Yeshá has helped me become a better person even though I have had some failures. I learned at the test this past Saturday that I may fail, but I am NOT a failure. I learned that sometimes you fall down, but you just get back up and continue. I learned that sometimes you have to go through experiences that you don't want to in order to be a better person. Just like Job in the Bible went through hard experiences, and he said in chapter 23, verse 10: "But He knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure gold."
I need to work hard in order to get my black belt, and when I do, I will feel very good about myself because I worked hard to earn it.
Mr. Olipendo always tells us to do our best in every-thing. It helps me think about doing my best in my school work, homework, or even chores.
I like Yeshá because it is something our whole family can do together, and we always get a good workout. I am thankful for all the upper belts who come and take time out of their day to teach me and help me do better. It also teaches me about giving. That is what Yeshá Ministries has done for me. J. Hutchinson, Jr.
Ever since I was 9 years old, I have enjoyed being part of a team. The team atmosphere of working to-gether, listening to the coach and everyone being there for the same goal has always felt good. As I reached adulthood, there was a “NEED” for me to be part of the team. But it always went a little deeper.
Whether it was sportsmanship, discipline, the physical conditioning, or the competitive drive, I enjoyed playing most sports. Coincidently, there seemed to be positive people associated with them that brought that to me.
Sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence, and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating oth-ers and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control if dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents. Sportsmanship is also looked at as being the way one reacts to a sport/game.
Discipline is the assertion of willpower over more base desires, and is usually understood to be synony-mous with self control.
Physical conditioning is a combination of preparing the body to be able to endure the sport. Physical exer-cise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.
I began with Yeshá TKD in the summer of 2011. I found awesome sportsmanship!! Everyone, no matter which belt lever or age, they wanted to help out a class-mate in need. In Tae Kwon Do, discipline is manda-tory. The physical discipline is when we are in a stance for a long time and it is making our muscles burn, we must have the discipline and focus to hold that position. It might be a little weird, but I like that “burn”!! Which brings us to the physical conditioning. Yeshá TKD gives me (us) the stretching and strengthening exer-cises our body needs.
Now for that competitive piece: When I found out Yeshá had a competition team, I couldn’t wait to join. Competition is not new to me. I have competed on State, National and World levels previously. But, now I am older. As a 50 year old woman, I am challenging myself to compete on the TKD circuit this year!
The one thing that I have not mentioned is the spiri-tual component. If you read more into the sportsman-ship piece, treating others not as opponents, but as you would want to be treated. This is the mental discipline. I have heard on several occasions in Yeshá we want to be servants. The ability to do for others is so reward-ing! Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful ser-vant!”
Respecting others, being around positive people, training my body and being a servant is what keeps me smiling. I am able to get all of my Physical, Mental and Spiritual needs with OUR Yeshá Ministries!
All of the above is not just for the couple of times a week in class. Being able to continue sportsmanship, discipline and physical and spiritual conditioning to my everyday life is extremely fulfilling. Yeshá helps me to keep that all reinforced.
So I thank you Master Thomas for inviting me to class when I inquired about Yeshá. And a big thank you to Grand Master Coker for Yeshá Ministries!
Let’s strengthen our body, mind and spirit!! -- Teresa Matthews
How has Yesha affected me? I have put a lot of thought into this and have found Yesha to have impacted me in several ways. I had taken Tae Kwon Do at another location but became disillusioned with the turnover of the instructors and the way I could see they were treated. I left and worked out at another school that I enjoyed but something was missing that I could not quite put my finger on. Then my husband was laid off of his job. An event like this really puts a new light on what you find important. I quit the school I was training at to save money. Thankfully my husband searched hard and was able to find new employment relatively quickly. Meanwhile my optometrist had told me about his kids experience with Yesha which was positive even if they didn’t continue because of personal issues.
I had learned a few things about myself in this time. One is I will not exercise regularly on my own. The couch is way too easy. I need classes that people expect me to be there. I also realized I need a purpose to the exercise and I need variety. Most important, I needed to be where the instructors where valued for who they were, not how much money there could earn for the school. So based on Dr Powers recommendation I walked into my first Yesha class a year ago. I have not ever regretted that decision. Most of the city of Jacksonville is totally unaware of the treasure that is Yesha.
