Awesome weekend with Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim — 2022 TKDI Bootcamp! Thank you Sir for the excellent instruction, time, energy and comradely that you shared with and facilitated among the many practitioners from our various schools in Taekwon-do International at this year’s event! Additional thank you and acknowledgement to Grandmaster Mark Nathanson, Master John Meany (Glen Ridge Taekwon-Do, Montclair, NJ), Master James Marr (Master Marr’s Taekwon-Do, Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Master Thabiti Sabahive (Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts) for your teamwork and can contributions to this year’s boot camp!
It was liberating to get back in action after a two year sabbatical due to COVID.
Congratulations to all of our practitioners who spent the weekend growing their practice — adding to their knowledge, improving their skills, making new friends and having lots of fun!
We look forward to being back together again next August. Taekwon!
We are very saddened by the passing of GM Tom Welsh, VP of Taekwon-do International, a brother of 45 years. Thomas William Welsh, age 76, of Wilmington, DE passed away on July 15, 2022. He was a 9th degree Grand Master in the Taekwondo International Federation. He started with Sho Rin Ryu Karate in the 60s. Tom met instructor Grand Master Suk Jun Kim in the mid-70s and remained close friends for 45 years. In 1978, he received official recognition with GM Kim from Gen. Choi and formed the Taekwon-do Instructors Association. Through the years Tom travelled all over the world including Canada and Korea training, attending functions, judging tournaments, and teaching numerous students. Tom was much more than an instructor to his students; he was a mentor for life. He is in the Taekwon-do Encyclopedia Collection. In 2022 he was integral in the forming the Taekwon-do International Union and served as Vice President. Rest in peace brother, I will see you later!
Taekwon-do International is pleased to announce that Master Kathryn Yang, 6th Degree Master Instructor and owner of Yang Taekwondo in New York City has written a novel about Taekwondo, called "Shijak: To Begin: A Modern Martial Arts Story". The book blub says:
"This is a story of traditional martial arts practice and philosophy in a modern day setting. Follow Daria and Dae Sung as their martial arts journeys converge under the tutelage of their Taekwondo teacher. Although the two come from different backgrounds and walk different paths, theirs is a story of training, fighting and self-discovery on the road to mastery and learning the true meaning of becoming a modern-day martial artist."
Master Yang trained for many years under Taekwon-do International President and Founder, Grandmaster Kim, later teaching at S.J. Kim Taekwon-do for over seven years. Yang Taekwon-do has been a TKDI school for over a decade.
Click here for more information or to purchase the book
Taekwon-do International is pleased to be able to announce a return of our Master's Seminar with the the 2021 Instructors Seminar, to be held at Master Marr's Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, OH on Saturday, June 5, 2021.
This event is open to all Taekwon-do International 4th Dans and up, plus 3rd Dans who are instructors in Union schools. School owners, please use your own judgement on who to invite. The event will include the worlds finest instruction followed by dinner. No application is necessary, but the usual $400 Seminar fee should be remitted to Master Marr prior to the day. Further information will follow at a later date.
We are all hoping, of course, that the pandemic will have ebbed by June, but be aware that Cuyahoga County is currently under a mask mandate, so please prepare accordingly.
Master Marr's Taekwon-do
16720 Chagrin Boulevard
Shaker Heights, OH 44120
Instructor Nathan Creevey, 4th Dan, of Central Queensland, Australia, has worked with Grandmaster S.J. Kim, Founder and President of Taekwon-do International, to create SJ Kim Taekwon-Do Australia to grow traditional Taekwon-Do in Australia. Instructor Creevey’s goal is to continue to offer training to his home town and community and to help grow SJ Kim Taekwon-Do and Taekwon-Do International in Australia.
Instructor Creevey started his training under his father Neville Creevey Sr. and local instructor Ray Steinhardt, in 1988 in Central Queensland. Nathan’s background is in traditional Taekwon-Do, having trained under his father for many years, he spent his youth and teenage years as a tournament competitor. Nathan inherited his parents school when they retired and continues to teach Traditional Taekwon-Do under the guidance of Grand Master Suk Jun Kim.
