A commentary on Korean global business and popular culture.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Everything Korea: May 9 Episode, The “other side” of Don Southerton
Korea-facing business consultant, strategist, author, Hyundai Whisperer—and martial artist.
My public image is a trusted Korea-facing global business leader… I’ve also been an avid practitioner and Master Instructor of traditional Korean martial arts — a Mind and Body journey I have enjoyed for the past 44 years.
During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, I trained extensively in Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do (now also referred to as Soo Bahk Do), much of this under the Korean system’s Founder and son, the current Grand Master.
Highlights of these years included serving as Chief Instructor/ Coach for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Before shifting my interest to academia, writing, and global consultancy my martial arts schools, Southerton Karate, were nationally recognized leaders in the industry and among the largest in America. My years as a competitor in the late 1970s were recognized in 2013 by the Official Taekwondo Hall of Fame.
As of late, I also serve as an advisor to close friend and long time colleague Stephen Oliver’s elite international martial arts business consultancy.
For my daily practice, in addition to my repertoire of over 35 traditional hyung—over the past 16 years I have added a number of complex forms of Chinese and Korean origin. These Hyung are sets of combative movements martial artists’ practice to hone their bodies and minds.
In closing, I have always seen martial arts as not only a way of staying in shape through a wide range of stretching, kicking, and hand movements, but also a demanding mental and spiritual regiment.
More so, I attribute my success in business to the discipline, self-control, patience, and focus sharpened over a lifetime in the martial arts—not to mention bringing to my professional work a deep cultural dimension, which is an intricate part of the traditional Korea arts.
BTW You may find this interested, I have a dedicated Facebook Page with some my martial arts videos and photos—past and present. See Some Cool Videos