Maximize Human Potential
I have known Grandmaster Taejoon Lee for nearly 5 years. He is able to motivate others around him because he is constantly motivating himself. He challenges you to strive for perfection in everything you do not only as a martial artist, but also as a human being. He is hard but fair, he is firm but not unyielding, he is what every martial artist strives to be. We have had conversations that span the spectrum of very light-hearted to those of life, on enlightenment, and what is our ultimate goal of being is. These are not the types of conversations you have in your average martial arts class or with your average martial artist. These types of intersection only occur with someone very special. I am glad to know him not only as a teacher and mentor, but also as a friend.
– Dr. Rick Mckenzie
A Positive Challenge for the Whole Family
When I started in TSD, I found myself drifting through my life, my job, even my marriage. I suppose I was living what Henry Thorean described as a life of quiet desperation. Once I started training, the never-ending challenge of the curriculum from the physical, mental, and emotional standpoint forced me to face all of the character flaws within myself, either to improve them, or at minimum acknowledge them and face them squarely. now we all practice the Hwarang Way of self-examination, relentless improvement, and excellence.
– Douglas Cole
Losing Weight & Positive Life Change
At the age of 27, I made a life changing decision. I had lived a sedentary, unhealthy life for far too long, and it showed. My outlook on life had been leading me down a path of stagnation and apathy. I let myself get significantly overweight and finally decided to do something about it. And in Hwarangdo I found my answers. Through the philosophy, discipline and training that Hwarangdo has brought to my life. I have been able to transform into a stronger, more progressive version of myself. Beyond the obvious physical benefits, I have developed and harden my leadership skills. Ive found a way of life that is active, physical, and forward thinking. On top of that, Im able to develop all the incredible techniques of a true martial art. My life would be completely different without Hwarangdo, and for that, I wouldnt change it for the world.
– Michael Boggs
A Lifetime of Leadership
I first me Grandmaster Taejoon Lee and became his student when we were both in high school. I joined his first Martial Arts club and studio at that time. Even as a teenager, Grandmaster Lee had a passion for people and a desire to improve their lives. I trained directly with Grandmaster Lee for over twelve years, eventually becoming an instructor myself and attaining my second-degree black sash. Since that time, Grandmaster Lee and I have maintained a great student/master relationship and a deep friendship. He has continued his destiny of changing the lives of thousands through a deep commitment to his individual students using the ancient Korean Art of Hwa Rang Do, while I followed my path into medicine. Grandmaster Lee is an excellent leader and teacher. He has a natural charisma that begs to be followed. Quality is defined as a native excellence or superiority and this is what he possesses in the way that he teaches both martial arts and lessons that can change your life. He does this through maintaining a deep commitment to the core values of Hwa Rang Do. Grandmaster Lee has taught me the meaning of loyalty through our relationship and by observing the way he leads his life. He has taught me not only how to persevere but to succeed in circumstances which at the time seemed insurmountable. Most importantly, he has taught me how to have a deep concern and love for the people who are put into our lives.
– Mike Stephen MD
Medical Director of Emergency Services
St Francis Medical Center
Chair, Board of Directors
Front Line Emergency Care Specialists
Mental & Spiritual Challenge
Even though I have been around for a long time, you impress me more and more every time I watch you perform. Your skills are unbelievable Sir! The students really were impressed not only by your physical skills, but by your mental/spiritual skills as well. You have a way of making us think deeper and more clearly about our Art and our life.
Thank you again for all you do for us and the Association.
– Master DavidKijek
Better Yourself Better the World
Working hard you can change yourself and the society. That”s one of the most important messages of Hwa Rang Do. It”s positive, it”s self empowering and definitely it”s martial!I believe in that message and following the example of my Masters I make other people believe it.
Thank you for your patience.
– Marco Mattiucci – Military Police/Rome, Italy
Strong Moral Foundation for Children
In our case, my husband and I were tremendously fortunate to have stumbled upon you and Hwa Rang Do when both of our children were very young. In my work as a criminal prosecutor and my husbands work for over three decades as a police officer, we are constantly reminded of the importance to instill in our children a strong moral foundation, impeccable values, and a solid sense of self and duty to others. Your help in Drew and Michelles formative years will always be a huge part of their beings. Not only were you there for them as children, you were (as youll recall!) there for me as their mother. For this, I will never be able to thank you enough.
So who have we become in the years since we completed our sojourn with you? Drew and Michelle, as teenagers, are more grounded, well-adjusted, and confident in the loving people they are than most adultsby far. When Drew was home for Christmas, he had some rather bad New York air/teenager acne problems. I told him I was sorry that I hadnt gotten him to a dermatologist earlier in his life, as I should have. His immediate response was Mom, its ok. I really dont mind; it gives me character! I want people to respond to me because of who I am, not whats on my face. And then he allowed me to hug him. He, to this day, treasures his time with you and all that you gave him in your almost daily life lessons. He is most proud, in all of his many accomplishments, to have had you as his teacher. He remains a star athlete with his Hwa Rang Do base, he is my peaceful warrior, and I get teary just thinking about the wonderful person he has become. Thank you for your role in that.
Michelle will one day change the world, or at least she will die trying. She too speaks of you often, even though she was not as involved in Hwa Rang Do as her big brother was. She loved your hugs and the passion you so clearly live with. She felt always your concern and caring for your students. She now lives a passionate life based on helping and caring for others. She listened and looked up to you as a father, even though she had and has a wonderful relationship with her own father. She is my quiet but very present warrior, and I get teary just thinking about the wonderful person she has become. Thank you for your role in that.
