Asheville Sun Soo in Asheville, NC would like to congratulate all who tested, and they are very proud of their students and how much work they put into their practice.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts was grateful to have several high-ranking Guest Master Instructors in attendance. They conducted a fun and informative Master’s Seminar on Saturday, and served on the judging panel! Thanks to:
Master James Marr is a 7th Degree black belt who, along with his wife Master Elaine Bayless, a 5th degree black belt, runs Master Marr’s Taekwondo in Shaker Heights, OH. Masters Marr and Bayless are both students of Grand Master Suk Jun Kim.
Master John Meany is a 7th Degree black belt with over 25 years of experience practicing and teaching Taekwon-do. Master Meany is a student of Grand Master Suk Jun Kim in New York City. He and his wife, Master Laura Giletti, a 6th Degree black belt, run Glen Ridge Taekwondo in Montclair, NJ.
Master Paul D’Ambrosio (Master D) is certified as a 7th Degree Master in the original traditional style of Taekwon-do, as well as 4th Degree Master in Olympic Sport Taekwondo. This uniquely qualifies him to teach to a very wide range of students, from the young Olympic hopeful, to the more mature practitioner. He is the founder and primary instructor at Aliso Hills Taekwondo in Aliso Viejo, CA.
Master Ethan Morris is a 4th Degree Black Belt, and hold the distinction of being the first student promoted to the rank of Master in Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts. Master Ethan Morris is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill, and will be graduating with honors this year with a dual major in Economics and Spanish.
Also in attendance was Master Bob Kerr. We always appreciate his presence in our space, and while he did not sit on our panel, we would like to acknowledge his being here!
The April testing also served as our Grand Opening Celebration. While not the first belt rank testing held in our current location at River Ridge Market Place, it was certainly the first in which we truly felt like we were settled in at our new home.
We would like to acknowledge all the students who advanced in rank at this testing event. Special acknowledgement to (now) Grandmaster Tony Morris, who was awarded his 8th Degree during the April testing.
The following students tested for Black Belt Ranks during the June testing:
Jonathan Ortiz – 10, promoted to Junior 2nd Degree
Emily Orozco – 12, promoted to Junior 2nd Degree
Katie Parsons – 13, promoted to Junior 2nd Degree
Sterling Bishop – 16, promoted to 2nd Degree
Aria Cronin – 10, promoted to Junior 1st Degree
On Friday, February 22, 2019, Complete Taekwon-do in Bergenfield, NJ held their second promotion test. Newly founded in 2018, Complete Taekwon-do is owned by Grandmaster Mark Nathanson, 8th Dan, formerly of S.J. Kim Taekwon-do in New York City, and by Master Chris Malarkey, 5th Dan, formerly of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ. Also attending the test were Taekwon-do International Founder and President Grandmaster S.J. Kim and Master Laura Giletti, 6th Dan, of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do.
The day after the test Master Giletti returned to lead a Women's Self Defense class for parents, students, and local residents. The session was held for teenage girls and women to teach strategies of staying safe, and what to do in emergency situations.
On Sunday, February 10, 2019, Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ, held a Board Breaking competition for students of all ranks and ages. Competitors were limited to two breaking stations and a maximum of three boards but they had three matches to set up and break boards. Students were paired up and would set up their breaks before the judges to see which of the pair performed better, each time against a different competitor.
Students ranged in age with the youngest being 6 years old and going up to Adult, and ranged in rank from White Belt to Black Belt. Because the judging was designed to give experience to Black Belts with less experience, the judges included some of Glen Ridge's youngest black belts, and matches were determined simply by indicating the winner of the match, and not scored with precise numbers. There were more senior black belts to help those with less experience either in judging or in board breaking so everyone could learn and improve their taekwon-do while having fun.
The event had 28 competitors, times 3 matches each, breaking 3 boards each time which makes a total of 252 boards broken for the day. The whole event took about two hours from the briefing the competitors and judges a the beginning through to sweeping up afterwards.
As Master Laura Giletti, 6th Dan, said, "where else can you break a whole lot of stuff without getting into trouble?"
At Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts in Asheville, NC, Spring Break and Summer Day Camps, children will enjoy a variety of activities including self-defense, character building, arts and crafts, movies, swimming, games, "mad science" and field trips! No prior martial arts experience necessary, and your child does not have to be a student in order to participate.
2019 Asheville Kids Spring Break Camp Dates:
April 15th-19th, 2019
2019 Asheville Kids Summer Camp Dates:
Week 1: June 17 - June 21
Week 2: July 8 - July 12
Week 3: July 15 - July 19
Week 4: July 29 - August 2
Week 5: August 5 - August 9
*Standard camp schedule is from 9am - 3pm.
**Extended day available for additional fee.
Early registration discounts are available!
For more information, please call us at 828-505-4309.
Registration is limited to 30 students. Register early to reserve your child's spot!
On Monday, January 21, 2019, Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ held a one-day mini-camp for school children since schools were closed for the holiday. The camp came about as a result of the close relationship the school has with fellow TKDI school, Master Marr's Taekwon-do. It is collaborations like this that show the real value of Taekwon-do International to enable schools and school owners to work together to make each and every school a better version than before.
The camp was run by Master Laura Giletti, 6th Dan and co-owner of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, who said, "I try to come up with new ideas to keep things fresh for the students as well as the instructors, so when I saw that Master Marr was running a series of one-day mini-camps I thought it would be fun to try it! Master Marr and Master Bayless have a lot of fun events throughout the year."
The full-day camp happened to be on one of the coldest days of the year--temperatures outside were in single digits but inside students stayed warm with taekwon-do lessons, volley ball games with balloons, races to stack school equipment, and each camper got a chance to try the Laser Maze. And even though the campers were disappointed that no actual lasers were used in the making of the maze, the challenge of getting through was enjoyed by everyone, even the camp leader, Master Laura Giletti!
