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Category : Success Stories

By 18 months of age, autism had taken away Jalen’s ability to speak.  This disorder coupled with his mother’s work-related travel demands posed a tremendous challenge to the young man and his family. Yet with his family’s support and his involvement with Grandmaster Smith and Taekwondo, Jalen later became his 8th grade class’s valedictorian. One of the youngest Black Belts in the area, Jalen was driven to overcome his challenges as well as to perform well in the classroom.

The desire to achieve and the memorization required in Taekwondo provided the structure that led this remarkable young man to his high level of academic success. Taekwondo gave Jalen the focus and confidence to excel in life

“Grandmaster Smith gave Jalen the understanding that if you do not try, you cannot succeed,” said Jalen’s grandmother.


“The student’s respect has grown for all adults, including teachers. I have had fewer disruptions and more learning going on in my classroom that I can directly attribute to the Taekwondo training of my students.”
“I know that a lot of the kids I see here, if they weren’t here, I would be seeing them on the streets.”
“Taekwondo gives us a chance to do something together, outside of work. Plus, kicking is fun and gets out a lot of stress.”