Reprinted from the Taos News (August 7-13, 2003)

Favor y Contra

Letters

Master Thor enriches many people's lives

Thank you for your brief profile of local Taekwondo instructor and seventh-degree black belt Dan Thor, who recently earned the title of Senior Master Instructor. It is difficult for lay people to appreciate how fortunate Taos is to have such a talented and dedicated martial arts instructor. Master Thor is one of only a dozen or so senior masters worldwide in the Songahm style of Taekwondo. (Not all seventh-degree black belts are granted that title.) It is no exaggeration to say that he is among the best instructors in the world. I cannot think of another martial artist of his caliber who has eschewed the more lucrative metropolitan markets for a town the size of Taos.

As a student of Master Thor for more than 20 years, I am one of the hundreds of Taoseños whose lives he has enriched substantially. His blend of empathy, insight and patience makes him a mentor and a role model to me and to many others. His Taekwondo school has raised thousands of dollars over the years to benefit Child-Rite, the Taos-based nonprofit special needs adoption agency that my parents founded. He also is a board member for Team PRIDE, an organization that seeks to prevent juvenile delinquency and promote education by enrolling at-risk low-income children in special martial arts programs nationwide.

Perhaps because he is so self-effacing, Master Thor has long been one of Taos' better-kept secrets. I hope your article will change that.

Jordan Schreiber
San Francisco, Calif.

© The Taos News 2003