Archive for May, 2018

Manager Profile – Natasha Menko

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

In January 2013, Natasha Menko was looking for a new experience in life. Dealing with a “mid-life crisis” of sorts, she decided to pursue her interest in martial arts. “After 15 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I realized I needed to do something for me, not just for my kids,” she states. She also wanted to lose weight and get in shape, and felt like she found the perfect blending of all of her interests, in Tae Kwon Do.

Now the School Manager for Master Shim’s World Class Tae Kwon Do in Peachtree City, Natasha says there’s no looking back. Her interest in and excitement for Tae Kwon Do allowed her to share her love of the sport with her family as well. She’s ascended the ranks to 3rd Degree Black Belt, and loves what she does.

Here’s more about Natasha Menko.

What made you select Master Shim's for your Tae Kwon Do? After deciding I wanted to try a martial art, I found Master Shim's was conveniently located and decided to check it out. I set up a trial class and was immediately hooked. I signed up for the black belt program, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Do any other family members take lessons with you? How did taking lessons together affect your relationship with your sons?  When I started, my sons saw how much fun I was having and decided they wanted to be a part of it also, and three of them took of classes with me. My youngest, Bryan (now 13) made it to red stripe before deciding he wanted to go back to soccer. My sons Nick (now 15) and Sean (now 20) both tested for 1st Dan with me in September 2015. Nick decided to take a break from Tae Kwon Do at 1st Dan Level 3, but Sean and I tested for 2nd Dan together in March 2016. He stopped taking classes a while after that. However, even though they no longer take Tae Kwon Do with me, I can say that having been on the journey with them was an incredible bonding experience.

What has Tae Kwon Do done for your confidence? Tae Kwon Do has done a lot for my confidence, both on and off the mat. Knowing that I am able to handle a situation, no matter what, I am more comfortable speaking up - no longer acquiescing when I disagree for fear of confrontation. I am less fearful in general, because I KNOW that I can handle myself.

Is it good exercise? Tae Kwon Do classes are not just great exercise, but good for the mind and spirit as well. I found that during stressful times, my classes really enabled me to let things go and work off that stress. The fact that it helped me lose weight and get in better shape were certainly welcome too. 

What changes have you seen in students who take Tae Kwon Do? Why would you recommend it to others?  The improvement in behavior, in respect for not only their elders, but also for their peers. I've had parents tell me proudly that within a couple of weeks they noticed a difference - in just saying "yes, sir, yes ma'am" at home, better listening, better focus. I've seen shy students come out of their shell to talk with and help others, I've seen focus improve, and the determination on some of their faces when they know they are so close to a tip or a new belt, and how hard they work to achieve that. I would recommend it to everyone. It doesn't matter what you are looking for - increased focus, confidence, stress relief, a good workout, better endurance or flexibility - you name it, Tae Kwon Do offers lots of benefits. Whichever one you are looking for, you may find you gain more than you bargained for. In a great way.

Honoring Those Who Bring Us Honor

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Memorial Day provides us with the opportunity to honor brave men and women who’ve given their lives in military service for this country. It became a federal holiday in 1971 and has evolved as a day of remembering the legacies of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Here at Master Shim’s World Class Tae Kwon Do, we count it a privilege to recognize this nation’s veterans. We’d love the opportunity to say “thank you for your service” to veterans who are still with us. This is where you come in.

In the comments below, tell us about a veteran you’d like to recognize for their service and dedication in the military. The remarks that garner the most “likes” will receive a week of free classes for your honored veteran.

All decisions are at the final discretion of Master Shim’s World Class Tae Kwon Do.

Tell us your stories ….

Student Profile – Daniel and Peter van der Hoek

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

In Step With . . .Daniel and Peter van der Hoek

The Van der Hoek brothers have made Tae Kwon Do a family affair. Twelve-year-old Daniel got the ball rolling, when he started classes in September 2016. “My brother did it and I just thought it looked fun,” states 8-year-old Peter. He followed suit and started classes in November 2016. The boys are taking classes at the Fayetteville location.

Their mother is pleased with the changes she’s seen in her sons. “Taekwondo gives both boys a chance to channel their energy in a constructive way. They learn a little about Korean culture also. So far, they have not been in any situations where they would need to defend themselves, but I am glad they know some self-defense moves! They also receive positive reinforcement in being courteous and helpful to others, a key principle in Taekwondo,” says Betsy.


Presenting Daniel and Peter van der Hoek, our April Student Profile.

What has Tae Kwon Do done for your confidence? Self-esteem?  

Both: We feel a little more confident than before we did Taekwondo.


Is it good exercise? 

Both: Definitely. It is physical and mental exercise. You have to remember all the forms and Korean terms, and also how to get along with each other and help each other.


Why do you like Tae Kwon Do? 

Daniel: Forms and self-defense, and Master Morgan.

Peter: I like the nice masters, instructors and the friends.


Tell me about some of your Tae Kwon Do accomplishments and things you have achieved?

