Kari Richmond is a committed martial artist who works hard to develop her focus and control through Tae Kwon Do. Kari is a mom of two, a music instructor, and a well rounded athlete. Kari does a remarkable job of balancing parenting with running her own business. Her strong organization skills enable her to maintain her rigorous martial arts practice in the mix of this full schedule. On the mat, Kari puts effort into both the physical and mental aspects of class, and the synergy created by her dual focus allows her train at a very high level. She also has excellent control and spatial awareness, which makes her a safe partner for new and seasoned students alike. Kari is humble, friendly, and leads by example – all qualities that make her a huge contribution to the classes and community at Asheville Sun Soo. Thank you Kari for being an excellent student!
How old are you? 39
What is your rank? Red Belt
What is your occupation? Music Teacher – founder and director of Asheville Area Music Together
Why do you practice? I started practicing to challenge myself physically in new ways and learn some practical self defense. I continue for these reasons and also because I enjoy and am supported by the welcoming and fun community at Sun Soo.
How long have you been practicing? One year and eight months
What do you enjoy most about your practice so far? I love the progression of opportunities for increasing growth, both physically and mentally. I feel encouraged to break through my perceived limitations in a super supportive community of staff and fellow students.
What are some of your other hobbies or interests? I love to hike and ride bikes with my family.
What is something people at Tae Kwon Do probably don’t know about you? Before I had kids, I was a drummer and a vibraphone player in a pop band.
What is your favorite Tae Kwon Do moment? I love the board breaks. I’m super proud of my own 2-board break with a sidekick in the last testing, but I am always super proud of every student and staff member board break. They are such emotionally vulnerable moments and the school community really supports people in those moments.
Is there anything else you would like to add? It is wonderful to be able to practice Tae Kwon Do with my son!
Our student spotlight this week is on Aspen McDowell. Aspen is an exemplary student who started at the age of nine in kids classes, and has since advanced to attend teen classes and mixed adult classes. Aspen is currently 12 years old and has advanced in rank to recommended black belt. Aspen’s practice at Asheville Sun Soo is characterized by self motivation, personal responsibility, and consistent courtesy towards peers and instructors.
Aspen stays on top of the cumulative traditional Tae Kwon Do curriculum by practicing outside of class, and as a result, he excels technically and is always ready to support lower belt students. Additionally, Aspen frequently volunteers at Kids Night Out – and makes a huge difference. Aspen pays attention to the details and helps to include kids who are less social by getting to know them and inviting them to an appropriate activity. The Asheville Sun Soo community is grateful to have a student like Aspen who is friendly, hard working, and inclusive towards others. Thanks Aspen for being an inspiration to your classmates and instructors!
How old are you? I am 12 years old.
What is your rank? I am a recommended black belt.
What is your occupation? I am a student at Eblen Intermediate and I am currently in 6th grade.
Why do you practice? I practice because I want to learn self defense and it is my goal to be a Black Belt.
How long have you been practicing? I have been practicing for 2 ½ years.
What do you enjoy most about your practice so far? I love meeting new people and staying in shape with challenging exercises.
What are some of your other hobbies or interests? Some of my hobbies are playing drums and basketball, collecting coins and I’m also good at video games.
What is something people at Tae Kwon Do probably don’t know about you? I play percussion in the school band and I was born in South Carolina.
What is your favorite Tae Kwon Do moment? My favorite moment was my first board break because of the adrenaline rush and everyone cheering me on.
https://www.martialartsasheville.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/aspenmcdowell.jpg547410Ms. Goyerhttps://www.martialartsasheville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Logo-Dark-Background-300x198.pngMs. Goyer2015-06-29 18:27:592016-02-26 13:07:29Aspen McDowell – A dedicated athlete and courteous friend!
Our student spotlight this week is on Sarah Broberg. Sarah practices alongside her two sons, Zak, age 6, and Omar, age 8, who both attend the advanced kid’s class. Sarah is an intelligent, energetic, enthusiastic and conscientious practitioner who truly pushes herself to meet her potential, both on and off the mat. When met with obstacles, Sarah finds a way! Early into her practice, Sarah injured her ankle. For some this would have been a deal breaker. Sarah, however, continued coming to class. And although she could not physically practice for a few weeks, she used her class time to observe classes until she was healed – even practicing from a rolling chair at points! Sarah’s commitment to her career in international public relations, her kids, and her practice is apparent to everyone who meets her. She also possesses a unique combination of humor and positive energy that allows her to tackle challenges with grace and flexibility. We deeply admire Sarah for her courage and humility – and we are truly grateful that she has chosen to be part of our community here at Asheville Sun Soo!
How old are you? 37
What is your rank? Green belt
What is your occupation? International corporate communications and public relations
Why do you practice? There are several reasons I practice, but the primary motivation is to help alleviate my self-critical tendencies and reorient the way I perceive myself. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone in a safe, supportive environment is helping me recognize that it’s ok to make “mistakes” and what I used to think were weaknesses are just strengths I’m still working to enhance.
How long have you been practicing? Since late August 2014
What do you enjoy most about your practice so far? What do you enjoy most about your practice so far? I most enjoy the self-development aspects that are incorporated into every class at Sun Soo. Students of all ages are encouraged to move past the boundaries we set for ourselves physically and psychologically in order to reach our true potential. I love the community spirit and the great workouts, too.
What are some of your other hobbies or interests? I enjoy spending time with my young sons (an 8-year-old blue-red belt and a 6-year-old blue belt), running, hiking, reading and coffee!
What is something people at Tae Kwon Do probably don’t know about you? I’m slightly addicted to the use of lip balm and before testing I paint my toes the color of my next belt for a little extra inspiration.
What is your favorite Tae Kwon Do moment? It’s so hard to choose just one because all of my classmates are so inspiring every day. At the top of the list is Master Ethan Morris’ 4th degree black belt essay and Ms. Dexter’s gorilla fight. My personal favorite Tae Kwon Do moment is actually a series of moments: The huge outpouring of support from the instructors and my classmates after I severely injured my ankle as a white-yellow belt. Their generosity of spirit and encouragement was completely unexpected and enormously humbling. Thanks again to all of you; you’ll never know the depth of my gratitude for your strength when mine faltered.
Is there anything else you would like to add? If you’re thinking about starting your Tae Kwon Do practice and feel shy, embarrassed or apprehensive, putting on that white belt is more than half the battle. As the instructors say: “We were all white belts once.” You can do this.
https://www.martialartsasheville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Logo-Dark-Background-300x198.png00Ms. Goyerhttps://www.martialartsasheville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Logo-Dark-Background-300x198.pngMs. Goyer2015-06-03 09:33:122015-11-11 10:48:14Sarah Broberg – A dedicated Martial Artist