The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master

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Choon-Ok Harmon was born soon after the Korean War, when South Korea was experiencing extreme poverty. This memoir describes the hardships she tried to overcome to achieve a better life. She moves to the U.S. and, through patience and perseverance, pursues her dream of becoming a martial artist.
ISBN: 9781589808904
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
Images: 49
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Martial arts master, wife, and mother Choon-Ok Jade Harmon leads a layered and fascinating life. She is the highest-ranking female master in the Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won with a ninth-degree black belt. Harmon grew up in a poor village in Korea. She began studying Kuk Sool Won when she was fourteen, at a time when few women studied martial arts. As she progressed in her rigorous training, she struggled against traditional Korean gender roles, which dictated that women stop practicing martial arts once they were married. Her desires to have a family and continue training led her to Barry Harmon, whom she met while he was schooling in Kuk Sool Won in Korea. The Grand Master of the dojang (formal training hall) arranged their marriage, and the Harmons moved to the United States and opened Kuk Sool Won of Clear Lake in Houston, Texas. Harmon continues to run the dojang, teach classes in Kuk Sool Won, and take care of her family. She has been interviewed by numerous publications, including Tae Kwon Do Times; her local media; and Korean newspapers. Harmon lives in Houston with her husband and two daughters.
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