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My Journey

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

This post was written by Grand Master Henry

Master Evan R. Henry Bio

The road to get to where I am today was long and hard. I loved watching martial art movies and one of my favorite ones was the “The Last Dragon”. So one day my mom and dad took me to blockbuster and we walked by this martial art School. I saw this man training hard and doing amazing skills I only saw in movies. We walked in to that school and I told him I want to be like him. He told me that you can be anything you desire to as long as you work hard to obtain it. It was the same words my parents always told me. He then introduced himself as Master Dweck and I became his second student. From that day, I trained hard and went up the ranks with master Dweck. My goal at the age of 6 was to become a Taekwondo Master and open a Taekwondo school. Doing my best to become a black belt and to achieve my first step in becoming a Taekwondo master. I had one more test to become a black belt. During this process I was at the Taekwondo school every single day improving and learning. I became student of the month several times. I became regional champion and earned many different awards at tournaments. I learned and exemplified the tenets of taekwondo. Courtesy, integrity, [perseverance, self-control ,and indomitable spirit. Master Dweck taught me that my character was more important then any achievement I can obtain.

The day finally came that I was able to go for my black belt test. I showed all the forms, skills, self defenses, and board breaking. At this point the only thing I had to do was spar and I was going to achieve my first step to my over all dream of becoming a Taekwondo master. So I started to spar and during the fight I did a spinning kick. That kick grazed his nose very lightly and he started to bleed from his nose. Immediately, Master Dweck stopped the fight and told me to come to him quickly. He whispered in my ear and said,” Evan, I am so proud of you today. But you know the rules… You can not pass if you make someone bleed. I am deeply sorry, but I have no choice. You failed the test.” He then rushed over to the other student and to make sure he was ok. I remember them saying,” Its ok my son bleeds very easily and he gets nose bleeds all the time.” Master Dweck still kept to the rules and failed me. I ran to the bathroom and cried my heart out. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and I felt defeated. My father Edwin R. Henry came to the bathroom and hugged me. I remember him saying to me in that moment, “ Son, you did great and I am proud of you. But the rules are the rules. Now you can stay in here and act like a boy. Or you can pick yourself up hold your head up high and walk out of here ready to come back next month to try again. It is your choice son. But I know my son is a strong man and will make the right choice.” My father then left the bathroom and waited outside for me to come out. I washed my face and fixed my uniform. I came out and all the students and parents were watching me. The room was silent as I walked across the mats and to the front door. I turned around and yelled,” I will come back to get my black belt.” Two months later, I went for my black belt again and passed everything. I was officially a black belt at the age of 10 years old.

Not to long after that master Joe Dweck retired and I was forced to look for a new school. I went to a few schools in the area but none of them were like how master Dweck taught. So, my parents found a school under Grand master Kim. It was under him I learned how to teach martial arts. It was not easy at all. His leadership style was different from master Dweck, but his skills were better then anyone else in the area. At a young age I cleaned the bags, mirrors, cleaned the bathroom, and swept the floor. During my time under Grand master Kim he taught me the true style of taekwondo.

During this time while I gradually was going up the ranks under grand master Kim. My father and I continued to train and prepare for tournaments. My dad was my coach and my mom was my doctor. My dad would train me like a soldier and my mom would help soothe my hurting body. With the support of them I would have never been able to overcome the obstacles that I had to face.

As I continued to train and go to these tournaments. I realized there were no black masters in my organization. I didn’t even see any black instructors or teachers at all. So, I felt as though I had to continue to become a taekwondo master so that other black people would believe they can achieve this goal as well. With that in mind I kept training even harder.

Along the journey of becoming a taekwondo master. I would win in a tournament and then have to deal with racism in the bathroom. People who lost to me calling me the “N” word and try to beat me up in the bathroom. I would ignore the words of what they would say to me by not evening acknowledging them. The ones who tried to beat me up in the bathrooms always felt the pain of defeat for the second time in private. I would deal with these types of people and continue throughout my day. I would do my best to never get distracted by racism.

As the year went by I noticed I wasn’t growing at the rate I was suppose to be growing. I wasn’t as tall as the doctors said I should be. So my parents took me to the doctor and I was checked out. We found out that my growth plates were closing to fast and there was no way to slow down the process. The doctors prescribed me shots called growth hormone. It was a shot I took every single day to help my growth process before the plates closed. I started to see myself as a man who would be short forever. It was painful because I thought all my life I would be at least 5ft 10 inches. As I continued competitions and training. I realized the people around me grew taller and taller. People started to make jokes about how short I was. It bothered me every time I looked in the mirror. Yet, I grew to 5ft 1 inch. I started to accept that I would be short, but it would not stop me from my goals.

Even with all that… During my 21 years of training to become a taekwondo master. I became a certified 5th Dan Black belt with 22 years of taekwondo under my belt. I have been to many tournaments throughout the USA, including national tournaments and national qualifiers. Over the course of my Taekwondo career, I became regional champion in 2000, received many gold and silver medals, and trained under an Olympic coach for 17 years. I offer Olympic Training (the highest quality training) that guarantees results. After seeing how other martial art schools were primarily motivated by making money and superficial instruction, I formed New Creation Taekwondo to create a better kind of Taekwondo school. My goal is to create an authentic martial arts school that instead focuses on the personal growth of each student. I treat every single student and staff member like family. Because all of those who are with me are my family. I have a degree in Pastoral Leadership and a degree in Practical Theology. I became a pastor and kept on loving people regardless of how they are.

I have learned that it does not matter your height, weight, or size. The only things that matters is hard work, determination, and confidence that allows you to achieve anything. These are the things I teach every student who comes in to New Creation taekwondo. I have a chance to train up kids and adults to have these things in their hearts. To push them to dream big and be willing to sacrifice for their dreams. I have achieved my goal of becoming a taekwondo master and owning a taekwondo school called New Creation Taekwondo. It has been a long journey to get to where I am now. There are so many people that need things in their lives so my new goal is to help as many people as I can.

I thank God for my parents Edwin R. Henry, and Yolanda D. Henry for their love and support. My younger sister Majiyah Blackwell Henry for her unwavering confidence in me to achieve my dreams. At the end of the day my parents taught me to be the man I am today, and they are my biggest supporters. With out them I would not be the Man, Master, and Pastor I am today. My question to you is… Are you willing to join the New Creation family to help the world?

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