Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts – COVID-19/Coronavirus update

By now, all Asheville Sun Soo students and their families should have received an e-mail regarding the changes that will be happening at the dojang during this time. Please check your inbox and your spam folders to make certain that you have received the message. If you have not, please contact us at 828-505-4309 and update your contact information so that we can forward the message to you directly and be sure that you receive future updates as they happen. Thank you!

At Asheville Sun Soo, our intention has been to stay open as a service to our students and families and to be able to do so with the addition of several risk-reducing measures (greater distance between students during class, multiple hand sanitizers in the space, no student contact, extensive cleaning measures). We had hoped that we would be able to continue to serve our families through daily classes and our after-school-related programing were schools to close. As the week has progressed, however, it has become increasingly apparent that – in order to best serve our families and students, as well as the community at large – we must support as fully as possible, the collective and large-scale efforts being made to minimize the spread or potential spread of the virus.

Given the mandates that have been made on the state level in an effort to slow/minimize the transmission of the coronavirus, and given that Asheville Sun Soo’s mission is to “make the greatest positive difference for the greatest number of people,” we are compelled to stop all in-person programming for all students and families, effective immediately (beginning Monday, March 16th, 2020) – and until these mandates are lifted.

It is our sincere hope that we collectively will only need to be absent from Asheville Sun Soo for these next two weeks – and we also realize that it is possible that the interruption may be required to extend longer. In any case, we want to remind us all of a few things:

  • This will pass… There will be an end to this “season” and we will get to the other side. 🙂
  • We are not alone in this; we are all in this together! We, the Sun Soo family, are a loving and strong and positively-oriented collective – and we will hold space for each other and stay connected, even while we are not able to be physically present with each other.
  • We are martial artists! And real martial artists are strong!

Please know that we will have everyone in thoughts and hold a space for the greatest possibilities for us all. To this end, we are currently in the process of developing a means by which our students can practice at home (in addition to the resources that are already available). We will be sending additional details by Tuesday.

Please feel free to contact us by email or phone if you have any questions. Let’s all stay safe and make the best of this. We look forward to us all being together again soon!

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Prepares for February 2020 Testing

Asheville Sun Soo will conduct belt rank testing on Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th.  We are excited to welcome 3 visiting Guest Master Judges for this event – 9th Dan Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim, 6th Dan Master Robert Word, and 5th Dan Master Bob Kerr! 

Grandmaster Kim (not to be confused with Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, Founder of Taekwon-Do International, our parent organization) was the first Tae Kwon Do instructor under whom Grandmaster Tony Morris studied, when he was only 10 years old, in 1972! Grandmaster Kim ran his own school, Kim’s School of Tae Kwon Do, which was headquartered in Charlotte, NC (with many associated schools over the 50-year history of Kim’s School of Tae Kwon Do that were located in other cities, states and countries!) for several years.  Grandmaster Kim instilled a sense of excellence and tradition that Grandmaster Morris continues to pursue in the day to day operation of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts. Please be certain to greet Grandmaster Kim at testing this weekend! 

Master Robert Word is a longtime friend of the school. He and his wife, 5th Dan Master Dawn Word, owned and operated AIM Tae Kwon Do in Greensboro, NC, for several years before taking some time off. Masters Word plan to open a new school in the upcoming year. We are happy to welcome him back to the school! 

Master Bob Kerr, also a longtime friend and frequent visitor to Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, has been a pastor for several decades, and still practices with Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim today. Welcome back Master Kerr! 

We want to congratulate all of our testing students for all their efforts and accomplishments. We want to give special recognition to the five students testing for Black Belt ranks: 

John Mellin, 13, testing for Junior 1st Dan 

Lucca DeGennaro, 10, testing for Junior 2nd Dan 

Silas Flaum, 14, testing for Junior 2nd Dan 

Devin Martin, 18, testing for 2nd Dan 

Amerie Delfin, 14, testing for Junior 3rd Dan 

Reminder: 

We will be closed for classes beginning at 11:30am Friday, February 14th. There will be no classes on Friday afternoon or evening, all day Saturday, February 15th, and all day Monday, February 17th. We will resume our normal class schedule on Tuesday, February 18th.  