Over 70 students attended Master Marr's Taekwon-do Holiday Party in Shaker Heights, OH. In between games, crafts, food, and a giant tug-of-war, the students, ranging from 5 to 17 years old, gathered on the mat to run the white belt pattern, Chon-Ji.
Now in its fifth year, the holiday party has become a highly anticipated tradition, giving the students a chance to revel with their Taekwon-do friends, and giving parents a three-hour respite during the busy month of December. Teenaged students have their own holiday party the night before, and act as helpers for the kids' party. A dinner for the adult students is held in January.
On December 21, 2018 Master Silvio Borelli, student and instructor at S.J. Kim Taekwon-Do, New York, NY, was promoted to the rank of 5th Dan. Below is a profile of him.
Master Borelli has been Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim's student since relocating from his native Brazil to New York in the early 2000's. Over the years Master Borelli represented S.J. Kim's Taekwon-Do in several competitions and demonstrations as a competitor, coach and later as judge/referee. He visited Korea with Grandmaster Kim and fellow black-belt students a number of times, practicing at the Kukkiwon and training with professional and Olympic Taekwon-Do athletes. These were invaluable experiences and each represented a pivotal moment in his learning of martial arts. Master Borelli continues to support TKDI events judging and refereeing whenever and wherever possible.
He is married to Kitty Borelli, also a black-belt, with whom he has two young practitioners: Clara (3 years old) and Sam (1-year-old), who is at this stage is working mostly on his ground technique.
On December 21, 2018 Master Shawn Sicely, head instructor and owner of Mad River Taekwon-Do, was promoted to the rank of 6th Dan. Below is a profile of him and information on his teaching philosophy.
Shawn Sicely is head Instructor and owner of Mad River Taekwon-Do in Mad River Valley, VT . A native Vermonter, he currently holds the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-Do thru Grandmaster Donnelly and recently received his 6th Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do thru Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim and Taekwon-do International.
Starting Taekwon-do in 1990 at Donnelly's Martial Arts Center Master Sicely earned the rank of Green Belt and then had to stop practicing due to other interests. Soon after graduating from high school Master Sicely took up studying Taekwon-do again. After practicing Taekwon-do under several different instructors he met Grandmaster S.J. Kim and now considers him his instructor.
After teaching at Donnelly's and several different places throughout Northern Vermont, Master Sicely took over Mad River Taekwon-Do in March of 2012 after his close friend and previous owner Master Garth Genge passed away due to an illness. Having taught for Master Genge at Mad River TKD on several occasions it was students who actually asked Master Sicely if he was interested in taking over the school. Honored by the outpouring of support, Shawn relaunched Mad River TKD.
Mad River Taekwon-Do offers classes to anyone interested in learning the traditional art of Taekwon-do regardless of age and ability.
On December 21, 2018 Master Paul D'Ambrosio, head instructor and owner of Aliso Hills Taekwon-do, in Aliso Hills, CA, was promoted to the rank of 7th Dan. Below is a profile of him and information on his teaching philosophy.
Master D began his training in the late 1970’s, in a little dojo in Ohio. He spent almost 8 years there studying Japanese Kenpo Karate and Jiu-Jitsu, eventually earning a 2nd degree black belt. The foundation that was set in him in those early years of discipline, courtesy, and respect, became more a part of his life than something he practiced at the dojo.
After graduating college, he moved to New York to pursue a career as an actor. Not yet having met GrandMaster Kim, he researched numerous schools in Manhattan looking for somewhere to train, he was surprised to find that his training was far more specific and detailed than what others were teaching. He searched for a place to train in a similar style to what he was accustomed. Going from school to school for years, he studied wherever he could find an instructor that was teaching quality techniques, from traditional Shotokan Karate, to mixed martial arts, the style didn’t matter as much as the instruction.
In the life of every actor comes the move to California, and the move proved to be not only great for Master D’s acting career, but a turning point in his martial arts life as well. It was then that he met Grand Master Tong Suk Chun, and began learning the techniques of Taekwondo that would change his life. For years, he trained and practiced, trying to gain every bit of knowledge that he could from Master Chun. He practiced with Master Chun until the responsibilities of running the World Sports and Cultural Foundation took him away from teaching. Master D was sent to Orange County to learn from Master Spillmann and his affiliation with ATC began.
The greatest benefit of his 10 years at ATC, was the opportunity to train with and learn from Grand Master Suk Jun Kim, a direct disciple of General Choi Hong Hi, Taekwon-do’s founder. It was the teaching from GM Kim that completely changed the way he thought about and practiced Taekwon-do forever. With individual guidance and teaching from Master Kim, Master D was able to train at a very high level in the original traditional techniques of Taekwon-do as passed down from the creator. Under the tutelage of Master Kim and his Masters, Master D was able to learn not only how to practice the art but also how to teach it most effectively.
Master D is now certified as a 7th Dan Master in the original traditional style of Taekwon-do, as well as 4th Dan Master in Olympic sport Taekwondo. This uniquely qualifies him to teach to a very wide range of students, from the young Olympic hopeful, to the more mature practitioner.
Master D considers Aliso Hills Taekwon-do to be a place of learning, and his method of instruction emphasizes the traditional values of discipline, practice, hard work and focus. He strives to teach each class himself for continuity and accuracy. Promotions are based on a student’s individual progress and not an arbitrary timeline. His goal is to help each student reach their full potential and therefore, he expects his students to learn and practice with diligence and sincerity.
Master D continues his training with his teachers with the goal of continually improving his mind and body. Aliso Hills Taekwon-do is a proud member of Taekwon-do International.