Martial Arts Classes-Self Defense & Korean Karate in Asheville NC — Martial Arts, Self Defense & Taekwondo School in Asheville NC Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:16:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Katie Parsons spreads the love at Sun Soo! Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:16:05 +0000 Our student spotlight this week is on Katie Parsons.  Katie is a fantastic student who is constantly giving in every sense of the word.  Katie gives 110% in class – she sets a great example, stays focused, and gives each move her all.  Additionally, Katie contributes to a positive class environment by treating the teachers with respect, and showing remarkable compassion for other students.  It is common to see Katie going above and beyond to make sure someone else is included.  We are so grateful to have Katie as a student here at Sun Soo!  She spreads the love every day without fail!

Katie Parsons Sun SooAge: 9
Rank: Red-black

Where you go to school: Weaverville Elementary School

Why you practice: Master Morris came to my school once and did some work with us and I wanted to learn how to do it all.

How long you’ve been practicing: 2 ½ years

What you enjoy most about your practice so far: Getting to know all the people!
Other hobbies/interests: Singing, dancing, playing piano, and reading

Something people at Tae Kwon Do probably don’t know about you: I love to sing and dance!

Favorite Tae Kwon Do moment: My first testing

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7th degree Master Mark Nathanson to attend December Testing Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:38:07 +0000 We are pleased to announce that 7th degree Master Mark Nathanson will be joining us at Asheville Sun Soo for our December testing. Master Nathanson has been a long time member and contributor to Taekwon-do International and a student of Grandmaster Kim’s for nearly 40 years. Master Nathanson is accomplished in his life both as a martial artist and as a podiatric surgeon. He is also a devoted husband and father of three awesome kids. Master Nathanson is a fantastic instructor with a great sense of humor and we are excited to have him as a guest this month!

Master Nathanson began his Taekwondo practice in 1976 at Grandmaster Kim’s first school in Bergenfield, New Jersey. He had some boxing experience but wanted to expand his skill set and had a friend who was practicing with Master Kim at the time. In summer of 1979, Master Nathanson earned his 1st degree black belt and was soon after teaching basic classes at the school. From 1979 to 1983 he competed on the Ohio State University TKD team and taught classes for the school’s Tae Kwon Do club.

master nathansonMaster Nathanson’s early martial arts career was defined by intense training and frequent competition. He says he has competed in 200-300 tournaments in his life…many that went well and many that didn’t. Some of his career highlights include competing for the USA in the Americas cup in 1980, being the captain of the Ohio State University team for 4 years straight, and competing in either the US collegiate nationals or the USA nationals for each year in college.
Master Nathanson cites Grandmaster Kim as his greatest influence and says that he continues to look up to him after several decades of being his student. Master Nathanson also fondly remembers Master Ruben Cassenova, who recently passed away, as one of his favorite teachers. Although Master Nathanson initially found him to be intimidating, he ultimately is grateful to Master Cassenova for teaching him how to be tough and how to exceed what he thought he was capable of.

Another career highlight for Master Nathanson occurred when he was invited to train at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs in 1980 after placing second in the middle weight category in the state of Ohio. After four days of high altitude training, he says he couldn’t wait to get home. He also traveled to Korea with Grandmaster Kim in 1995 and trained at the Kukkiwan (the world Taekwon-do headquarters) for “ten glorious days.” His last tournaments were in 2003-2006, and he counts himself as “lucky enough” to compete in and sometimes win grand championships in breaking, patterns, and sparring. Master Nathanson does not compete anymore due to his high rank, but he still misses it!

Master Nathanson’s favorite element of Taekwon-do training is the constant search to find a better way to do things and then to try to find a way to impart that knowledge onto others – he says “it makes it feel brand new to me every day, despite the many years I have put into it. I love to see those that I teach actually ‘get it’… it is the greatest feeling one can have.” Master Nathanson also loves practicing and teaching basics. He enjoys the challenge of seeing how each individual person moves and then trying to figure out how to teach them how to use the Taekwon-do in such a way as to fit their body. As an instructor and as a practitioner, Master Nathanson believes that this process helps him to make improvements.

