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Applying Tae Kwon Do in other schools

getDynamicImage.aspx?b=00ffffff&w=290&h=290&path=08-P08-MAIN.JPG&width=180In the six years I’ve trained here at Mercer Island Martial Arts, going from my last year of elementary school, through middle school, and into greater half of high school, I have always found that the skills taught in the dojang are those needed to succeed academically. One of the changes in perspective I’ve found most useful is focusing on learning new ideas and techniques instead of worrying about how they will be tested. On the floor at class we devote time to drilling the forms and kicks, p

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To:  Grandmaster Strongheart and Master Wells

Fr:  Tia Mikols

Re: Letter of Recommendation for Susanne Blaberg




It’s really exciting for me to write this letter for Susanne, though I am not the friend who has known her for her whole life.  Mostly, I claim her as a friend who shares her enthusiasm for martial arts and good food which is practically the same as being lifelong friends.


I first met she and her family when we rente

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3820651780?profile=originalWhen I first started studying at Mercer Island Martial Arts, I really didn’t expect to like it and only took a class because my son wanted me to take the family class with him. But when I discovered how much fun it was, I got very ‘serious’ about it. Like many beginners, I was really focused on ‘power’ and trying to kick higher than my opponents shin. (Because also like most beginners, I had the flexibility of a baseball bat) I was trying to go as fast as I could, which in the beginning was a ch

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3820651418?profile=originalSomething which has helped with my technique and development as a Martial Artist, and especially with my ability to learn new techniques is the concept of 'going slowing'. I do not know where I heard the phrase originally, but it seems to apply all the time in Taekwondo; “Sometimes you have to go slow, to go fast”. I have taken it to mean that being sure you learn each step, to understand each process, is the key to really mastering something. That path will often mean going very slow initially,

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routine-spirals.jpegPrior to starting Taekwondo, all forms of exercise had a finite life expediency for me. At the point when I started feeling comfortable or hit some basic level of competency, I would get bored and quickly lose interest. When that happen, I would quickly stop whatever the activity was. What I have found with Taekwondo is a never-ending stream of new challenges, I am always slightly off balance. This has kept me interested and motivated beyond anything else I have tried in the past. This consisten

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3820651199?profile=originalSomething I have learned since becoming a black belt is how important it is to listen to how your body feels. As one of the ‘older’ students on the mat most nights, I am continually faced with limitations that come from getting old. I have the added challenge of having messed up my knee twice. (torn ACL once, torn meniscus twice) So it has become very important to listen to what my body is telling me, even if that means limiting what I can do.

Something that I have learned is that with limitation

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Learning-Teaching.jpegWhere I could have done better, and how I changed because of it?

    The first few weeks I assisted with teaching the children’s classes, I struggled to lead any group without constant help. Anything more complex than running forms would rapidly deteriorate. In hindsight, the reason for this was a lack of patience- instead of waiting to for people to quiet down and get their attention, I would try to immediately start in with the exercise. Rushing into instructions was counterproductive, leaving

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My Living Heroes

3820651580?profile=originalMy Living Heroes

1. Chef Marcus Samuelsson (Kassahun Tsegie) was born 1971 in Ethiopia. Due to the Ethiopian civil war in 1974, Marcus and his sister were adopted by Ann Marie and Lennart Samuelsson from Gothenburg, Sweden. His maternal grandmother in Sweden opened up Marcus’ interest in cooking. He studied at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg and he apprenticed in three restaurants, one in Switzerland, one in Austria before he apprentice at Restaurant Aquavit. At 24 Marcus became the executiv

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My Living Heroes

3820651074?profile=originalJackie Chan is one of my living heroes because of how dedicated to martial arts he is. The fact that he performs his own stunts and knows so many martial arts is amazing to me. My goal in the future is to at least have studied multiple martial arts, and maybe even master them. Jackie Chan knows so many martial arts and I hope to some day know multiple martial arts as well.

William E. Fairbairn was a detective from England living in Shanghai during the interwar period. He developed hand-to-hand fi

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Example of Letter of Intent for 2nd DAN

black_belt.jpgAfter I submitted my letter of intent to the masters for my upcoming 2nd DAN test, they asked me to post it as an example for others. I believe the letter needs to be tailored for each personal individual journey, but I hope the format is useful for others.



