“A powerful and cathartic memoir.”
—Helen Tse, author, Sweet Mandarin, a finalist for the Portico Prize
While growing up in a rural fishing village following the Korean War, Choon-Ok Jade Harmon discovered how to fight for survival at an early age. She was the youngest of seven children, and her destitute family faced constant hunger, bitterly cold winters, and an often-abusive father. Despite these obstacles, and her learning disability of dyslexia, she sought the courage to break free from poverty and succeed in the martial arts form of Kuk Sool Won.
Today, Harmon is the highest-ranking woman in Kuk Sool Won, a traditionally masculine sport, with a ninth-degree black belt. Beginning with Harmon’s difficult youth in Koje-do, this compelling biography recalls her arduous path to self-fulfillment and financial independence, documenting Harmon’s dedication to Kuk Sool Won, her move to America, and her marriage to a fellow martial artist. The chapters on Harmon’s childhood provide insight into Korean culture and their “women of the sea.” Her feelings of resolute determination resonate from each page.
About the Authors
Choon-Ok Jade Harmon runs a Kuk Sool Won school with her husband and is a member of the World Kuk Sool Association. When not practicing martial arts, she enjoys cooking and riding her motorcycle. She lives in Houston, Texas.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ana María Rodríguez is a faculty member at the Institute of Children’s Literature and a children’s science writer. She has written more than eighty articles, which have appeared in such publications as Yes Mag, KNOW, and SuperScience. Rodríguez earned her PhD from the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research and is a member of the Authors Guild. She resides in Houston, Texas.