The Woori Way

Not just another martial arts school

     Inside the dojang, (Korean for the training hall or school), the shout of “ki-yap!” rings like thunder. It is the shout of little students, wearing their white Woori Academy uniforms, practicing their kicks and punches under the watchful eye of their instructors Headmaster Kwan Pil Kim and Master Hyo Min Lee.



“Ki-yap!” another student yells, executing a front snap kick.
“Ki-yap!” yet another yells as Master Kim smiles in a way that says, “well done.”
Master Lee’s enthusiasm and smile are also infectious as she seeks to bring out the best in each and every student—children and adults alike.
“Good job,” says Master Kim as he slaps a high-five with one of his young students who is filled with a sense of accomplishment.
A lot is accomplished around Woori: Little boys and girls
grow in self-esteem. A shy child gains confidence. Children learn self-respect and respect for others.
Woori students learn how to get along well with others. To overcome their fears. The joy of hard work. The ability to set goals and to reach them. They also learn excellent skills in Taekwondo and more. So much more.
“It has given my children confidence, made them more responsible and given them a true sense of accomplishment, not just a feeling, but true pride,” said a mother of two budding students, now almost black belts and who began studying under Master Kim more than two years ago.
“Woori also has a great family atmosphere. My children have made good friends,” the mother said. “It's been gratifying and a good feeling watching them grow and develop in taekwondo.”
“They’re not just learning about kicking and blocking and breaking. But they’re learning about respect and accomplishing their goals.”
With stellar qualifications in taekwondo and hapkido, Master Kim and Master Lee are gentle, caring teachers who continue to raise and set the bar for high achievement.
Woori accepts students as young as 5, and also teaches adult classes, which meet separately from the child classes. With schools in Matteson, Ill., and Evergreen Park, Woori holds classes five days a week with adult classes taking place in the evening. (Please see schedule.) And while the martial arts is an excellent workout, and many a student seeking to lose weight as a result of their enrollment in Woori have witnessed good results, what students learn at Woori is first-rate self-defense in an art that is now recognized as an Olympic sport.
Woori Academy is affiliated with the World Taekwondo Federation, also known as Kukkiwon, which is the worldwide international governing body of taekwondo. Both Master Kim and Master Lee have certifications from Kukkiwon and bring a world of knowledge, skill and accomplishment to Woori Academy. Make no mistake. They are the real deal. And there is no better place to learn the martial arts than Woori Taekowndo and Hapkido Academy.
A routine practice at Woori is a spinning, kicking and high-flying, high-energy affair. And whether students are executing round kicks and side kicks or simply practicing their forms to perfection, what is always clear is that Woori is a fun place to learn the ancient and proven Korean martial arts.
Inasmuch as Woori is filled with smiles and a sense of fun and learning, it is clear too that when school is in, it’s serious business.
Teaching children self-discipline, respecting others as well as themselves and about the principles of the martial arts, including nonviolence and tolerance, Woori Academy promotes the development of the whole student. Not only does Master Kim and Master Lee and all Woori instructors teach and embrace these principles, they live by them.
As another practice concludes, students gather in a circle after having exchanged handshakes with their fellow students and instructors.
“Who is the best?” Master Kim asks.
The students all yell in unison, “We are, sir.”
“Class dismissed,” a smiling Kim says, giving the thumbs-up.
“Thank you, sir,” the students say, smiling.
It is the Woori way.