Coach Melody Lee
Tae Kwon Do
Coach Melody Lee, M.D., Ph.D.
Quite simply, Coach Melody is truly one of a kind: a double doctorate (M.D. & Ph.D.) and double black belt (Tae Kwon Do & Tai Chi). Prior to the martial arts, she was an accomplished research scientist. Coach Melody utilizes her experiences in the natural sciences and Western medical training, incorporating the detail-oriented and precise approach into learning, teaching her students, and coaching Coach Mickey for competitions as well as in the kitchen when preparing culinary gems or at restaurants with her sophisticated, discerning palate.
The Academic Scientist
Growing up to become the top female student in South Corea, Coach Melody passed entrance exam into the top middle school and continuing on to the top high school in the country—becoming the valedictorian at both. She then passed entrance exams into the top university and medical school, Seoul National University. After studying medicine, she switched to the research side (M.M.S. in Immunology at SNU), ultimately bringing her to America, where she earned a Ph.D in Molecular Biology from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. For her post-doctorate work, Coach Melody (aka, Dr. Myung S. Lee) came to the Washington, DC area for research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Lee’s groundbreaking work led to her discovery followed by identification of BAF (Barrier-to-Autointegration Factor) molecule.
The Martial Artist
As an academic, she was far away from the world of martial arts. After years as an overachiever in academics, Coach Melody’s desire to learn self-defense and connect with Corean culture with her son, Coach Mickey, led her to search for a Tae Kwon Do school. They found Grand Master Michael Coles’ Bethesda Martial Arts Academy. After seeing what fun her son was having, she began her journey in the martial arts at the age of 40.
After three years, Coach Melody earned her Black Belt under GM Coles. An injury during sparring led her and Coach Mickey to begin studying Iyengar Yoga at Unity Woods Yoga Center, which has become an essential element of their teaching approach. Eager to learn further their understanding of martial arts, they passionately studied Hung Fut Kung Fu at Tai Yim Kung Fu School.
Part I: Academic Scientist; Martial Artist 1