History of Brandon Bennett, Head Instructor of Hi Yah! Tae Kwon Do Mr. Bennett was born in Ashland, Oregon and also spent a portion of his earlier years in Central Point, Oregon. He is the head instructor for Hi-Yah! Tae Kwon do, teaching Tae Kwon Do classes for children through adults. In addition to teaching Tae Kwon Do for self defense, Mr. Bennett emphasizes the importance of family values and personal growth. In addition to his martial arts training programs, Mr. Bennett has raised over $35,000 in a 10 year period for Cancer research, but only with the help of his students. A Gift of Tae Kwon Do Classes The first 8 or so years of my life was the same as any other kid; playing with friends, getting in trouble now and then, and just having fun. However, my life changed when I was given a month of free Tae Kwon Do lessons in 1996. At first Tae Kwon Do was just something to do. When I was younger, I played little league, soccer, ran some races, did track and played the trumpet in the band. Tae Kwon Do was something new to try and, to be honest, I didn't have anything else to do. When I started, I actually didn't like martial arts, but I was so shy and timid, I didn’t know how to say “I don’t like this”. It wasn’t until a few years down the road when I began to really enjoy martial arts. It was after a month long vacation to the coast, where I didn’t train that things started to change. When I came back, I needed private lessons to make up for the missed time and get ready for my next belt test. I tested shortly after for my Advanced Green Belt and passed. After that, I was hooked for life and took my training a lot more seriously. I wanted to be the first to learn all the cool new kicks and flips and be the best I could be. I was able to compete in many tournaments over the years, and I was able to win a lot of them. Although I didn't win all my competitions, I was able to learn something new every time. Becoming A Teacher In 1999, I began to help out with teaching, and was teaching full time by 2001. It was my only job throughout high school and what a cool job it was! In 2002, I graduated from high school and left the area to go to college at Oregon State University where I majored in early education. After two terms at OSU I transferred to Southern Oregon University to be closer to home, and I continued in the major of education. Then after two terms at SOU, I realized that teaching in a class room was not truly what I wanted to do. I left college after the winter term in 2004 to begin the path of opening my own martial arts school. For the next year and a half I spent most of my free time planning out everything the school would have; from the curriculum, to the practice tasks, how stripe testing and belt testing would be handled and every thing that it would need. I created my own programs by taking aspects of martial arts I liked when I was learning, and adding in things to improve in the areas I struggled with. The biggest obstacle was still eluding me though; where and how to open the martial arts school. Opening Hi Yah! Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts School I had a few options and the first was to open and run a school for my instructor. At first this was the plan but after a year of nothing coming from that I decided to go out on my own. Finally on June 13th, 2005 with $1,500.00 borrowed from my grandmother Hi Yah! Tae Kwon Do opened at the Vibes Main One building (aka Kids Unlimited). With the help of the Medford Parks and Recreation, beginner classes were offered to everyone in Medford at Santos Community Center and still are today. This has been a main source of new students to Hi Yah! Tae Kwon Do and is the reason we are still going strong and why we were able to get 30 awesome students in the first year. Over the next few years, I foresee many more exciting things to come for the school and my students, which have become my martial arts family. New Location For Hi Yah! Tae Kwon Do After nine years of growth, Hi Yah! Tae Kwon Do moved to a new, larger martial arts training facility, which allowed us to celebrate our 10th anniversary of being open with much more room. You can can find us at 4041 Crater Lake Avenue, Suite H, in Medford, Oregon. I am currently accepting applications for new students, and always welcome visitors.