Master Surage has been practicing Tae Kwon Do since 1988 and has been instructing at Yong Studios since the day it opened. He has been a student of Master Kim’s since he was seven years old, and is greatly influenced by his traditional teaching style. Master Surage also runs periodic workshops for advanced students and offers private training.
Q: What inspired you to start studying martial arts?
When I was younger, I lived in a pretty rough neighborhood and my mother wanted to get me involved in something positive. My best friend at the time was taking Tae Kwon Do lessons up the street so I went in for an introductory class and I never looked back. Just recently my friend moved from the area but I’ve stuck with Tae Kwon Do ever since.
Q: How has the study of martial arts changed your life?
The study of Tae Kwon Do has changed my life in many ways, the most significant being the lesson of perseverance. During my study of Tae Kwon Do certain things didn’t come as easily as others did. I had to understand that hard work was the only way certain goals would be accomplished and if I kept at it, I would eventually succeed.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching martial arts?
The success of my students is the aspect of teaching Tae Kwon Do that I enjoy the most. I remember how it felt to be a student and how trying some parts of Tae Kwon Do were. But now, I see how much effort the instructors put in as well and I view it as a victory for all parties involved when a student of mine masters a particularly difficult lesson of Tae Kwon Do.
Q: What keeps you here?
This is my home away from home. When I come to the studio I get to do what I love all day. Besides that, I feel I have so much invested in this school. I, as well as the other instructors, have worked so hard to make this school what it is that I can’t imagine training and teaching elsewhere.