Testing Schedule: 

Friday, February 14th 

4pm: Mighty Tiger/Mighty Lion Testing 

6pm: White Belt Testing, White-Yellow Belt Testing, Color Belt Board Breaks, Black Belt candidates begin testing. Please arrive by 5:30pm.  

Saturday, February 15th 

10am: Special Seminar for students in the Black Belt ranks, conducted by Grandmaster Kim! 

12pm: Testing for all students, ranked White-Yellow belt and above, Black Belt candidates complete testing. 

Community meal immediately follows testing. Food will be provided by Happy Cinco de Mayo, a delicious restaurant located within the River Ridge Market Place, specializing in Mexican cuisine. 

Students should wear WHITE uniforms ONLY! 

We will be closed for classes throughout testing weekend, as well as on Monday, February 17th  (in order to reset the space)! Classes will resume on Tuesday, February 18th and will follow our regular schedule! Please wear your current belt to your first class back. Students who have been promoted will receive their new belt at their first class back.  

Kids who move up to yellow belt or blue belt should attend one more class for their current rank. White-Yellow belts who test to Yellow belt should attend one more Kid’s Beginner class, then begin going to Kid’s Intermediate classes after receiving their new belt. Green-Blue belts who test to Blue belt should attend one more Kid’s Intermediate class, then begin going to Kid’s Advanced classes after receiving their new belt.  

We look forward to seeing all of you this weekend! 

 

Asheville Sun Soo Celebrates Our 13th Anniversary

photo of Asheville Sun Soo's storefront

 

Asheville Sun Soo is excited to celebrate our anniversary! We opened on January 3, 2007 – making today, January 3, 2020, our 13th anniversary! In addition to today marking our 13th year serving the Asheville area, we are also commemorating our 1-year anniversary at our current location in the River Ridge Market Place!

We would like to thank all of you for being a part of our Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts family! Asheville Sun Soo wishes all of our students and families a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Photo of Black Belt students and Asheville Sun Soo vans in front of the dojang

Asheville Sun Soo Celebrates the Holidays with December 2019 Belt Rank Testing and Holiday Potluck

Asheville Sun Soo Welcomes Chief Master Brice Bishop as Guest Master Instructor at our December 2019 Belt Rank Testing

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is excited to welcome Chief Master Brice Bishop as the Guest Master Instructor for our December testing event. Grandmaster Tony Morris met Chief Master Bishop when they both served as the Guest Masters at the October Testing of Taekwondo University, the collection of schools run by Grandmaster Terry Brumley – our visiting Guest Master Instructor from August!

Chief Master Bishop recently visited Asheville Sun Soo in anticipation of his serving in the capacity of judge for our upcoming testing. His visit provided him with context for what he will see on the mat during testing, and he looks forward to seeing the difference 3 weeks has made in our students. In addition, Chief Master Bishop will be holding a special class for Asheville Sun Soo Black Belts centering on footwork as it relates to effective sparring.

We look forward to hosting Chief Master Bishop this weekend, and having him share his perspective and skills with our students. Please be certain to meet him and thank him for being here!

Asheville Sun Soo Students Brave Rainy Weather to Participate in 2019 Asheville Holiday Parade

Grandmaster Morris Serves as Guest Master Instructor at Taekwondo University Testing

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is grateful to have had 9th Dan Grandmaster Terry Brumley, founder of United Taekwondo Alliance, and founder and Master Instructor of Taekwondo University as our guest on several occasions, including most recently, as guest for our August testing as well as contributing presence to our September TKDI Invitational Tournament, representing the UTA.

Returning the favor, on October 10th and 11th, Grandmaster Morris visited Grandmaster Brumley, serving in the capacity of a Guest Master Instructor and Guest Judge for the belt rank testing at Taekwondo University, held in Cordova, TN.

While there, Grandmaster Morris led a rigorous and exciting class for Grandmaster Brumley’s students in the Black Belt ranks. He shared the guest judge role with Chief Master Brice Bishop, Founder and Owner of National Black Belt Academy in Conway, Arkansas, who will be visiting our school next week! Grandmaster Morris enjoyed the experience, and found that Grandmaster Brumley’s students were welcoming and had a high level of capability and skill.

