<b>WORK IN PROGRESS | </b>Herald staff
Bailey’s Traditional Taekwon Do College has a new Edmonds location on Highway 99. Longtime instructor Ed Bailey is president of the company, which also coordinates classes in Lynnwood and dozens of other locations in Washington and Oregon. “The main purpose we have is bettering our students,” Bailey said.
Q: When and where did your business open?
A: I started teaching tae kwon do in 1973 for a community college in Knappa, Ore. In 1974 our family moved to Salem, Ore. to open a studio and teach tae kwon do full time. In 1979 we moved to Seattle to take over an existing studio and develop the area for my advancement to 4th dan black belt. 1980 brought us to Lynnwood to be closer to where our students lived. 1983 we moved our studio to downtown Edmonds to teach in the Frances Anderson Center. In January 2012 we opened a new studio at 22315 Highway 99 in order to offer more classes for our students.
Q: How, or why, did you decide to open your business?
A: Teaching through the community college showed me how much I enjoyed the art of tae kwon do and really showed me how good it was for people. We decided, as a family, to leave my job in Astoria, Ore. to move to Salem, Ore. and open our studio full time to share what we found with as many people as we could.
Q: What convinced you that this was the job for you?
A: Watching the students grow in self-confidence and become physically fit was very rewarding. The advancements they made in the class transferred to other areas of their lives. We became a large family pulling each other up to greater results. What a pleasure!
Q: What does it take to blend your passion with your livelihood?
A: You have to really love what you’re doing. Keep your passion for it and others will see your joy and want to be a part of it.
Q: What are the crucial elements for success for your business?
A: Success will come if you continue to be there for your students, to truly enjoy seeing them grow and improve. We, as instructors, must show the same desire to continue to grow and improve.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how did you meet it?
A: The most challenging part is getting the students to believe in their potential. Everyone has their own pace, so it’s hard to keep from being discouraged if you see someone advance quicker than you are. I remind the students that we are all individuals and grow at different paces. We must keep the tenets of tae kwon do in mind: courtesy, integrity, self-control, indomitable spirit and perseverance. If we can leave each class feeling we improved ourselves in some way, then that was a successful class.
Q: How did your friends and family react when you told them you were getting into this business?
A: My wife was very supportive. I had a good job with great benefits, and was wanting to leave my position and all its security, to move and start a new business. She encouraged me without fail. My father questioned my judgment, saying “There’s more people out of work now than ever before.” My response was that there were also more people working than ever before, there’s just more people. Now it is truly a family business. My wife, Shirley, and I both teach at the new school in Edmonds. My daughter, Nikka Gaviola, teaches both at the new Edmonds school and at the Frances Anderson Center. My granddaughter, Jessika Kearns, teaches the kids’ tae kwon do classes for 4- to 6-year-olds at the Frances Anderson Center.
Q: What motivates you?
A: I’m motivated by seeing people feel better about their selves. To see them improve themselves both physically and mentally. It’s thrilling to see someone break through their own self-imposed limitations.
Q: What personal abilities do you think in needed to excel in this business?
A: You must understand the art of tae kwon do so that you can demonstrate as well as explain the techniques you are teaching. The responsibility of what you are teaching must also be shown. We are not teaching people how to fight, but to control a situation so the fight doesn’t happen. Be self-confident, aware and treat others with respect.
Q: When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
A: I love spending time with my family. Most of them are involved in tae kwon do and have chosen to live in the same area, so we try to meet for dinner on Sundays. I also enjoy playing golf. It requires a lot of the same tenets as tae kwon do.
Bailey’s Traditional Taekwon Do College
WHERE: 22315 Highway 99 N, Edmonds