Daniel: We competed in Master Shim’s tournament last year and in the Health Kick fundraiser two years in a row. I have been doing Taekwondo a year and a half, and I’m close to being a black belt. I feel like I have gained a lot of experience already.

Peter: I have been in Master Shim’s tournament and the 2017 Health Kick. I broke a board into 3 pieces!



Why would you tell another parent that their child should take Tae Kwon Do? 

Apart from the fact that it’s good exercise, there is a good balance of competition and cooperation that is healthy for kids (and adults). Since my children are homeschooled, coming to Master Shim’s gives us a chance to get out and spend time with a nice cross-section of our local community. I can’t speak highly enough of the masters and instructors. They are cheerful, patient, friendly, encouraging, and know when a student needs a challenge. The administrative side of the school is also very organized. My kids appreciated the fact that they got a manual to help learn the requirements for each level and track their progress. The atmosphere in the school is always friendly for parents and grandparents as they watch the lessons. I like that my boys are involved in a sport they enjoy right now and can continue in someday as adults if they choose.


A Little Cash Goes A Long Way

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Students, teachers, and even some parents are itching with excitement – summer is almost upon us! Between counting down the days that remain in the school year, and enrolling in summer camps, the month of May can be a busy time. You may also be looking forward to slowing down the pace, focusing on relaxation, and preparing family vacation plans for the summer. If you’re looking for fun activities close to home, the city of Atlanta offers a plethora of options to choose from. There are choices for all ages, and all price ranges. In fact, if you’re considering summer excitement that will make your wallet happy, look no further. Get ready to smile with this listing of a few inexpensive ways to have summer fun.


  • Enjoy the great outdoors at the park – This may seem obvious. After all, throwing frisbees at the park, playing on the monkey bars, and picnic lunches are all things summer was made for. You may also enjoy a trip to Centennial Olympic Park to play in the fountains and read about Atlanta’s time hosting the Olympic games.
  • A little climb, anyone? – Looking for a little exercise? A climb to the top of Stone Mountain at Stone Mountain Park may be just what you need.
  • Take a walk through history – The King Center in Atlanta is an informative look at the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Filled with intriguing details on both his public and private life, it would be a day well-spent.
  • Loving our animal friends - Noah’s Animal Sanctuary provides an up close and personal look at exotic, wildlife and domestic animals. Self-guided tours are completely free.
  • Activities with a little kick to them - Check out the events at Master Shim’s World Class Tae Kwon Ladies, looking for a self-defense class? Want to sign the kids up for summer camp? Looking for a few lessons to get your feet wet? Take advantage of all we have to offer! Visit to find out more.

Instructor Profile – Samantha Ransier

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

In Step With . . .Samantha Ransier

Mat Instructor Samantha Ransier owes her love of Tae Kwon Do to her younger sister. “I started because my sister sparked my interest,” she states. “I had always thought martial arts were cool, but when I saw Master Morgan doing a self-defense demonstration at a birthday party, I was automatically hooked,” she continues. Four years later, Samantha enjoys working at the Fayetteville location, and is a first-degree black belt.


Here’s more on April’s instructor, Samantha Frazier.


Did you have any problems/issues that Tae Kwon Do helped you overcome?

I was always very socially anxious, but Master Shim's has taught me to use my voice in multiple ways.


What has Tae Kwon Do done for your confidence? Self-esteem?

There is nothing more confidence boosting than watching other people trying just as hard and encouraging you no matter how little you think of yourself. I personally had a group of students that I bonded with and became very close with. We did everything together at Tae Kwon Do. They helped me become more confident.


Is it good exercise?

Definitely. There is always a balance between the physical training and the curricular training which let's you develop not only muscular strength, but also your flexibility.


What changes have you seen in students who take Tae Kwon Do? Why would you recommend it to others?

There are tremendous changes! I think one of my personal observations was how children who come into the door on the first day with the jitters, unable to keep still, and running from place to place, walk in the door, bow politely and respectfully grab their cards and sit patiently by the mat. Another change is watching the shy children finally expressing themselves and flowering into amazing martial artists with more confidence than ever before.


Anything else you would like to add?

Master Shim's has made me a better person. I focus more in school and have a higher self-image. I love the amazing family I've become a part of. I could never be happier anywhere else.

Love The Skin You Are In

Friday, May 11th, 2018

At the first peak of warm weather, many people excitedly flock to the beach. After all, winter’s blistering temperatures have held outdoor activities at bay for months. The squishy sand between your toes, refreshing cool water waves, and sunshine on your skin create an attractive allure to take a beach day. As much fun as frolicking in the sun can be, it can develop into too much of a good thing. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month. Instead of shying away from time in the sun and the benefits that it can bring, the key is to do it wisely. Taking appropriate precautions ensures your time in the sun is safe.


  • Use sunscreen. That’s what it’s for. Allow it to help keep the harmful rays at bay.
  • Don a pair of sunglasses. They’re not only stylish, they’re functional. They serve a valid purpose in helping your eyes.
  • Limit your time in the sun between 10am and 4pm. When temperatures are often at their highest, and the sun’s rays are the fiercest, consider cutting back on outdoor time. Don’t make a practice of laying out for hours on end.
  • Try to wear clothing that coves your skin whenever possible. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants can provide protection from damaging rays. Of course, it’s hot in the summer, so tank tops and shorts are an integral part of your wardrobe. But when you may be outdoors for extended periods of time, consider covering up to protect your skin.