The treasure is in the spiritual heart of Yesha. The fact that the instructors are there each class completely because it is their gift to the students is mind blowing to me. The shining light that is Grandmaster’s vision blinds me in its awesomeness and how amazing it is that he could come up with such a concept! Each class is what I had looked for with its variety, the physical conditioning, the goal of learning new forms and perfecting my technique. As a side lesson I have learned to deal with my near crippling stage fright because of the relaxed and accepting environment of the class. Regardless of the type of environment, the Tae Kwon Do is first class- it may be low cost, but the expectations are high and the students who put in the effort are amazing in their techniques and great attitudes. I feel as if I truly am a Defender of the Faith. I am so grateful to Grandmaster Coker, Dr Powers, to my instructors- the Gray clan, and to all who give every day to keep the dream of Yesha alive. -Cheri Case
Yeshá Ministries has affected me in many ways. I am physically, mentally, and spiritually fit. I have better balance, speed, power, rhythm, automatic reflexes, and focus. When I do stuff I am more focused. I am a leader. I am an instructor. I am a role model to younger belts. I am in more control. I am more disciplined. I have better self esteem. I have learned self awareness. I have better respect. I have proved myself to God. I honor Jesus Christ. I have become a better learner because learning is not just mentally it is also physically. I am less shy. Spiritually I am more one with my body and the power within me. I am more fit. I have built my muscle capacity. I learned how to manage stress. I am able to overcome any obstacle because I have been sick a lot and I still show up at taekwondo. I have better self defense. For example I had this rude and obnoxious boy come up to me and put me in a choke hold. I used my blue belt experience of taekwondo. When I was done with him he was walking home crying. –Rená Corbett (age 14)
I started taking Tae Kwon Do in August of this year a Murray Hill Baptist Church with instructor Rich McCarty. I was 43 years old and 250 pounds and had decided to make a life change. I had never taken martial arts before and truly had no idea as to what to expect, after the first class of stretching and sweating I was hooked. At this time (4 months later) I currently weigh 227lbs. and my blood glucose readings have dropped by 70 points. I recommend this class to all of my friends and customers as this is the best decision I have made in a long time. Thank you Yeshá for putting this school out there, you are true community servants. – Carl Cave
Dear Grandmaster Coker,
I would like to express our family’s deep gratitude for your kindness. I am so blown away and can hardly believe what your organization has done for my family. The first time we learned about Yeshá was in August, 2008. My family and I were still with the World Tang Soo Do Association and at that time we had competed against Yeshá students at a local open tournament. Prior to that in July I was inspired by the Lopez family and how they represented the U.S.A. Tae Kwon Do team in the Olympics. They reminded me of my own three children. Ever since then I could not get them off my mind. I went on talking with my husband, Jon, about how I am going to make sure that my children will reach the Olympics. Jon and I discussed this matter throughout July and August. I also told my husband that with God’s help my dream could come true and I know that God loves us so much that anything is possible through Him. I talked to God many times about this. I know that it is a long shot for my children to get to the Olympics. I was shooting for 2012/2016 and I believe in what God can do for those who believe and trust in him. Most of all I had to exercise my faith. I also believe in my children. I know that they have been working very hard, each since they were just four years old. I figure that with all the experience that my children received in the past, their training now, and believing in God’s work of miracles, this dream of mine could come true.
Last July I was worried because I was so inspired by the Lopez family that I was asking myself, how am I going to make this dream come true? I knew that my children had to switch from Tang Soo Do to Tae Kwon Do, so I did some research and started looking for Tae Kwon Do schools. Every one of them was very expensive and I started adding up in my mind how much this all will cost. The dollar signs were flashing in my head and I even started looking for a job just to meet the expenses. I added up the expenses such as the monthly fees, registration fees, event fees, hotel, food, gas, and the membership for a Tae Kwon Do organization. I asked God, “Lord this is so expensive. How am I going to do all this and how am I going to explain all this to my husband?” With all this in my head, I suddenly got a huge headache because I was overwhelmed with it all. I actually got myself dizzy and it wasn’t even happening yet in real life! Then I realized that I had to calm down, and I got down on my knee and said the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly and then I started to talk with God again. First I apologized to Him for not trusting, because I started to get worried about something that is not even happening. Then I realized that I am not exercising my faith. After discussing all this with God, my headache went away and I was calmed down.
