About Grandmaster Matthews

down , Grandmaster Ms. Lonnie Matthews is the owner and Grandmaster Instructor of Mireu Martial Arts in Coralville, Iowa. Grandmaster Matthews purchased the business in 2008. Grandmaster Ms. Matthews has been practicing taekwondo for 40 years and hold the rank of 8th Dan Black belt. Ms Lonnie retired summer 2023  part time job as an employment specialist working for the East Central Region Rent Assistance Program, Johnson and Linn County. Grandmaster Ms. Matthews has dedicated 41 years- advocating and providing support for individuals in need and people with disabilities. Grandmaster Ms. Matthews balances her dedication and love for Taekwondo with family – 3 sons who have blessed her with 5 beautiful grandchildren. 2023 retirement from day job to dedicate time to Mireu Martial Arts dojang. 

Grandmaster Ms. Matthews has over 25 years’ experience in teaching and 40 years training in Taekwondo. Ms. Matthews started Taekwondo at Jung’s Taekwondo in Cedar Rapids, Iowa February 8, 1983 attained her Black Belt in Traditional ITF- International Taekwondo Association October 12, 1985, training and teaching till 1995 reaching the level of 4th Dan June 18, 1994. Grandmaster Ms. Matthews took a break from Taekwondo training in 1995 to raise her 3 sons who were age 5, 3 and 3 as a single parent. Ms. Matthews’s heart never left Taekwondo and she vowed to herself that she would return to her passion of training and teaching the first chance time allowed.
In 2004 Grandmaster Ms. Matthews was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Leiomyosarcoma and Taekwondo was the first place she turned to build herself back to health -physically and mentally. Grandmaster Matthews began training with Kangs Martial Arts under the instruction of Master Min-Seok Kang, operating under Grandmaster Young Chin Pak’s guidance.

  • Grandmaster Ms Matthews began her training with Kangs Martial Arts family January 4, 2006 she demoted down to white belt and learned the WT, Kukkiwon standards of Taekwondo. Grandmaster Ms Matthews obtained her 4th Dan from Master Kang August 2011. June 20, 2012 she received her 3rd Dan Kukkiwon Certificate.
  • October 6, 2013 tested for 4th Dan and 5th Dan Kukkiwon @ KUKKIWON Special Test in the USA, Chicago
  • 2015 Grandmaster Matthews and her son Master Justin Matthews started training under Grand Master Yong-gul Son Black Eagle Heukchookwan Hapkido current rank Brown high belt.
  • November of 2008 Grandmaster Ms. Matthews purchased Kangs Martial Art’s academy from Master Min Seok Kang when he moved to Arizona to go to dental school. She now teaches and runs the business in the evening along with working part time for the East Central Region. Grandmaster Matthews changed the name of the academy in 2012 to Mireu Martial Arts. (Mireu) is the hungul pure Korean name for Dragon.
  • Grandmaster Ms. Matthews made History: Competitor 2008 World Hanmadang Games – Anhiem California Broke 2 granite slabs knife hand – men’s division
  • Grandmaster Ms Matthews currently holds the Battle of Iowa power board breaking record for women eight boards 1 inch thick no spacers.
  • 2009 International/National 1st in the US Hanmadang Chicago Gold Medal winner Knife hand, fist and turning kick.
  • National Hanmadang certified referee. USTC events, trained by Kukkiwon -1st classes/seminars ever offered in the US-
  • 2009 Poomsae seminar, 2009 referee and 2009 Kukkiwon Instructors certification.
  • 2009 awarded Kukkiwon Commendation for conduct and contributions to the TaeKwonDo world INVITATION FROM JEOLLA BUKDO PROVINCE 2009 recognized and identified as an outstanding world leader in Taekwondo. Exclusive group of Taekwondo leaders from around the world invited, special visit to Muju.
  • 2010 Obtained Kukkiwon p-2 assistant instructor license. Recognized as a Professional International License 2010 International Coach and Gold Medal Winner US Hanmadang Chicago – 1st place power fist breaking, 1st place power side kick, 3rd place Poomsae
  • 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Gold Medal Winner US Hanmadang Colorado – power breaking knife hand and side kick. Many of these accomplishments happened in between surgeries for the cancer. Ms. Matthews coordinated surgery dates with Dr’s so she could attend Taekwondo events important to her. Her Dr’s supported her and encouraged her to continue her Taekwondo training. They would say if you can endure the pain you can do anything you want. Its only pain training in Taekwondo will only help you recover. With this Grandmaster Ms. Matthews diligently trained and built herself back physically and mentally.
    Grandmaster Ms. Matthews Cancer battle has included: 9 surgeries to lungs, stomach, arm and leg.
    Each time Grandmaster Ms Matthews had surgery her students and parents stepped up to run the school in her absences. When released from the hospital Grandmaster Ms. Matthews would return teaching and training with in two weeks of major surgeries. Taekwondo made it possible to heal faster than the average person, has helped keep Grandmaster Ms. Matthews body and mind strong so she could continue her passion of teaching, running the Taekwondo business, continue to compete in events like the US Open Hanmadang and enjoy all aspects of life.
    • Remission 9 years
  • 2018 Inducted in Jungs Taekwondo Hall of Fame
  • 2018 Inducted in Taekwondo Times Hall of Fame Instructor of the Year https://taekwondotimes.com/gallery/hall-of-fame-2018-3
  • 2019 April 13 – 6th Dan Black Belt Achievement World Black Belt Association – Jungs Taekwondo Academy
  • 2019 July Featured on the Cover Taekwondo Times International magazine https://taekwondotimes.com/product/july-2019/
  • 2018 to present Grandmaster Matthews took on the position of Publication Director of Taekwondo Times International Magazine.  WWW.Taekwondotimes.com
  • 2021 Taekwondo Times Hall of Fame – Publications Director/Coordinator
  • Oct 30,2021 8th Dan Grandmaster Black Belt Achievement World Black Belt Association – Jungs Taekwondo Academy https://youtu.be/Lk_OzfsY4Zw
  • Nov 16, 2022 Received 3rd Class International Masters License  Kukkiwon
  • December 2023 hiked and camped bottom of Grand Canyon 4 days.  This hike/experience harder then testing for my blackbelts.  Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit got me home.  Amazing accomplishment.
  • November 2, 2023 2nd Cancer diagnosis Endometrial Cancer Grade 2.  Surgery, radiation and once more Taekwondo will build my strength and core back again.  

Grandmaster Ms. Lonnie Says: To watch someone grow and develop physically and mentally under my guidance is worth more to me than to achieve myself. In teaching I am gaining a better understanding of both Taekwondo and of people in general. Taekwondo:  “It’s a way of life” It is my passion and it has saved my life.