In February 2006, I was visiting a new dentist next door to Sangrock TKD School. Though I had not practiced TKD for 20 years, I felt a powerful force drawing me into the school where Grandmaster Singh was standing behind the counter. Grandmaster Singh did not see a senior citizen standing before him. Instead, he treated me like a budding martial artist and welcomed me into his TKD family. Strangely, as it turns out, he had worked with Grandmaster H. K. Lee, with whom I earned my First Dan Black Belt. What are the odds?
I tested for my 2nd Dan Black Belt. Then a month before I tested for my Third Dan, my orthopedic physician told me I was too old to do TKD. I went from the doctor appointment directly to the Sangrock Tae Kwon-Do School. I told Grandmaster Singh and he just shook his head and smiled. He told me that he had faith in my abilities. He said I only have to compete with myself. And I didn’t have to do anything that I felt was physically harmful. After my test, I sent my doctor a photo of me with my 3rd Dan Black Belt. I visited him several months later and that photo was on his bulletin board.
In between testing for my 3rd Dan and my 4th Dan I earned my certification through UNC-Charlotte to teach a 9-hour Women’s Self-Defense Class. In addition to many other attributes, people who study TKD learn to defend themselves. But I am also passionate about helping women, including young teens, for whom TKD is not an option. Turns out, that is also a passion of Monica Singh. In 2013 I earned my certification to teach an 8-hour Kids’ Safety Class. Mrs. Singh set up a program within Sangrock to offer both classes. Since then, Sangrock has trained over 300 women and teens in WSD and over 150 kids in self-defense. Following the Sandy Hook massacre, Sangrock sponsored free self- defense classes for school teachers in the area.
Of course I always have a lot of help from the Sangrock TKD instructors and Black Belts in the schools. They don’t get paid for helping with Women’s or Kid’s self-defense classes. They do it because they know Sangrock’s TKD program has given them special skills and they believe it is their responsibility to help others. They feel the same passion that I do. For instance, one of our Black Belts came to help with a class on his 18thbirthday. I asked Andrew why he wasn’t out celebrating. Andrew said “I can celebrate tomorrow, or the next day or next week, but today I am needed here.” Sangrock TKD has instilled in them that passion.
So here I am, a 68-year-old grandmother. I can’t imagine any venture or adventure besides TKD that could give me such an enormous physical, mental, and spiritual return. Many thanks to my TKD family. And many thanks to Grandmaster Singh and Mrs. Singh for all you do for our community and for our country.
I am not sure the other TKD schools in BBW do all that you two do for the safety of the community. Please, Please, Please, don’t ever forget how much I honor you two and thank you for caring so much about the community and those who do not have TKD as an option.
I love and honor you both,