Master G's Martial Arts Career
He started his training in March of 1973 and since then has trained in 9 different martial arts, earned master level rank in Hapkido and KongSooDo/Taekwondo, became fluent in the Korean language, traveled to South Korea 7 times, influenced the creation of Shihung/Rochester City Partnership, trained over 200 hundred students to the level of black belt and still teaches martial arts as a fulltime profession.
My first martial arts were Judo and a blend of Okinawan Karate & Korean Taekwondo. Soon thereafter I met Dr. Haruo Okizaki with whom I studied Aiki-Jujitsu, Shotokan Karate and Judo.
In 1976 I began training with GM Jong Won Park in the KangMuKwan-KongSooDo style of Taekwondo and Yawara. I trained with GM Park until 1997. During this time I learned many old style traditional forms... several of which are not found anywhere on the internet. I also learned the 42 black belt principles of combat offense and defense taught exclusively in the KangMuKwan-KongSooDo system.
Since 1998 my training continued with various Korean and American grandmasters in Taekyon, TangoSooDo, Hapkido, Weaponry.
In 1989 I began teaching the martial arts as a fulltime profession, although on poverty wages for quite some time. In 1994 we moved to the current facility where our entire student body grew to 350 active students at it's peak in the early 2000's. Of the 350 students 225 were Taekwondo and the rest made up the Judo, Aikido, Karate and Hapkido programs.
I took my first trip to South Korea in 1998. The desire to communicate with and understand the mindset of the Korean masters motivated me to learn the Korean language. I studied Korean with private tutors once a week, and and privately 2 and 3 hours a day. I became socially fluent after several years.
I took 7 trips to South Korea for culture and martial arts training...hosting 4 of those tours myself as a translator. The largest number of travelers to S. Korea with me was 32 people in the year 2004. We also brought Korean masters here several times for training.
A city-partnership was formed in 2006 between Shihung, South Korea and Rochester, Minnesota. This was a result of my introduction to the Rochester Sports Commission and the Rochester City Council the concept of an international Athletic & Cultural Exchange between the two cities. For a number of years this connection focused on exchanges in commerce, culture, arts, sports, and tourism. Mayor Brede and Council Pres. Denny Hanson were also instrumental in forming this City Partnership.
Once the Great Recession hit we dropped to less than half of our student body. During that time, life was filled with stress and uncertainty, not knowing from month to month if we were going to be able to continue with the Martial Art Fitness Center. Eventually the recession ended and we began slow growth.
Then the Pandemic hit and brought everything to a dead stop. This was very traumatic having your livelihood just ripped away from you. Once the fog began to clear and we were able to open up for business, students began enrolling every week. And we are now doing better than before the Pandemic... though not even close to the "hay day" before the Recession.
My passion for the martial arts was increased as a result of the Pandemic. When you have something taken away from you, it can cause you to want it all the more. My passion for teaching and promoting the martial arts to others is as strong today as it was when I first started to teach. I look forward to continuing to share that with others.
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50th Year Celebration
Fri, Nov 10
Student & Instructor Performances
150 spectators witnessed 60 students and instructors performing in these martial arts
Aikido, Hapkido, Karate, Kendo
Muay Thai, Taekwondo, TaiChi-Chuan
Sat, Nov 11
130 current & former black belts and guests
At the Blue Moon Ballroom
A time of celebration with key note speakers, presentations and Korean Cuisine served by area Korean friends
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Fredrick J. Gommels
Produced over 200 black belts in his 50 years of martial arts training and teaching
Martial Art Fitness Center
8th Dan Honorary
Okinawa Koburyu Karatedo Kobudo Kobukai
7th Dan Korea Simmudo Association
5th Dan Korea Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan
5th Dan Korean SinMu Hapkido Federation
5th Dan Korea TKD Chang Moo Kwan
4th Dan Yusool - Martial Arts USA
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