On Saturday, December 15, 2018 at Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ, Master Ed Meyer tested for his Fourth Degree Black Belt. Present at the test were Taekwon-do International Founder and President Grandmaster S.J. Kim, as well as TKDI General Secretary Master James Marr of Marr Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, OH. Glen Ridge Taekwon-do is home to TKDI Chief Instructor, Master John Meany who was pleased to have his student reach such a great rank.
Prior to his time at Glen Ridge Taekwon-do Master Meyer was a Black Belt studying in New York City under Grandmaster Kim, and Glen Ridge has been pleased to have him as one of their Black Belts. Master Meyer has supported the many special events and regular classes at Glen Ridge and the instructors and students look forward to many years working with him in his new rank. Master Meyer is married to Rebecca Ratnow Meyer, also a Black Belt from Grandmaster Kim's school, and they have two children.
The same test day saw many students achieve new ranks, include three younger students who achieved their Junior First Degree Black Belts.
On Saturday, November 17, 2018 Asheville Sun Soo, in Asheville, NC, was honored to sponsor and participate in the 2018 Asheville Holiday Parade. “This was our 11th year as an annual entry in the Holiday Parade. We love the parade each year! It’s a great opportunity for Asheville Sun Soo to make a contribution to the community, while having a fun and bonding experience for our students and family,” commented Senior Master Tony Morris.
More than 350 Asheville Sun Soo students and supporting members – of all ages and ranks – marched in the parade this year! It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and smiles. The students shared great energy with the crowd, gave away over 5,000 pieces of holiday candy, broke nearly 250 boards – giving the broken boards to the cheering crowd! They also performed an all-Black Belt Demonstration, in front of thousands of spectators and WLOS’ TV cameras at the mid-point at Pack’s Square!
Asheville Sun Soo wants to give special thanks to the following for making this year’s parade the best yet!
The parade aired on WLOS-TV on Thanksgiving morning, and will air again on Christmas morning. You can watch the video below (we enter the frame at 13:40)!
Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, Montclair, NJ, held an In-School Competition on Sunday, November 18, 2018. The competition was solely for sparring and many students participated. The format was a bit unusual because each participant was guaranteed three matches and, given the smaller pool of contestants, the fighters received unusual match-ups. Because competitors could be different heights or weights, different ages and different ranks a handicap was added to the stronger competitors as needed to level the playing field. The day ended with a Family Derby where siblings faced siblings, with a referee to ensure safety of all.
Fighters who won two matches were awarded First Place medals, but all competitors were winners since each match was challenging to both people. Master Giletti, who organized the event, said, "our goal was to give the students a chance to compete, and to build confidence while having a lot of fun" and given the smiles at the end of the day we are sure she achieved that goal.
The event was a big success and Masters Meany and Giletti hope to hold similar events in the future.
Students at Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ have been getting ready for the Autumn competition season with extra training sessions. All students age 7 and up were invited to this series of very popular classes which are included with student membership.
Among the many purposes of these classes is not just to improve their sparring skills, but also to increase confidence with facing a variety of opponents, to become comfortable with wearing sparring gear, and to learn competition rules. The students have been invited to three competitions this Fall starting with an in-house competition for students with little or no competition experience.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, Asheville, NC, had an amazing October 2018 testing weekend! The school would like to congratulate all who tested, and are very proud of our students and how much work they put into their practice.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts was grateful to have 7th Degree Black Belt Master John Meany, Senior Instructor for Taekwon-do International and owner of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, as the Featured Guest Master Instructor for the October belt rank testing event. Master Meany, who has over 20 years of martial arts experience, visited us from one of our sister schools, located in Montclair, NJ. He and his wife, Master Laura Giletti have served the Montclair area through their school, Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, for 15 years.
The following students tested for Black Belt Ranks during the October testing:
2nd Dan: Phillip Dexter and Tom Gadsen
1st Dan: Sarah Broberg, Dana Dollar, Noah Goldblatt, and Jason Symonds
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts in Asheville, NC had an amazing August 2018 testing weekend! The school would like to congratulate all who tested, and they are very proud of their students and how much work the students put into their practice.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts was grateful to have Shihan Alex Ormaza, who holds a 6th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, as well as other advanced ranks in related arts, as our Featured Guest Master Instructor for the August belt rank testing event. Shihan Ormaza, who has been practicing for over 30 years, came to us from the Gastonia area of North Carolina. Shihan Ormaza is the Master Instructor and founder of Ormaza’s Family Karate, located in Dallas, NC. Thank you, Shihan Ormaza!
