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.