Finding Purpose and Passion
Giwon Lee was born on December 29, 1975, in the province of Chalabuto, Ko Chang, South Korea. He is the eldest of 4 children. In Asian culture, parents expect a lot from the first born male child. As a child, he was short in stature. His parents have high expectations from him to be strong in both mind and body. However, life as a boy was typical growing up.
Then, one day, when he was 11 years old, he was bullied by another boy who took martial arts. Not knowing what to do, he did not fight back. Soon after that incident, he joined a TaeKwonDo class as means for self defense.
He impressed upon himself that he will learn TaeKwonDo and its philosophy with respect and dignity, unlike the boy who used it irresponsibly. His parents allowed him to take TaeKwonDo classes, but stressed that education is of the utmost importance. He excelled with his TKD skills and eventually competed.
However, he had to stop TKD because his education was a priority during his high school and college years. In college, he graduated with a certification of Industrial Management. At that same time, he served with the Korean Army Service. After graduation, he found general work with little set of directions in his life.
He had an opportunity to go back to martial arts. He went with his sister, Hye (Hay), who majored in Judo at Young In University. He was inspired and motivated to train TKD, again.
From there, he found purpose and passion in his life. It was to learn and share his knowledge and skills of Martial Arts - the art of Taekwondo. His teachers and professors quickly noticed his eagerness to learn and his strong work ethic. In 2001, he became Young In Taekwondo instructor and received the Certification of Taekwondo Instructor by the Minister of Culture of Athletics Korean Government.
That same year, he flew to West Virginia for an internship program opportunity to teach Taekwondo in the United States. By 2002, he accepted a position as Club Master Instructor for a franchise health fitness center in Houston, Texas. Soon after, he became Head Master Instructor in 2004, then to become the Area Master Instructor between 2007-2012 for the state of Wisconsin. Master Lee's qualifications were impressive.
- 6th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo
- 5th Degree Black Belt Hapkido
- 1st Degree Black Belt Judo
- Taekwondo Referree Certification 3rd Class of Korean Taekwondo Association
- Certification of Sports Massage Mater - The Korean Sports Massage Association
Due to a company takeover in 2012, the schools in which Master Lee was responsible, closed, along with his position as Area Master.
Thus the birth of Martial Arts United.
Because his passion is to teach and share the important nature of Martial Arts through Taekwondo, he wanted to form his own school. With the encouragement, support, and blessings by his loyal students and their parents, friends and family, he was able to temporarily open a school at St. Dominics in Brookfield, Wisconsin during the summer of 2012. His loyal students followed him and continued their training. Within a few months, Master Lee negotiated a lease for this building to start his new school. His goal is to grow and break the wall next door as part of his school.
The parents and students love and respect Master Lee. He established a culture of family, unity, and togetherness within the school as well as outside the school. It is something that he cherished and appreciated.
Giwon Lee may have been short in stature as a boy, but he grew up to be a man of high integrity, character and honor. He is a strong willed individual with a gigantic heart. His parents should be proud.
Opening a martial art school is his lifelong dream and passion and he wants to share this historical event with you.