And then theres me. I doubt that I was your first (or last) uncoordinated warrior but I was, at the very least, wanting to be there every step of the way. Our time together boosted me to levels, psychologically and physically, that I otherwise would never have gotten to. Remember when I climbed Mt. Whitney while I was your student? Im glad I did, but I must say that the pride I was given in my accomplishments with you rises as high as any mountain that could challenge me. I am my familys stumbling warrior, and I know that, even though they probably dont get teary, they are proud of who I have become. The time that we all spent together with you was simply pivotal in our lives.
We will always be close to you in spirit if not proximity. We will always have you in our hearts. And we are ever so thankful for your guidance on our path.
My everlasting warm thoughts to you and your family,
Children More Mature & Disciplined than Adults
My son absolutely loves Hwa Rang Do and all that Grandmaster Taejoon Lee stand for. I”ve never seen him so dedicated to an activity and the children there are the most well behaved kids I”ve ever seen – more mature and disciplined than most adults. Bravo!
– Maria C.
It Is the Best Decision I have Made for My Son
It”s the best decision I have made for my son. He has embraced the warrior”s path and it has become a way of life. Its not your typical martial arts school because Grandaster Lee holds group lectures on values, history, philosophy, etiquette, culture, and practical lessons about life and its realities. This is on top of a comprehensive martial arts program, a holistic approach to enrich the mind, body and spirit. The members strive for excellence not only in the Dojang but also at home, school or work. They become outstanding individuals and valuable assets to any organization or community.
Grandmaster Lee – The Lighthouse for Children
Like many members of the boomer generation, I came of age in a time of social revolution and expanding economic opportunity: I was the beneficiary of the sweat and toil of my predecessors and a social movement that pushed against entrenched boundaries with the idea that change was both possible and imperative. That sense of hope in my generation was severely challenged by the turmoil, the reaction, mean spirited nature of politics and a growing celebration of me-ism that seemed to characterize the 80s and 90s. And into all of this, I, like many of my group, attempted to live my life, love, have children and make a way.
Children are a source of hope and terror: We hope that they embody the future and will transcend our limitations; at the same time we are terrified that we may fail them, and that our weaknesses will determine who they ultimately become. I have come to know that while these ideas are understandable, each is wrong in its own way. Children are more than a reflection of us as individualsthey are shaped (as was I) both by their parents and families and by the values reflected in the larger society. And yet in the stormy sea of contemporary life, the idea of values (as distinct from rigid morality) has sunk beneath the tumultuous waves of public scandal, duplicity, corruption and general malaise. It has then become ever more important to find a lighthousea source of light that helps guide the way.
Nearly a decade ago, I inadvertently stumbled upon my lighthouse when I brought my then four-year-old son to study martial arts with Grandmaster Taejoon Lee. At the time my focus was on getting my son into a program that would train him physically and help him gain self-confidence and self-control. This is the standard promise of most martial arts programs. Yet, it was obvious from the beginning that what Grandmaster Lee offered was much more. And over time as I have weathered a divorce, aging parents, and the ups and downs of raising a child in what Grandmaster Lee has so aptly described as an unforgiving world, it is clear to me that what he has created is a lighthouse where basic human valuesstrength of character, honesty, humility, caring, collective responsibility, and determinationare front and center. This does not mean that everyone always succeeds in upholding these values. That is not the point. After all, the lighthouse does not prevent storms. But the light illuminating the way is always there. And for this I am forever grateful.
– Prof. C.H. – UCLA School of Law
The Only Thing That Stopped My Son From Bullying
I was having a lot of issues with my 9 year old boy who was being verbally and physically aggressive at home and at school. I was very concerned my son would go down a bad path in life. Luckily a very close friend recommended I take my son to Hwa Rang Do, which is a facility that teaches the Korean form of martial arts. This friends son attends Hwa Rang Do and has had positive results. My concern was I didnt want my son to learn the skill of hurting people, however I didnt let my hesitation stop me from trying to get help for my son. I had tried therapy, sports, monitored play dates along with many other angles of parenting, and even some other martial arts schools, but none seemed to be what my son needed and I was reluctant to try another martial art school. However, after attending consistently for many months, amazingly enough my son is now very humble about his physical strength and ability. He has been able to walk away from aggressive situations without letting his anger take over. This is a new positive concept for my son, which I am convinced is a result of him attending Hwa Rang Do. Not only is this institute teaching my son to control and manage his anger but he has also been more respectful towards adults. I am on board with the life lessons my son is learning here because it is a safe, loving and comfortable environment. They give structure and they care about every student there. I look forward to many more years at Hwa Rang Do where I know my son will excel and become a better human being.
– Sabrina Prochazka
As a Parent I learned as much as the Students
I came away, as a parent, from the seminar, just from watching and listening, totally exhausted! I felt like I, as a parent, learned as much as the students. The words that Grandmaster Lee communicated, were not just for the students, but for the parents to apply in their parenting tactics as well as their daily life practices. One of the things that made an impact on both my son and I, that we talk about often, is the discussion GM Lee made about the center of the universe; close your eyes, and what do you see? Nothing. Open them and what do you see? The universe. Therefore, where is the center of the universe? Within YOU! You are the center of the universe. What does this mean? You can achieve anything you want, be anything you want to be, and do anything you want to do. His story of penance, discipline, etc. were all very powerful.
– Kristen Wege