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Edwards black belt instructor dedicates life to martial arts

Kumye Moore demonstrates a Tae Kwon Do jumping side kick at one of her classess at the Rosburg Fitness Center on Dec. 4, 2006. Ms. Moore is a fourth Dan black belt instructor with the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Julius Delos Reyes)

Kumye Moore demonstrates a Tae Kwon Do jumping side kick at one of her classess at the Rosburg Fitness Center on Dec. 4, 2006. Ms. Moore is a fourth Dan black belt instructor with the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Julius Delos Reyes)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Walking in a hallway beside a big muscular man at the Rosburg Fitness Center, Kumye Moore, wearing a black jacket and a white pair of pants, looked like a cat beside a lion. With a small stature of five feet, small slanted eyes and a smiling face, she seemed defenseless.

However, what is hidden inside the diminutive woman is a World Tae Kwon Do Federation fourth Dan black belt instructor.

Ms. Moore teaches students from ages 4 to 65 about good physical and mental strength. She has been teaching since 1998; first as an assistant instructor at Osan Air Base, South Korea and then as an instructor in Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for four years.

"I like teaching Tae Kwon Do," Ms. Moore said in a thick Korean accent. "It makes my students healthier and stronger, and it builds self-confidence."

Tae Kwon Do is the national sport of Korea. Presently, Tae Kwon Do has a worldwide population of about 60 million practitioners.

Students, under her tutelage, first learn the basic foot and hand techniques such as kicking and punching characterized by Tae Kwon Do. Ms. Moore also teaches Tae Kwon Do Olympic sparring. As the students upgrade their ranking, they learn a more difficult and higher form of the martial art.

Included in her syllabus is teaching the poomsae form technique involving pre-determined and choreographed routines, sequences and patterns resembling real combat, but are artistically non-combative, she said.

"Ms. Moore is firm and disciplined in her art," said Eleanor Hoagains, JT3 Unysis personnel and a Tae Kwon Do yellow belt. "She takes her teaching very seriously as far as making us understand our movements properly. In the beginning it was difficult (for me) because I don't understand the Korean language but I like her teaching a lot. When she is teaching us, she is making sure that we learn right. She makes sure that our stance and our techniques are correct before we proceed to the next technique."

Ms. Moore is very patient, Ms. Hoagains said. She demonstrates her teaching very well, and her techniques are sharp.

Students not only learn Tae Kwon Do, they compete as well. Ms. Moore's team participated in the 2006 Invitational Tae Kwon Do Championship at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles Oct. 7 where her team won various medals.

"Tae Kwon Do makes you more patient since you have to do the techniques over and over again," Ms. Moore said. "It makes you mentally and physically stronger."

Tae Kwon Do lets human characteristics change from negative attitude to positive attitude by self-confidence, she said. Tae Kwon Do is a modern sport with a philosophical factor, which helps people to have self-confidence and self-pride. To make it short, Tae Kwon Do is a martial art that makes individuals mature and perfect.

For the love of Tae Kwon Do, Ms. Moore devoted almost her entire life in learning the art. Growing up in South Korea, she started learning Tae Kwon Do when she was 13 years old. Marriage, age and motherhood didn't diminish her love and discipline for the art. In fact, her love was passed to her children. Her son is an 18-year-old third Dan black belt and her daughter is a 10th grader with a second Dan black belt.

"Tae Kwon Do is Korea's gift to the world and I want to share the knowledge and from this sport with all Tae Kwon Do students," Ms. Moore said. "I want to teach students the dynamic, the mental and technical structure in which every movement is connected."