• Our name: MIREU  미르  (Korean Dragon '용/룡 (미르) - Yong/Ryong, In pure Korean, known as 'Mireu')

    Dragons in Korean mythology are mostly viewed as benevolent beings related to water and agriculture - Ancient texts sometimes mention sentient speaking dragons, capable of understanding such complex emotions such as devotion, kindness, and gratitude.  Living in a Iowa, being an agricultural state, wanting our school to have strong values that welcome everyone, develop unity amongst our students and others, show's our devotion to teaching the art, radiates kindness and gratitude this name seemed very fitting.  


  • Learn from the BEST – Only school in the area that ALL Instructors hold Kukkiwon Dan/Poom Certifications  Kukkiwon(World Head Quarters In Korea). USTC – United States Tae Kwon Do Committee – official Kukkiwon Overseas Branch in the United States.


    Master Lonnie Matthews

    * 5th Dan Black Belt* Kukkiwon Dan Holder* Licensed P-2 Assistant Instructor Kukkiwon International Licensing.
    Website: Master Matthews TKD Life Story
    Photo of Master Lonnie Matthews

    Biographical Info

    Biographical Info:

    Ms. Lonnie Matthews is a Community Employment specialist working for Options of Linn County in Cedar Rapids, over 30 years- advocating and providing support for individuals with disabilities. She’s a devoted Christian and is very involved in her church. Ms. Matthews balances her dedication and love for Taekwondo with her work, raising her sons Jason 27, Justin and Jonathan 23 year old twins.

    Ms. Matthews has over 18 years’ experience in teaching and 30 years training in Taekwondo. Ms. Matthews started Taekwondo February 8, 1983 attained her Black Belt in Traditional ITF- International Taekwondo Association style October 12, 1985, training and teaching till 1995 reaching the level of 4th Dan June 18, 1994. 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 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. After interviewing and conversing with several local schools Kangs Martial Arts under the instruction of Master Min-Seok Kang, operating under Grandmaster Young Chin Pak’s guidance was definitely where she wanted to continue her martial arts study.

    ♦ Ms Matthews began her training with Kangs Martial Arts family January 4, 2006 she demoted down to white belt and learned the WTF, Kukkiwon style.

    ♦ 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 Special Test in the USA, Chicago

    November of 2009 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 full time for the County during the day.

    ♦ Ms. Matthews made History: Competitor 2008 World Hanmadang Games – Anhiem California Broke 2 granite slabs knife hand – men’s division

    ♦ 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 an 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 Gold Medal Winner US Hanmadang Colorado – power breaking knife hand and side kick.


    All 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 Ms. Matthews diligently trained and built herself back physically and mentally.

    Ms. Matthews Cancer battle has included:

    ♦ 2004 Retroperitoneal 6cm tumor around my ureter tube, shut down right kidney ouch…..- kidney removed, descending bowel, some back muscle

    ♦ 1/8/2006 7mm LMS and two spots removed from lung via thoracotmy lower left lobe

    ♦ 7/23/2008 thoracotomy 1cm nodule removed left lower lobe, surprise 3mm upper lobe- nodule removed.

    ♦ 6/11/09 14x10mm psoas muscle 7/17/09 surgery psoas turned out to be benign-surgeon checking further found 2cm nodule in the lining of bowel

    ♦ 5/25/2010 6mm nodule removed Via Nanoknife lung Little Rock Arkansas – Dr. David Hays BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-Little Rock

    ♦ 4/15/11 found lump right tricep muscle 3cm lms removed 5/6/11

    ♦ 5/23/11 9 mm LMS lung muscle sparring thoracotomy right lower lobe removed

    ♦ 6/17/11 first Adjuvant OPT-821 versus OPT-821 Alone vaccine

    ♦ Remission 2.5 years


    Each time Ms Matthews had surgery her students and parents stepped up to run the school in her absences. When released from the hospital Ms. Matthews would return teaching and training within two weeks of major surgeries. Taekwondo made it possible to heal faster than the average person, has helped keep 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.

    Ms Lonnie Says: To watch someone grow and develop physically and mentally under my guidance is worth more to me then 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.



    Categories: Master