The chief architect of our schools’ programs is Master Lai Han Seng, who is well-versed in the different aspects of Taekwondo. Master Lai is not only responsible for upholding the excellence of J H Kim Taekwondo in our schools but also has to make sure that the students received the right training to meet the standards and grading requirements of the Singapore Taekwondo Federation.
Master Lai started Taekwondo as a teenager and received his junior black belt when he was 14. He continued to train in Taekwondo and won many medals as member and occasional captain of his university team. Besides training and competing, he was also an assistant coach of the university team for more than a decade.
After he graduated from university, Master Lai worked as a full-time IT professional but he continued to practice and coach Taekwondo on a part-time basis. In 2007, he decided to pursue his passion and quit his job to coach full-time. While he has the occasional regret (who hasn’t?), he remains fully committed to his dream of helping others through Taekwondo.
Just a few months since he joined the Network, Master Lai was invited to head the Bukit Timah school. As part of the collective, Master Lai has also helped the Singapore Network expand to six schools within a few years of his entry. His efforts and hard work were recognized and at one point of time, he was holding on to the concurrent positions of Vice-Principal and COO of the Singapore network. In 2012, due to restructuring within the Singapore Network, Master Lai took over the Bukit Timah School as an owner.
Master Lai is an archetypal Virgo and he strives for perfection in everything. To ensure that he can give his best to his students, Master Lai has gone beyond his degree and master in Information Technology and Computing to pursue relevant academic disciplines for his coaching. He has pursued and completed his degree and master in Sports and Exercise Science to ensure that he has the right fundamental knowledge in terms of coaching students of all levels. In 2015, he completed his Master in Early Childhood Education after two years of hard work to improve his understanding on how best to guide younger students.
Although Master Lai believes in the importance of fundamental principles and scientific knowledge, he is not just a theoretician. He is a multiple-time National Champion in both kyorugi and poomsae and has represented the Singapore Taekwondo Federation in championships around the region, winning medals in the process. He is one of the few practitioners of his generation to have represented the city-state in both kyorugi and poomsae events. However, his selfless nature was evident even during his elite training days, as he always spent a large chunk of his time coaching his peers and students. For his selfless coaching, he has received a number of coaching and personal awards.
Currently, Master Lai continues to work hard to ensure that the schools remain as centers of excellence for the pursuit of Taekwondo both as a martial art and as a sport. As always, he hopes that just as he has stood (and continues to stand) on the shoulders of giants to see a little further, he hopes that he can also help his staff and students see further by letting them stand on his shoulders. In 2019, Master Lai introduced Kummooyeh to the schools, where students who wants to broaden their martial arts journey can learn the art of Korean swordsmanship and traditional Korean archery.
MARTIAL ARTS CERTIFICATIONS
- STF 7th Dan
- STF Examiner and Course Conductor
- STF National Poomsae Referee
- STF National Kyorugi Referee
- WT International Poomsae Referee
- WT International Kyorugi Referee
- ATU Licensed Coach
- World Kummooyeh Federation-certified Master
- Multiple-time National Champion in Poomsae
- Multiple-time National Champion in Kyorugi
- Former National Athlete
COACHING & SPORTS CERTIFICATIONS
- NCAP Theory 3, NCAP Technical 2, Poomsae Coach 3
- NSCA Strength & Conditioning Specialist & Certified Personal Trainer
- ASCA Strength & Conditioning
- AGSHSS ICE 3
- Certified First-Aider, SSC/SMA Sports Trainer
- SSC Sports Masseur
- ISSA Sports Masseur
- AGSHSS Myofascial
- NESTA MMA Conditioning Coach
- United World Wrestling Coach
- Bachelor of Science (Info Sys & Comp Science), NUS
- Master in Computing, NUS
- Bachelor of Science (Sports & Exercise Science), ECU
- Master in Exercise Science (Strength & Conditioning), ECU
- Master in Education (Early Childhood Education), MONASH
- Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition, IOC
- NUS Full Colors Award – Taekwondo 2003
- SSC Coach Recognition Award 2006
- STF National Poomsae Championships Best Coach 2009
- SSC POSB Everyday Champions (Coach) 2009
- NUS Outstanding Young Alumni Award 2013
- Promising SME 500 Business Luminary Award 2015
- STF National Kyorugi Championships Best Coach 2016
- SkillsFuture Fellowships 2021
NUS – Top university in Asia, Computer Science faculty ranked world’s top 10.
ECU – World’s 100 best universities less than 50 years of age, Sports Science faculty recognized as one of the best in the southern hemisphere.
MONASH – World’s 100 best universities, Education faculty ranked world’s top 5.