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  • Writer's pictureSpencer Bennington

Donate to Help Pil Seung Tae Kwon Do

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Hello and welcome back to Rhetorical Roundhouse--last week, I became a Doctor! Woohoo--and life goes on :P This week I am working hard to help raise money for an organization that has been responsible for so much good fortune in my life--I'm hoping that you'll consider making a donation to Master Rupert Cox and Pil Seung Martial Arts so they can continue to serve the New River Valley community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please help Master Rupert Cox, owner and head instructor of Pil Seung Tae Kwon Do, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses across the country have been hit hard as a result of quarantine, and it's been even harder for locally owned gyms and martial arts studios. Pil Seung is not eligible for much of the government aide and needs your support.

Why should you donate to support Pil Seung Taekwondo?

This is MORE than just a martial arts gym. Pil Seung provides:

  • Fitness and discipline for students of all ages and backgrounds

  • Free and reduced cost classes for low-income families

  • Asylum and assistance to Blacksburg Refugees 

  • Women's self defense courses for sororities and other community organizations

Check out this article in New River Valley Magazine to learn more about Master Rupert and Pil Seung Martial Arts.

Please donate any amount you can to help Master Rupert keep his martial arts school open in these troubling times when the community needs it most. You might remember in the WAY BACK WHEN I started a series on this blog called "My Martial Arts Journey." Well, it truly has been a journey with many missteps and bumpy roads. The foundation of my Tae Kwon Do practice goes back to Master Kelvin Miller in Danville, VA, but years later, when I was finishing my MA in Radford, I met Master Rupert.

A lot had changed in my life between the time when I was the brash eighteen year old who left Master Miller's dojang and when I was budding young professional in my mid-twenties. One thing that had changed, dramatically, was my outlook on martial arts. I didn't realize how little community I had built around my practice. It's funny to think about it now, but there was a time when martial arts truly was something of a solo meditation for me--even in class settings I was only focused on my own growth. This began to change as I grew closer to Rupert and the other very special people in my life I refer to as my Tae Kwon Do Family.

I'll try not to get to sappy here so I just want to stick to the facts. In 2008 I was awarded my first degree black belt and first Dan certificate from the Kukkiwon. At the time, I was promoted to that rank by my instructor who was only a 2nd Dan. This meant that I had nowhere to go to continue testing. It wouldn't be until nearly ten years later that I finally met a master who not only promised to test me, but ACTUALLY followed through. That man was Master Rupert Cox.

Not only did he honor his word, he confirmed that my original first Dan certificate was a forgery. Despite my payment of hundred of dollars and all the training, I was not actually a black belt according to the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. Master Rupert was the one who corrected this for me--and with true empathy I might add. The same situation had happened to him as a student.

Part of the reason I can pledge loyalty to someone like Master Rupert Cox is because I know, plain and simple, that he's one of the good guys. If he could run Pil Seung for free, he would. He already donates almost all of his time to helping others, just like he helped me, and hardly ever asks for anything in return. But today, I hope that you can help me give back, in any amount you can afford, to a man and a school that works tirelessly to spread the joy of martial arts to a community where it's not readily available.

The face of a man who loves his work

Thank you all so much for giving what you can and sharing the Gofundme on your own social media. This really means a lot to me and I hope you can help.

Before I rap it up for this week I wanted to share last week's new episode of Good Black Friday in case you missed it! Found out how to rid yourself of racist tattoos and see what's inside the Black Mystery Bag from

Join me next week as I switch gears a bit and start planning for my online courses in the fall. I'll be sharing teacher resources, tips for online, motivational cat posters and more! Also, I'm still in the process of converting the dissertation defense into tiny tiger lectures, but those should be coming out in the next couple of weeks as well.

Thanks for stopping by :)


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