Master Scott Ingalls of Lake Preston has been practicing the ancient art of taekwondo for about 35 years, first as a student and later as an instructor.
He began studying martial arts during his sophomore year of high school under Master Michael O’ Well in Madison.
Following high school graduation, Ingalls joined the Army and continued his martial arts studies at Fort Knox, Ky., under Grand Master Chun Lee. When he returned to South Dakota, Ingalls studied at Clark with Master Keri Kline, and later with Grand Master Michael Sanchez.
In 2013, he began teaching martial arts. He currently has 12 students from Lake Preston and De Smet. Students range in age from 6 years old through adult and participate on all levels.
Classes are held at the De Smet Wellness and Event Center.
Ingalls Martial Arts also hosts the Icebreakers Taekwondo Tournament in Lake Preston. The annual tournament brings in contestants from all over South Dakota and several neighboring states.
Ingalls, who stands at well over 6 feet, said sometimes when 6-or 7-year-old students come into their first class, they look up at him and probably think, “Oh my!”
But students soon learn they will be matched up to spar with others who are close to the same height, size, age and ability.
Athletes learn breaking, forms, basic technique, sparring and self-defense. “With those five things combined we work together to help each student find their niche,” Ingalls explained, “We work with each other to build up on each other.”
He explained that taekwondo is not only physical, but mental as well. The five tenants are courtesy, self-control, perseverance, integrity and indomitable spirit.
These lessons teach focus, not only while participating in the activity, but in other aspects of a student’s life as well.
“Parents have told me their kids’ grades have improved tremendously since they started classes,” he said. Ingalls added that classes have also helped some of his adult students who have been in accidents or have other physical limitations gain or regain mobility.
Ingalls stressed that the art requires dedication and that it is an ongoing learning process.
“I’ve put 35 years into it and I’m always learning something new, “ he said. “A white-belt can teach me something new,” he said.
7-year-old Kashden Palmlund of De Smet is one of Ingalls’ students.
“Master Ingalls is a very knowledgeable instructor and he keeps classes fun for the kids,” Kashden’s mother, Shannon Palmlund, said. “Kash looks up to the higher ranks and learns from them as well. He has learned that with hard work and discipline, you can reach your goals.”
Ingalls said that taekwondo originated in Korea about 500 B.C. and the word taekwondo translates to “the way of the empty hand and foot.”
Posted on 02-07-2019
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