Reprinted from The Way of Taekwondo (Winter 2003)

      Senior Master
            Dan Thor

Senior Master Dan Thor

Senior Master Dan Thor began his training in martial arts in 1969 when he began taking Judo in college. He started taking Taekwondo in 1972 while working at a crisis center in California. Over the next two years, the Taekwondo club grew and his instructor started looking for an organization that would provide a structured system of testing and rank promotion. In 1974, Master Thor's instructor contacted the ATA about joining the organization, and went to Omaha, Nebraska, to test.

According to Master Thor, the biggest challenge that Songahm Taekwondo has helped him overcome is the anxiety that he felt when performing in front of a large group of people. "Over the years of having to test numerous times in various settings, I have learned to stay focused and confident, and to keep a clear mind on what I was doing," Master Thor explains.

The first meeting that Master Thor had with the late Grand Master H.U. Lee was in 1977. The late Grand Master was attending testing at Master Thor's school. His first real contact with Grand Master Soon Ho Lee was in 1987 at the first camp held in Korea.

Master Thor's earliest Taekwondo memory is his first testing in the ATA in which he received a no change. He feels that this experience has helped him a great deal in relating to students and helping them through their disappointments.

Outside of the Songahm world, Master Thor has many interests. He enjoys rock climbing and has recently taken up golf. Professionally, he works as a surgical physician assistant in general surgery. He was also in the seminary for five years studying to become a Catholic priest. Subsequently, he received his degree in Psychology and worked as a counselor in a drug crisis center.

He would like to be remembered for the positive impact that his instruction and Taekwondo have had on those he has trained.

The Way of Taekwondo, Winter 2003

© The Way of Taekwondo 2003