Judo master to visit local school

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

NATCHEZ — Those wishing to learn the art of judo will be able to get instruction from one of the masters tonight at 7 p.m.

Korean judo master Seung Hun Yoo will be at Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts School to give a seminar and instruction on the martial art. The public is invited to attend and there is no admission fee.

Moo Sul Kwan master instructor Ken Rogers knows Yoo through his wife’s business and when he found out he was a master at judo, he invited him to give a seminar at his martial arts school.

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“I asked him next time he was in town if he would give a seminar and he liked the idea of practicing his art and showing it to others,” Rogers said. “I’m hoping people outside the (martial arts) school take an interest in it and come to see. I know my students are very excited about it.”

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Yoo makes his home now in Elk Grove, Ill. He is a graduate of the Korean Judo University and was the Korean National Champion in 1990 and 1994.

He also has won the French, German and Japan national judo championships and finished fifth in the World Championship competition in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1993.

“He is a very humble, hard-working guy,” Rogers said. “He’s looking forward to giving this seminar.”

Rogers is no stranger to the art of judo himself. He has practiced the art for more than 20 years and is a brown belt. So when he heard Yoo speaking with his wife in his native Korean language, two words piqued his interest.

“I heard him say ‘judo’ and ‘odon’ which means master in Korean,” Rogers said. “I asked him about it and he told me about his accomplishments.”

And Rogers says judo is not only a way to learn self defense, but also a good workout for the body.

“Judo is good physical exercise and good for kids. It’s more of a fitness martial arts sport and self defense. It’s a sport you can get full exertion in without hurting anyone.”