Selflessness & Humility
In her entire speech after being inducted into our hall of fame, Ms. October Newton used the word “I” only once.
“I thank you,” she said. That selflessness, humility, and sense of giving is the sign of a true martial artist.
The first time we met, I didn’t know how to take Ms. Newton. I observed her at a couple of tournaments where she kept mostly to herself. But, what really made me decide to connect with her was watching her students.
That can only come from the instructor.
You could just tell that they loved the art of Tae Kwon-Do. Their performance in the ring was impeccable and their ring etiquette was off the charts. That can only come from the instructor.
I knew I had to get to know her. So, we got to talking and found that we are very like-minded in our approaches to teaching, the dojang, to Tae Kwon-Do, our love of the art, how we wanted to further the art, and so on. Needless to say, a lot of common ground was found.
I then began watching her classes and, not surprisingly, she is an excellent instructor. Her students absolutely love her, which was a HUGE thing for me.
I knew at that point that I wanted to induct her into our hall of fame, known as the “Pil-Sung Hall of Fame.”
Hall of Fame
I am an inductee and member of four major halls of fame. Three of the four were based solely on my physical prowess, tournament performance, fighting ability, etc. But, the other was presented more as an all-around martial arts hall of fame award. That is the one I’m most proud of, and became the basis for our own hall of fame.
The Pil-Sung Hall of Fame doesn’t really care how many tournaments or grand championships you’ve won. Those help, but they’re not the main factor.
Instead, it was established to reward martial artists:
- who continue training at their optimum ability, which differs based on age and skill level.
- who are taking steps to further martial arts of all disciplines in a positive way.
- and who are making a difference in the world in general.
Ms. October Newton
Ms. October Newton is the most recent, and one of the youngest inductees to our hall. She is the embodiment of what we look for.
First and foremost, you must own a school, and still be a full-time instructor. You cannot further the art unless you are training others in it. We then look deeply at how you are running your school. Are you an ethical person? A moral person?
Are you a good business person? Meaning, are you following healthy business practices? Are you truly interested in the martial art, or are you merely interested in making money? Obviously, if you’re a full-time instructor, you need money to keep your school open and feed your family. But, are you offering a product that is truly commensurate with what you’re charging for tuition?
As was the case with Ms. Newton, another way we assess your school is by the quality of the students that come out of it. This is typically the first thing that catches our eye. If we’re really impressed with their etiquette, meaning that they’re bowing, they’re saying “yes sir/ma’am”, they’re shaking their competitor’s hand, etc. – then we start looking at their instructor.
Inductees into our hall of fame need character references and a history that we can trace. Have they had a good martial arts career? How long have they been training?
These days social media really helps us vet our inductees. We can watch classes to see how they are teaching. Then, we can generally tell sometimes just from their students. How do their students react to them? Are students performing out of fear, or out of a love for the art?
Our Hall of Fame
As you can see, ours is not a typical hall of fame. The qualifications are all-encompassing, and we take them very seriously. There is no place in the hall of fame for the martial artist who believes they should be inducted simply because they have an impressive collection of trophies, then gets upset when they are not.
Those people say “I” too much.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!