Ian Dowling wins Grand Master Championship

Asheville Sun Soo Participates in Suk Jun Kim Cup Tournament in New Jersey

As we do each year, Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts took a contingent of students to the annual TKDI Invitational Tournament, now known as the Suk Jun Kim Cup. This event was hosted by Glen Ridge Taekwondo, which is owned and operated by Master John Meaney and Master Laura Giletti.

We would like to congratulate Master Meaney and Master Giletti for running an excellent tournament this year. There was good energy, a high degree of professionalism, and an all-around healthy competitive spirit!

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts would like to recognize the students from our school who made the trip to NJ to compete. All of them did well, and we are proud of their great effort! Students Include:

Ian Dowling, 3rd Dan

John Rivera, 2nd Dan

Sofia Rivera, 2nd Dan

Shallon Jacques, 2nd Dan

Devin Martin, Recommended Black Belt

Leah Dickinson, 2nd Dan

Amerie Delfin, 2nd Dan

Shonna Campbell, Blue-Red

Frances Hochschild, Red-Black

Amy Vaughn, 2nd Dan

Phillip Dexter, 1st Dan

Collectively, our students earned 9 gold medals, 11 silver medals, and 8 bronze medals. We would also like to give special recognition to 3rd Dan Black Belt, Mr. Ian Dowling for winning the Grand Masters trophy! This trophy is awarded to the top forms competitor.

Photo of Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim demonstrating a technique on Master Michael Dickinson of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts

Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim Holds Taekwondo Special Seminar at Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts

Master Tony Morris and Master Michael Dickinson, on behalf of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, would like to thank Grandmaster Kim, again, for coming to Asheville for our Saturday May 12 Traditional Taekwondo Special Seminar.

Over 130 students participated across all belt ranks and ages (5 years old -79 years old!). The seminar covered a variety of topics, as well as technical development. There were 2 separate sessions, the first lasting 1-1/2 hours, was dedicated to lower and middle belt ranking kids. This session helped them light the fire of excitement about their practices and opened their eyes to the opportunity of having a lifelong Taekwondo practice. The second session lasted 3 hours, and was dedicated to kids ranked red belt and higher, as well as teens and adults of all ranks. This seminar section included a variety of topics, technical clarifications, and introduction to some new technical variations.

Each session ended with a question and answer session with Grandmaster Kim, helping students gain insight into his personal history, as well as the lineage and history of Traditional Taekwondo and the place we all hold within that framework.

Although it seemed to be over quickly, our time with Grandmaster Kim, as always, was impactful and enlightening. What a great contribution to our collective practice!

Thank You Grandmaster Kim!

Master Tony Morris

Asheville Sun Soo to Host All-Ranks Special Seminar Conducted by Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim!

Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim teaches students at Asheville Sun Soo Martial ArtsOn Saturday May 12, Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts will be holding an all-ranks seminar as an excellent boost to and extension of our students’ martial arts practice. This seminar will be conducted by Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, 9th Dan, President and founder of Taekwon-do International, and teacher of Master Tony Morris.

Grandmaster Kim is a direct student of General Choi, the founder of Traditional Tae Kwon Do – the primary art taught at Asheville Sun Soo. He was involved with TKD at its inception, and was a chosen member of General Choi’s International Demonstration team, traveling the world for decades – helping to introduce this art to countless thousands. He is an excellent instructor, and we are highly anticipating his visit.

It is always a benefit to a practice to work with highly skilled practitioners and instructors, and Asheville Sun Soo is fortunate that he will be making the trip down to work with our students. We are excited to host him, and Grandmaster Kim is excited to be here with us all!

There will be one 1.5 hour session for children 10 and under, and one session for older children, higher ranking children, and all adults lasting 3 hours. Class credit is available for all participants!

Remember we will not be having regularly scheduled kids’ classes (with the exception of Mighty Tigers and Mighty Lions, who will be meeting for their regular Saturday class) on Saturday due to this event.

Seminar

Times are as follows:

Kids Seminar (open to all kid practitioners 10 and under or blue-red belt and under).
This will run from 9am – 10:30am and will be worth 3 class credits.

Adult Seminar (open to all adult practitioners, as well as kids red belt or higher).
This will run from 11am-2pm and will be worth 6 class credits.

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Welcomes Master Mark Nathanson as Our Guest Master Instructor for Our 2018 April Testing

We are pleased to announce that Master Mark Nathanson will be joining us at Asheville Sun Soo for our 2018 April 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 to Emma – a high school teacher of English and Psychology, and father of three awesome kids – Sam (12), Maya (9) and Hannah (7). Master Nathanson is a fantastic instructor with a great sense of humor and we are excited to have him as a guest this weekend!

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 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 has 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 is autistic and struggles daily with his challenges, but has a huge heart and is considered to truly be the family’s gift. His daughters are active in sports, and are excellent students. His wife is a graduate of Columbia University and the Teacher’s College at Barnard.

Master Nathanson has visited Asheville Sun Soo several times before, and loves Asheville. He is excited about seeing all of the instructors and students again.

We are thrilled to welcome Master Nathanson back to Asheville for our testing this weekend. 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 this weekend!

