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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 the Holidays with December 2019 Belt Rank Testing and Holiday Potluck

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.

Photo of Grandmaster Terry Brumley

Please Join Us in Welcoming Grandmaster Terry Brumley as our Guest Master Instructor for our August 2019 Testing Event

Photo of Grandmaster Terry Brumley

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts is excited to have Grandmaster Terry Brumley, a 9th Degree Black Belt, as our Guest Master Instructor for the August 2019 Belt Rank Testing Event.

Grandmaster Morris and  Grandmaster Brumley were fellow speakers at the annual Grand Nationals for the United Taekwondo Alliance. Grandmaster Brumley is originally from Arkansas, and currently lives in Tennessee with his wife of 36 years, Julie.

Through his 3 locations of  “Taekwondo University”, Grandmaster Brumley seeks to help people lead better lives. He follows the principles of responsibility, confidence & courage, and making no excuses. He uses these principles and the understanding of their effect on our lives in all areas of his life. He believes that practitioners should practice confidently in order to perform courageously, and invites students to eliminate excuses and to face up to mistakes in order to learn from them. His book, “Live Your Potential,” further delves into these topics, and helps readers to make an impact on a daily basis.

Grandmaster Brumley began his martial arts journey when he was almost 16. He had been bullied, and enrolled in a taekwondo practice as a means of resolving his bully situation. Grandmaster Brumley thanks this situation for setting him on the proper path. He operates from the belief that we should have a positive attitude and should invest time in things that propel us forward. He sees himself as a lifelong student.

Eleven years ago, Grandmaster Brumley founded the United Taekwondo Alliance and serves on the Master’s Council. Collectively, the Council seeks to grow good and fair competition among its member schools.

He and his wife, Julie have 5 adult children and 7 grandchildren, with one on the way. All of his children have entered the Black Belt ranks, and several of his grandchildren are current practitioners.

In closing, Grandmaster Brumley wants us to know that he loves what he does. “It’s something that changes people’s lives.” Please be certain to welcome him when you see him at testing this weekend. Thank you, Grandmaster Brumley!

Logo for First Bank Asheville, Sponsor for 2019 February Taekwondo Belt Rank Testing

Asheville Sun Soo Thanks First Bank for Sponsoring February 2019 Belt Rank Testing

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts would like to thank North Carolina-based First Bank for sponsoring our February 2019 Taekwondo Belt Rank Testing event. We’d like to give special thanks to Jarrod Perkins, a practicing student at Asheville Sun Soo, and local Branch Manager, for his coordination of this partnership.

First Bank has been serving NC since 1935. They offer a complete array of banking products including mortgages, commercial loans, and insurance, as well as personal checking and savings accounts. There are 13 locations here in Western North Carolina, so please stop by and see what they have to offer!

We’d like to additionally thank First Bank for providing some of the commercial financing for our relocation. They made the process easy and have been excellent partners in this endeavor. Thank you First Bank!

Logo for First Bank Asheville, Sponsor for 2019 February Taekwondo Belt Rank Testing

Grandmaster Barry Partridge

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Welcomes Grandmaster Barry Partridge to Our June Belt Rank Testing Event

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.

Grandmaster Barry Partridge

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!

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!

A Breath of Fresh Air

Breathing is a vital part of an authentic martial arts practice.  There are a variety of different types of breathing that martial artists employ.  Most of these different types of breathing are individually specific to the context of their application.  Following are the four most prominent types of martial arts breathing matched with the way they are best used:

1)      The first includes an emphasis on steady and rhythmic breathing.  This type of breathing supports stamina, keeping the body fueled with a constant supply of oxygen in order to be able to keep pace.

2)      The second is a type of “punctuating” breathing.  This type of breathing emphasizes synchronizing an exhale at the moment of extension or the execution of a particular technique.  This relationship ensures contraction of the diaphragm, protecting the internal organs.  It further concentrates focus of the execution of technique as the simultaneous breathing requires great presence.  Lastly such breathing affords the martial artist the opportunity to “ki-op” (“spirit-yell”) along with the technique creating expression of power with the capability to interrupt and demand reception.

3)      The third type is “ki” or “chi” breathing – slow, intentional breathing for the purposes of cultivating energy for specific upcoming use.  This breathing can be likened to “charging the batteries” with “life force” energy, as basic fortification or in preparation for extraordinary feats.

4)      And the forth type is deep breathing – slow, deliberate breathing used primarily to revitalize the system – either raising the baseline energy of the martial artist in preparation for a hard workout – or – as a reprieve and re-charge after a burst of energy expenditure.

Become aware of the martial artist in you as you employ each of these primary types of breathing…

Steady and rhythmic breathing is useful to keep you going strong throughout your day!  Take notice every hour on the hour.  Check in with yourself.  If your breathing is short and/or irregular – then see if you can re-establish rhythm in your life by developing a rhythm in your breathing.  Once you do, you will notice your “baseline capability” rise commensurately.

“Punctuating breathing” can be used for concentrated tasks requiring great tasks.  Ironically, most people tend to hold their breath in order to concentrate more.  Intentionally breathing, during moments of great concentration, causes and fuels forward movement and progress.  Sharp thinking, keen perception and the ability to communicate with increased clarity are greatly increased with the intentionality of this type of breathing.

“Ki” or Chi” breathing is generally fortifying, physically, psychically, emotionally and spiritually.  While there are a variety of protocols that are prescribed for “Chi” breathing, the details are much less important than the intention to cultivate and draw upon the energy that is all around us at all times — and store a healthy dose.  This type of breathing stimulates all the body’s healthy systems, oxygenates the blood and facilitates the release of endorphins in the brain – a sure-fire, short-cut recipe for a strong spirit, strong immune system and a no-cost “natural high”!

Finally deep breathing can be used to quickly wake-up or recover from over-stimulation and facilitate the beneficial processing of the input from such stimulation.  A couple of deep breaths several times a day will keep productivity high, systems working efficiently, energy up and give opportunity for mental and emotional organization and relief!

Now as you contemplate these thoughts, review your own tendencies, and plan your strategies for implementing these breathing techniques….take just a moment….and …

Brrreeeaaatttttttthhhhh….ahhhhhhh……