Instructors of Martial Arts and Tae Kwon Do in Champaign, IL
Master Namsoo Hyong
Master Namsoo Hyong began studying Tae Kwon Do at the age of nine, when his elder brother, Nam Kwon Hyong, introduced him to their traditional family education. He continued this training until the age of 14, when Nam Kwon left Korea to study Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At this time Namsoo joined his high school Tae Kwon Do team, and soon after joined a local Academy, both of which focused primarily of Tae Kwon Do as a competative sport. Namsoo continued this training for 10 years, rising through the ranks of Korean national competitors.
In 1980, Namsoo joined his brother in the United States and took over the Academy Nam Kwon had established in Champaign, IL, as well as the Illini Tae Kwon Do club at the University of Illinios. From 1980-1984, both masters continued to participate in Tae Kwon Do competition through the Amateur Athletic Union.
In 1984 Master Hyong began to change his philosophy and teaching style toward Tae Kwon Do, transforming his practice from a competitive orientation into one of emphasizing individual self-improvement. He realized that competition was an inadequate means of achieving the ends of Martial Arts practice: physical, psychological and philisophical development. For a thorough discussion of this issue, see Master Hyong's article published in the April 1994 issue of Tae Kwon Do Times.
In 1990, Master Hyong established "Moo Do Tae Kwon Do", which translates as the "art" of Tae Kwon Do, as opposed to "sport." In 1993, Master Hyong was the first to write about and publicize Tae Kwon Do in this way, presenting a paper entitled "Tae Kwon Do at a Crossroads: Some Thoughts About its Future" at a conference held by Michigan State University entitled "Transfromation in the Korean Peninsula Toward the 21st Century: Peace, Unity, and Progress." Master Hyong is continuing to develop this new and uncharted territory in Martial Arts practice.
Andrew Hutchinson has taught at HMD Academy in Mahomet for five years and is 4th degree black belt of Tae Kwon Do. His goal is to use the illustration and practice of Tae Kwon Do to help students accept and overcome personal limitations in a nonjudgmental way. He follows a communicative model of teaching. Training includes repetition of technique, discussion, and creativity. He strives to understand student goals and fit them into the Tae Kwon Do system. Tae Kwon Do emphasizes self-strengthening and following rules to accomplish goals through a tradition of kicking and striking movements. Class follows a belt system where the objectives are clearly defined and recognition of progress (belt promotion) is done at the students' own pace rather than following a one-size-fits-all timeline. Classes are highly interactive. Students work together often: teaching, learning, and sparring.
HMD Academy in Mahomet serves people's motivations. Older adults maintain their conditioning, learn self-defense, and balance. The oldest student is 64 years old, but younger adults also come to train. Teenagers practice with their friends and happily share their skills, as well as teach younger children. Younger children practice on their own and with their parents. Andrew Hutchinson has been concerned, as a school teacher of high school students and special education, that children learn the right lessons in Tae Kwon Do to help them navigate the challenges of growth.
At HMD Academy in Mahomet, a positive attitude is everything. Andrew Hutchinson hopes to help you get what you want out of martial arts. Classes are in the afternoon, evening, and some mornings at 407 East Main Street in Mahomet.
Scott Williams is head instructor of Hapkido at the Savoy dojang (Wednesday nights, 7:30pm-9:00pm).
He was head instructor of NYC Hapkido for 2 1/2 years in Manhattan, NYC. He was also a member and instructor at the University of Iowa Hapkido club for 16 years under Master Brian Hayes and Grandmaster Yong Chin Pak. [
He is also currently a member of the Bloomington/Normal Kendo club.
Scott really enjoy the moments when other people discover how simple, easy, and effective Hapkido techniques can be and how it builds confidence.
Kelly Ryan is an instructor at the Savoy Academy as well as an instructor at the Illini Academy at the University of Illinois.
He is currently a student at the University of Illinois, studying Animal Sciences.
Megan has been the Head Instructor at HMD Academy in Monticello for 1.5 years. She enjoys the challenge and satisfaction of partnering with students and families to help them experience martial arts success. As a mother of two HMD Academy students, she has seen firsthand how this success breeds success in other areas. She loves being a part of this experience.
Faisal Whelpley started with HMD Academy as a college undergraduate in an intense, high energy setting that also emphasized self development. He has been teaching Taekwondo since 2003 and is also a certified instructor of Taekgyeon. He holds a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and 2nd degree black belt in Taekgyeon.
The HMD system creates a healthy balance between high-intensity workouts and attention to detail. He practices a similar balance in life as he teaches Taekwondo in addition to maintaining a full-time career in software development. The classes taught by Mr Whelpley go through cycles of individuals practicing at their own pace and collaborative training. This is done in a positive and encouraging environment under the instructor's supervision. He is a firm believer in self discipline and constantly challenges students to challenge themselves by setting higher goals.
Chelsea Guder has been involved in taekwondo for about 18 years, and has been an instructor for about 8 years.
She started taking classes with her father as a young girl. This was not only a great way to bond with her dad, but also helped improve her level of self-confidence and self-worth (values many young women struggle with in the teen years), as well as helped develop her self-discipline and patience.
The physical skills she learned learned were also important for her when she moved onto college, where she felt she had some practical applications for self-defense and personal safety. When she was a sophomore, Ms. Guder began the Instructor Training Program, and become the Head Instructor of the Illini Taekwondo Club when she became a junior. Soon after that, she felt it was important to help the other women at her college learn to defend themselves if needed, so she began teaching self-defense classes at the University of Illinois in addition to instructing classes.
She now works at Carle Hospital as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, helping patient eats better so they can heal faster and get home with their families sooner.
The most important lesson Ms. Guder has learned from her practice of takewondo as an art form is the concept of never-ending self-improvement, which she applies to her work life at the hospital, to her personal goals and to her relationships with friends and loved ones.
She currently teaches at the Savoy HMD Academy location on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-7:30pm.
Dan Stamm started Tae Kwon Do a year and a half after signing his son up for classes. He has been a parent of a student, a student, an assistant and now as the Saint Joseph Instructor. He has attained the rank of third degree black belt. He enjoys working with his students to attain their goals in Tae Kwon Do.
Don is Head Instructor at HMD Academy in Monticello. He has a strong appreciation for the physical fitness benefits of Tae Kwon Do. Additionally, he sees the connection between advancement in Tae Kwon Do and success in other areas of life, including school and work.
Don seeks to provide older students with a challenging setting in which to engage in self improvement, while nurturing goal setting, self-discipline, and self-confidence in younger students. Classes are fun, but focused. Students learn to work independently, as well as to share their knowledge with fellow students under the instructor's supervision.
In addition to martial arts skills and physical conditioning, students learn respect for self and others, self-control, patience, perseverance, and responsibility.
Valeria Estrada started Taekwondo at the age of six when she lived in Colombia. Upon moving to the United States when she was eight, she was eager to continue with the sport and the art. She joined H.M.D Academy where her hard work and skill brought out her natural leadership abilities. By the age of nine Valeria stood out as a leader in the dojang and entered the assistantship program and the leadership skills she learned during these few years lead to her being the youngest student in the instructor program at twelve years old. In 2016, she graduated as a full instructor. She quickly became the head instructor for Monday-Wednesday classes at the main academy in Savoy, IL and she became a third-degree black belt in 2017.
Valeria Estrada seeks to help students boost their self-confidence, learn discipline, and gain new Taekwondo skills in a comfortable and supportive learning environment.
She looks to help students individually improve themselves, and help to make themselves better every day. No matter where she has been, Taekwondo and teaching Taekwondo has always been her passion.