Master Bruce Helman

Master Bruce Helman, VII Dan

Master Helman says that he got lucky the day he walked into Grandmaster (then the senior 8th Degree Master worldwide) Han’s dojang one day in early June. “I was not only looking for a place to learn self-defense but to also learn about community.” This good luck has lasted almost 40 years. Master Helman was working in a family owned business at the time and interested in Zen, backpacking, and had other pursuits as well. After his 26 years there the company had to close so he worked with his wife in her event planning and decorating business for a few years before finding an administrative position with Jewish Child and Family Services in Chicago. This position lasted about five years until he was forced to go on disability due to optic nerve issues in both eyes. After partially regaining some of his eyesight he has returned to JCFS as a volunteer. “Throughout the entire vision episode what’s helped me keep going is the support of my loving family and friends, and of course my continued involvement with Tae Kwon-Do. I’d be lost without it.”  Master Helman loves all aspects of Tae Kwon-Do but especially enjoys seeing students reach their potential and contribute to their community. “Maybe the ultimate compliment to a martial arts teacher is for his (or her) students to surpass him.” He says that Grandmaster Han was a huge influence in his life, as well as the friendships he still maintains within the UTF.