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Grace under pressure: Montgomery County world-record defense expert discusses how proper training led to safe landing of Southwest Airlines flight

Elite Yong-In Grand Master Sung Min Park

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- When a Southwest Airlines flight suffered a disastrous engine explosion, pilot Tammie Jo Shults executed a safe landing that potentially saved the lives of hundreds of people. The former naval aviator-turned-commercial pilot has been credited as maintaining a sense of professionalism and serenity in the face of an emergency that would have overwhelmed lesser people.

Sung Min Park, a tae kwon do Grand Master and holder of a Guinness World Record, isn’t surprised at Shults’ strong actions and clear thinking. As a former member of the South Korean military, he understood the need for proper training of professionals in high-stress industries when he founded the Elite Yong-In dojo in The Woodlands area.

“Martial arts such as tae kwon do, tai chi, and others can prove to be invaluable tools for aligning your mind and your body, allowing you to conduct tasks under extreme circumstances without losing your focus or panicking,” said Park, who teaches specialized training classes to executives, military personnel, law enforcement and – perhaps not surprisingly – pilots.

Park says there is no doubt that Shults’ military training was integral in her handling of the recent Southwest incident. “Many people think that you have to somehow ‘disconnect’ your mind from your body – your emotions from your actions – when you are in a high-stress environment like fighting a battle or overcoming a midair disaster. But that’s not entirely correct. Military personnel and airline pilots come to us for the same reason; not to disconnect their mind from their body, but to achieve a mental balance where the body doesn’t overcome the mind in a critical situation.”

Beyond providing training for people who find themselves in life-or-death situations every day, Park also provides classes to numerous other demographics that would benefit from lessons in tae kwon do, hapkido, tai chi, and other disciplines.

“These arts have been proven to assist elderly people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and even just generic old age,” he said. “On the other end of the spectrum, very young children through teenagers can learn how to protect themselves from a bullying environment, or even how to stop being bullies themselves.”

Park’s dojo at 32818 Tamina Road in Magnolia on the western edge of The Woodlands is open to individuals aged 4 through 100, families, organizations, and business teams to provide lessons in personal growth, inner peace, self-defense, military-style training, character development, and corporate and executive security.

To learn more about Park and how his training can help you keep a level – and perhaps life-saving – head in times of crisis, or how any of his disciplines can benefit your life, visit www.eliteyongin.com or call 281-789-7114.

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