A Hwarang’s Journey - Master David Kijek
Preface by Grandmaster Taejoon Lee:
As mentioned in the last article, we will be featuring some of our most loyal Hwarang Warriors of the Modern Age, chronicling their journey to Hwa Rang Do® as a common man to becoming and transforming into a “Flowering Knight,” in the service of humankind Master David Kijek, 5th Dan Black Sash in Hwa Rang Do® and a Board Member for the World Hwa Rang Do® Association (Non-profit Humanitarian Organization) began training in the martial arts while in high school over 41 years ago. In this article he explains his journey from growing up in a small rural town in the middle of Wisconsin to serving as a leader in the World Hwa Rang Do® Association. In addition to his martial art responsibilities, Master Kijek serves as the President and CEO WEA Member Benefits, which is a company that provides insurance and financial services to educators. Millions of people participate in martial arts around the globe, but how many will still be training 40 years from now? Why is it that so many start but so few continue their training for their lifetime? I believe the typical person begins martial arts because they (or in the case of a child, their parents) are in search of self-defense skills, fitness, or discipline. Others begin because they think it would be cool to be able to move like the actors they see in the movies. Regardless of the reason why a person begins, it is unlikely that same reason will be why someone continues their training throughout their lifetime. In this article, Master Kijek explains how he got involved in martial arts, the lessons he learned, and the reasons he continues to train in Hwa Rang Do.