GREENWOOD, Ind. — She’s spent nearly half her life dedicated to Taekwondo, reaching ranks most people wouldn’t dream of achieving.
“Just getting your first degree is a rare thing," said Rose Myers, co-owner of Pilsung Martial Arts. "Getting up to your sixth degree and lasting that long, this has been a 20-year process. I don’t think most people stay with their jobs for 20 years anymore, so it’s a fairly rare thing.”
Myers first introduced herself to Taekwondo after an assault hit too close to home.
“I was a student at the University of Dayton. My senior year there was a woman who was attacked outside of my home at night, and that scared me enough. I said this happened and I refuse to be a victim, teach me how to make sure nobody touches me," Myers said.
In October she earned her sixth-degree black belt and the title of "master instructor."
“It teaches a lot of patience," she said. "Whatever rank you are, that’s the length of time you must spend there so first degree is one year, second degree is two years. Third degree is three years. That’s why it takes 20 years.”
“The statistic is less than one in a thousand will make it past their first-degree black belt," said Brian Myers, Rose's husband and co-owner of Pilsung Martial Arts. "You look at that over the course of time, you’re talking one in seven or eight thousand students will ever reach that point where they’re even asked or inducted into the process to become a master instructor.”
Rose and Brian, a fourth-degree black belt, have been teaching martial arts in Greenwood since 2003.
“For me, it’s traveled away from that origin of self-defense. Yes, that will always be important as a woman," Rose Myers said. "It’s always important and at the top of my mind. I can walk around comfortably knowing that if somebody touches me, I can take care of that. For me, this means I get to be a leader.”
And will be chasing her 7th degree black belt and beyond.
“As long as my body keeps me going and I’m able, I aspire to go as high as I’m physically capable of," Myers said.