Moms – We Love You!

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”

  • Robert Browning

Indeed, a mother’s love is unconditional. Mom is there to celebrate every victory and cheer you on through each challenge. She’s there to hold you and encourage you if you encounter a struggle and rejoice when you have a triumph. Of course, with that in mind, you want to take Mother’s Day to honor all the ways she has enriched your life. From tried and true methods to gifts that are outside of the box, here are a few ideas every mother is sure to enjoy.

Flowers and candy

You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who doesn’t feel special when given colorful flowers. Couple that gift with something sweet for your sweet, and it’s sure to bring a smile to Mom’s face. Chocolates almost always do the trick. And if you’d like to give her a whole field of flowers, head to Atlanta Botanical Gardens to savor nature’s beauty.

Music to my ears

The Fox Theatre is the location for a Mother’s Day Weekend Celebration, with the vocal stylings of the one and only Anita Baker. Enjoying music she loved years ago may be a joyous walk down memory lane for Mom. Add more excitement to the evening with a special brunch or dinner event at a number of area restaurants.

So happy together

Mommy & Me Days at Master Shim’s World Class Tae Kwon Do provide a gift idea that is unique, off the beaten path, and something you and mom can enjoy together. Take part in the in a bonding time that will also give you a good workout! As Mom embodies the new sense of confidence and power that Tae Kwon Do can bring, surprise her with a gift certificate to come back for classes. That is surely a gift she’ll never forget.

Student Profile – Zoe Temples & Joshua Whitaker

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

When Zoe Temples and Joshua Whitaker started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons at Master Shim’s Fayetteville location in 2017, their family had no idea of what was in store. Just a few months later, in December, the Whitakers were honored as Master Shim’s Family of the Year. “It is such an honor to receive the award for family of the year! We can’t express enough how much it truly means to us. We could not be more grateful to have been chosen,” says dad, Joshua, and mom, Aneta. “All of the staff at Master Shim’s is exceptional and we would do anything for any of them.”


The family is excited about the changes they see in Zoe, 12 and young Joshua, 6. “I have seen great changes in both of my children.  They have grown to be more responsible, focused, driven, confident and have a sense of accomplishment because of Tae Kwon Do,” Dad states.


This month’s profile tells us more about Zoe and Joshua.


What are your belt levels?

Zoe - Black Belt

Joshua - Red Belt
Why did you start Tae Kwon Do?

Zoe attended a class for the bring a friend event and loved Tae Kwon Do from then on. Joshua has always been interested in martial arts and wanted to learn more about it.
Did you have any problems/issues that Tae Kwon Do helped you overcome?

Master Shim’s has helped them to become more focused and have more confidence overall.
Why do you like Tae Kwon Do? Why would you tell another kid that it is fun to do?

Zoe and Joshua like Tae Kwon Do for many reasons.  They like being able to take care of themselves if needed. They like the masters and instructors too.  They think it is a lot of fun to do.
Tell me about some of your Tae Kwon Do accomplishments and things you have achieved?

Zoe feels accomplished for becoming a member of the Demo team as well as a junior instructor.

Joshua has been excited about becoming a high belt. He also loves competing at the tournaments and bringing home medals to show everyone.

Instructor Profile – Emily Parlier

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

In Step With . . .Emily Parlier

She is an international medalist, whose repertoire boasts more than one hundred medals and trophies in Tae Kwon Do. Senior Instructor Emily Parlier has taught students at Master Shim’s World Class Tae Kwon Do for five years, and is currently an instructor at the Stockbridge location. She has been involved in the sport since she was 9 years old. It’s a decision that Emily has never regretted. “The unique teaching style (at Master Shim’s) was really good for me, and I fell in love with the classes and instructors when I walked in for my first class,” she states.


She has watched the involvement with Master Shim’s grow into a family affair, with her parents, cousins, and aunts all signing up for lessons as well. As the American Taekwondo United (ATU) National Champion in 2015 and 2016, and the silver medalist in 2017, Emily is an excellent example for them to follow.


Here’s a look at February’s featured instructor, Emily Parlier.


What is your belt level?  

I am a 4th Dan.


What problems did Tae Kwon Do help you overcome?

When I was younger, I was a little firecracker, as I’ve been told. I had some behavioral issues and I had a hard time getting along with others. Tae Kwon Do taught me self-control, discipline, and respect.


Has Tae Kwon Do given you confidence?

Tae Kwon Do has been great for my confidence and self-esteem. I was never sure of myself before, but I believe that I am now.


Why would you recommend Tae Kwon Do for all ages?

Tae Kwon Do is really great for anyone! It helps adults get into shape and have a fun activity to get away from the stress of being an adult. It’s great for families to bond and work together at something. It’s especially great for kids to build life skills in them while they are young so that they will last a life time.