At the August 2014 promotional test at Oneonta Taekwon-Do Jennifer Butler achieved her Second Degree Black Belt. As part of her test, she wrote an essay "Taekwon-Do and Me":
Over the past 20 years, I have wanted to start back up with martial arts. My brother, George, had taken several different types of martial arts including Taekwon-do. I had always admired him and looked up to him. He had great skill. I also found myself drawn to many martial art movies and shows including the Bruce Lee story. I had taken a martial art for one semester in college. I wanted to continue, but the next semester schedule conflicted with my work schedule. Being a single mom, I had to work to support my daughter while attending school full-time. (more ...)
Friday, August 22nd and Saturday, August 23rd, 2014, Aliso Hills Taekwon-do (Laguna Hills, CA) held a school wide belt promotion. Master Paul D'Ambrosio, owner of Aliso Hills Taekwon-do, along with Master Jessica Sabetian and Instructor Shaun Hughes tested over 75 students from our Little Dragons, junior and adult color belts, deputy belts and Black Belts for their next belt level. It was a very successful testing event and showcased our demonstration team performing high level self-defense skits, patterns, nunchakus and breaking. Master D and Master Jessica wowed the crowd with their practical application of self-defense movements against an attacker.
Taekwon-do International is thrilled to announce that Grandmaster Kim will again teach a class specifically for Senior Black Belts. Some of us were privileged to attend a similar class last year in New Jersey and it was a truly fantastic experience.
This class will be held on Saturday, February 14, 2015, at Aliso Hills Taekwon-do in Aliso Viejo, California. It will be hosted by Master Paul D'Ambrosio, who is kindly allowing us to use his school for this event.
The Master's class is open to all Union 4th Degree black belts and above. As we did last year, we will also accept applications from 3rd Degree black belts who are instructors in your schools.
Taekwon-Do International is pleased to announce starting Monday, September 15th Grandmaster Kim will be teaching on a regular basis at S.J. Kim's Taekwon-Do on 65th Street in New York City. This is a special opportunity for the students to learn from someone with the depth of knowledge and experience that Grandmaster Kim has.
More information on the school is available on the school's website.
Last week Asheville Sun Soo participated in a fundraiser for Luca Mele, a 12 year old blue-red belt, who recently underwent emergency brain surgery to remove a potentially lethal tumor. The surgery went well, but due to the position of the tumor, Luca had to have his pituitary gland removed. This important gland controls growth, blood pressure, hormone regulation, temperature regulation and water balance in the body. The complete long term effects of this surgery are unknown, but it is clear that Luca faces a long recovery and a lifetime of medical support.
Several community members organized a raffle fundraiser to raise money for Luca's family, who are now facing astronomical medical expenses. Asheville Sun Soo donated two separate year long free memberships as raffle prizes.
The fundraiser raised over $14,000, exceeding the initial goal of $10,000. Asheville Sun Soo students and families alone contributed $4,450 through the raffle, making a huge difference in the total amount raised.
Asheville Sun Soo is proud to have made a difference for Luca, and the staff and students look forward to seeing him back on the mat as soon as possible!
Luca is pictured below wearing a uniform sent to him after his surgery, signed by all the Sun Soo students.
Breaking for Bread Fundraiser and August Promotion Test
From Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, President of Taekwon-Do International
It is with my deepest sympathy that I inform you of the passing of my dear disciple, friend and brother in Taekwon-Do, Grandmaster Ruben Casanova. He passed away August 17th at 6am, from complications due to surgery. Grandmaster Casanova was promoted to the level of 8th Dan in October of 2011, showing his devotion and love to the martial art of Taekwon-Do.
I have known Grandmaster Casanova, and had the privilege of teaching him while he was still in college, back in 1975 as a 1st Dan. He competed fiercely at any tournament, at any level. In 1981 he was selected as a member of the U.S. Team, competing in Argentina. Then in 1984 he would become the captain of that very same U.S. Team, which competed at the world championship in Glasgow Scotland. In 1986 Grandmaster Casanova became the assistant coach for the New York versus Seoul Goodwill Games, and later he started a Taekwon-Do Club at Harvard.
Grandmaster Casanova has been part of both my Taekwon-Do and personal life, and part of me, for a very long time, and has been an integral part of the success of Taekwon-Do in the United States for both the I.T.F. and W.T.F. organizations.
Although Grandmaster Casanova suffered from diabetes toward the end of his life, he always exemplified the warrior spirit within the martial arts. He will be terribly missed by everyone that had the honor of knowing him, witnessing his competitive spirit, and the knowledge that he shared with others. Grandmaster Casanova you have inspired more than you will ever know.
Services will be held Wednesday, August 20th from 4pm-7pm at Brown & Hickey Funeral Home, 36 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA 02478. Phone is 617-484-2534.
On Saturday, July 12, 2014, Aliso Hills Taekwon-do (Laguna Hills, California) promoted 7 students to 1st Dan Black Belt and 3 students to 2nd Dan Black Belt. Aliso Hills Taekwon-do was honored to have Master John Meany of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do as our guest examiner alongside Aliso Hills Taekwon-do owner, Master Paul D’Ambrosio, Master Jessica Sabetian, Hapikido Master Ed Bussey and Instructor Shaun Hughes.
Master John Meany, owner of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ was recently named Chief Instructor of Taekwon-do International (TKDI) by the organization's President, Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim. Master Meany has been a student of Grandmaster Kim's since 1992 and has trained diligently to become one of the finest practitioners of his generation. As Chief Instructor, Master Meany is responsible for understanding and teaching traditional taekwon-do in the utmost detail with the ability to instruct at the highest level.
Master Meany was informed of his role by his long time friend, Master James Marr, Vice-President of TKDI and owner of Master Marr's Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, OH while both were attending TKDI's annual Black Belt Seminar in June, in Asheville, NC.
"I am humbled by this selection and will strive to uphold Grandmaster Kim's high standards of practice and instruction in traditional taekwon-do." Master Meany