Gail Fagerstrom

My son, Mr. Bryan Fagerstrom, is the owner and chief instructor of Range Martial Arts. I remember taking Bryan to Range Martial Arts as a child under the instruction of Mr. Steve Yukich. I used to watch Bryan during his testing cycles and think to myself, this is one thing that I know I could never do. I could never do those kihaps (the loud noise you make when you're practicing), and do all this stuff with other people watching. Martial Arts is for Bryan, not me. My husband Craig and I enjoyed watching Bryan thrive and mature through his martial arts training. Tang Soo Do was a way of life for him, and made a big impact on the person he is today. It was a thrill for us, as parents, to see him achieve every goal on his journey through Tang Soo Do, ultimately getting his black belt, setting more goals, and sharing his Tang Soo Do knowledge with all his students.

Fast forward to when Bryan took the school over from his instructor Mr. Steve Yukich in June of 2003. I like to do something new and different every year, and 2003 was the year I wanted to try Tang Soo Do. Bryan wasn't a big fan of having his mom be a part of the class. Finally in November I just joined. It was awkward at first, more for Bryan than for me. For me, having to call my son "Sir and Mr. Fagerstrom" was awkward. I could handle it, because it was so much fun for me to watch my son teach, and to be a part of that aspect of his life.

Tang Soo Do is amazing both physically and mentally. I wish I would have started earlier, but it is never too late to start. I was 47 when I started. My body gets an excellent workout as well as my mind. You don't have to do puzzles to keep your mind sharp, if you're doing Tang Soo Do; your mind gets a workout.

In 2009 I received my black belt. The highlight of that test was that my son Bryan, who was going for his third degree black belt, was in the same test group as I was. Testing with him was amazing, and I was so happy I had the chance to experience that.

I have since worked for my instructor certification. Another thing I never thought I could do. Stand in front of people and teach them? That wasn't for me, but Tang Soo Do built my confidence and has given me many other qualities I never dreamed of. It really is a way of life, and helps you through many life situations. Tang Soo Do has even matured me at my age, and has taught me that I can do things I never imagined myself doing. I really enjoy working with the Tiny Tigers and Little Dragons. The kids are great, and they give me more than I can ever give them. They are a joy.

Besides Martial Arts, I love to play volleyball, and my husband Craig and I love boating/sailing on Lake Superior and spending time at the cabin. We love water! I am also an accountant and work at an accounting firm in Virginia. In addition to Bryan, we have a daughter Stacy who lives in Duluth with her husband Keith, and a son Kyle who is finishing up his mechanical engineering degree at the University of North Dakota. We also have two grandsons who are the light of our lives, Benjamin and Thomas.