.

This pride, though, must be tempered with humility lest it lead to hubris. There is always more to learn; there are always ways to improve. Have pride and confidence in what you have achieved and strive to do even more.

Master Shepler

Photo of Master Shepler

Master Shepler began training in martial arts over 25 years ago to learn self defense. Today she is widely regarded as one of the best martial arts teachers in Virginia.

Master Shepler started her training and earned her first black belt in Moo Duk Kwan from Master Middleton and Grandmaster Ki Whang Kim. During her first summer at Grandmaster Kim's martial arts summer camp, she won the Best Student award.

Master Shepler continued training in Tae Kwon Do and also studied Hapkido, kickboxing, and self defense. She has taught Tae Kwon Do, self defense, and cardio kickboxing at several martial arts schools and at seminars in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She has participated in demonstrations on local TV and at colleges and K-12 schools throughout the area. As senior master, she is an examiner at belt tests. Master Shepler taught at SH Kim US Tae Kwon Do in McLean, VA since it opened. In 2006 she moved out of the area, but she visits and assists Master Kim in grading students at belt tests.

Instructor Linnell

Photo of Instructor Linnell

Victoria Linnell began her training in Tae Kwon Do with Master Yeon Hee Park in East Meadow, NY. Since 1996, she has trained with Master Shepler and is now an instructor. Ms. Linnell has also studied self-defense, weapon disarms, and the CDT (Compliance, Direction, Takedown) method. She runs this web site, leads classes, and assists at belt tests.