As part of his life-long commitment to fitness and athleticism, Master Nathanson’s other interests include weight lifting, running or biking. He is also dedicated to working hard in the office to help his patients. However his ultimate passion is his family. His oldest son has autism and is non-verbal, and Master Nathanson is praying for the moment when they will get to have a conversation…”that will be a great day,” he says. He describes his wife and all three kids as his wonderful “heart and soul.”

Master Nathanson's kids - Sam, 9, Maya, 6, and Hannah, 3

Master Nathanson’s kids – Sam, 9, Maya, 6, and Hannah, 3

Master Nathanson has visited Asheville Sun Soo once before and he is most excited about seeing all of the instructors and students again. His words of encouragement for students testing this time are these:
“We all think we are not prepared…we all think we are not ready….that’s ok, that’s what makes your test so rewarding…it is something you do that is hard, stressful, and yet at the end of the day…so worthwhile. This is an important thing one gets from Taekwon-do for life…we are not always ready for what life brings, but if we meet challenges head on, and do our best, we will always be ahead of the game. And always remember that those who come to watch you have come to watch you succeed, and simply by stepping out on the mat, you have done just that.”
We are thrilled to welcome Master Nathanson back to Asheville for our testing this December. He is an exceptional teaching resource in the larger Taekwon-do community and we are lucky to have him as a guest judge. We are also looking forward to the seminar that he will be teaching Saturday morning for our black belts. Thank you Master Nathanson for taking time out of your busy life to be with us next weekend!

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Master Dan Bourelle to visit Asheville for December testing Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:40:57 +0000 Master Dan BourelleWe are excited to announce that Master Dan Bourelle, owner and head instructor of Wilmington Martial Arts and Fitness Center, will be joining us as a guest judge for our testing this December. Master Bourelle holds a 5th degree in Hapkido, a 4th degree in Taekwondo and has been teaching martial arts for over 15 years. In addition to being an accomplished martial arts instructor, he is also a certified personal trainer and certified MMA conditioning coach. It is clear that Master Bourelle is an energetic, passionate and dedicated instructor and we are greatly looking forward to his visit!

Master Bourelle began his martial arts practice when he was 13 in Norfolk, NE, in 1993. His older brother paid for them both to take Hapkido classes as a birthday present. However the Hapkido classes were mainly for older students, so Master Bourelle opted to join Taekwondo classes first in order to “earn” his way into the Hapkido classes, which were primarily taught for law enforcement officials. He has continued to train in both arts, and additionally the sword art of Gumbo, for nearly 20 years.

When askMaster Dan Bourelleed about his greatest influences, Master Bourelle cites his teacher, Master Fred Roskens, and his teacher, Master Ken Brooks. He says he still leans on their guidance by imagining what they would do if they were in his situation. The ninja turtles and karate kid also played a big role in Master Bourelle’s early interest in martial arts. Additionally, he appreciates Bruce Lee’s influence, because “he brought new ideas and philosophy into martial arts and changed people’s minds and perspective.” Master Bourelle says that he strives to do the same.

Master Bourelle began assist teaching martial arts shortly after earning his 1st dan at the age of 16. He had not planned to be an instructor, but simply felt like he was doing his part to give back as a black belt. He took the role seriously and stepped into the new responsibility – and was soon teaching all of the school’s Hapkido classes. He says that teaching felt natural and that it felt good have a positive area in life where he could help others and be respected by adults.

Part of Master Bourelle’s martial arts path includes creating new highlights and roadmarks for himself constantly. Previous defining moments of his martial arts career include unexpectedly placing 1st in a national tournament, and testing simultaneously for his 4th dan in Hapkido and his 3rd dan in Taekwondo. Finally, he describes opening and running his own martial arts school as one of the biggest accomplishments of all –
“After numerous years working for Architecture/Engineering Firm, I lost my job during the recession and decided to open my martial arts school full time. I thought for sure I was going to lose everything I owned to keep the doors open…the first thing I bought for the studio was a couch to sleep on, as I thought I would lose my house. Luckily, my house survived, and so did I, and so did my school! That couch still sits in my office at the school and reminds me that when you want something bad enough, nothing will stop you.”

