Local martial arts studio empowers students

From left: The Lee Family, instructor Chaeryeong, Grand Master Changmin, and Master Yoochan

MORRIS – It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.

That’s one of the many lessons Mason McNabb, has learned from his time as a student of Lee Family Martial Arts at 1204 Division St. in Morris, which will celebrate its 10 year anniversary in September.

“What we learn definitely carries over to everything like school, work, everything. It’s a good start for discipline and teaching kids to work hard,” McNabb said.

That reverence for respect, responsibility and discipline are meant to blend into every aspect of a students life. Owner Grand Master Changmin Lee knows how to encourage his students, even if the students are unwilling to learn. He understands and knows how to work with them,

“Respect is the first value our students learn. They bow as they greet adults and instructors, refer to them as ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ and bow as they enter the mat,” Lee said.

Michael Bolis flips in the air as part of a performance with Lee Family Martial Arts

Lee teaches a range of ages from 2 to 63, he believes martial arts is a way of life and should be shared with those who wish to experience it. Lee said anyone can do martial arts and his main goal is to instill confidence within his students.

“The number one lesson is respect and my number one is to give them confidence. Sometimes people think, ‘Can I do this?’ They may have a hurt knee, a hurt back – so we teach them they can do it and they are able to gain confidence. Anyone can do it,” Lee said.

He offers a variety of teachings from Taekwondo, gymnastics weapons, form spotting and even women’s self defense classes.

Aside from teaching classes, Lee sends his students to multiple completions another way to give them confidence and give his students unique opportunities.

Lee Family Martial Arts Demo Team

The dojang has found success in a few recent competitions, with Master Yoochan Lee, and his student, Michael Bols, went to an international competition in Dallas last March, with both coming home with gold medals.

Their success has lead them to become the opening act this Saturday, Aug. 6, at Oswego East High School for the World Taekwondo Demonstration team performance that won the golden buzzer on “America’s Got Talent.” Tickets are available for $20 at Lee Martial Arts.

“This is a big performance and they have been practicing for about three months. For this particular performance, they have a 10 minute act that they are opening with. They do all kinds of acrobatics and gymnastics for it,” parent Katie Bols said.

To learn more about Lee Family Martial Arts join them for an open house from from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, to celebrate its anniversary.