When you think of martial arts, you naturally imagine a sweaty studio with a lot of guys sparring, kicking, and punching each other. How could something as soft and delicate as love possibly blossom in that setting? But that’s exactly what happened at Kwon’s Karate and this spring the studio was all abuzz. Master Kyung Min Kwon, better known as Esther, and a fourth-degree black belt, married Master Wook Soo Kim, a fifth-degree black belt.
Kyung Min grew up in Port Washington and Manhasset, graduating from Schreiber High School. She went to Binghamton University and then to graduate school at Queens College, where she earned both a master’s degree and certification in education.
The two met in 2011, when Wook Soo traveled from Korea to the United States for the Soo Bahk Do Federation, the martial arts organization to which they both belong. But his visit was brief and soon he was back in Korea. With 7000 miles separating them, this was a long-distance romance to be sure. The marvels of technology kept them together and love endured.
The wedding ceremony and reception took place at a picturesque setting surrounded by hills and valleys in upstate New York. Family and friends traveled from as far as Korea and California to celebrate the occasion. Kyung Min was a vision of beauty in her bridal gown while Wook Soo never looked happier. Kyung Min was accompanied by her maid of honor, Crystal Estey, and bridesmaid, Aimee Levinson, who have both been studying at the studio since they were little girls.
Kwon’s Karate has been a mainstay in Manhasset for nearly 25 years. The studio is open six days a week and teaches nearly 40 classes for toddlers, children, women’s fitness, yoga, children with learning challenges, and advanced black belt study.