Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is excited to welcome eleEOS as the sponsor of our 2018 June Belt Rank Testing event. We are excited about the range of eco-friendly products they offer, and are thrilled to be able to share more information about this local company with our students. The owner of eleEOS is Tom Gadsden, a student at Asheville Sun Soo. He is the father of 2 children, who are also practitioners.
eleEOS offers eco-friendly products that save you money on your utility bills, improve air quality, soften your water, and condition your environment more efficiently. Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is a customer and user of eleEOS products. We have a PowerPerfect Box and have realized at consistent 15% decrease in our power bills since its installation! For more information about their products and services, please visit their website at eleEOS.com.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts was invited once again, this Memorial Day Weekend 2018, to be a prominent participant in the Mountain Sports Festival. It was a wet weekend, but the event was well-attended by local families who stayed close to home over the holiday weekend.
In spite of the rain, and even though Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts was closed for the holiday weekend, our students came out in large numbers for the event. We performed 4 separate onsite demonstrations, providing fun family entertainment for the diverse and engaged crowd. Our students enjoyed several great public demonstration opportunities, as well as multiple class credits through this extra dimension of their practice – all while helping to make the 2018 Mountain Sports Festival all the more fun for all in attendance.
Stay tuned for more demonstration opportunities, and enjoy the associated photos from this year’s event. Special thanks from Masters Morris and Dickinson to all students and staff who participated!
We are pleased to have Grandmaster Barry Partridge as a guest Grandmaster Instructor for our June 2018 testing. He holds an 8th 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, who also practices.
Master Morris and Grandmaster Partridge have much in common. They share two previous teachers and they both attended NC State University in Raleigh at the same time, in the 80s. Grandmaster Partridge played college football for NCSU. He was a Traditional Tae Kwon Do stylist up through 3rd degree and then transitioned to Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do, which he has practiced and taught professionally for over 20 years. Grandmaster Partridge is the Master instructor of two schools, both called United Taekwondo Academy – one of which is in Winston-Salem and the other of which is in Chapel Hill. He shares his teaching time between the two schools. He chooses to instruct martial arts for a living as he feels like it’s the way for him to make the greatest difference for people.
Grandmaster 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.” Grandmaster Partridge has great respect and appreciation for other healing modalities beyond martial arts.
We are excited to welcome such an accomplished and enthusiastic teacher, as well as an awesome human being, to our school for testing this weekend. Grandmaster Partridge will be teaching our Masters Club Seminar, Saturday morning at 10 AM, covering sparring and in-close self defense techniques . Please give Grandmaster Partridge a warm welcome when you see him in the studio on Saturday!
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.
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
On 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.
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.
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 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.