First American Taekwondo Grandmaster honored by former students, Sheldon community

Sports

Bob Jager has been doing Taekwondo since 1973, and throughout his life, he has been a student of the martial art, constantly improving. And in 2018, he did something that no American has ever done before: he tested for and earned a ninth-degree black belt.

“It was a goal of mine that I never thought I’d get to a fourth-degree black belt. That was my goal,” said Jager. “And then I just kept going and going. I had all these students who kept pushing me and pushing me.”

After that, Jager was named a Grandmaster. Because of his efforts and accomplishments, his students, amd the people Sheldon, chose to honor the longtime resident with a display honoring every single belt Jager has earned, as well as the Mayor of Sheldon honoring the master.

“If you have a chance to know Grandmaster Jager, you know just how humble he is,” said Taekwondo Master and Jager’s student Dave Serck. “He does not like to be in the spotlight or certainly in front of a camera. And this is the one chance for him to be out there and shine. And with the other black belts here, we came up with this idea.”

“All the way through my ranks they were always very supportive,” Jager said. “It means a lot. It means a lot. I’ve got a lot of good friends out there.”

But Bob Jager is more than just a Taekwondo Grand Master, he is a beloved member of the community, and has taught countless people the values of the martial art

“Because he’s such a good example in the community and in Taekwondo, it’s easy to follow that example,” said Serck.

“I work more on a national level now with the Master’s Council, on a world basis, really,” Jager said. “But the community, Sheldon, and the clubs are also still important to me.”

There may not be a higher rank that Bob Jager can reach, but that doesn’t mean his journey is over, he’ll keep teaching as long as he possibly can.

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