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In 1992, Herb Perez achieved his dream. He entered the Olympic arena in Barcelona and won the United States’ only Gold Medal in the Olympic Sport of Taekwondo. He currently serves on the Foster City Council and is the former Mayor of Foster City.
Through years of sacrifice and training which culminated in the realization of his Olympic dream, Perez learned the value of patience, determination and perseverance. “I was fortunate to wander into a martial arts school at a young age and learn valuable life-skills that taught me how to succeed in academics, sport, and life. I felt a need to share the lessons I had learned throughout my life with others,” states Perez.
His travels have seen him pay his own way through Rutgers Law School to obtain his Juris Doctorate. He added a Master Degree in Sport Organization Management from the International Olympic Committee’s program at the University of Lyon, France. Master Perez, was the only American selected in 2003 to attend this program. In 2003, Master Perez accepted the challenge to rebuild the Afghanistan Olympic Sports program. He traveled to the war-torn country to re-develop their sports programs. Perez remembers, “This was one of the most rewarding experiences I had in sport. These youngsters were passionate and undeterred. Sport was their hope for a future.”
Perez is no stranger to developing talent. Since 1986, he has been developing National and International Champions nation-wide. “I have been searching for a new home and have selected Foster City for our Gold Medal Martial Arts Center.” offers Perez. “Our programs build life-skills that create better citizens and help children achieve their goals.” Join the Adventure!
Perez’s dedication to the sport of Taekwondo is complete. He still trains daily and thinks about Taekwondo “constantly.” Herb says, “This sport teaches everything you need to succeed in life: patience, self-discipline, determination, perseverance. There are no excuses in the world of Taekwondo-it’s a very honest place to be. I always tell the students I teach, it’s not how you start but how you finish.” Every year since 1988, Perez has trained 25% to 30% of the men’s national winners. He is active in promoting the martial arts, conducting seminars, and training camps.
In demand as a teacher, coach, producer and seminar leader, Perez is also Director of International Projects for the Olympic Council of Asia. Most recently, he has been selected as Chairman of the Education Committee for the World Taekwondo Federation.