Tong Il Lo

From Anti-Kidnapping Program to Award-Winning System

In 1994, Tong Il Lo (Korean for “path to unity”) began its journey as the “Hot Shots Anti-Kidnapping/Safety Awareness Program,” a children’s self-defense initiative. This award-winning program evolved into a comprehensive martial art discipline focused on leadership training, physical fitness, self-discipline, and academic achievement. Initially designed for children aged 4-17, its success led to the creation of “Survivors Anti-Assault/Self-Empowerment,” an adult self-defense program developed due to parental demand.

Created by Grandmaster William McDonald and the late Chief Instructor Gilbert Narváez, Tong Il Lo blends elements of Tae Kwon Do, Kenpo Karate, Muay Thai, Aikido, and Jujitsu. This “Path to Unity” arose from their combined experiences, recognizing that real-life self-defense often requires adaptation and utilizing a diverse skillset.

The Synergy of Diverse Disciplines, Focused on Practicality

Under the leadership of Grandmaster William McDonald, Chief Instructor Gilbert Narváez, Master Jeremy Wolfgang, and other skilled black belt instructors, Tong Il Lo offers a unique blend of martial arts disciplines optimized for practical self-defense. 80% of the system focuses on “real street” self-defense, while the remaining 20% emphasizes self-empowerment methods and safety strategies. This includes not only stranger-danger awareness but also bullying prevention, gang alertness, rape prevention, and substance abuse awareness.

Each discipline contributing to Tong Il Lo offers unique strengths:

Flexibility and Adaptability for All

Tong Il Lo does not require a practitioner to fit into any specific mold; instead, it adapts to the individual. Techniques are tailored to each person’s physical and mental capabilities, allowing virtually anyone to progress within this unique system.

Grandmaster McDonald and Mr. Narváez emphasize supervised instruction and regular practice as essential for mastering these techniques. Through dedicated training, students gain self-defense skills, improve their academic performance, build physical fitness, develop self-discipline, and cultivate a competitive spirit.

Building Leaders and Champions, On and Off the Mat

Tong Il Lo’s philosophy extends beyond physical training. Students develop leadership skills by assisting and teaching with their primary instructors, building self-esteem, self-discipline, and memory retention. This system fosters well-rounded individuals, not just skilled fighters. Recognized as an “Outstanding Martial Art System” by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2004, Tong Il Lo’s impact transcends the mat.

A Legacy of Service and Community Engagement

Beyond self-defense, Tong Il Lo instills the value of giving back. The program has received international recognition for its contributions to numerous charitable causes, including the Global Conservation Awareness Program, Rainforest Alliance Network, Kick Drugs Out of America, Soldiers’ Angels, and the American Red Cross. Through such contributions, Tong Il Lo teaches students the importance of helping those in need.

Tong Il Lo is a transformative program that goes beyond self-defense. It empowers each student to become confident, well-rounded individuals, prepared to face life’s challenges with resilience and compassion. Join us and discover the path to a brighter future with Tong Il Lo Martial Science.