Getting to Know Major Tae Kwon Do in Lilburn

By Our Town Staff

Grandmaster Seong Ji, owner of Major Tae Kwon Do in Lilburn, humbly says that the keys to success are respect and perseverance. At age 51, he has come to understand that by giving respect to all, regardless of a student’s age, an instructor not only teaches respect, but also heightens the students’ enjoyment of Tae Kwon Do as well. When Ji’s students enjoy Tae Kwon Do, they have the opportunity to gain the wonderful benefits characteristic of the discipline.

Born in 1964 in Ansung City, South Korea, young Ji began his studies in Tae Kwon Do in elementary school. By the time he was twelve, he had earned his black belt. This accomplishment gave him incredible personal strength and self-confidence. To Seong Ji, earning a black belt gave him a way to handle the difficult tests of life – be they mental, physical, or emotional. It was the self-respect that Ji gained as a black belt that he considers to be the key to his success.

Attending Kyung Hee University – the world’s first university to offer a bachelor’s program in Tae Kwon Do Education – solidified Ji’s future as a Tae Kwon Do professional. By 1990, Ji had earned his bachelor’s degree, opened his first school, and started a family. A series of fortuitous events led him to the United States, where he was submersed in a different culture, a different language, and a different landscape. After teaching in the Midwest for almost three years under the guidance of Grandmaster Woo Jin Jung, Ji moved to Georgia to start a new chapter in his life.

When the doors of Major Tae Kwon Do opened in 1996 in Lilburn, he was the only instructor and had only three students. The number of students did not faze him as he knew he had the privilege of holding what he considered to be the most rewarding responsibility: influencing and inspiring the students within and outside the framework of Tae Kwon Do.

As a humble man, Seong Ji’s greatest pride comes from each student enjoying his classes. Even now, after over twenty years from the start of his Tae Kwon Do journey in the US, Grandmaster Ji still considers himself to be a student as his students daily teach him how to be a better teacher.

One of the greatest challenges he faces is when students want to quit if they have a difficulty or struggle within the discipline. Grandmaster Ji hopes to teach his students and their parents that if a student has a setback, such as having a difficult time with a technique, that is when encouragement and support from family and peers are most needed. He teaches the importance of helping bear each other’s burdens and struggles in order to provide confidence and inspiration. “You need to believe in their abilities and encourage them to persevere,” says Ji. If the student leaves Tae Kwon Do during a difficult time, a cycle of self-doubt is learned rather than a cycle of determination, self-respect, hard work, and success. An important lesson Grandmaster Ji teaches his students is that a black belt is a white belt who never gave up.

As the owner and chief instructor at Major Tae Kwon Do, he believes teaching has provided an avenue for him to inspire and influence the people in his own community. He also draws strength from his loving family. Eun, his college sweetheart and wife of 25 years, raised their three sons, all of whom earned their 3rd degree black belt. Dabin entered medical school last fall, Robin is a senior at the University of Georgia, and Harbin is in 10th grade. As Major Tae Kwon Do continues growing and expanding, Grandmaster Ji credits his success to not only his wonderfully dedicated staff, but also to the continued friendships and relationships he has formed with his students and their families.

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