|Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim age 13|
Every morning, every day, I practiced. The work was hard and the bruises were many. But, to my uncles’ surprise, I didn’t give up. To their further bewilderment, I progressed.
As I grew in my martial art, the difficulties I encountered were enormous. Difficulty not in the art itself, but in the resistance I encountered from people’s belief that a woman couldn’t do it and, furthermore, shouldn’t be able to do it. I had to wear slacks to hide the bruises so the other children wouldn’t laugh at me. My family was convinced there was surely something wrong with me. Proud of my accomplishments if I were a boy, they regarded me as one who had brought shame on them. Still, I felt I had to be true to something deeper within myself. I had a burning desire to be the best martial artist I could possibly be. But because my desire was controversial for oriental culture, I was simply dismissed as someone who was unbalanced.
However, a year later, at the age of eight, I discovered that not everyone thought I was crazy. A martial arts master recognized and acknowledged my desire by accepting me as his student. I was extremely fortunate, for this gifted master trained me in unusual and unique ways.
For many years I trained with him in the nearby mountains. here, I learned things that opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed. Year upon year passed as I began to understand the deeper teachings and secrets of martial arts that would eventually define what I now teach today.
by Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim - teacher, author, and master instructor
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