In August 2008, when my children competed with some Yeshá students I was very impressed to see the Yeshá team’s eagerness and motivation. I saw discipline with all the students during their warm up with Master Martin, and all were so energetic. I sensed that they were all there to win and to have a great time. I also saw how close and supportive they are toward one another. They reminded me of one big family. Right away I respected the Yeshá team. David Ayres competed against Stephen Riner and both did very well. After that, David mentioned to me that Stephen had been qualified to the Junior Olympics. After hearing that, my hope for my children going to the Olympics became a huge hope. That night I looked up Yeshá Ministries online to learn more.
What I found out really amazed me. No monthly fee and no contracts? I thought to myself, what a deal! Is this really for real? I kept searching, reading and studying about Yeshá, and found that all I have to pay is uniforms and testing fees. I said to myself, I can afford that and I don’t have to find a job to pay for my children’s martial arts fees. I can supervise them and I can also practice with them, and then I can encourage my husband to join us again like we used to. Before, we used to all practice together as a family with Tang Soo Do and we all enjoyed it. I said to my husband each family should have what you call a “night out,” such as playing games together or going to a movie or going out to eat but, going out to a movie and to eat with five people costs a lot of money. I told him that we should all do karate together as a family night out. We all agreed and since then we have a motto: “The family that KICKS together STICKS together”. We also use: “The family that prays together stays together.”
Yeshá’s uniform was very captivating, especially the logo. The red, black, and white combination was so attractive. The logo design was beautiful. I had to really look at it good before I could understand what it means. I realized that Yeshá is Jesus’ name (Yeshua). I said to myself that these people love God, and if these people love God then I am for them. It was not easy to leave our old dojang, because we did have a very good relationship with them. We were even honored by being selected Family of the Year in 2008 for our region. Again, I talked to God for advice and put my trust and faith in Him.
Finally on January 8, 2009, I made a commitment and I signed up with the YESHÁ ministries. I have no regrets. I have to thank Ms. Joyce, the team mom, who openly welcomed my children and me on our first class, and I am very grateful to Master Martin who believes in us and knows that we are very serious and willing to work hard. He also said that if Olympic training is what I am looking for, I have come to the right place and he will do everything he can to help us to get there. When I heard him say that, I was very happy. I thanked the Lord for it right away.
Since then it has been an incredible journey and it’s been only eight months! Yeshá has been such a blessing to us by taking our family to the AAU qualifier in Georgia, the US Nationals in Fort Lauderdale and now we are off to the Junior Olympics! There we have been able to see a whole new level of competitors and we learned a lot about what it takes to be a champion. Jon Paul, Leah, David, and I were proud to bring medals back for our school and Jon really enjoyed serving as a coach. Most of all, Grandmaster Coker, your generosity during these trips was truly remarkable and went far beyond any expectations. We are extremely grateful to you.
I am sure that we will have many more adventures with Yeshá Ministries in the future and I believe this journey is just beginning. Jon and I just wanted to let you know how very much we appreciate you and all of Yeshá’s instructors, especially Master Martin. Thank you and God Bless you!
“Yeshá Tae Kwon Do is a wonderful gift to our family and is just one of the ways in which Jesus Christ’s life still touches us all.”
“Breanna, who is 11 has always been a very shy child. When she was little she would hide behind me whenever other people were around because she didn’t want to talk with them...I’m talking about church family also, people she knows...Breanna and I started class in January 2009...Her self esteem has increased dramatically. In the last two months her school work has improved. She’s become more self-motivated and responsible in doing her work independently as well as her responsibilities at home. I have witnessed her talking to people at church that she’s never spoken to before.”
