SYSK: Martial Arts instructor Brendt Bernard - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Martial Arts instructor Brendt Bernard

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TRIPOLI (KWWL) -

Master Brendt Bernard is a Tang Soo Do teacher in Tripoli. Out of curiosity, Bernard tried a martial arts class in 1984.

"I was just going to get flexible, get physical activity. Consequently, I got hooked and tested for black belt in 1988," said Brendt Bernard.

Then in 1990, the instructor left and Brendt Bernard took over. It was a role he fell into easily being a school teacher for more than 30 years.

Bernard said Tang Soo Do is a form of Korean karate. It teaches focus, confidence and strength.

"To me, it encompasses all areas of a person's being. It's interesting, it's challenging. I enjoy it. I love it," said Bernard.

Mike Vonk nominated Master Bernard as "Someone You Should Know." Vonk said Bernard's been a father-figure to him.

"He believes in you. He doesn't push you beyond your limits, but encourages you to keep trying. That's helped me out a lot," said Mike Vonk.

Black Belt Instructor Eric Sommermeyer took martial arts as a child and took it back up several years ago.

"I've had a couple instructors in my martial arts career. He's by far the most knowledgeable," said Sommermeyer.

For his knowledge and experience, Master Bernard was nominated for the US Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

"I couldn't think of anybody who deserves it more," said Eric Sommermeyer.

Throughout his Tang Soo Do career, Bernard has competed in more than 40 tournaments.

But he said his biggest accomplishment is watching the kids grow and learn.

"I like working with kids. Seeing kids become successful at something," said Bernard.

Even though Bernard is a retired school teacher, he doesn't plan on leaving this classroom anytime soon.

"They keep me young," he said.

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