Master BourelleMaster Dan Bourelle is clearly passionate about both practicing and teaching martial arts. He used to love competing when he was younger, but says that now his practice has evolved to have a deeper emphasis on self-defense, culture, and the forms. He says “I love Taekwondo because there are so many layers that I am still discovering after 20+ years of training.” His favorite element of teaching is seeing students push the limits of what they thought they could do, and then seeing them realize that those limits don’t actually exist! That moment, he says, is when he knows that someone’s life just changed for the better in a big way.

Master Bourelle’s other hobbies include baseball and softball, sand volleyball, music, and guitar playing. He also loves visual arts, and although he doesn’t paint, draw or sculpt often anymore, that passion for art still exists in him and continues to manifest in different ways.

This will be Master Bourelle’s first visit to Asheville Sun Soo. His teacher’s teacher trained under Grandmaster S.J. Kim, who is the founder and president of Taekwon-do International. He is excited to visit a new school and is going to be doing some filming at Sun Soo for part of a documentary. He says that he has learned something new from every school that he’s visited and is excited to see what will be unique about his visit to Asheville. Master Bourelle’s advice to testing students is this – “own it! Which means, accept your current skill level, give it your all, and apply the techniques so that they work for you!” He also added the following – “For those black belts testing, I’m going to pass along one of the best pieces of advice I was given about being a black belt. Good black belts do what they are told quickly and efficiently. Great black belts get it done without being told.”

Thank you Master Bourelle for visiting us and we are very excited to meet you and to share with you!

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Michelle Baker – Author, Artist, and Martial Artist! Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:54:38 +0000 Our student spotlight this week in on Michelle Baker! Michelle is an awesome Tae Kwon Do powerhouse who practices alongside her son Wilson. In addition to being a fantastic martial artist, Michelle is also a local artist and author.  Michelle kindly included in her interview this invitation to her upcoming book launch:
Michelle Baker, local author and martial artist
“I would like everyone to know they are invited to Malaprop’s for the book launch party of my new book, The Canoe. Saturday, Nov. 15th, 7 – 9 p.m. Please join me for a book talk, signing and tasty treats. It would be a joy to see familiar Sun Soo faces there.
THE CANOE: Set over the course of ten days in 1912, this poetic portrait of love and loss follows two simultaneous stories: the coming of age of Bernie Kingston, the teenage son of a coffin maker who lives along the Chesapeake Bay and Katherine Chambers, a middle-aged Englishwoman leaving home for the first time as she seeks to recover from the loss of her husband and son. Written in journal format, their parallel journeys are told against the backdrop of the Titanic disaster and the communities touched by its tragedy.”
The Canoe is available in store at Malaprop’s, and is available in print and ebook online via Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashword.

Interview –
Age: 47
Rank: White/Yellow belt
Occupation: Author/Artist/Photographer

Why I practice:
Having studied and practiced Qi Gong, I have always wanted to learn an additional martial art. When my son, Wilson, started at Sun Soo, I knew I would soon follow in his footsteps.

I practice martial arts because I believe life is a constant conversation between the light and the dark, and all that falls in between. I believe a martial arts practice gives practitioners the ability to choose more consciously, more intentionally, how to wake from, enter into or be in the light, the dark, and all the places in between.

This is also why I am an artist, and I believe each of us is an artist. Every moment is a creative act. We might have a set daily routine, but each moment is absolutely new, never to occur again; we can create a new experience within the repetition of our daily lives. A practice like Tae Kwon Do drives this home for me.

