Meet Your Neighbor: Henry Jenkins teaches Taekwondo martial arts, accounting

Henry W. Jenkins

Name: Henry W. Jenkins

Age: 75

Town/neighborhood: Queen Creek

When and why I moved here: May 2005 our family of five moved to Queen Creek from West Hills, San Fernando Valley, California, to retire from my career in business accounting, management and software support. We were motivated to move from California having survived the 1994 Northridge earthquake. We had lived in sunny California from 1977 to escape the cold winters of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

What I like most about living here: The weather (most of the time), the open spacious environment, small rural community and beautiful skies.  Queen Creek in 2005 was not as developed as today. We enjoyed the many farm animals and small community environment, being close to freeways and major local airport.

What I do: I retired from mainstream work in 2012 and joined the Queen Creek Recreation Partner program where I teach classes in Taekwondo martial arts and Quickbooks Online accounting software. Prior to moving to Queen Creek, I was a trainer and programmer of accounting software programs for more than 30 years. October 2003, I resumed training in Taekwondo martial arts. I actually began Taekwondo training in 1975, at Bloomington, Indiana University campus. Career choices interrupted my goal of becoming a Black Belt, which I finally achieved in 2004. Eight years later (2012), I achieved the rank of Master. During these years, I was a competitor at the senior level and won several local and national championships. I teach classes three days a week at Queen Creek Taekwondo and two days a week at NB Taekwondo Martial Arts Center in Chandler. I am chief instructor at Queen Creek Recreation Center in Taekwondo. I am also a registered teacher for Wyzant.com as an online tutor in accounting and business management applications. 

What I like most about what I do: I like teaching martial arts for its physical exercise, mental benefits and the knowledge of self-defense methods. I like teaching Quickbooks Online to help those who want to learn how accounting and computers can simplify the paperwork and be more organized. However, my greatest reward is staying active in my chosen areas of expertise. Self-improvement never ends. Last, but not least, is the great people I meet along the way to self-discovery.

My family: I am indebted to my dear wife of 46 years. I am a bookworm, and computer geek. She never asked me to stop pursuing my goals. We do manage a family of five: my daughter Nicole, my grandson Tyler, our chihuahua dog and the two of us. Every weekend is an outing and vacations are definitely planned once or twice a year.

My interests and hobbies: I am a Vietnam era veteran serving almost eight years in the Air Force. The first five years I was an aircraft engine mechanic and cross trained to military accounting and finance due to hearing impairment. In my last three years I discovered my true ability for numbers, facts, figures and teaching. On honorable discharge, I began my college career in 1969, completing a master’s degree in 1975. The next 30 years of my life would focus around computer software, accounting software and Taekwondo martial arts.

The trait(s) I admire in others: I admire people who are responsible, considerate, dedicated and willing to help others on the path to self-motivation, self-realization, self-discovery and ultimately self-action. Over time, we come to realize we must be responsible for directing our paths in life: our successes, or non-successes are due to our efforts.

People who inspired me (and how):

  • My wife, a cancer survivor three years running, gave me love, faith and true grit.
  • Technical Sergeant David Glover, my tough-as-nails mentor from 1963, McGuire AFB, New Jersey. I was a young 18, and a head as hard as a rock. Sgt. Glover was a tough no-nonsense leader who insisted on excellence and hard work. I hated it at first. Then suddenly, I realized the benefits of learning, teaching and self-esteem. My life was changed forever. Sgt. Glover died in Vietnam in 1964, a C130 aircraft shot down in Vietnam.
  • My mother, who raised five kids without a complaint of never having enough time for herself. She was the first person I remember who told me, “Hard work is a virtue.”
  • My father, who taught me automobile mechanics which ultimately lead me to the Air Force aircraft mechanic.

My guiding philosophy: Over the years, I learned that “Do It Yourself” is a long and winding road that is considerably shortened by teachers. Teachers dedicate themselves to become masters of their chosen subject be it academic, trade skills or instructors. So I decided to become a teacher. Somehow you must decide and discover your physical and mental abilities, likes and dislikes then choose to be the best you can be at whatever it is you choose. Commit to learn a skill that can be applied to all areas of your life. The benefits of focused efforts are real, as is the long and winding road that gets shorter day by day. Stay the course and you will be happy.

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