It is hard to believe and difficult to accept the passing of a fellow Koryo Family Taekwondo Center black belt and friend–Kenneth S. Yi.
Who is Kenneth S. Yi?
To the instructors of Koryo Family Taekwondo Center he is a caring family dentist, a sincere family friend, and the embodiment of a true black belt and martial artist.
As one of Dr. Yi’s patients, I know he takes time to meet you at his clinic’s waiting area, and once on a dental chair he’ll take time to check how things are with you and your family–showing genuine concern for everyone’s well-being.
Kenneth S. Yi is a very giving family friend. Two years ago, after learning of my grandson’s first Christmas play, which was scheduled during the Taekwondo classes, he offered to cover the classes for me. This allowed me to enjoy a one time only event which I would have otherwise missed. Ken is a successful dentist and business owner. Whenever he got a chance, he dropped words of wisdom to my kids, who are young adults, one of which has dreams of becoming a dentist as well. Ken also openly shared with us some of his common sense business growth knowledge to help our own business. In September 2013, when my father passed away, Ken was again there, willing to offer help to cover classes on days he was free; we never took him on that offer, but instead closed the school for the duration. Nevertheless, this shows how much of a true friend Ken can be.
Ken embodies the characteristics of a true black belt and martial artist as he clearly abides by the six tenets of Tae Kwon Do–courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, and victory. Although he is already a successful dentist and business owner, he treats everyone with respect and is very humble. His word is his bond; when he says something, he does it. He once said that if we ever needed help in covering a class to let him know; he’ll do what he can to help. He has already proved that he keeps his word. As a father of two kids, I’ve seen Ken take full responsibility of his children’s welfare as he and his father take time to bring the kids to classes periodically. I would say that Ken isn’t a natural athlete, but his strong perseverance and determination carried him through the challenges he faced as he worked his way to black belt. In my time being Ken’s instructor, I’ve never seen him lose his cool. He is able to keep it together regardless of underlying pressure. Our curriculum is comprehensive; it is both physically and mentally challenging; regardless, Ken set his goal for achieving the rank of 1st dan black belt, and did it. When he trains in class, he gives it his best to the point that his uniform is soaking wet from sweat. Because of his indomitable spirit, he is able to keep up and outpace some of the younger students. Ken’s attitude about training radiates positive mental attitude; this helped him deal with the challenges as he journeyed his way up to black belt. Ken is a first rate black belt; I see him on equal standing with any martial artists out there, regardless of their rank.
Kenneth S. Yi will be missed by the Koryo Family Taekwondo Center family, as well as the Forlanda family. His passing is a great loss for everyone, but we will never forget him as his spirit lives on within all of us.