How long have I been practicing Tae Kwon Do: Since July 2014

What I enjoy most:
I like learning the forms. I have a background in dance, and always enjoyed learning new choreography. The forms are new choreography to me. The learning is challenging and exciting. I also enjoy being part of a community. Being able to witness and support each other’s learning processes and achievements is a privilege for which I am very grateful.

Other hobbies/interests:
I paint very large, abstract multi-canvas paintings. Some of my work can be seen at Gallery Asheville and Cafe 64, both in downtown Asheville. I am a photographer as well, and enjoying taking portraits of people.

Something people at Tae Kwon Do probably don’t know about me:
I wrote and performed a solo show that toured across country for two years with three runs off-Broadway. The play is called Sole Survivors. I interviewed immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, and created four composite characters who told their stories interspersed with the music of a live mariachi.

As an actor, writer, and former photojournalist, interviewing the people and writing this show was an absolute thrill to see how all my creative outlets could come together, be expressed, and shed light on and give voice to the stories we often never see or hear.

Favorite Tae Kwon Do movement:  Jump kicks!

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Student Spotlight – Jennifer Marshall Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:51:20 +0000 Our student spotlight this week is on Jennifer Marshall.  Jennifer is an excellent student and friend here at Sun Soo.  Ever since beginning her practice, Jennifer has attended classes consistently and has practiced on her own.  In class, she always gives 110% and never seems to have an “off” day.  Jennifer is quick to lend a hand if needed and can always be counted on to demonstrate controlled and respectful behavior.  Jennifer is growing into an incredibly powerful and capable young woman and we are very happy that she is one of our students here at Sun Soo.  Go Jennifer!

picture of jennifer marshall

Age: 13

Rank: Black-recommended

School: Enka Middle School

Why you practice: The main reason is that I love the community of the whole place

How long you’ve been practicing: 2 ¼ years

What you enjoy most about your practice so far: It’s a great outlet for my energy and it has helped me to focus better and think faster.

Other hobbies/interests: I like to draw and write. I’m also interested in biology, mainly zoology.

Something people at Tae Kwon Do probably don’t know about you: I have a pet snake and I’m in the school choir.

Favorite Tae Kwon Do moment: At one testing, Sarah and I were both sparring and we both did a solar-plexus punch.  So we punched each other’s hands and it hurt, but we were both cracking up about it too.

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Master Shay Tippens to visit Asheville for October Testing Tue, 07 Oct 2014 23:42:40 +0000 This weekend we are pleased to welcome 4th degree Master Shay Tippens to Asheville Sun Soo as one of our guest master instructors on our judging panel.  Master Tippens is the primary instructor at the Chapel Hill location of Master Partridge’s United Tae Kwon Do Academy. Master Tippens is an enthusiastic, friendly and detail oriented instructor and we are excited that he will be joining us for our testing.

Master Tippens began his Tae Kwon Do practice at the age of 10 with Chapel Hill/Carrboro Tae Kwon Do in 1992.  He started because his parents hoped that a martial arts practice would improve his focus and concentration. Master Tippens remembers his first instructor, Master Whittier, as having a strong emphasis on stances, correct technique, and chambers.  Master Tippens remembers feeling awkward and uncoordinated, but his instructors stayed firm and guided him through techniques, helping him experience growth and success.

