This weekend at Asheville Sun Soo we are pleased to welcome 4th degree Master Chris Malarkey as our guest judge.
Master Malarkey has been practicing for 20 years and currently teaches full time under Master Meany at Glen Ridge Tae Kwon Do in New Jersey. Master Malarkey is a talented, friendly, and devoted practitioner and we are excited to have him with us for our testing. Please welcome Master Malarkey when you see him in the studio this weekend!
Master Malarkey grew up in Brooklyn and began his Tae Kwon Do practice in 1993. Only 5 at the time, he cites his earliest influence as some of his childhood friends and “the power rangers.” He has trained under Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim and other Taekwon-Do International instructors for his whole life as well as in other styles for short periods of time. Master Malarkey started unofficially assist-teaching around red belt, being asked here and there to demonstrate something for a lower ranking student. He received his 1st degree black belt in 2003, and fondly remembers traveling with Master Marr to test in front of Grandmaster Kim. Initially thinking he had “finished something” he soon realized that 1st degree was really just the beginning. Master Malarkey had a “Let’s do this” attitude upon realizing how much there was still to learn and says that he noticed big changes in himself after reaching 1st degree and continuing to train hard. He says that he started “requiring more” of himself and wanted to always be ready and maintained his body and skills as such.
In 2007, Master Malarkey recalls working at A&P Supermarkets and regularly training hard after work. He really enjoyed his practice and was constantly improving. Master Marr offered him a teaching position at the school, and Master Malarkey accepted. He wanted to pursue a career that he felt would facilitate his growth and he had always felt called to the martial arts path. Since then, Master Malarkey has enjoyed teaching immensely and is growing both as a student and a teacher, bringing in his life experiences to round his teaching philosophies and balance his approach to the craft.
Master Malarkey is proud to be a Tae Kwon Do Instructor believing “It’s a different kind of career”, and is “constantly surprised that people are open minded about it.” He loves that it’s not just a job for him, rather “it’s a whole direction that I’m going… it’s something I’m building.” His favorite elements of his practice are padwork and free fighting (sparring). He enjoys free fighting especially because it provides an opportunity to break something down, think about the theory, and try new things. In terms of teaching, Master Malarkey’s favorite moments are all about watching students grow. He loves when students start to believe in themselves and start pushing themselves independently.
Aside from the sheer amount of time he spends devoted to Tae Kwon Do and improving his mind and body, Master Malarkey is an avid reader and also loves music (anything but country!). He also loves to write and is currently working on a book.
To all the Sun Soo students testing this weekend, Master Malarkey’s advice is to relax, and to give YOUR personal 100%, and to not worry about what anyone else expects. He is excited to be somewhere different, to see the area, and hopefully to enjoy some warmer weather! Additionally, Master Malarkey looks forward to seeing friends and meeting new students, and to feeling the energy of an Asheville Sun Soo testing!
We are thrilled to have a passionate, kind, and accomplished guest instructor here with us this weekend. Thank you Master Malarkey for making the trip to Asheville and we are excited that you will be a part of our testing!