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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

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.

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.

Photo of woman with a 2nd degree black belt shaking the hand of a girl who has just broken a board

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Participates in Leicester Elementary School’s 2019 Fall Festival

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts once again enjoyed tremendous student participation in our demonstration at this year’s Leicester Elementary School annual Fall Festival. It was a wonderful opportunity to show our support for teacher Amy Vaughn, a 2nd degree Black Belt practitioner at our school and first grade teacher at Leicester Elementary, as well as for families and education in general.

Students of varied ages and ranks demonstrated forms, self-defense techniques, and board breaks for an engaged and interested crowd of elementary school students, teachers, and families.

We love supporting our local community and are proud of the community contributions all our students make on a regular basis. If you are interested in booking Asheville Sun Soo for a martial arts demonstration for your group or organization, please contact Grandmaster Tony Morris at Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts 828-505-4309.

Asheville Sun Soo Welcomes Master Bob Kerr to Our October 2019 Belt Rank Testing

Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts Welcomes Master Bob Kerr To Our October 2017 TestingAsheville Sun Soo conducted its October 2019 belt rank testing on Friday, October 4th and Saturday, October 5th.  We welcomed Master Bob Kerr as our Guest Master Instructor for this event. As such, he sat on our judging panel, using his years of experience as a Master level instructor to contribute his perspective to our team of instructors and testing students.

Master Kerr is a frequent visitor to our testing events, as his son, John Flynn, and his grandson, Gage Flynn, are both practitioners here at Asheville Sun Soo. We are always excited to have him here in an official capacity, and appreciate his contribution to our October 2019 testing!

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

Asheville Sun Soo Service Project Opportunity

Photo of Jessica Tripp, Executive Director of Serve to LEAD and 1st Degree Black Belt at Asheville Sun Soo Martial ArtsServe to LEAD is an amazing, humanitarian non-profit that provides service outreach to people in need, while simultaneously creating opportunities for people to give to communities in need around the world. Their core values – Love, Equity, Altruism, and Dignity are represented in their name – LEAD – the collective of which is harmoniously in line with the tenets of Taekwondo!

The Executive Director of Serve to LEAD is Ms. Jessica Tripp, one of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts’ first degree Black Belts. Ms. Tripp exemplifies excellence, compassion, and empathy in her practice, as well as in her professional life. We are proud of the work she is doing to create a more just and caring world.

To that end, Asheville Sun Soo would like to promote and endorse a service opportunity for our families. Serve to LEAD, lead by Ms. Tripp, will be traveling to Lumberton NC, an area of our state that was dramatically impacted by the recent hurricanes, in order to assist families in their recovery efforts. Participants will:

  • Perform exterior and interior home clean-up and debris removal
  • Assist with home repair and construction

Members of the Service team will depart from Asheville mid-afternoon on Wednesday October 9th. They will participate in service projects all day October 10, 11, and 12, and return to Asheville on Sunday October 13 after lunch.

  • Lodging is provided. Transportation is available for a fee of $25/person. Team members are responsible for their own meals.
  • In order to be a service team member, participants must do the following:
  • Must be 15 years of age or older
  • Turn in completed and notarized paperwork by October 1
  • Pay the $25 transportation fee if traveling with Serve to LEAD
  • Attend the team meeting on Sunday October 6 at 1pm, at the Serve to LEAD office – 225 Sardis Road in Asheville.

For more information, and to register (appropriate paperwork will be provided upon registration), please contact Jessica Tripp at jtripp@goservetolead.org or by phone at 828-505-5842.

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