Master Tippens began teaching Tae Kwon Do in California in 2002 as a trade for the taekwondo classes he was taking.  Choosing to move back from California to pursue his black belt was a pivotal moment for Master Tippens and in 2005 he became the intern for for Chapel Hill/Carrboro Tae Kwon Do. In 2007 he became a full time instructor at the school where he started, and stayed on when Master Partridge took over and they joined the United Tae Kwon Do Academy family.  His recent achievement of 4th Dan has also been a major milestone.
Master Tippens describes his favorite element of practicing Tae Kwon Do as “the moment of “satori” when the physical practice become the meditative… This is probably why I gravitate towards the practice of poomse (forms).”  However, in terms of teaching, Master Tippens says “it’s all about the student.” He loves being part of someone’s “ah ha!” moment, even early on when students are first making efforts towards coordinating left and right sides of the body.
Always passionate about his personal practice, Master Tippens describes his major Tae Kwon Do challenge as learning to teach.  He started teaching at a relatively young age and initially found it to be stressful.  He says he is now very grateful for the students who trusted him at the beginning and helped him to build the confidence that he needed to make a career out of instructing.  He says that he now has more patience with his teaching abilities and trusts that his efforts will lead to improvements over time.
In addition to Tae Kwon Do, Master Tippens enjoys games and puzzles, ranging from classics like the daily crossword or a game of bridge to tabletop games to the occasional video game such as tetris.  He also enjoys spending time with his wife and playing disc golf.
Master Tippens is excited to join us this weekend and is ready to see students performing with focus and confidence!  Thank you Master Tippens for joining us and we hope that you have a great time.

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Master Paul D’Ambrosio to visit Sun Soo for October Testing Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:49:18 +0000 We have a very exciting guest judge, Master Paul D’Ambrosio, joining us this weekend, all the way from Laguna Hills, California. Master D is a 6th Degree Master instructor under TKD International, as well as a 4th Degree Master in Olympic Sport Taekwondo. This uniquely qualifies him to teach to a very wide range of students.  He is also the owner and primary instructor at Aliso Hills Tae Kwon Do.  Master D is also a very charismatic and enthusiastic practitioner – his energy is contagious and we are so thrilled to have him visiting this us weekend.

Master D began his training in the late 1970’s at the age of 15, under fairly hilarious circumstances.He was working for the city department, and had been tasked with painting a fire station stairwell.  He heard yelling at the top of the stairwell, and peeked in to discover part of a jujitsu class.  He and his coworker ran down the stairs to try out the moves, and then ran back up to try and watch some more. Eventually the teacher caught them and chastised them for interrupting, but also invited them to start a practice.  Master D signed up the next week and spent almost 8 years studying Japanese Kenpo Karate and Jiu-Jitsu, eventually earning a 2nd degree black belt.
After graduating college, he moved to New York to pursue a career as an actor. Researching numerous schools in Manhattan, he was studied wherever he could find an instructor that was teaching quality techniques, and ended up taking classes in several styles. Master D eventually moved to California to pursue acting, and it was then that he met Grand Master Tong Suk Chun, and began training in Tae Kwon Do.  For years, he trained and practiced, and eventually had the opportunity to train with and learn from Grand Master Suk Jun Kim, a direct disciple of General Choi Hong Hi, Taekwon-do’s founder. With individual guidance and teaching from Master Kim, Master D was able to up his training to an even higher level. Master D opened his own school in 2009 and moved to the current location 6 months ago.
Master D’s favorite aspect of practicing Tae kwon Do is the endless amount of learning involved. Not only does he love learning from very experienced practitioners, but he says that often he learns the most from the yellow belts and the green belts. He also notices that many people have a “good at/not good at” conversation going on in their heads and he thinks that martial arts can help people to move away from such a fixed mindset.  He encourages people to focus instead on effort and improvement, and adds that such a mindset has facilitated growth in his life and for his students.

Outside of Tae Kwon Do and acting, Master D enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family.  His wife is a 2nd degree and their 14 year old daughter is a 1st degree, so they have the benefit of practicing together.  Master D is most looking forward to seeing the Sun Soo students, as he remembers really enjoying all of the his interactions with the people here in his past 2 visits. We are so excited that Master D is taking the time to visit us all the way from California – please welcome him to our studio and thank him for being with us when you meet him.

