Grand Master Uni
- Founder of U&I Korea Taekwondo (Hong Kong)
- Member of Kukkiwon Overseas Membership System (2021)
- Hong Kong National Poomsae Team Member (2013-2015)
- Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Graduate (Yonsei University; 2016)
- Bachelor of Business Administration Graduate (Major: Accounting & Finance; University of Hong Kong; 2012)
When did you start training in Taekwondo? And what got you started?
I started Taekwondo at the age of 10 as a hobby at my apartment complex’s clubhouse like many of my students now with Grand Master Woo Jong Pill from Korea Taekwondo Cheung Do Kwan. I only started because it was one of the classes listed on the clubhouse’s activity list and it was during summer, so I wanted to pick up something new and exciting – Taekwondo. I would say Taekwondo was my ‘love at first sight’, I knew I wanted to pursue a career related to Taekwondo when I grow up ever since the first Taekwondo class I had. And so here I am, after 22 years, with my own Taekwondo school, educating and brightening young children’s life with a little bit of enjoyable and exciting Taekwondo classes!
Describe your first black belt grading, and what it took to get you there?
I got my junior black belt at the age of 13, I still remember so vividly the grading test that I did at Aberdeen Marina Club. Everyone was given 3 chances with the board breaking, and I was so nervous I couldn’t break it in the first two tries, and I got so desperate I almost cried. And when my grand master shouted ‘Last try’, I pulled myself together, gave a loud yell and managed to break it in my 3rd and last try thankfully and passed the test. I really liked Taekwondo since the beginning but I never really did it seriously in a professional manner until after I got to the black belt. So when I first took the black belt test, to be honest, I wasn’t among the best in my class. But after that experience, I realised I have to work harder to be better so I started training twice a week, 3 times a week and eventually almost every day of the week until high school. And that’s when my first real hiccup kicked in – being raised in Hong Kong, where the academic competition is rather severe, I have had a few challenges on the way, i.e. my parents disliked me spending too much time on Taekwondo instead of my academics and disapproved of me continuing with my classes. So I showed them I could manage both by adequately allocating my limited time to both Taekwondo and my academics studies, and I ended up being accepted into one of the most prestigious universities in Hong Kong, and the result? My parents were very happy, and I was happy because I got to continue with my Taekwondo classes! So I have never really stopped training Taekwondo ever since I was 10 years old.
What would you say were the greatest qualities of Taekwondo that you’ve learnt over the years?
Some of the greatest qualities that I had learned was Respect, Discipline, Leadership and Perseverance. Taekwondo dojang was in a sense the first place where I was exposed to such clear and strong hierarchy. Whenever I was in the dojang, I was expected to not just respect the masters, but also my parents and fellow students who were of my senior ranks. And throughout my life, I have not really experienced failures, at least not big ones, but Taekwondo has taught me the idea of never giving up. In my Taekwondo endeavour, there were many times I had faced failure, e.g. failing to break the board, failing to win the competition, failing to succeed in a certain move or kick. But it’s the dedication and self-discipline in Taekwondo that has taught me that nothing is impossible as long as I try, I have learnt that if I just stay put and not do anything, success will not come my way. I have also learned the value of Leadership as I were to guide my juniors and those who were struggling during hard times to pull through and to continue on. Most importantly, Taekwondo gave me a very healthy body, when I was young, I had a weak immune system and had eczema all over my body, but Taekwondo definitely helped me grow stronger and healthier. I had two pregnancies just recently and they were both so smooth, and most amazing is I had almost no problem getting back in shape. And now I have two very healthy and adorable little babies at home. All in all, Taekwondo has undoubtedly made me a better person in every aspects throughout my life.
What would you like to see more of or less of in U&I Korea Taekwondo that could benefit members?
Taekwondo has been so delightful and pleasant for me in my life, and I hope I can bring the same joy to my students, seeing them smiling and having a good time in class is what I hope for the most. And I wish more adults would experience Taekwondo and discover the inner art of Taekwondo that is not just about fighting but the discipline and perseverance of it. Strong personality, not giving up easily, confidence.
What is your teaching philosophy as a Taekwondo master?
My philosophy is very simple, I want to use all I have to give my students the best Taekwondo experience they could ever have. I believe my cheerful personality and my small body fit have made me an approachable master and my love for children and passion for Taekwondo just makes me one of the best suited for this job. I hope I can be regarded as an influential master who’s strict when needed and kind-hearted on the other hand who tries to understand my students. To be honest, I don’t really put much emphasis on the changes in their Taekwondo skills, but rather I am the happiest when I see changes in their personality and their mentality. My goal is to make each and every student of mine a better person than he/she was on the first day of when they first walked into my classes when they leave my dojang.
Qualifications / Achievements:
- World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) 6th Dan Black Belt
- International Taekwondo Instructor (3rd Class; World Taekwondo Academy)
- Citation presented by the Korea Taekwondo Association in recognition of dedicated service and outstanding contribution to the development of Taekwondo (2020)
- Hong Kong Taekwondo Association Kyorugi Referee
- Hong Kong Taekwondo Association Poomsae Referee
- 3rd Place in Pair Poomsae at the Asian Cities Taekwondo Championship 2014
- 2nd Place in Hong Kong Poomsae Competition 2012 (Black Belt Under 30)
- 2nd Place in Sparring (Fin) at the 5th World Taekwondo Cultural Expo 2011
- 3rd Place in Sparring (Fin) at the 4th World Taekwondo Cultural Expo 2010
- 1st place in Sparring (Fin) at Joint University Taekwondo Competition Hong Kong 2010
(Nationality: REPUBLIC OF KOREA)
Grand Master Uni and Manager Steve got married in 2016 and have since started this business together and rebranded the once Cheung Do Kwan branch as U&I Korea Taekwondo in 2021. Manager Steve has a very clear and strong philosophy that he lives by until today, and that is: the first step to all successes is to have faith and trust in everyone who crosses your paths throughout the journey, and big accomplishment will follow suit. He believes a good relationship is what it takes for every triumph, so in Taekwondo, he always looks out for each students’ strengths, reassuring them of their own strengths, giving them the much needed self confidence. His ability to bring the most out of every person he meets is our most valued asset at U&I Korea Taekwondo, and this not only applies to the students he meets but also the masters we have at our school, leading U&I Taekwondo to become the best Taekwondo school in Hong Kong!
He’s a Taekwondo black belt 3rd dan holder and is a sports lover. He majored in Interior Architecture at college and thus is responsible for all the design-related jobs at U&I Taekwondo, including the interior design of our dojang. He’s also very popular among the children because of his exceptional skills in playing with them, he always keeps a close watch from afar at the reception to make sure everything is under control and that no one is causing any troubles in a third persons point of view. He will soon be taking his 4th Dan test and will start helping as an assistant master!