Mr. Yi, Ki Pok
Started Tae Kwon Do training in Seoul, Korea in 1955. Tae Kwon Do became his work and his life. He advanced through the ranks becoming one of the few international master 7th degree black belt instructors officially registered and certified by the Korean government, and the KTA, Moo Duk Kwan Association. The Moo Duk Kwan is an association within the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association. Translated literally, Moo Duk Kwan means "the institute of martial virtue."

In 1963 through 1967 Mr. Yi instructed US personnel at the Ascom US military installation. From 1968 through 1969 he served in the Korean Army at Viet Nam, training ROK (Republic of S. Korean) Armed forces Tae Kwon Do for related war affiliated duties. Upon returning to Korea, Mr. Yi instructed martial arts at the Bulkwang gym.

In March 1971, Mr. Yi was appointed as a member of the promotion committee at the Central Academy, Kuk Ki Won. Duties included: teaching of instructors and advanced students, advanced leadership, judging, referee, and the periodic revision of academic teaching of Tae Kwon Do.

In 1972, Mr. Yi became the chief instructor at H.Q. 8th US Army, United Nations Command installation and had eight instructors working under his supervision. He organized, directed, and participated in the training of all US Armed forces personnel there until 1976.

One of Mr. Yi's dreams was to move to the United States and become a citizen. He had taken English in high school and then went on to take two years of conversational English at a language school. With the help of Mike Sargent, Mr. Yi moved with his family to Flagstaff, Arizona. There he became a partner with Mr. Sargent at Self Defense Institutes. Being from a Seoul, a large city in Korea, Mr. Yi missed his culture and city life. In 1978 he decided to move to Northern California, where he knew other Koreans.

Mr. Michael Sargent
SPEC 4, Army, was stationed in Korea and started training under the instruction of Master Yi in 1971. After receiving his black belt at the Kuk Ki Won, Mr. Sargent returned to the United States to attend Classes at NAU, in Flagstaff, Arizona. Mr. Sargent began teaching Tae Kwon Do at the university. Attendance grew rapidly and he soon opened a dojang off campus. At the Self Defense Institutes, Inc., Mr. Sargent taught Tae Kwon Do and after a short time he required more room to accomodate the students. He moved to another location and soon Self defense Institiutes was the largest Tae Kwon Do school in Arizona.

In February of 1976, Mr. Sargent had arranged for Mr. Yi (and family) to move to the United States and become the Master instructor at the dojang, Self Defense Institutes. In 1983 Mr. Sargent, after having relocated in Mesa, assisted in Tae Kwon Do instruction at the Self Defense Club in Mesa, Arizona.

Mr. Michael A. Thomann
Started practicing Yoga in 1973. In April of 1976 he joined Self Defense Institutes and trained in Tae Kwon Do under the instruction of Mr. Yi and Mr. Sargent. Since martial arts training incorporates meditation, his Yoga experience proved to be beneficial to the learning process of Tae Kwon Do.

In 1978 he assisted with some of the instructons at Self Defense Institutes. When he moved to Mesa in 1978 he opened the Self Defense Club. In 1980, he formed a partnership with Dave Webb at Dave Webb's Karate Academy, Mesa, Arizona. Mr. Thomann taught Tae Kwon Do (Self Defense Club) there until 1983. Dave Webb had closed the Academy due to medical problems and the Self Defense Club moved to a new location in Mesa.

In March 1992, the Self Defense Club was renamed Mountain Tae Kwon Do School and in 1993, Mr. Thomann moved to Amherst, NY where he is instructing classes at his residence.

Mr. Adrian Arya
Started lessons in 1980 at the Self Defense Club, Mesa, Arizona.
Instructor - 1984, Self Defense Club.
Instructor - 1991, Mountain Tae Kwon Do School, Mesa, Arizona.

Mr. Ronald D. Navarro
Started lessons in 1980 at the Self Defense Club, Mesa, Arizona.
Assistant instructor - 1983, Fairbanks Alaska.
Instructor - 1991, Mountain Tae Kwon Do School, Mesa, Arizona. Chief Instructor - April, 1993 at the Northern branch of Mountain Tae Kwon Do School in Fairbanks, Alaska.

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