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As the parent of a child with a neurological condition, after school activities were a stressful endeavor for all parties involved. I was hesitant to enroll my son in yet another structured class of any kind, but began making calls I’m the hopes of finding a better fit for my son’s needs. GM Song understood my reservations and gave my son an open invitation to watch and/or participate in a couple of classes without any need to commit. Many places offered this, but GM Song genuinely took the time to accommodate us in a way nobody else previously had. When HE was ready, they welcomed my child onto the mats. And as I sat nervously watching I quickly realized that this place was by far the healthiest social environment he’d ever been a part of. His disability has never once been met with negativity, and instructors go the extra mile to help him work through any issues or struggles he is having due to his condition. Students have compassion based conversation about their differences, and are taught to embrace uniqueness in our fellow humans. Kindness isn’t just a concept or a rule they are taught to recite, it is at the heart of their learning at Soengkono martial arts. This compassion and understanding has changed his life. He’d attended countless classes in many arts and disciplines previously, but struggled through all of them in relative isolation. Within a few trial classes of taekwando however he’d made friends, began to enjoy being around other “normal” children, and for the first time he felt comfortable existing in a public space. It has been four years, and he has thrived under the guidance of GM Song. He has just begun his journey into a second discipline there, and couldn’t be happier! Though the intention was for him to learn martial arts… the lessons of compassion, respect, confidence, and perseverance are the true teachings given to students at Soengkono. And for these, I could not be more grateful!


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