Exercising the Mind and Body

USA Tae Kwon Do names Taylor
Indiana commissioner

He operates Tae Kwon Do
schools in Madison, Osgood

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(January 2012) – For almost 30 years, Master Jerry Taylor has been helping his students achieve both physical and mental improvement through the art of Tae Kwon Do. Beginning in 1982 with 13 students, his classes have grown to nearly 100 active students between his Osgood, Ind., and Madison, Ind., academies.
To Konnie McCollum, a Second Degree black belt, such growth comes as no surprise. She began taking her children to the Osgood academy about eight years ago, and when the Madison branch opened in 2007, she decided to take part as well.
“The rest is history!” she says, laughing.
Together with her four children, she has found her studies with Taylor “remarkably rewarding.” She describes him as “phenomenal – he’s very good with kids” and “an all around great guy.”

Jerry Taylor

Photo provided

World Tae Kwon Do Federation Master
Jerry Taylor has been providing instruction
to students for
nearly 30 years.

For those considering trying out Tae Kwon Do, she says that Taylor is “the only person I would recommend to start with.”
Tae Kwon Do is a discipline that attracts a wide range of people who in turn have a variety of motivations for choosing to pursue this particular sport.
“A lot of people come in here for a lot of different reasons,” Taylor explains.
He himself came to the sport in 1979 studying under Grand Master Ko in Columbus, Ind., and currently holds a Seventh Degree Black Belt. For Taylor, his interest in martial arts was sparked by the fact that he“got picked on and beat up a lot growing up” and was looking to learn a form of self-defense. Yet beyond mere physical training, Tae Kwon Do offers participants mental challenges and greater self-confidence. “If you’ve got to exercise, you might as well learn something,” Taylor says.
Taylor was recently named a Commissioner by the USA Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts Commission. He sought the position after speaking with a Grand Master in Chicago who pointed out that at the time that there were no commissioners in Indiana. He encouraged Taylor to apply.
This position recognizes both Taylor’s past dedication to the sport as well as his future commitment to nurturing future athletes. The USAT-MAC describes the requirements for commissioners stating that an applicant must be at least 30 years old, an “officially recognized and inducted Tae Kwon Do practitioner by the USAT-MAC,” and “who has achieved the rank of Fourth Dan (Fourth Degree Black Belt) by studying at a recognized school, under a recognized instructor as a member of an organization that is regarded as reputable by the USAT-MAC.”
The commission states that, “It is expected that a commissioner will contribute the same skill set and passion to the MAC that has brought him or her from White Belt to high Dan Rank and to success in the Martial Arts industry.”
As a commissioner, the USAT will look to Taylor for support of major events and recruitment of future Tae Kwon Do experts.
McCollum finds one of Taylor’s strengths to be his ability to work with people at many different levels of experience, from beginners to those holding black belt rankings. “He’s so patient. He works extra hard with people who need extra help,” she says. With those who have experience, McCollum notes that he is “extremely challenging” and “he will work you.”
McCollum believes Tae Kwon Do is an excellent for those who are looking to start becoming physically active and also those who already have a high level of fitness. She appreciates the combination of physical and mental exercise and highlights not only flexibility and balance as rewards of practice, but also improved memory.
Taylor agrees that the mental discipline required can provide huge rewards for his students. He explains that “parents like to bring kids in – it helps with attention.”
Taylor’s commitment to the sport is shown not only in his teaching but also by the ways he shares his sport with the community through competitions and demonstrations. His academy has held three tournaments in Madison so far with the most recent this past September. It welcomed participants from 14 other schools.
At this year’s Jefferson County 4-H Fair, students and instructors shared their talents with brick breaking and sparing demonstrations. Taylor’s work as an ambassador and educator for his sport is certain to ensure that interest in Tae Kwon Do will only continue to grow in southern Indiana.

Back to January 2012 Articles.



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