Gaining Independence Through Martial Arts

Opportunity Manor
Opportunity Manor

Left to right: Jim, Master Nelson and Dustin after receiving their orange belts.

By Becka Kurtz, Executive Secretary
Opportunity Manor Inc.
1908 Kruchten Court South
PO Box 280
Sartell, MN 56377

Martial arts training is said to improve physical functions such as strength, balance and stamina. More importantly, it has been proven to increase self worth, self esteem, confidence, independence and an overall improvement in quality of life.

Through Pathway to Opportunities (PTO) collaboration with the St. Cloud Soo Bahk Do Karate School and Master Bill Nelson, 2 of our consumers are shining examples of this. In August 2008 Dustin Potratz and James Klinkner of PTO were awarded their orange belts in the art of Soo Bahk Do.

The martial art of Soo Bahk Do forges the body towards gaining ultimate use of its faculties through intensive physical and mental training. It promotes a healthy and disciplined mind, strong personal character, and respect for life and nature.  It also helps one achieve a mature attitude, as well as gives you the mental strength to find your full potential.

In 2007, PTO was fortunate to have Scott Ridlon teach self defense classes to our participants. After taking the class, Dustin and James showed further interest in martial arts and were given the recommendation to take classes from Bill Nelson, Master (sixth degree black belt) in Soo Bahk Do.

He then adapted his classes to fit the needs of our consumers. They began taking regular classes, continuing to increase their rank to the orange belt that they now hold.

Some of the things they have learned through these classes are basic techniques, strikes, kicks, basic form, round house kicks and knowledge of lower rank requirements. They were also able to break boards and spar.

Not only have they gained knowledge of the physical aspects of the art, they continue to gain self worth, confidence, and work toward independence.


Phil Duncan (35)

Phil Duncan serves as the Executive Administrator of the U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® providing and coordinating support services for the U.S. Federation Board, the Kwan Jang Nim, the U.S. Technical Advisory Committee, U.S. Regional Officials, U.S. Members, the Board Directors of the charitable non-profit U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan FOUNDATION and the World Moo Duk Kwan. He can be contacted at National Member Headquarters or or (888) SOO-BAHK

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
Albert Pike

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