April 30, 2017

Mercer Island Martial Arts
Grand Master Strongheart
Master Krista Wells

Grand Master,

I would like to officially declaring my intent to progress in my training to second DAN, with the rank of Kyo Sa Nim.

I have inc

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12 hours of an outside project

Leadership_Service_in_Action.pngWhat I did was work for half of a day at my dad’s office and the other half of the day was volunteering. My dad works at an IRB, if you don’t know what that is it’s essentially the legal side of a clinical study. When someone decides to participate in a clinical study, an IRB makes sure that that person knows all of his or her rights and makes sure the clinical study is as safe as it can be for that person and making sure the study is not a fraud. What I did in there was a multitude of things, b

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National Human Trafficking Day


As Modern Martial Artists, community warriors, this issue as much as any issue is related to our practice.  We teach that our community, or village, is our responsibility to take leadership, and action to protect, and grow.  And, that village must include the most vulnerable, and victimized.   At the very least we can become aware, and educated.  So many people have the belief that this kind of slavery is taking place only in places far away, and certainly not in our cities.  It is unfortunate

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Solis Garavito—Black Belt Requirements

My Five Living Heroes 

  1. My mom because she always helps me by encouraging me to be my very best.
  2. My dad because he always helps me when I’m stuck on something he helps me become a better person.
  3. Luna because she keeps me on track and helps me when I need help. She also makes me laugh (sometimes).
  4. Mrs. Millison because she helps me in math every time I’m stuck on a problem in math.
  5. Everyone at martial arts because they help me every day of becoming a better martial artist.

What are goals upon having re

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I try and eat organic as often as possible, and I love fruits and vegetables; however eating organic is can be more expensive.  So, when is it okay to by non-organic fruits and vegetables? 

The Environmental Working Group has a list of fruits and vegetables that are okay to eat non-organic and others that you should always buy organic.   Sometimes referred to as the "Clean Fifteen", these are the ones eating non-organic is fine.   The so called, "Dirty Dozen" are recommended to always eat organi

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my 5 living heroes

jackie-chan-12-480w.jpg5 of my living heroes 

  • Jackie Chan is a chinese comedy action actor/stuntman, and is considered one of the main Chinese actors to break into America's film industry
  • Ms. Bordelon was my 4th grade teacher, and she actually made Language arts and social studies, which I didn't like, really fun
  • Ms. Fontana was my 6th grade math teacher, and she was the first teacher I had that I felt like really was interested in math, and made me interested in math 
  • My cello teacher is reallly, really into cello, and m
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My 5 living heroes

3820648762?profile=originalThese are my 5 living heroes. All of them somehow inspired me.


•My dad got me interested in several things, such as computer science and stories.

•My brother Miles got me interested in Minecraft and music.

•John Feng, a parents’ friend/physics professor, got me interested in quantum physics.

•My friend’s dad, Eric Wilfrid expanded my interest in computer science.

•My uncle John got me interested in airplane mechanics expanded my interest in math.


For some of these, I didn’t even know they would inte

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Gratitude Challenge

I have so many people in my life to be thankful for and I really should make a point to thank those that are so wonderful to me.  It is so difficult to choose one, but this individual popped into my mind because they are kind, loyal and someone who is definitely inspiring to me.  This person has helped me when I didn't know that I needed help.  She is not only a friend but also someone I admire.  I think I could, well actually I know that I could go on for days about how great you are, so with t

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My Heroes

 Five of My Living Heroes 

(Not in a specific order) 

     1. P.K. Subban     

          P.K. Subban is a black professional ice hockey player for the Montreal Canadiens. P.K. is one of my heroes because he's an extremely talented hockey player and a role model for people everywhere. P.K. Subban won the Norris Trophy in 2013 as best defensemen in the NHL. Recently Subban donated ten million dollars to a children's hospital in Canada. Subban volunteers with youth hockey players routinely and has a g

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Gratitude Challenge

November is all about giving thanks.  Thanks at Thanksgiving, thanks to our Veteran's, thanks to our families and friends. Every year we ask you to think about what it is that you are thankful for.  We will be doing this at our Veteran's Day Camp on November 11, but you don't have to be at the camp to participate and we encourage adults to participate as well:

Mercer Island Martial Arts utilizes the latest research in areas such as positive psychology and exercise physiology to create a martial

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