Asheville Sun Soo Sponsor - The Bair Foundation

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Thanks The Bair Foundation for Sponsoring Our In-House Tournament and Our 2018 April Testing Event

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is excited to welcome The Bair Foundation as the sponsor of our 2018 Annual In-House Tournament and our 2018 April Belt Rank Testing event. We appreciate the work they do in the community and around the country, and are grateful to Rob Edmonson – Asheville Sun Soo practitioner and parent – for facilitating this partnership.

The Bair Foundation is a national non-profit foster care agency with offices located throughout the United States, and was founded by Bill Bair. “Papa Bair” wanted to create an organization to provide quality care and services that restore and empower children, youth and families who are in crisis. The Bair Foundation’s headquarters remain in the small town of New Wilmington, PA where it began in 1967, but has grown and now provides a continuum of care and services with over 30 offices in 9 states across the country; Pennsylvania, Ohio, North & South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. They provide a variety of services for children facing challenges in their current home situation, including foster care placement, foster-to-adoption placement, kinship care services, family services, behavioral health services, and independent living skills training.

Rob is the Intake Coordinator for the Asheville office. His job includes training new families and matching kids with those families. He loves all parts of the job, but especially enjoys bringing kids to their new foster homes where they have the opportunity to see what an excellent home situation looks like.

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is proud of our commitment to excellence and inclusion. The Bair Foundation seeks families with precisely those values, and hopes that by bringing awareness of the work being done by The Bair Foundation to Asheville Sun Soo families, more interested and eligible households will become a part of the Bair family, and that some of these children might also become members of the Sun Soo family – an experience Rob hopes will provide needed consistency and structure in their lives.

For more information about The Bair Foundation, visit their website at http://bair.org.

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Holds In-House Taekwondo Tournament

On Saturday, April 7, 2018, Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts will be holding its annual in-house taekwondo tournament. This event is for all practitioners, regardless of age, rank, or experience level, and is a great opportunity to practice the skills required for belt rank testing!

Students will compete in forms (patterns), sparring/one-steps, and board breaks (blue-red belt and above, Mighty Lions, upper rank Mighty Tigers). The In-House Tournament events will be judged by students in the Black Belt ranks from our school. Competitors will be your fellow practitioners – this event is only open to students from Asheville Sun Soo!

This event is open to the public. Family members of competitors are admitted for free, $5 for general public. 

Concessions will be available for purchase!

8:30am – Doors open, Check-In for pre-registration, Late registration

9:30am – Competition begins, and should be completed by approximately 2pm.

Due to the tournament, we will not hold regularly scheduled classes on Saturday, April 7th. We will resume our regular class schedule on Monday, April 9th.

See you there!!

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts & National Girls and Women at UNC Asheville

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Participates in National Girls and Women in Sports Day Events at UNC Asheville

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is thrilled to have done a demonstration and class in support of the local events associated with National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

Created as a means of celebrating the achievements of women and girls in athletics, as well as provide exposure to different types of physical activity, National Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated during the first week of February every year. This year’s event was coordinated by the Asheville Parks and Recreation department, and was held at UNC Asheville.

 

Asheville Sun Soo performed an exciting demonstration, and held a short class that was open to all participants in the events of the day. Many of our female practitioners participated, and event attendees were treated to an inspirational example of what is possible with a martial arts practice!

 

As a school, Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is intentional about supporting healthy community events.

 

We are particularly excited about supporting women and girls being involved in sports of all types. Our students had a great deal of fun being a part of this community event, and we look forward to participating in other such events in the future!

 

If you are interested in having Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts do a demonstration or class for your group or event, please contact Master Tony Morris at tkdtonymorris@gmail.com or by phone at 505-4309.

Martial Arts Master Instructor

Asheville Sun Soo Welcomes Master John Penn as Our Guest Master Instructor for December Testing

Master John Penn began his martial arts journey in 1986, when he began studying Chung Do Kwan, one of the five primary styles of Traditional Tae Kwon Do. Master Penn started his martial arts practice through the University of Toledo.

After receiving his 1st Degree Black Belt in 1992 in Traditional Tae Kwon Do, he began a martial arts program at the YMCA, which he developed into a full-time program. In 2002, after additional training in complementary martial arts styles, Master Penn opened Satori Martial Arts in its current location in Maumee OH. He is still the primary instructor and is on the mat teaching 7 days a week, including classes in Garamot Arnis, Japanese Jujitsu, Karate, Yoga, and Danzan Ryu healing arts.

Master Penn loves teaching and inspiring people. He is an excellent instructor who has the mission to make each student feel engaged, important, and accomplished. Besides his full-time martial arts and healing arts instruction, he also serves as the State Director for Garamot Arnis.

Master Penn currently holds a 5th degree black belt in Okinawan Karate, a 5th degree black belt in Japanese Jujitsu, and is Shodan in Danzan Ryu healing arts. He is father to 5, all but one of whom have earned at least their 1st Degree Black Belts. His 15 year old daughter is an assistant instructor at Satori Martial Arts, and two of his sons still train.

Master Penn would like to acknowledge all of his instructors:

Guru Baet

Professor Tom Ryan

Hanshi Steven Roensch

Shihan Pete Pukish – founder of Satori in Roswell, GA

Please help us to welcome Master Penn by personally introducing yourself and thanking him for his presence.