My personal journey has made me appreciate the tremendous value that training in martial arts, specifically Songahm Taekwondo can bring to someone. At age 48 I was a broke and bankrupt musician after having traveled western Canada and the United States for over twenty-five years. There had been moments of success, but not enough to make a living. I was a married father of three, facing a rather uncertain and bleak future. It was at this time that I was introduced to Songahm Taekwondo. The physical and mental training aspects of this art enabled me to transform not only my life but also the life of my family.
I first began my tae kwon do/martial arts journey in September 1996. I had declared bankruptcy in Feb of that year and had no idea how I was going to pay for my training, but the situation taught me great lesson: when we appreciate the value and benefit of something, we find a way.
Saeng hwal moo do is Korean for “lifestyle martial arts,” which perfectly describes Songahm Tae kwondo. For my family, that’s what it has become: a lifestyle. Through the physical training I gained the mental discipline to overcome the obstacles and challenges that one naturally meets moving through the ranks. Respect, Loyalty, Self-Control, and Discipline, these qualities of character are highly valued in martial arts, and I embrace them as a guiding force in my life.
My training not only gave me confidence in my ability to defend myself against a physical opponent but also against the myriad mental opponents one encounters in everyday life. That’s another powerful lesson, one I had a strong desire to share with others, young and old alike. Upon receiving my first-degree black belt at age 51, I entered into the Leadership Program with a goal to becoming a certified instructor. I had found my life’s work.
Part of my instructor training was the very simple task of writing down some goals. I’d never done that before, but one of the goals I wrote was to open my own school. Within a year I opened my club in the White Rock/South Surrey area with seven students.
Two years later I was opened a commercial location with 25 students. Now, in my eighteenth year, we have a student body of over 200 that includes many families. Seeing my written goals become reality has been amazing. There’s another important lesson: define your goals then work towards them!
No one achieves their black belt, or anything else in life alone. Instructors, friends, family, fellow students, all contribute to the success of the journey. The encouragement and support of loved ones fosters success and achievement. This is the environment you will find in Seung-ri Academy.
Without the support of my family, the trust and support of our students and our parent group, what we have today could not have been accomplished. I am profoundly grateful.
Master Lorne Davidson
Seung-ri WTTU Black Belt Academy