Honorary Taekwondo Grandmaster J. Michael Amodeo not only talked about living an exemplary life but lived it as well. As the founder of Gateway Martial Arts in Austell, Georgia, GM Amodeo dedicated his life to the martial arts for over thirty years achieving the rank of Kukkiwon 6th Degree Black Belt.
His devotion to teaching martial arts, specifically Tae Kwon Do was what he described to his students as “The Journey” while often sharing his favorite quote: “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others is immortal.” Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004, GM Amodeo’s life journey ended on May 20th, 2006 but his school continues his journey through a non-profit memorial endowment known as The Journey Fund.
Established to celebrate and continue the spirited teachings of Grandmaster Amodeo, The Journey Fund was designed to encourage, support and promote the development of exceptional and extraordinary students of Taekwondo as well as the martial arts. In addition, the endowment serves as a source of direct funding for those students facing financial challenges or hardships. The Journey Fund provides assistance in paying for scholarships, competitions, seminars, clinics and even certification testing.
Martial artists, young and old, have been able to continue their own journey through the assistance of The Journey Fund. Karolyn Browden, winner of two Gold Medals in the AAU Nationals and the USAT Nationals expressed her gratitude to the endowment having said: “Thanks to you my journey will continue. I will never forget what you have done for me.” Nicolas Queiroz took home the Gold in the 2014 AAU Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida fulfilling his dream of becoming a National Champion. The Journey Fund assisted Nicolas by paying his airfare and accommodations as well as covering the competition fees for the event; common financial barriers for many athletes.
Grandmaster Young Seon Seo, a 9th Degree Kukkiwon Black Belt, honored Michael Amodeo after his death by awarding him the honorary rank of 8th Dan Grandmaster explaining that he “wanted to award the rank so his accomplishments in Tae Kwon Do would be appropriately recognized.”
Known as a remarkable mentor and teacher, Grandmaster Amodeo lived and taught the martial arts throughout his own journey to thousands of others which have made a life-changing impact on all of those who knew him. Today, instructors and students of Gateway Martial Arts continue the man’s legacy in the betterment of both the martial arts and in people’s lives through the endowment appropriately named: The Journey Fund.