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

Jonas La Tour of North Kitsap was the league MVP last spring. File Photo
Winter prep sports previews

North Kitsap boys basketball; Kingston wrestling

With the strong winds, Viking quarterback Colton Bower (2) was more effective running the ball in the first half. Here Quinn Knivila- Ruchie (52) and Jesus Mares (53) block for him. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photographs
Wind, rain, Lions knock NK out of playoffs

It’s hard enough to beat the second-ranked team in the state playoffs… Continue reading

Viking quarterback Colton Bower was named MVP, again, of the Olympic League. File Photo
Bower MVP, again; 11 others also honored

Gee, wonder who the Most Valuable Player is in the Olympic League… Continue reading

Logan Sloman catches a touchdown pass. Nancy Treder/File Photos
NK gridders advance to 2A state semifinals

North Kitsap High School is on its way to the state Class… Continue reading

Maddie Pryde is one of the standouts on the Viking team. File Photo
Anacortes knocks N. Kitsap girls out at state

North Kitsap’s girls volleyball team stunned Washington in three sets Friday in… Continue reading

Colton Bower. File Photo
N. Kitsap hosts state playoff game Saturday

14th seeded Shadle Park will face No. 3 seed Vikings

The North Kitsap boys basketball team celebrates after pulling off an improbable comeback in the semifinals in the 2A state tournament against Lynden. (File photo)
Krulish: A look back at my 4 years in Kitsap

After a little over four years covering high school sports, and occasionally… Continue reading

Colton Bower’s 299-yard, six touchdown performance on Friday night helped him break the North Kitsap record for passing yards in a season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower sets NK passing record in win over Kingston

Colton Bower is one of the last players you’ll ever hear talking… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde tips a shot past two Bainbridge defenders. The Vikings defeated the Spartans on Tuesday night to split their season series and share the top spot in the Olympic League. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK beats BHS to share top spot in Olympic League

The North Kitsap volleyball team never forgot about its first loss of… Continue reading

Review file photo 
The Bainbridge HS girls cross country team, shown here taking off during a league meet at Battle Point Park, took home the Olympic League championship last week.
Spartan girls XC win Olympic League title

The Spartans girls cross country team cooked up the same recipe for… Continue reading

Olympic’s Joshua Gauyan evades the defense of Port Angeles’ Jeremiah Hall on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Prep Football: Week 8 roundup

Sequim 33, Kingston 20 The Bucs opened the game with a successful… Continue reading

Central Kitsap running back Kouper Hall went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season against North Thurston on Friday night. He had 304 yards and four touchdowns in the 61-7 win. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Central Kitsap’s big win over North Thurston helps push for playoffs

The Central Kitsap High football team had a whole lot of time… Continue reading