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Meet Robert Frankovich of White Tiger Martial Arts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Frankovich.

Hi Robert, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Well… This all truly started while growing up and watching the (1960’s) Batman show and Green Hornet plus the Kung Fu series. The traits of heroism shown through being just and serving were very attractive (from the former) plus the discipline and self-control (from the latter) intrigued me greatly. How could I become like that?

Skip ahead to college years (January 1981) and not having athletics, other than curling, as a focus. Finding a Taekwondo class through community education gave me the opportunity to work toward the ideals that I saw as a child. Being a very personal activity, it allowed me to delve deeply into the areas that most interested me. This caused a bit of frustration with the instructor as he was much more sport karate oriented. I was not. I wanted to figure out how to become more like a samurai or Vulcan.

Now, I’m in the 41st year of Taekwondo and have added Seidokan Aikido (21 years) and Haidong Gumdo (15 years) to my training. The challenges of physical training and the development of principles still continue every day. The only change has been in looking at how to apply the principles and concepts to daily life. This is what students really need.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not some at all. In fact, it was accidental that I began teaching. I had moved away to finish college and there were no schools within our group nearby. I asked permission to start a basic class and was approved. I thought that if I started a small class, I’d be able to keep up my own training with some partners to enable preparing for upcoming testing.

There was no instructor’s manual for starting a school and I was several ranks below the usual starting point. Learning how the talk the material was a great challenge. Running the business side was something else altogether.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We are a non-competitive, family-oriented martial arts school that focuses on the personal development of the student. We participate in events outside of the school (tournaments and trainings) to improve our understanding of the martial arts and to support like-minded schools.

Currently, we offer two programs – Korean Karate (Song Moo Kwan Taekwondo) and Korean Sword (Haidong Gumdo). Both are taught to mixed classes (ages and ranks). We are known for carrying on the legacy of the first Song Moo Kwan teacher that taught in Minnesota and for developing one of the largest training groups in USA Haidong Gumdo.

We are NOT typical to the martial arts industry. There are no special programs. Those who attend are there to train and develop their understanding/knowledge of the martial arts. This perspective has created a place that is nearly equal balance of female and male students that range in age from 8 years old to 79 years old.

Training is physical but since only 10% of any martial art is physical techniques, the principles and concepts are discussed and developed for students to take off the mat and use in daily life. It is good for people to be physically fit and healthy. The bigger plus of martial arts training then is that it benefits driving your car better.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
WOW! This is a LONG list! After several decades of training and teaching across three different martial arts, there are plenty of people who helped me.

Song Moo Kwan – Tom Sullivan (Founder of Karate North where I started training) and Joon Pyo Choi (Current headmaster of Song Moo Kwan)

Seidokan Aikido – Brad Bergeron and Frank Guldbrandsen (Leaders of Northern Lights Aikido where I started) plus Roderick Kobayoshi (Seidokan founder)

Haidong Gumdo – Marshall Parnell (USA based teacher) and Jeong-Woo Kim (World Haidong Gumdo Federation Director of Education and USA Association President(

The biggest ones, though, are the students who have helped build a school that welcomes all and supports everyone. Austin, 79-year-old retired Air Force, cheers on everyone. Melanie has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. Dave is an Olympian in Hammer Throw and Bobsled. Welby is a Botanist for the Minnesota DNR. Heather and Laura who are technical writers. Simon and a handful of others are computer people (coding, web development, etc.).

They all support the students in developing techniques and understanding principles. The varied backgrounds provide a wide range of principle applications to fit what daily life presents.


  • $95/month for one student
  • + $30/month for additional student or program

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