In locations across the United States, Taekwon-do International member schools have moved classes online to keep students training current and to provide some needed activity to families staying at home to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Master Paul D'Ambrosio of Aliso Hills Taekwon-do in Aliso Viejo, CA and Master John Meany and Master Laura Giletti of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ have posted to their YouTube channels, while Master James Marr and Master Elaine Bayless of Master Marr's Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, OH have posted videos to Facebook. In Asheville, NC Grandmaster Tony Morris and Master Michael Dickinson of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts have focused on keeping their community together with online live classes through online video conferencing. Master Kathryn Yang and Master Lauren Geber of Yang Taekwondo in New York City are posting short fitness videos that can be done in New York apartments to the school Instagram feed.
All of the schools plan to continue the classes until they are able to hold in-person classes again. "We are working to maintain the sense of community that is so important to our school," said Master Meany, "with the kids' schools closed we know that they and their parents need to stay active, and need to stay in touch. So we're going to fill that need."
On Saturday, January 11, 2020 Master Instructor James De Carli of Southbury Taekwon-do in Southbury, CT conducted a seminar on 'Safety and Self-Defense' with assistance from blackbelts Peggy Bovaird and Rob De Carli. In attendance were over twenty people, ranging in age from mid-teens to mid-seventies.
The seminar did more than teach approaches for avoiding violent encounters and some basic techniques for defending yourself, it also raised funds for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, Inc. Safe Haven is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter and free comprehensive support services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The registration fee for each student taking the seminar is enough to pay for dinner for 8 women and 7 children at the emergency shelter or a birthday party for a shelter child.
Safe Haven relies heavily on support from our community. While 65% of their funding comes from state and federal sources, 35% is raised through contributions from United Ways, foundation grants, donations, and fundraising events such as this seminar.
Taekwon-do International is pleased to welcome National Black Belt Academy, of Conway, Arkansas, to Taekwon-do International. The school opened in February 2019 and is led by 8th Degree Chief Master Brice Bishop. Chief Master Bishop previously owned Norwalk Taekwon-Do Academy in Norwalk, CT from 1985-2014.
Master Bishop began his Taekwon-Do training in 1978. Dedicating himself to the art, Master Bishop earned his black belt in 22 months.
While still a First-Degree Black Belt, he was promoted to Chief Instructor of the Texarkana Taekwon-Do Academy in Texarkana, Texas in 1981. He was also instrumental in forming the United States Taekwon-Do Federation, which at the time was based in North Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1983 he was promoted to second-degree black belt and became the Chief Instructor at the USTF headquarters where he also held the position of Director of Operations.
In 1985, Master Bishop– then 3rd Degree Black Belt, relocated to Norwalk, Connecticut and established the Norwalk Taekwon-Do Academy. Shortly after, he founded the North American Taekwon-Do Association, a governing organization that holds high standards for its members and member schools.
Master Bishop continued his martial arts education by training in many different styles including western boxing, Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kali, Yuwara, Hapkido, Aikido, Muay Thai, and Iaido.
Master Bishop continued to travel back and forth to Arkansas no less than two times a year to conduct tournaments, teach seminars, and hold camps, as well as be a guest judge at testings for Arkansas are Taekwon-Do schools.
In July of 2006, Master Bishop was promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt at a testing held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The prestigious testing panel was comprised of some of the world's most senior Grand Masters, including Grand Master Nam Tae Hi. Grand Master Nam is considered the Grand Master of Grand Masters, and was instrumental in creating Taekwon-Do.
Master Bishop is also a founding member of United Taekwon-Do Alliance where he held the position of Sr. Vice President for 6 years. He has the distinct honor of being one of the first two inductees into the United Taekwon-Do Alliance Hall of Fame.
On March 15, 2014, Master Bishop tested and was promoted to the rank of Chief Master – 8th Degree Black Belt earning rank recognition with the United Taekwon-Do Alliance, United World Taekwon-Do Association and the Korean Taekwon-Do Moo Duk Kwon.
Master Bishop is highly sought after to teach seminars, camps and special workouts. He has taught all over the United States, as well as in Europe and Central America.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts in Asheville, NC, is excited to celebrate their anniversary! They opened on January 3, 2007 – making January 3, 2020, their 13th anniversary! In addition to today marking the 13th year serving the Asheville area, they are also commemorating the 1-year anniversary at their current location in the River Ridge Market Place!
Asheville Sun Soo would like to thank all of their students and instructors for being a part of the Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts family! Asheville Sun Soo wishes all of their students and families a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!