Dragon’s School history with Grand Master Min
Grand Master Min founded his dojang in September of 1982 in Edmonton, Canada. Prior to establishing his world-renowned dojang, Grand Master Min worked for the military in training soldiers in the art of defense and survival.
With his dream to raise his family in Canada, Grand Master Min came to Canada with 700 dollars in his pocket in hopes of establishing what would become a Martial Arts foundation that would affect the lives of thousands of Canadian’s.
After opening his dojang in the basement level of the 124th street location in Downtown, Edmonton, Grand Master Min knew things would go great. In his small dojang, with carpeted floors and a low ceiling, his enrollment was spectacular. Grand Master Min and his wife, Mrs. Min, were living their dream with their young children, students, and flourishing business. Grand Master Min began training many of his students in Olympic style Taekwondo and saw much future potential in each of them. Champions were being made, and life was very busy.
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste
In 1987, Grand Master Min’s dojang was flooded from the devastating tornado and had only bits and pieces to pick up from what was left over from the flood. Moving on was his only option as he began to see the flood as an opportunity to grow his business even further. Grand Master Min opened his new dojang on the 2nd floor of a building located along Stony Plain Road and began to re-piece his life back together. Once again, enrollment was great and students were registering from word of mouth. At this dojang location, many champions were born. Now recognized as Master Sayed Najem, Master Najem moved from Ottawa, ON, to train under Grandmaster Min at the young age of 15. He, had a dream to become Olympic Champion by the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and trained many years to fulfill this dream. In 1992, Sayed Najem competed in the Olympics only to lose in the final match by a split decision. Regardless of this unfortunate loss he is our Olympic Champion. Amongst Sayed Najem were many other great champions. Steven Goodwin, Mike Popowich, Tony Pioquinto, and many others trained with Sayed Najem and too became National and World Champions. Grand Master Min traveled the world with his athletes and became the national team coach from Team Canada.
During all of this, Grand Master Min was expanding his school through satellite dojang’s located in Western Canada. To name a few, dojang’s were opening in Fort St. John, Fort McMurray, Calgary, and High River. Grand Master Min spent much travel time doing Color belt and Black belt promotion testing’s at his satellite clubs and through his main dojang and the satellite dojangs, have promoted thousands of black belts in Canada.
Time to open his dream dojang
As his student count was growing, Grand Master Min began to find it difficult to fit all the students he wanted in his classes. In 1994, Grand Master Min decided to open his dream dojang in a location that could hold between 40-50 students in a class. He moved his dojang two blocks away into an old drive through bottle depot and began building each wall, office, and sitting space to accommodate what he believed would be the ultimate dojang. Our current dojang is one of the biggest Taekwondo dojangs in Canada. With over 7,200 square feet, which includes two training dojangs, a parent viewing area with bathroom, children’s play and entertainment area, 4 offices, 2 storage spaces, male and female change rooms equipped with showers and a closed off bathroom, and 2 stair cases, Grand Master Min finally built his dream dojang.
Taekwondo was taught as always, with the same traditional style that Grand Master Min implemented in every class. Grand Master Min had yet another dream to fulfill. Since he had founded his own dojang, trained and coached champions, Grand Master Min had yet to host a prestigious International tournament. At the 1997 World Taekwondo Championships in Hong Kong, Grand Master Min traveled with Team Canada and bid to host the World Championships in 1999. He won the bid and would now be the first Grand Master to ever host an International tournament of the highest caliber athletes in the World. In order to prepare for this event, Grand Master Min took it upon himself to host the 1st Canadian Open Taekwondo Championship in 1998, in order to test out raised mats, scoring systems, and the tournament venue. Countries came from all over the world to compete in this event.
After much preparation, in June of 1999 Grand Master Min hosted the 14th Men’s and 7th Women’s World Taekwondo Championship at the University of Alberta’s Butterdome. Grand Master Min was the first to introduce elevated flooring so that it would be more appealing to the spectators. Through this great event, he paved the way for many future Tournament hosts and brought the world to witness how great Canadian hospitality is.
His life story could be made into a series of books. Students in class hear stories of his journey’s, difficulties, and triumph and look forward to hear another chapter in his great life. Grand Master Min and his staff and instructor’s continue to teach students who enroll in our programs quality Martial Arts and also continue to train them in both traditional and competitive Taekwondo.
Our location at 10001-168 Street now fosters members who all have a passion for martial arts and a dream to succeed in their future endeavors.