Play Video

Jason Han

Episode 051

share to
Pursuing Taekwondo to Physical Therapy

Jason Han's SGV3

None Yet!

About Jason Han

Dr. Jason Han is the co-founder of HealthFit Physical Therapy & Chiropractic and the Head of Rehabilitation for the Los Angeles Football Club. He grew up locally in Monterey Park and stayed in the San Gabriel Valley until graduating from high school. After that, he spent 12 years away from the area, pursuing his path in both education and athletics.

During this time, he spent 7 years on the US National Team in the sport of Taekwondo, garnering several world medals. He also graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his Sports Specialization at the University of Pittsburgh. 

In 2016, Dr. Jason and his wife, Dr. Kelli, opened up HealthFit Physical Therapy & Chiropractic in Pasadena with the ultimate goal of creating a one-stop wellness shop for the people in his community. As a business owner and healthcare professional, Dr. Jason Han aims to keep his clients active and mobile so they can get back to doing what they love. His business does this by giving you the same level of care he provided his professional clients during his stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cirque du Soleil, and now the Los Angeles Football Club. Over the years, he has worked with several Olympians, professional, collegiate, junior, and elite-level athletes, and high-level executives.

Whether you are an active individual who wants to return to sports or a grandmother who just wants to pick up her grandchild again… he always values an individualized approach to helping you reach your goals! He believes everyone has a unique situation; therefore, you should be treated as such.

 

Location: 145 Vista Ave, Suite 103, Pasadena, CA 91107

Website: healthfitinc.com

Best way to contact

Jason Han Quotes

  • “I never had a goal that was far ahead. They were always one or two steps ahead, and that helped keep me grounded.”
  • “Sport has given me a lot of perspective.”
  • “After I didn’t make the Olympic team, I retired after the 2005 World Championships and went to Washington University in St. Louis.”
  • “I am a fourth dan, so I am considered a master. Once you get your black belt, you continue testing for the dan.”
  • “When my brother-in-law passed away three years ago, it made us look at life differently. It made us cherish each moment. I have a position with the LA Football Club, and I just resigned from it so I could spend more time with my family.”
  • Dr. Jason Han is the co-founder of HealthFit Physical Therapy & Chiropractic and the Head of Rehabilitation for the Los Angeles Football Club. 
  • He grew up locally in Monterey Park and stayed in the San Gabriel Valley until graduating from high school. After that, he spent 12 years away from the area, pursuing his path in both education and athletics.
  • During this time, he spent 7 years on the US National Team in the sport of Taekwondo, garnering several world medals. He also graduated with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his Sports Specialization at the University of Pittsburgh. 
  • In 2016, Dr. Jason and his wife, Dr. Kelli, opened up HealthFit Physical Therapy & Chiropractic in Pasadena with the ultimate goal of creating a one-stop wellness shop for the people in his community. As a business owner and healthcare professional, Dr. Jason Han aims to keep his clients active and mobile so they can get back to doing what they love.

WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY? 

I was born in raised in the San Gabriel Valley. I grew up in Monterey Park, then left for 12 years when I went to college at Cal Berkley. After college, I moved to Colorado Springs, St. Louis, Missouri, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I am glad to be back.

YOU’RE A STELLAR PHYSICAL SPECIMEN. WHERE DID THAT START?

I would say it was good genes. My mom and dad were really good track athletes in college, and I followed in their footsteps. 

WERE YOUR PARENTS BORN HERE? 

No. My father was born in Labuan, and my mother was born in Burma but moved to Hong Kong shortly after she was born.

THE FOCUS ON ATHLETICS IS UNUSUAL IN IMMIGRANT ASIAN CULTURE. 

Don’t get me wrong, they had me focus on academics, but from the traditional sense where they want you to be a doctor, which I became, they allowed me the freedom to explore certain things like sports, which they introduced me to.

My athletics is martial arts, and I was a red belt. I was starting to get bored with it and told my dad how I wanted to try something else. He said, “Look, you’ve set a goal of getting a black belt. Get your black belt, and then decide where you want to go.”

Looking back now, that was a huge lesson that he taught me. 

WHEN DID YOU START TAEKWONDO? 

I started at the age of 7 and got my black belt at the age of 12. 

WHAT OTHER THINGS WERE YOU INVOLVED IN OTHER THAN MARTIAL ARTS? 

I started playing basketball in my freshman year and grew up with my cousin Danny Woo. Both of my parents are one of seven, so we always had a lot of family around. 

WHY DID YOU GO TO CAL BERKLEY? 

I went there because they had a strong Taekwondo program. While I was there, we won four national championships. 

Going to Cal Berkeley was good for me because it allowed me to grow up away from the SGV. It allowed me to experience different cultures and made me more comfortable exploring new opportunities. 

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER YOU GOT YOUR BLACK BELT AT THE AGE OF 12? 

My Taekwondo journey was interesting. I got my black belt, and from there, I was able to help the younger students. That was one facet of earning my black belt. Another was that even though I had my black belt, I had never placed first, so that was my next goal. I wanted a gold medal, and it wasn’t just training or being athletic; there’s a significant mental portion to that. I used basketball in high school to cross-train for my martial arts.

