I was tested and promoted to the rank of 1st Dan Black Belt in Kitchener by Mr Oh in June of 1989. It was a great achievement for me. My first long term goal had been reached. Having been a Black belt for a year now I was beginning to feel confident in the things I was doing. The school in LaSalle was going well, enrollment was low, but the quality of the student was very high. Times were tough in the martial arts world then.
Master Philip and I had become good friends by this time. I had risen in the school to become his right hand even though I was not the ranking student. But this was what was best for the school. One night I received a call from Master Philip and he asked me to come with him to Amhersturg to the branch there, and for a beer afterwards to talk. I knew something was up.
Things between Kitchener and Windsor were not going very well. I won’t bother with the details because they don’t really matter, but divorce was coming. The following Monday Mr Oh came down to Windsor and told me personally I had my teaching rights and rank revoked. I bowed respectfully, went into the change room, removed my school crest, came back out, bowed and handed it to him. I think he was surprised. Mr Oh was a good man, but he and I did not see eye to eye on many things.
That was the end of the relationship with Kitchener, and the birth of Philips’ School of Tae Kwon Do. About 90% of the students remained with Master Philip, with a few stopping training altogether and the rest going to the new school Mr. Oh would open.
Divorce is always rough. There were hard feeling for many years afterward.