Feet, Fists, Discipline
by Chelsea Pyne ~
Walking into PURE Taekwondo Center you immediately get a sense of community. From the students dressed in white doboks, the parents chatting on the sides, and the commanding voice of owner and Head Master Bernard Posey yelling, “Do we understand?” to a roaring, “Yes sir!” Smiles abound both on and off the floor mat.
Started as a way to keep Taekwondo alive in Kernersville, Master Posey has created a place for all ages to come practice an ancient art and join a family of people learning to better themselves.
Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art that enhances a person’s strength and spirit. It teaches the correct way of using all body parts to stop a fight in order to build a more peaceful world. The literal translations are TAE: foot/leg/step on, KWAN: fist/fight, and DO: way/discipline. They each give sight to the important concepts behind this 5,000 year old martial art turned Olympic sport.
Characterized by unity of the mind, body, and life as a whole, Taekwondo relies on the principles of mind training and movement becoming one with life. For example, Master Posey’s classes greatly emphasize situational awareness. Analyzing and avoiding a dangerous encounter, and then making the correct decisions in the context of the situation is vital.
PURE focuses on five key concepts: Courtesy, Respect, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit. These tenets are just the beginning, as many parents reported that they have seen improvement in grades, focus, and confidence.
Betsy Hanks has watched how Taekwondo has influenced her son for the past six years. “We put Jacob in Taekwondo just to help with his coordination and confidence, but we got so much more than we expected. He is on the Leadership Team and it is helping him interact with people of all different ages and backgrounds. He has learned to show respect to everyone.”
Master Posey has also seen improvements in his students both in and outside of his studio. “This is why teachers recommend Taekwondo; it builds eye, body, and mind focus. Keep your eye on the teacher, be respectful to your body and others, and concentrate on school work. Tournaments improve this as well. I see my students apply focus when they are winning by staying humble and also when they are losing, because it helps them do whatever it takes to get back ahead.”
The philosophy and practice of Taekwondo still goes much further. However, PURE is built around a family setting. “My school is not very militant or strict, not a lot of yelling. We do discipline, but it is always in a positive manner. The students just love to have fun,” Master Posey adds.
PURE may not be as stern as other schools, but with a proven master, all students are sure to get a great education. “I was three when my parents noticed I had too much energy, so they signed me up and I just never stopped.”
The art has taken Master Posey to several Olympic and National teams competing around the world from Ivory Coast, Aruba, Vietnam, Costa Rica, and so on. Master Posey began his international career in 2005 after being selected for the Junior National Team. Twenty-two years of dedication has earned him a Fifth Degree Black Belt. Unfortunately, with the upset of a broken leg during a match in Korea, Master Posey is taking time to concentrate running his practice and getting his students to reach their goals—which they have.
PURE’s team of ten brought back eight golds and two silvers from the Powerade State Games. Last year he had his first student to receive bronze in Nationals, and this year seven students will be competing for Nationals in Austin, Texas.
Master Posey’s experience makes him a great teacher, but his role as a leader truly defines him. After attending a meeting at Main Street UMC, Master Posey was given support to open PURE from numerous church members. By tearing apart an old studio and building a new center with 37 students, PURE was set in action. Now the school has 130 students and celebrated its third year on June 7th.
“I was teaching at another school for about ten years, but five of the years I was on my own. Being so young and owning a business gives you a big head. I had to mature quickly. I was put in a position that affects lives, young and old. College is fun, but I have had to find balance to run a business at the same time.”
With his other instructor Master Keiffer Teague and their Leadership Team, PURE has created much more than a place to practice kicks and punches. “It is the family environment that is most rewarding. Being an example to young ones, going to competitions, the families, friendships, and bonds; we shower them with good influences,” Master Posey adds.
Twice a week you can find a member of PURE having lunch with one of their students. Attending a school talent show, putting on a demo for the Spring Folly, or holding a quarterly date night so parents can spend their Friday kid free. PURE goes beyond teaching technical skills.
“I am just grateful to Kernersville for having us. The family support that has been built here…the atmosphere really shines bright. Anybody can teach a good front kick or round kick, but it is about how we can build each other up,” Master Posey says.
Parent Matt Pitt agrees, “It really is like a second family. When we get together we are all there for each other, we go to tournaments as a group, and we care for each other’s kids and support each other. I cannot see another place where my son would get this kind of interaction with such a wide range of kids and ages.”
PURE also offers cardio, weapons, and specialty training classes. For more information visit: www.PTKDCenter.com or call 336.355.PURE.