What I like about Yeshá Tae Kwon Do, by Rose Nichols (age 5)
- I like the exercise
- I like the uniform
- I met new friends
- I like to kicks
- I like to be in class with my daddy.
“When I was first introduced to Yeshá Ministries I was 53 years old thinking my life was slowing down...I thought at first I would be too old to do this physically, since I had problems with my back, off and on...We started out doing stretches for warm up. I was still feeling great even after we learned some moves...When I went home that night, I prayed that if this ministry is what God has planned for me, please give my body the strength to endure. The next morning as I was getting out of bed, I noticed my back wasn’t hurting like it had for the past four years! I stopped and thanked God for His answer to my prayers! That Saturday I was there 30 minutes early warming up and getting ready for class. Through Yeshá Ministries, I have learned love for God, the art of Tae Kwon Do, and how they mix with my everyday life.”
“It has been a joy to watch our children grow in the Lord through Yeshá Ministries. They have learned respect for others. They have learned how to act and show respect for the leaders in the class. They have also learned respect for the sport of TKD...Sometimes I forget that they are even in the class with me, because we are there to learn and to enjoy a gift of TKD. We already feel like our class is our family.”
“I wanted to join TKD in the past but it was too expensive. Now I feel more confident in my ability to protect myself. It has helped me grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. I feel more challenged to do my best with each and every class.”
--Matthew Futtrelle (age 11)
“I was not sure I wanted to join a TKD class, but my dad said it would be good for me. I have never been the physical type. Give me a good horse book and I was good to go. I didn't think I would fit in with this type of class. I have never felt very confident in myself...After a few classes my classmates and Ms. Lisa started telling me how good I was. They also encouraged me to keep coming to class. So, I guess you say that was God’s way of saying that He didn’t want me to quit. I soon realized that God was using me as a tool for His ministry.”
--Lindsey Futtrelle (age 13)
“I always wanted to take Tae Kwon Do but it was too expensive for a family of five...We have a great Godly teacher and great classmates and I’m already on my way to yellow belt !!!!! I have met some very nice people and I feel very close to all of them. It’s a fun, exciting, and challenging class. I feel more confident, brave and bold. I wait to get to each class to see what I can learn next...I am not sure where Yeshá will lead me, but I am willing to go the distance with the Lord’s help.”
--Emily Futtrelle (age 9)
You asked me to share my testimony of the change in my daughter since she began taking Tae Kwon Do with Yeshá Ministries, which was not easy because the change has been enormous.
When my daughter, Stephanie, began Tae Kwon Do with Yeshá Ministries she was not in any way disobedient just a very shy, quiet girl who buried her head in books and video games. She mostly stayed in her safe little box only socializing with others who were quiet and kept to their selves. I found myself almost nagging her to talk and speak up when others tried to carry on a conversation with her, even her Sunday school leaders at church tried to get her involved in group activities in order to step out of the box and give her a way to share her faith with others.
She began with Yeshá Ministries in June of 2006 and since then I have watched her come out of her cocoon and blossom into an outgoing, active Christian girl who shines with enthusiasm. She not only participates in Yeshá classes twice a week but she also assists on teaching new students, trains and competes with the Yeshá competition team, won a Gold Medal for sparring in the AAU National Qualifiers, participates in fundraisers (fun being the key word), and participates in weekly Sunday school group activities. Her Sunday school teachers are thrilled that she is not only a main participant during the Bible studies and activities but is reaching out to others. The change in her is noticed by friends and family as well as her teachers at school where she maintained an all “A” report card the entire school year. She now walks around tall and straight with a confidence in herself and what she is doing. When the opportunity arrives she invites others to be a part of Yeshá Ministries. She has stated that she hopes that she is able to continue being a part of the ministry even as she enters college and surprisingly said, “If there is not a Yeshá school there, maybe we will start one.”
Yeshá Ministries has not only helped to build my child’s self-esteem for herself but given my family a new way to share God’s love for us with others. She is stronger in body and heart because of the time and friendship of her instructors.
With deepest appreciation,
Betty S. Austin