Then, from there, I was able to make the junior national team at 16. Then, I beat a member of a men’s national team member and gained a little confidence. Then, I beat a collegiate national team member and gained a little confidence. 

All those things compounded over time and allowed me to be confident.

I then chose Cal Berkeley so that I could make the men’s national team.

ONCE YOU EARN A BLACK BELT, ARE THERE ADDITIONAL GRADES? 

Yes, they call them degrees or dans. I am a fourth dan, so I am considered a master. Once you get your black belt, you continue testing for the dan. 

HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES A BLACK BELT GIVE YOU, AND DO YOU FEEL YOU COULD PROTECT YOURSELF IN ANY SITUATION? 

For the most part, yeah. It is just being aware of your surroundings and staying in shape. I’m not looking for fights.

WHAT WAS THE QUEST LIKE TO BECOME AN OLYMPIC TEAM MEMBER? 

My first goal was to make the national team in 1999, which I did when I was 19. I was the second youngest on the team. 

The Olympics were in 2000, and I never had a thought in my head that I could make that team until I made the national team in 99. 

I never had a goal that was far ahead. They were always one or two steps ahead, and that helped keep me grounded.

In early 2000, I had a silver medal in the World Cup, and then I believed I could become an Olympian. Then, in 2000, I placed third in the Olympic Trials, and they only took the top one. So I had four years to get better.

In 2004, they didn’t pick my division to go to the Olympics.

At the time, I was devastated, but as you grow older, you look back and realize it was just another blip in the road.

This gives you perspective and allows you to tell younger people, “I know you’re living in it right now, but you’re going to get through it.”

Sports have given me a lot of perspective.

HOW MUCH OF YOUR LIFE WAS DEDICATED TO BECOMING AN OLYMPIAN? 

During college, I was balancing academics and fighting. In 2002, when I graduated, I moved to Colorado Springs to train full-time at the Olympic Training Center. From 2002 to 2005, I lived there and trained full-time. 

HOW MANY OTHER PEOPLE WERE THERE FOR TAEKWONDO? 

Our team had 12-14 athletes, and at least 10 of us were on the national team.

AT THAT TIME, WHAT DID YOU THINK YOUR LIFE WOULD BECOME? 

I was always forward-thinking. I knew I couldn’t do Taekwondo forever. I knew I wanted to go into the medical profession. I had experience with physical therapy through my training, so I always had the medical profession in my mind. 

After I didn’t make the Olympic team, I retired after the 2005 World Championships and went to Washington University in St. Louis.

I HAVE A FUNNY SGV STORY ABOUT GOING TO WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY.

When I decided to return to school, I had an offer from USC and Washington University.

My dad wanted me to go to USC, and he said. “What about your friends? Your friends are here?” 

But they were doing all the same thing, going to the same person’s house. There wasn’t anything wrong with that, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, I took my dad to visit Washington, and he realized what I was talking about.

Now that I am back in SGV, I’ve been back for eight years, and that love for the SGV is growing back. 

YOU BROUGHT YOUR BROTHER-IN-LAW’S BUTTON WITH YOU? 

My brother-in-law was of Persian descent, and we lost him to cancer three years ago. Growing up, my family was close and loved each other, but we never showed it physically. It was just our culture. We didn’t express love outwardly.

My sister started dating him in college, and when she and I would talk on the phone, she would say, “Love you, J,” and I would reply, “Cool.” But she wanted me to say it, and it became a running joke.

But my brother-in-law was raised in a different culture, and it started bringing this affection out of the rest of the family.

At his burial, his best friend printed these out for us to wear, and the message is to enjoy this time with your family and friends and let them know you appreciate them. Cherish the moment as much as you can. 

HAS THIS CHANGED THE WAY YOU PARENT YOUR KIDS? 

When this happened three years ago, it made us look at life differently. I have a position with the LA Football Club, and I just resigned from it so I could spend more time with my family. 

YOU OPENED YOUR BUSINESS HERE? 

I went to Pittsburgh to do my residency and worked with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I decided to come back to be with my family. I worked in Torrence for a year, and then I worked with the Cirque Du Soleil for two years. After that, I opened my practice in Pasadena. 

IS IT IMPORTANT TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PATIENTS? 

It is. Skills are one thing, but connecting with your patients is incredibly important. There’s a lot of psychological fear that goes along with overcoming an injury, and building that trust helps the patients overcome it.

 

SGV III

  1. Garvey Ranch Park: I remember going down there with my parents and running around the baseball diamond. I spent a lot of time going to the park and racing my dad.
  2. Mark Keppel High School: High school helped me mature. I was able to grow. I think this time in people’s lives is transformative.
  3. Pasadena: That’s where my practice is, allowing me to make a difference in the community.

WHERE IS HEALTHFIT LOCATED? 

HealthFit Physical Therapy & Chiropractic is located at 145 Vista Ave, Suite 103, Pasadena, CA 91107

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU? 

The best way to get a hold of us is through our website:  healthfitinc.com.