Two martial-arts teachers honored

POULSBO — Several years ago, when John Townsend and Victor Solier were learning taekwondo under a Korean grand master named Hak Tok Yun, they learned that Yun was a two-time national champion in Korea, so they knew he possessed skill; they learned Yun had been Gerald Ford’s personal bodyguard when the then-president had visited the country, so they knew he possessed toughness; and they learned how Yun could slam his forearm into a barbell 1,500 times when one strike would injure a normal man, so they knew he possessed strength.

POULSBO — Several years ago, when John Townsend and Victor Solier were learning taekwondo under a Korean grand master named Hak Tok Yun, they learned that Yun was a two-time national champion in Korea, so they knew he possessed skill; they learned Yun had been Gerald Ford’s personal bodyguard when the then-president had visited the country, so they knew he possessed toughness; and they learned how Yun could slam his forearm into a barbell 1,500 times when one strike would injure a normal man, so they knew he possessed strength.

But recently, Townsend and Solier ran into their old master at a tournament at Shoreline Community College, and they learned that he had one more trick up his sleeve: surprise.

Yun named Townsend and Solier, who both teach taekwondo in Poulsbo, as his successors, among six other former pupils.

Townsend for one didn’t know he had been picked; he was just told to line up for a ceremony.

When Yun named Solier as one successor, Townsend was pleased; when Yun uttered his name, and soon gave him a sword symbolizing the name, he was surprised.

“I never knew he thought of me in that way,” said Townsend. “I was shocked and surprised.”

The succession means that Solier and Townsend are authorized by Yun — who is one of the handful of 10th-degree black belts in the world — to pass on the tradition of Budo, which is the philosophy behind the martial arts.

Townsend said it is that philosophy that attracted him to Yun’s teaching in the first place.

“Master Yun’s thing is that respect is what it’s all about,” Townsend said. “If you respect your family you have peace in your house; if you respect your neighbor, you have peace in your neighborhood … martial arts is about peace, not war.”

Townsend is the Headmaster of Tao-Zen Academy of Martial Arts on Pioneer Way. Solier is the Senior Instructor at Solier’s Taekwondo, which is on Viking Way.

Both schools teach martial arts to both younger and adults students.

More in Sports

NK's Angel Chavez (8), a junior forward, and Jackson Reeves (12) rush back to defend to keep Clover Park from scoring a breakaway goal. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK wins in soccer, softball

North Kitsap is still alive in the District 2/3 2A boys soccer… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

The free fishing derby put on by the Lions Club is Saturday in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Free fishing derby Saturday in Poulsbo

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club is hosting a “Hooked on Fish Derby”… Continue reading

Colton Bower of NK dives safely back to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. Zach Duffy of BHS applies the tag. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald
NK falls to league-leading Bainbridge

You can bet the North Kitsap Viking outfielders are going to be… Continue reading

.
NK baseball team keeps winning

North Kitsap The Vikings beat Columbia River in baseball 10-7 and Ridegefield… Continue reading

Kingston goalie Carter Krantz jumps up to make a save under crowded conditions against Olympic. Krantz and the Bucs shut out the visitors 1-0. Krantz’s booming kicks also were a powerful offensive weapon for the Bucs, keeping Olympic on the defensive side of the field. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston’s defense blanks Olympic in soccer

Kingston has a strong defense, and it needed every bit of it… Continue reading

Kaden Schaefer of Kingston signs a letter of intent to play college soccer, while brother Zander, 5, looks on with admiration. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Buc scores college soccer scholarship

Once Kaden Schaefer got to high school, he started to think maybe… Continue reading

Ian ‘J.R.’ Ritche
Outdoor prep sports spring into action

The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in… Continue reading

Owen Scheer tees off for Bainbridge in a match at Kingston. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review Photos
BI, Kingston split golf matches

Bainbridge In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Viet Tran of Kingston follows through on his second shot after missing the numerous sand trips off the tee on Hole 1 at White Horse Golf Club. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston splits golf matches against Bainbridge

Kingston In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Junior captain Elise Walters was the medalist for Bainbridge in the match against Sequim. Lucy Rector/Courtesy Photos
Defending champs start year with win over Sequim

The Olympic League defending champion Spartans started off the season last week… Continue reading

Cade Orness had 7 assists in the game for third place.
NK boys place 3rd at state

Now that’s more like the Vikings North Kitsap fans know and love.… Continue reading