Grandmaster Brumley and Mrs. Brumley were gracious hosts, rolling out the red carpet for Grandmaster Morris and Mrs. Morris, treating them to an excellent testing and a night on the town in Memphis, TN.

Visiting other schools is a valuable part of Asheville Sun Soo’s mission to facilitate healthy and mutually supportive relationships among schools, instructors and practitioners. Grandmaster Morris would like to formally thank Grandmaster Brumley and the UTA for our mutually supportive relationship. We look forward to our next time together.

Grandmaster Tony Morris and Master Amy Dexter Contribute to Career Day at West Buncombe Elementary School

Photo of Grandmaster Morris and Master Amy Dexter with elementary aged student practitionerOn October 31st, Grandmaster Tony Morris and Master Amy Dexter contributed to the Career Day at West Buncombe Elementary School. This event, held annually at local schools, is designed with the intent of exposing students to the variety of career possibilities for their futures.

Grandmaster Morris and Master Dexter, represented Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, inspiring the kids to build their futures by emphasizing the importance of education, living in excellence, setting goals, practicing perseverance, and living with integrity as they continue to develop. As an example of what it’s like to be a martial arts instructor, Grandmaster Morris and Master Dexter taught the attending kids a few moves. The kids had fun, practiced their manners, and left excited about their possibilities.

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is committed to making a difference in our community! If you would like Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts to come to your location to facilitate a class, workshop, demonstration or other event, please contact Grandmaster Tony Morris at 505-4309.

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Hosts Annual Fall TKDI Invitational Tournament

 

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is honored to have hosted the 2019 Fall Taekwon-Do International Invitational Tournament. The Fall TKDI Invitational Tournament is hosted annually by Asheville Sun Soo, and this year’s event was the first invitational tournament held in our new River Ridge location!

Master Instructors and students from several different schools participated and contributed to a fantastic day! Competition was rigorous, respectful, and challenging and allowed students from different schools to share brackets, which made the day fun as well as a valuable way to develop and improve martial arts skills.

Students ages 3-80 competed in different areas of practice – forms (patterns), sparring, and board breaks. Competing in these areas provided competitors with multiple opportunities to cheer for their fellow practitioners, make new friends from participating schools, and to notice things about their own practices – all of which contribute to growth as a martial artist!

We want to give special thanks and recognition to 9th Dan Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, President and Founder of Taekwon-do International, 9th Dan Grandmaster Terry Brumley, Founder of United Taekwon-Do Alliance, 8th Dan Grandmaster Barry Partridge, 7th Dan Master John Meany, 7th Dan Master James Marr, and 5th Dan Master Shay Tippens – as well as all their participating students – for their collective contributions to the 2019 TKDI Invitational Tournament.

Congratulations to all who competed! We look forward to seeing our sister schools at future events!

Asheville Sun Soo Supports a Mental Health Awareness Event at UNC Asheville

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is happy to have supported the inaugural occurrence of Fresh Check Day – a new, student-led annual event held at the University of North Carolina Asheville.

This event was coordinated, organized, and facilitated by Kenda Mullert, Health Outreach Coordinator, with the Health and Counseling Center at UNCA, and was held on October 22, 2019. Fresh Check Day was created in order to bring awareness to the value of mental health issues in the college community. Breakout sessions were held to educate students to experiences around mental health that are common to many, but not highlighted or discussed. These sessions served to help students gain greater awareness of resources and tools available to support their mental health.

Asheville Sun Soo was invited to support the event through facilitating a series of three mini-workshops, emphasizing goal-setting and achievement, while navigating and breaking through limitations and barriers. We provided experiential sessions, with participants ultimately breaking adult boards with a palm strike. This activity served as a metaphor for breaking through obstacles in order to reach target goals. The UNCA students who participated made new connections in awareness around breaking barriers on the way to achievement. Everyone had a great time, and left inspired.

We at Asheville Sun Soo believe that the fundamental aspects of a consistent martial arts practice contribute to a balanced, high-functioning and excellent life. If you would like Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts to come to your location to facilitate a class, workshop, demonstration or other event, please contact Grandmaster Tony Morris at 828-505-4309.