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Student Spotlight is on Tina Clark! Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:22:31 +0000 Our student spotlight this week is on Tina Clark, who started her practice this year after spending many months watching her son Dylan practice from the lobby.  She is a mother of 2 (13 year old daughter Sydney and 8 year old Dylan), and a wife of 18 years.  Most recently, Tina’s husband Gren started his practice and just tested for his white-yellow belt! Tina is a sharp and focused practitioner who brings excellent balance and coordination to her evolving practice.  Additionally, she is a great partner for any classmate, young or old, due to her amazing capacity to relate to others and make people feel safe.  We are so glad that Tina (and fer family members) practice here at Sun Soo and we hope you enjoy Tina’s interview below!
Age:  44
Rank:  yellow/green belt
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor which means I am board certified to conduct talk therapy to help clients with an array of issues that are often interfering with them living their best life. I own my own private practice but have worked in a variety of settings (domestic violence and homeless shelters, a rehabilitation hospital in the traumatic brain injury unit and a university student center). It is an honor and privilege to be in this line of work and yet it can also be an arduous career path where self-care is of utmost importance. If I don’t take care of myself then I won’t be able to take very good care of the people counting on me…my clients and most importantly my family.
So that explains the primary reason I practice Tae Kwon Do at Sun Soo. My son Dylan (who is 8 years old and a green blue belt) began practicing in the Spring of 2013. The more I watched his classes and witnessed the changes in him, the more I wondered what it would be like to be an adult student. I remember Master Morris mentioning that really cool things happen when parents practice with their children. I remained skeptical for a short time, worrying that I would somehow interfere with my son’s progress. It wasn’t until I watched some of the Saturday testings that I began to see what he meant. I saw a huge community of adults and students that supported each other with cheer, hugs and words of encouragement. I saw instructors and students fully invested in their school and I started to realize I wanted to be a part of that…not just sitting on the sidelines. I also realized that my life load was pretty heavy and I needed a healthy way to unload that heaviness. I also have always been happier when I was part of a team (athletic or otherwise) and I hadn’t been part of a team in some time. The final nudge came from my friend, colleague and Sun Soo black belt Nancy Fraser (who works in my building). She seemed to think it was just what I needed. The rest is history. I decided to ask Santa for a uniform and first month at Sun Soo for Christmas. Thanks Santa! I started in January of this year.
At first I felt overwhelmed and about as uncoordinated as I can ever recall feeling. Fortunately I felt surrounded by smiling supportive students and instructors who helped me learn to stop worrying and just keep going. I enjoy so many aspects of my practice 7 months into it. I absolutely love the community and the heart of this school. I love that my body, mind and spirit are getting stronger every class. I love the amazing friends I am making. I love watching the incredible contribution Sun Soo has made in my son’s life. He has grown up so much in the past year. I love that now we have gotten my husband Gren hooked too. Tonight he said that he “needs” to get to class tomorrow “it’s been too long since Monday.” I love the challenges ahead and the upper ranking students that show me what I am capable of with enough practice and perseverance.
I have many other hobbies and interests. I love rock climbing, horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking, playing soccer and lacrosse, hiking, drawing, photography, cooking, traveling, volunteering for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and enjoying time with my kids.
I’m not sure if I can narrow down a favorite moment in Tae Kwon Do. I love watching my son test and seeing how laser focused and full of pride he can become. I enjoy the many moments when I have laughed so hard or been moved to tears. I enjoy and appreciate the extra help and mentoring that seems readily available and eagerly given. I love that when I get called onto the mat at testing, everywhere I look there are people smiling and encouraging me to do my best. I am eternally grateful for Sun Soo and everything it has and continues to give my family.
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Master Juli Bowman visits Asheville to watch her father, age 72, test for 3rd degree Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:38:56 +0000 This weekend we are pleased to welcome 5th degree Master Juli Bowman to our August testing.  Master Bowman is a pleasant and friendly person who is also an accomplished athlete.  Additionally, she is the daughter of Mr. Randy Langley, who is testing for his 3rd degree this weekend.  Master Bowman is a giving and well rounded practitioner who is excited to be here to support her father this weekend.

Master Bowman began her practice in 1992 after finishing college.  She has played competitive soccer for most of her life, including at the collegiate level, and wanted to take on a new challenge.  She started out at an Olympic style school and found it to be both interesting and great exercise.  She started teaching at this school in Chantilly, Virginia where she earned her 1st degree black belt.