The school also thanks Mr. Billy Wyatt (3rd Dan) and Master Bob Kerr (5th Dan), from Kim’s School of Tae Kwon Do, for contributing their time as Guest Judges as well.
The following students tested for Black Belt Ranks during the August testing:
Mrs. Tina Clark – 48
Member of Instructor Staff
Licensed Professional Counselor
Tested to 2nd Dan
Mr. Damon Dickinson – 48
Tested to 2nd Dan
Nyah Franqui – 12
Tested to 2nd Dan
Michele Louzon – 57
Founder of Arms Around ASD – a nonprofit that provides services to individuals on the Autism spectrum and their families, regardless of their ability to pay.
Tested to 2nd Dan
Lucca Degennaro – 9
Tested to 1st Dan
Eve Flaum – 12
Tested to 1st Dan
Devin Martin – 17
Tested to 1st Dan
On Saturday, August 25, Taekwon-do International Founder and President, Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, traveled to Master Marr's Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, Ohio to oversee the promotion of senior ranks at Master Marr's Taekwon-do. In addition to a large number of color belts, school owners James Marr and Elaine Bayless had three students testing for 1st Dan and one testing for 3rd Dan. After achieving their personal best times running the required two miles, the 1st degree candidates--Kurtis Griffin, Nasir Rivers, and Jenny Steadman-- performed various color belt patterns, demonstrated their sparring skills, and then completed three board breaks each.
Testing for his 3rd Dan was 17-year-old Duncan Bayless-Marr, who has been training with his parents since he was four years old. In addition to his two-mile run and his patterns, Duncan fended off a pair of Black Belt opponents before executing three breaks he had never attempted, at the request of Grandmaster Kim: a suspended two-board reverse turning kick, a suspended two-board punch, and a jumping turning kick.
All four Black Belts submitted essays on the importance of Taekwon-do in their lives. Duncan talked about his long-term goal of becoming a Master Instructor, Nasir spoke about using the tenets of Taekwon-do in his daily life, Kurtis spoke of fulfilling a childhood dream, and Jenny explained how the dojang has given her a second family.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, Asheville, NC, has four Teen Assistant Instructors who have graduated high school and will be heading off to college this fall. Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts wishes the best for our college-bound staff members!
Asheville Sun Soo appreciates their leadership and excellence demonstrated as practitioners, as well as their mentorship in their roles as Teen Assistant Instructors. The school has enjoyed the instructors' time here, and they have proven to be integral parts of the Sun Soo family. Asheville Sun Soo is excited for them as they embark on this next stage. They look forward to seeing the instructors when they come home for extended stays!
Thank you to all of the schools that were represented at the TKDI 2018 Summer Boot Camp! Every year the camp is a success through many schools coming together and we hope there will be even more schools participating next year.
We had over 60 people attending this year's camp. Setting aside Glen Ridge Taekwon-do as we had home field advantage, Asheville Sun Soo of Asheville, NC had the largest group attending, followed closely by Master Marr's Taekwon-do of Shaker Heights, OH! We also want to throw a special shout out to Aliso Hills Taekwon-do in Aliso Viejo, CA for sending the participant with the furthest distance to travel!
Each person who went to camp came away with something new to think about in their training and will in their way make their school even better.
Thank you again!
Master John Meany & Master Laura Giletti
Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, Montclair, NJ
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, Asheville, NC, had a great June 2018 testing weekend! Asheville Sun Soo would like to congratulate all who tested, and they are very proud of their students and how much work they put into their practice. The school was fortunate enough to have local news ABC affiliate WLOS-TV13 on site, and they profiled our three Master Rank candidates on the evening news.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts was grateful to have 8th Dan Grandmaster Barry Partridge as our Guest Master Instructor for the June belt rank testing event. Grandmaster Partridge, who has been practicing for over 40 years, came to us from Winston Salem. 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. Thank you, Grandmaster Partridge!
Special Acknowledgement goes to the following Black Belt candidates for testing to their 4th Dan – the first rank in the Master ranks. They are: