Class History

In 1984 I saw the movie “Karate Kid”. After I saw that movie, I knew that Martial Arts was something that I needed to try. It quickly became an important part of my life – I even met my wife in Tae Kwon Do!

In mid 1985 or so, my mother found a class thru Corvallis Parks and Recreation and signed me up for lessons. At the time, the class was taught by one of the black belt students in the basement of the Arts Center and was kids only, maybe 12 or so.

I was only 13, but I loved the class and progressed up thru green belt.

Rich Olson, my first instructor, making some firewood

Unfortunately, the instructor, Rich, died tragically in a car accident. Subsequently, the kids class was merged into the adult class held evenings at Cheldelin Middle School.

That’s me on the right just after the purple test.

It was here that I first met the head of the Western Regional Tae Kwon Do Association, Glen Sweeney.

Glen on the right, I am front row next to him in the purple belt (TKD Camp, late 80’s)

Glen trained in Chung Do Kwan under Duk Song Sun in New York City and kept many of the same hard techniques. The class was huge and quite intimidating after the protective environment of the kids-only class and many of the kids did not stay on. Those of us that did found a tough workout, but a truly amazing group of people that I remember fondly to this day.

TKD Clinic May of 1992 – I am in there somewhere…

I earned my first degree black belt in 1991 and stayed on with the school as college would allow progressing thru subsequent ranks.

That’s me, as a brown belt, breaking 6 boards with a wheel kick, circa 1990. Yeah, that’s my left foot.

In 1998, Glen began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Royce Gracie and wanted to add this style to his class in Corvallis. In order to better represent the new class focus, he changed the name of the school to the Oregon Pound and began offering Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lessons back-to-back. Those were long workouts!

In 2003, Glen retired and turned the school over to Mike Downing. Mike preferred to focus on the BJJ only, so I took over the TKD class.

New black belt, Angela Bonnet, circa 2010

In 2018, Mike moved to New Mexico and opened a new BJJ school there, the San Juan Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school, leaving the Oregon Pound in the very capable hands of Yosof Wanly.

At that time, Yosof and I formally split the BJJ from the TKD class. The BJJ class lives on as Oregon Pound BJJ, and the TKD class became Fulcrum TKD.

In 2020, COVID shut us down and the Fulcrum TKD class largely fell apart. However, a few of the brown and black belts got back together and began training outside, year round, in sun, rain, snow and ice. Well, not as much in the ice, that was a bit too treacherous. But snow and rain? Oh yeah…

Working the bag in the snow…

After many of the black and brown belts who were dedicated enough to train in such conditions moved away and figuring that I had pushed the limits of my very patient neighbors enough by practicing TKD in my driveway close to dawn, I decided to relaunch Fulcrum TKD thru Corvallis Parks and Recreation in September of 2023. We are now training in the Walnut Community Room.

If you are looking for a small TKD class with a more traditional focus, come join us!

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