How Master Yi Taught Traditional Taekwondo & Won Tournaments
Westborough, Massachusetts, USA
Master Jong Hyun Yi, 39, is the headmaster of the American Tigers World Taekwondo dojang in Westborough, Massachusetts. He is a Taekwondo purist who refuses to teach cut kicks or what he describes as “fencing” tactics that have become popular on the competitive circuit. He firmly believes that old school Taekwondo training will not only help students in real life situations where they need to defend themselves but excel in competition.
18 months ago Master Yi took over a new dojang and 98% of his students were new. He formed Team Evolution as his school’s competition team for poomsae and sparring. Team Evolution trains with 20/20 Armor three times a week to kick with power and perfect their technique.
At the time of writing this publication, his teams include two All American Athletes, three team members who are ranked number#1 nationally in their divisions, with five more ranked number #2 nationally in their divisions. Overall 13 of 24 are ranked nationally. To be a part of the team every member commits to practicing 3 hours every Saturday and 4 hours every other day. Master Yi says their success has come from a lot of blood, sweat and tears and training with 20/20 Armor.
Master Yi discovered 20/20 Armor on a search to reawaken his student’s passion. Growing up he couldn’t wait to spar and his students had become hesitant to enter the ring. He was looking for something that spoke to the way these students lived in their everyday life. He knew he had found it with 20/20 Armor and its use of video game technology. However, what appealed to Master Yi about the armor was its return to old school Taekwondo values.
“With the introduction of the new scoring system, competition in Taekwondo has become a fencing match,” says Master Yi. “I don’t teach cut kicks. It teaches the wrong message because it doesn’t teach self-defense. 20/20 taught my students how to transfer power through their bodies. The kids have gotten so much stronger because of it.”
Master Yi had been training his student Michael Lewis since he was four years old. There was nothing wrong with his passion. Michael traveled an hour and a half every day to make it to class. Master Yi taught him the old style of sparring but noticed that as he grew up and became a cadet he had picked up the fencing technique. When Michael went to tournaments nothing was working for him and he’d lose.
“After we introduced the 20/20 armor he saw the difference between the old style and the fencing style. Because the armor gives more points for proper technique,” says Master Yi. “My student’s style reverted to normal. He hit number one as a red belt in the US.”
Another of Yi’s students, Sanjay Kandadi began competing eighteen months ago. He started off as a deer in the headlights. With dedicated training and the use of 20/20 Armor he climbed to number one in the United States in his weight class. He is currently one of two All American athletes on Team Evolution.
“20/20 Armor shows my students where the holes were in their skillset and allow them to visually see their improvement,” says Yi. “My students ask to use the 20/20 whenever we spar. If they have to use other equipment I can see the disappointment on their faces. When we are training for power they have to use the 20/20 Armor. It teaches them how to use their hips and position their body to move with power. Through the competitive aspect of martial arts, you can show these kids what they are really made of. But I use it with my tiny tigers as well. 20/20 helps my kids see how strong they can become. I love it.”
We want to salute every member of Team Evolution and their fantastic progress. We at 20/20 Armor believe they’re living proof that you can fight with the old style and still win. We’d also like to congratulate Master Yi. We’re proud to be a part of your fantastic school.
Benefits Outlined In this Story
By working with his students in conjunction with training with 20/20 two of his students became All American Athletes
3 are currently ranked number 1 in their divisions, 5 are ranked number 2 in their divisions, 13 of 24 are nationally ranked
Help students learn martial arts techniques for self defence they can use in the real world
Makes students move with power and embrace the old style of Taekwondo