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the highland park landmark | October 17, 2019 | 37

Highland Park martial arts studio celebrates 30 years in business

Erin Yarnall, Editor

Years ago, when Highwood

native Sung Chung

pictured his future, he envisioned

“a pretty wife, a big

house and a Mercedes.”

He went to school to be

an engineer and make a lot

of money.

While he admittedly has

the pretty wife, Chung’s

life turned out different

than he planned. He gave

up his youthful dream for

something he deems more

important — the ability

to give back to society the

best way he knows, by

teaching martial arts.

“I think most people

should look at maybe their

lifeline and kind of see

where they want to go with

their life,” Chung said. “Do

you want to be an individual

that takes from society?

Or do you want to be an

individual that gives to society?”

So he opened up Lakeview

Martial Arts in Highland

Park 30 years ago, and

has never regretted it.

Chung began taking

martial arts lessons when

he was 3 years old, living

in Korea. He continued

when his family moved to

the United States, settling


From Page 39

with a time of 23:25.7,

while Sofia Amster (57th),

Karime Beltran (58th) and

Suzanne Schott (59th)

displayed excellent pack

running on the muddy


Highland Park was without

top runner Michelle

Nava, a senior captain who

has gotten stronger and

stronger all season.

“She has been really

in Highwood.

He took classes with

Master Suk, who operated

different locations in Highwood

and then Highland

Park before Chung decided

to open up his own space.

Chung said that a lot

of businesses don’t make

it past few years, and he

feels lucky to have made it

three decades. He attributes

his success to “not being


“I don’t think you can

be wealthy teaching discipline,”

Chung said. “So I

gave it up, and when I gave

it up it freed me up to do

what I wanted, which was

to get people healthy, confident

and teach kids how to

be brave and strong.”

Highland Park resident

Max Novack started attending

classes at Lakeview

Martial Arts more than

a decade ago. Novack said

he had participated in martial

arts in his 20s, but then

“life happened.”

Approximately 30 years

after Novack stopped taking

martial arts classes, he

underwent a “major operation,”

and was looking for a

way to get back into shape

after it. Then he found

Lakeview Martial Arts.

running and training hard

and is looking to continue

her career at a few

Division-III schools after

the season,” Giants coach

Curt Hanson said. “We’re

excited about that.”

The Giants have strong

freshman and sophomore

classes, which bodes well

for the future. Beltran is a

freshman, and Amster is a

sophomore. Madina Nasirov

is another freshman

who joined the team a few

weeks into the season.

“The first thing I said

to [Chung] was ‘Do you

take old guys?’ and he

said ‘Yeah, we’ll take old

guys,’” Novack said.

While he initially only

planned to stay for a few

months, as he got back

into shape, he quickly fell

back in love with martial

arts, and after more than

a decade with Chung, has

worked his way up to a

black belt.

“Many schools wouldn’t

take me because of my

age,” Novack said. “Other

schools, you get a black

belt after two years. I consider

this place the real


Chung said that hearing

Novack and other students’

kind words about

Lakeview Martial Arts is

incredibly “rewarding,”

adding that his martial

arts students become “like

family” to him and to each


“I just sent a bunch of

kids to college that used to

be students here,” Chung

said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Students at Lakeview

Martial Arts meet for classes

“at least twice a week,”

according to Chung. He

teaches martial arts at three

“I’ve been very pleased

with our underclassmen, I

think they’ve really grown

a lot and learned at the

same time,” Hanson said.

The Giants next turn

their attention to the conference

meet next weekend,

and will look to continue

improving with a

young core of runners.

“It’s been a good season,”

Hanson said. “We’re

growing, we’re competing

and working hard each


Highland Park business owner Sung Chung stands in Lakeview Martial Arts, his martial

arts studio that he has owned and operated for 30 years. Erin Yarnall/22CM

levels — preschool, beginner

and advanced.

“I think most people, if

you ask a kid if they want

to be a good kid or a bad


kid, they all want to say

they want to be a good

person. There’s a road for

that,” Chung said. “It takes

a lot of discipline. If you




smack me, a good person

would not smack back. It’s

hard, it’s discipline. That’s

the philosophy. That’s why

I do what I do.”




about your favorite high

school teams. Sports

editors Michal Dwojak,

Michael Wojtychiw, and

Nick Frazier host the only

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