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From Mister to Master: Scharnowske earns martial arts accolade

7/02/09 (Thu)

By Don Winter

On Friday, June 12, Mike Scharnowske of Wing achieved a difficult accomplishment in the field of martial arts, with the passing of his fourth degree masters exam. Scharnowske, who operates the Odyssey Taekwondo schools in Wing and Wilton, is now one of the two percent to achieve this honor on their first attempt. Scharnowske, who originally started in taekwondo in 1981, became a black belt in 1984. He opened his first school that same year in the Aberdeen area. "I was originally attracted to it by its uniqueness. It was a way to keep in shape, keep flexible, but in the early 80s there was a mystery to it," Scharnowske said. After moving back to North Dakota in 1986, Scharnowske began teaching with Grand Master Eric Greenquist in the Wahpeton area. That one gym has blossomed into the Greenquist Association, which consists of approximately twenty-five schools, of which both the gyms in Washburn and Wilton are affiliated. Scharnowske, who teaches physical education for the Wing School District, opened Odyssey Taekwondo in Wing in 2002. The Wilton branch was opened approximately two years ago.