Inspired by a Black Belt

Lessons in Focus, Self-Confidence, Respect, and Self-Control!

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About The Book

As an educator, I know what happens in the classroom. I taught special education, kindergarten through eighth grade, for 15 years. There were times I co-taught with other teachers, led small group instruction, ran my own classroom, mentored colleagues, or provided curriculum adjustments so students could thrive. Through my experience I have learned firsthand how students grow and develop. I also earned two master’s degrees in education, one of which specifically focuses on adapting curriculum. This has given me an understanding of how to meet the needs of each individual student where they are, knowledge I have shared with all of our True Balance Karate instructors and students so they can become strong leaders and communicators. Along the way, I have been inspired by our students for different reasons. We once had an 8-year-old student volunteer to lead warm-ups. She started just fine, but then saw the class in front of her and ran off the mat. I spoke to her while someone else finished warm-ups, and I am proud she found the courage to rejoin class. Another inspiration comes from a young boy working on his forms. I offered to help him make his form more perfect and his response to me was simply, “I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be AMAZING.” I carry that lesson with me every time I want to do something perfectly. It never has to be perfect; it should be AMAZING. I have taught our instructors and students that you can learn from those around you, as long as you are willing to listen.

Sue Helsdon

About The Author

Master Susan Helsdon, co-owner and head of curriculum development, began her martial arts training in Tang Soo Do in 2000, and was awarded fourth degree master in 2019.

To help differentiate from her husband, students refer to her as Master H, following the tradition of instructors Masters I (Masters Holly and Michael Inoshita of Elmhurst Tang Soo Do).

Master H is a certified instructor with the World Tang Soo Do Association and a certified judge. Along with Tang Soo Do, she also has trained in Shotokan Karate, Kung Fu, and Qi Gong. Her teaching experience comes directly from the classroom: she was previously a certified special education teacher at the primary and intermediate grades and holds two master’s degrees in education.

Educating and inspiring students continues to be her passion, and she regularly applies her classroom experience to the training floor through engaging lessons, thoughtful questions, and positive instruction.



Watch an interview with Master Susan Helsdon 

Watch as Master Susan Helsdon unboxes her first published book

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