Heart of a Warrior
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More About This Title Heart of a Warrior


The inspiration for this book comes from the ancient Korean history of the Hwarang— young student-warriors who worked to strengthen their spirits as well as their fighting skills. Author Jim Langlas, an educator and Taekwondo master, presents seven principles that are rooted in the long tradition of Taekwondo and are also tied to modern character education: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, community service, and love. Breaking each of the principles into four fundamentals, Langlas explores them through a mix of storytelling from the Hwarang and writing from his own former students, describing ways in which they’ve applied these principles to their own lives and inspiring readers to do the same. Rounding out the narrative are questions to spur reflection, discussion, and action. A background or interest in Taekwondo or other martial arts is by no means necessary for readers to understand and benefit from this engaging book. Its storytelling aspect—and especially the enduring appeal of traditional master/student tales—will resonate with teens of varying interests and backgrounds.


Jim Langlas is an educator, Taekwondo master, and writer. In , he was a member of the U.S. Taekwondo team and won a gold medal at the International Taekwondo Federation World Championships in Montreal. He taught English in Illinois for years. During those decades, he taught nearly , pupils in the classroom, in the Taekwondo training hall he opened in , and on the athletic fields as a coach. In , Jim founded and directed Pathways for Achievement, a Chicago organization devoted to helping teenagers succeed in school and in daily life. He received his B.A. in English and physical education from the University of St. Thomas, his M.A. in teaching English from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. in English from Northern Illinois University. Jim presently serves as copresident of the Universal Taekwondo Federation and teaches at Edison State College. He lives in Naples, Florida.