Martin Farber and his family
on a Tae Kwon Do trip to Korea

By Lesta Cordil, Corporate Communications

Martin Farber gets his kick out of life in more ways than one.

Known as "Mr. Oracle," Martin works in the Oracle Tuning & Architecture group, which he formed when he joined as an IT consultant three years ago. He's also a student and aficionado of an ancient Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do.

Utilizing both physical and mental exercises as a method of self-defense, Tae Kwon Do emphasizes high kicks, jumping kicks, spinning and stepping kicks to subdue opponents. It became an Olympic sport last year.

Martin has been studying Tae Kwon Do for about a year and in the process has lost about 70 pounds. The exercises also are good for maintaining mental agility, which Martin needs plenty of in his consulting role for Qualitec Inc. at priceline.

"I think Mike Diliberto was the first to call me Mr. O. After that, nobody knew my name. After I solved my first crisis at priceline, I remember hearing (CIO) Ron Rose say that, 'What Martin doesn't know is ... I've got someone in the parking lot taking the tires off his car.' That was the end of life as I knew it," Martin says, laughing.

Martin has been consulting for a variety of industries for 30 years, but he's fondest of his time with priceline. He lives and breathes his work. His license plate is MRORACLE and his web site and email addresses are - what else? - and

Long work hours here and for two of priceline's former subsidiaries meant less time at home and lots of free evenings for his family. So his daughters began studying Tae Kwon Do. And soon his wife was spending so much time at the Dojang - the gym at the Tae Kwon Do school - that she decided to take up the martial art as well.

"Later when work hours became closer to 9-to-5, I not only needed to get back on some kind of exercise regimen, but I needed to be able to defend myself at home!" Martin says.

A word to the wise: Don't mess with Martin's family. His wife is training as a Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, en route to becoming a Master Instructor. Daughters, Phoebe, 10, already holds a Black Belt, and Hallie, 7, is a Black Belt candidate.

"It's fun working out with my family, and they say that the 'Family that Kicks Together Sticks Together'!" Martin says.

This weekend, Martins' Tae Kwon Do school is hosting a Kick-a-Thon and International Championship Exhibition for a good cause: the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The MDA Kick-a-Thon starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 9, in front of J.C. Penney's in the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, followed by several other Tae Kwon Do competitions.

Students are getting people to sponsor them to perform 1,000 kicks. Martin's family is participating in many of the events.

"This is a "friendly" competition where participants are making donations to MDA to enter. Both observers and competitors are welcome," he says.

Martin has a personal interest in helping find a cure for muscular dystrophy: " A close family friend of mine suffered greatly with the condition and didn't make it through her 30s. Some charities spend more of what they collect than they pass on for research. MDA nets 80 percent of what is collected."

If you'd like to find out more about the Muscular Dystrophy kick-a-thon or are interested in taking Tae Kwon Do, contact Martin.

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The Followup:

Hundreds of people participated and hundreds more observed the kicking, competitions and demonstrations.

Not everyone was kicking and screaming. Footballers Joe Morris and Wesley Walker helped out by
autographing photos and footballs.

Hallie waits on one knee as the girl she knocked down gets ready to resume the sparring match.

Phoebe waits for her match to begin. She doesn't seem to mind that the other girl is a couple of feet taller
than she is.

Louise demonstrating her devastating spinning hook kick.

After about 5 years of taking pictures of everyone else, MrO gets his picture taken with Grandmaster Kim.

For those disbelievers out there - MrOracle performing one of his 1,000 kicks for Muscular Dystrophy.

All-in-all it was an incredible event. All told, we collected over $60,000 for Muscular Dystrophy. The
United Martial Arts Centers should be commended for sponsoring the event, and all of you that
sponsored all of us - should be applauded.