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What Message Do We Send Our Students?

In the late 1990's Grand Master Haase was running a school in Victoria, BC, Canada. The school was based out of a recreation centre. As most schools they had lots of new students constantly. Most loved training at this school because they were accepted regardless of their background, and always treated with the upmost respect.

One day a young boy, about 7 years of age, was training in class. He had to use the washroom and was quite nervous about asking to leave. Grand Master Haase was always very understanding about this, however this student did not know this. Soon it became to much for him and he urinated through his dobok.

The boy immediately fell into tears. He walked towards the back of the gym, bowed properly and then ran from the hall crying. Grand Master Haase left one of the junior instructors in charge and went to check on the boy. He was inside the washroom, crying and attempting to clean himself up. Grand Master Haase assisted the boy in cleaning himself up. He got his wife to get a new dobok from the supplies so the boy could change.

After wiping his tears he asked how he could return to the class after what had happened. GM Haase asked what was his biggest fear? He said, "They will all laugh at me, and make fun of me." GM Haase said, "I know you are new to my school but I guarantee that will not happen." The boy asked, "How do you know that?" "I know my students, and they don't just know the tenets, they live them." He nodded and walk back with me to the gym.

As they entered the gym the junior instructor stopped the class and gave the classic welcome and bow to the master. GM Haase then turned and bowed towards the small boy. The class clapped and yelled encouragement. The junior instructor yelled the boys name add "champion of indomitable spirit".

The smile on that boy's face I still remember to this day. The light we ignited that day will last a lifetime. This boy has now gone on to become CEO of his own accounting firm. He no longer training in Taekwon-Do however the lessons live on within him and he passes on to his staff.

The junior instructor went on to become one of GM Haase's most trusted instructors and leader. What we teach our students is not just important, it is paramount. Do we teach them to become compassionate and caring about our society, or do we teach them to care about money? Over the years GM Haase has won many awards, championships, etc. He was more proud of this accomplishment than any of the plastic and medal trophies he has received. That is his legacy. That is what we stand for and strive to en-stow in others. What do you stand for? Taekwon!


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