10 Years on the Corner of Spring and Elden Street
In September of 1973, Grandmaster Chan Hak Park opened Park’s TaeKwonDo/Karate School in only 1800 sq. ft. at 733 Elden St. in Historic Downtown Herndon. On February 10, 1976, H.K. Lee came to Herndon by the special invitation of Grandmaster Park. Grandmaster Lee taught at this school for about eight months. He then took a leave of absence and spent over a year traveling all around the U.S., visiting many friends who had TKD schools in different parts of the county, teaching and learning by observing their operations. In the meantime, Grandmaster Park moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where he still operates a TKD school.
Therefore, on October 1, 1978, with an enhanced understanding of the U.S. and of teaching American students, Grandmaster Lee returned to take over the school in Herndon. At this time, the name of the school was changed to H.K. Lee Academy of TaeKwonDo. (Note: Mrs. Lee had moved to Reston the day before and they met each other six days later on 10/6/78. They were married on 5/4/80). By 1983, the school grew to over 200 students and was at overflow capacity.
21 Years on Spring Street Next to the Fire Station
We were to find our new home just around the corner. Anne Feldman, who owned Herndon House Furniture and the building next door to the original school, was retiring. To our great surprise, she went out of her way to help us move into and finance the purchase of this building. This is a valuable lesson for all of our students: Mrs. Feldman went to great lengths to help two young people without many assets in return for a simple act of kindness. Every day after closing her store, Mrs. Feldman had waited for the bus in all kinds of weather in front of the 733 Elden St. location. Grandmaster Lee always invited her to wait inside. She never forgot his kindness.
As a result, in August of 1983, we moved into this building at 688 Spring St., where we operated the school for the next 21 years. For the first year, we used only 3500 sq. ft. downstairs for TaeKwonDo classes. We soon reached a student population of over 400. In 1984, we added a complete Nautilus Fitness Center and expanded to using the entire 7,000 sq. ft on both floors. Before long, our Tae Kwon Do classes were over-flowing again, with over 700 students at one point. We decided to use the entire building just for TaeKwonDo and sold the Nautilus equipment. In 1999, we remodeled to build a homework room for a mentoring program for students of the nearby middle school. The transported After School Martial Arts Program began in 2000 when our second child went off to college—a great solution to the empty nest syndrome! In 2004, the growth of the AMP and the increasing traffic, congestion and parking difficulties in the historic downtown of Herndon prompted us to search for a new home for the school again.
A Bright Future in Our Current Location
Our search led us to a building available for sale at 465 Herndon Parkway. What we did not realize at first was that the building belonged to Mr. Ted Bennett, the father of Troy Bennett. Troy was a student of ours 24 years ago in our original location. He and his family had even attended our wedding. Mr. Bennett was the founder and owner of a company called Systems Wireless that once occupied this building. Once again, we were the grateful beneficiaries of a someone selling a building who had good memories of us.
In June of 2004, we moved into our current building with over 16,000 sq. ft. At the Grand Opening ceremony, Mr. Bennett spoke of how he appreciated the difference that H.K. Lee had made in Troy. He said that the many benefits that Troy received at TaeKwonDo helped make him the confident leader that he is today as an executive engineer for Boeing Corporation in charge of a major satellite payload project. Mr. Bennett also said that even though we offered less money, he preferred to sell the building to us because he felt that we were good people and that what we would use it for was valuable to the community. We are thankful to him for his help and kind words.
The new location houses the premiere TaeKwonDo Academy in the Washington metropolitan area. This state-of-the art facility features three large training rooms with fully-matted floors, warm-up area, parent waiting rooms, a homework room with high-speed internet access, a game/TV/crafts room, video-viewing room, male and female dressing rooms with showers, an 8x10 ft. movie projection system, closed circuit TV and surround sound system.
With the three large training rooms, we offer maximum flexibility in scheduling options. We have the greatest number of the highest qualified Masters (4th Degree Black Belt and higher) in one location. This allows us to teach all ages and levels in different training rooms at the same time. We emphasize personal attention to help you become a more confident individual, both physically and mentally, regardless of your age, gender of physical ability.
Most of all, we guarantee the highest quality authentic Martial Arts and Olympic Sports instruction in the area. Come in and check us out with a free, private, no obligation, trial lesson. We hope you will join us as we grow to an even brighter future!
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