In 1997 Master Bowman moved to her current school, Tiger Claw Taekwondo, in Leesburg, VA. She developed a long term relationship with this school as she has now been practicing and teaching there for nearly 17 years! Master Bowman has taught in various capacities at this school depending on other factors in her life.  Right now, in addition to homeschooling her children, Sydney (age 13, 3rd degree) and Randy (age 10, 1st degree), she is teaching a class at Tiger Claw every week on Saturdays.

Master Bowman loves perfecting her kicks and practicing her patterns. Her favorite part of teaching is “getting the enthusiasm going, making students work hard, sweat, and every time having the students walk out with something new.”  She keeps her class energy high and brings something unique every time she teaches.

In addition to being a long time martial arts practitioner, Master Bowman still plays soccer, in both indoor and outdoor leagues.  She also feels that it is important to give back to the community, and actively volunteers for the local animal shelter with her kids.  They foster kittens at their house in addition to providing the Humane Society with onsite support.  Master Bowman sets a great example for her kids, her students and her peers by participating in community service.

When asked about being a female Master instructor in a male dominated sport, Master Bowman responded with appreciation for the environment of her school.  Like Sun Soo, Tiger Claw fosters a safe environment for all practitioners and has grown through word of mouth and a strong community focus. “Often we’ve actually had more female black belts and instructors than men! We made a T-shirt that said ‘kick like a girl!’” Master Bowman also pointed out that being a martial artist is not about being able to beat everyone in a fight.  She sees her small size as a reality but not a hindrance.  She adds – “I do the techniques that work for my size and my capabilities.” Especially with kids, she emphasizes using good judgment and self control in any dangerous situation.

Master Bowman is excited to visit Asheville to watch her father test, and to “watch everyone watch him.”  It will be a real treat to have Master Bowman on our judging panel this weekend and we are thrilled to welcome her to Asheville!

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7th degree Master Barry Partridge visits Asheville for August Testing Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:41:13 +0000 We are pleased to have Master Barry Partridge as a guest Master Instructor for our August testing.  He holds a 7th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has been practicing for over 40 years.  He is a former USTA heavyweight champion and has been a coach to several US Tae Kwon Do Olympians. Master Partridge is completely devoted to teaching and spreading Tae Kwon Do, he is a superb athlete, and a warm and charismatic person.  Master Partridge is also a devoted father.  He has a son named Dominique, age 12, who also practices.

Master Morris and Master Partridge have much in common.  They share two previous teachers and they both attended NC State University in Raleigh at the same time.  Master Partridge played college football for NCSU.  He was a Traditional Tae Kwon Do stylist up through 3rd degree and then transitioned to Olympic style which he has practiced up through his current rank.  He’s been running schools and teaching professionally for over 20 years.  Master Partridge is the Master instructor of two schools, both called United Taekwondo Academy – one is in Winston-Salem and one is in Chapel Hill.  He shares his teaching time between the two schools. He chooses to do this for a living because he feels like it’s the way that he can make the greatest difference for people.

Master Partridge loves teaching and loves teaching teachers – which is another thing he shares with Master Morris.  He enjoys facilitating people’s discovery of their own resources to become more effective.  As a practitioner – he loves staying physically fit and enjoys running in addition to Tae Kwon Do.   Although he is very accomplished he is very humble about these accomplishments.  He believes that when people develop self defense skills, it actually creates a peaceful community because “when people are confident that they can take care of themselves, they are relaxed and comfortable and they don’t overreact – they are able to maintain peace.”  Master Partridge has great respect and appreciation for other healing modalities beyond martial arts.

We are excited to welcome such an accomplished and enthusiastic teacher to our school for testing this weekend.  Master Partridge will be teaching our Black Belt Seminar, Saturday morning at 10 AM, on sparring techniques.  Please give Master Partridge a warm welcome when you see him in the studio on Saturday!

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