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The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master: The True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter

The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master: The True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter

Hardback

By (author) Choon-Ok Jade Harmon, With Ana Maria Rodriguez

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  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Co
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 231mm x 28mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Gretna, LA
  • ISBN 10: 1589808908
  • ISBN 13: 9781589808904
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 748,769

Product description

"A powerful and cathartic memoir" -Helen Tse, author, Sweet Mandarin, a finalist for the Portico PrizeWhile growing up in a rural fishing village following the Korean War, Choon-Ok Jade Harmon discovered how to fight for survival at an early age. She was the youngest of seven children, and her destitute family faced constant hunger, bitterly cold winters, and an often-abusive father. Despite these obstacles, and her learning disability of dyslexia, she sought the courage to break free from poverty and succeed in the martial arts form of Kuk Sool Won.Today, Harmon is the highest-ranking woman in Kuk Sool Won, a traditionally masculine sport, with a ninth-degree black belt. Beginning with Harmon's difficult youth in Koje-do, this compelling biography recalls her arduous path to self-fulfillment and financial independence, documenting Harmon's dedication to Kuk Sool Won, her move to America, and her marriage to a fellow martial artist. The chapters on Harmon's childhood provide insight into Korean culture and their "women of the sea." Her feelings of resolute determination resonate from each page.

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Back cover copy

"Master Choon-Ok Harmon is a wonderful role model and an example of true Korean warriors, who possess inner power, character, perseverance, and a never-give-up attitude! She doesn't dwell on the past, yet she learns from it without complaining. Harmon lives a full and balanced life with her husband and daughters for today and tomorrow-that is the key to success . . . in any culture."-Grand Master In Hyuk Suh, Kuk Sa Nim, founder, Kuk Sool Won, and president, World Kuk Sool Association"You will be mesmerized by this chronicle of a young girl who triumphed over the material world of modern times. With no money and no formal education, she dreams big-and no one can stop her! As the highest-ranking woman master in the traditional martial art of Kuk Sool Won, she is the 'Iron Butterfly, ' because she is meek, yet strong-for her inner strength is the key to her no-nonsense approach to life and people. This is a must-read book for young girls who dream big."-Alex Suh, D.C., master instructor"A powerful and cathartic memoir, The Iron Butterfly is a beautifully written account of a family barely surviving in Koje Do Island during the post-Korean War years and their journey to America. It is an unforgettable and unique insight into Korean culture, food, and family that will move your soul."-Helen Tse, author, Sweet Mandarin, finalist for the Portico Prize"Poignant and often laugh-out-loud funny . . . Choon-Ok's story is proof that 'you can do more than you think you can do!'"-Marianne Dyson, award-winning writer

Flap copy

As a young girl living on the small South Korean island of Koje Do, Choon-Ok Jade Harmon faced a dismal situation. She was the youngest of seven siblings in a large, destitute family that could not afford food, medical care, or coal for the frigid winters. They expected her to follow in the footsteps of a traditional Korean woman, but Harmon wrote her own destiny. Because of her will to survive and succeed, Harmon is now the highest-ranking woman in the Korean martial art system of Kuk Sool Won, with a Ninth-Degree Black Belt.Harmon discovered her path to economic independence and self-fulfillment while watching a martial arts class in the South Korean city of Pusan and decided to dedicate her life to training and teaching Kuk Sool Won, despite the opposition from her family and other martial arts masters. The realization that she could only accomplish this dream in the United States-a world where women had options-ignited her fierce determination.The Iron Butterfly follows Harmon's journey from a mermaid's daughter to the female champion of Kuk Sool Won. This compelling memoir illustrates her triumph over often repressive family traditions and language barriers and provides insight into Korean culture and their "women of the sea."Choon-Ok Jade Harmon moved to the United States after the Grand Master of Kuk Sool Won arranged her marriage to Barry Harmon. After first living in California, the couple moved to Texas and opened Kuk Sool Won of Clear Lake in Houston. At the 2008 World Kuk Sool Championship, Harmon was promoted to Ninth Dahn. She continues to run the dojang, teach classes in Kuk Sool Won, and spend time with her family.Ana Mari a Rodri guez is a faculty member at the Institute of Children's Literature and a children's science writer. In addition to authoring numerous books for children, she has contributed articles to such publications as YES Mag, KNOW, and SuperScience. Her accolades include a Highlights History Feature of the Year Award and an award from the Society of School Librarians International. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rodri guez earned her Ph.D. from the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research. She resides in Houston, Texas.