On Saturday, December 14, 2019, Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ, held testing for over 100 students, and promoted a large group of students to new Black Belt degrees. The day was a grand celebration of the Glen Ridge Taekwon-do community and included a holiday party with special toasts to the parents who make sure the children students arrive to class on time with their uniform and belt; and a toast to the Black Belts to celebrate the solidarity and unity shared with each other.
It’s not unusual for a school to promote many 1st Degrees but to promote a single Black Belt to 4th Dan is unusual, and in this case there was a group of five Black Belts receiving such a promotion.
Hosting the test were Master John Meany and Master Laura Giletti, owners of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do. Judging the test were Master Anna Gong of S.J. Kim Taekwon-do, Master Yvonne Kwok of Gotham Taekwon-do, Master Chris Malarkey of Complete Taekwon-do, and Grandmaster S.J. Kim, Founder and President of Taekwon-do International. Other Master Instructors present were Master Patricia Papera, Master Heather Youngblood, and Master Ed Meyer, all from Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, It was at this event that Master Giletti was promoted to 7th Dan by Grandmaster Kim.
Junior 1st Dan Black Belt: Spencer Crowley, Dylan Kennedy, Noelle Ogden, and Sophie Harrison
2nd Dan Black Belt: Emily Torres, and Fernando Filian,
3rd Dan Black Belt: Jairo Leon, Joseph Becker, and Garrett Ogden
4th Dan black Belt: Master Michael Chancey, Master Dewar MacLeod, Master Lauren Spooner, Master Keith Wong, and Master James DiCarli
On December 14, 2019 Grandmaster Kim, Founder and President of Taekwon-do International, awarded 7th Dan to Master Laura Giletti of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ.
Grandmaster Kim says: "I am very proud to present Master Instructor Laura Giletti with 7th Dan promotion. She is the highest ranking female practitioner in Taekwon-do International.
It has been over 30 years since she began training with me. I am proud to see Glen Ridge Taekwon-do is doing awesome!
I am grateful and it has been a pleasure to have been her teacher all these years.”
Despite the steady rain that began in the early morning hours of November 23rd, over 200 Asheville Sun Soo families and students participated in the 2019 Annual Holiday Parade.
Once again, Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, of Asheville, NC, was a sponsor of the parade. Their students showed perseverance by marching the entire parade route, performing Taekwon do techniques and breaking boards, while rain steadily came down! We are proud of all who braved the elements to participate!
On Saturday, November 2, 2019, at Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, NJ, Grandmaster S.J. Kim, Founder and President of Taekwon-do International, led a class for Master Instructors and select 3rd Degree Black Belts on teaching concepts and strategies.
This annual intensive seminar allows instructors a chance to re-inspire their teaching techniques and to touch base with Taekwon-do International initiatives for 2020. Grandmaster Kim reviewed and refined techniques for colored belt patterns, including Hwa-Rang (see video below).
Present were Master James Marr, 7th Dan, of Master Marr's Taekwon-do in Shaker Heights, OH; Master Paul D'Ambrosio, 6th Dan, of Aliso Hills Taekwon-do in Aliso Viejo, CA; Master Silvio Borelli, 5th Dan, of S.J. Kim's Taekwon-Do in New York, NY, James R. De Carli, 3rd Dan, of Southbury Taekwon-do in Southbury, CT. Also present were Master John Meany, 7th Dan, and Master Laura Giletti, 6th Dan, owners of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do, and Master Edward Meyer, 4th Dan, and Instructor Hunter Finan, 3rd Dan from Glen Ridge Taekwon-do.
Taekwon-do International will hold another Instructors Seminar in 2020. Member schools will received information about date and location directly from Taekwon-do International as the information becomes available.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, Asheville, NC, 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.
Asheville Sun Soo believes that the fundamental aspects of a consistent martial arts practice contribute to a balanced, high-functioning and excellent life.
Grandmaster Tony Morris and Master Amy Dexter Contribute to Career Day at West Buncombe Elementary School
On October 31st, Grandmaster Tony Morris and Master Amy Dexter of Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts in Asheville, NC contributed to the Career Day at West Buncombe Elementary School. This event, held annually at local schools, is designed with the intent of exposing students to the variety of career possibilities for their futures.
Grandmaster Morris and Master Dexter, represented Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts, inspiring the kids to build their futures by emphasizing the importance of education, living in excellence, setting goals, practicing perseverance, and living with integrity as they continue to develop. As an example of what it’s like to be a martial arts instructor, Grandmaster Morris and Master Dexter taught the attending kids a few moves. The kids had fun, practiced their manners, and left excited about their possibilities.
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts in Asheville, NC was honored to have been the host of the 2019 Fall Taekwon-do International Invitational Tournament. This was the first invitational tournament held at their River Ridge location!
Master Instructors and students from several different schools participated and contributed to a fantastic day! Competition was friendly and healthy, 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 representing their practice – forms (patterns), sparring (one-steps for beginner students), and board breaks. Competing in these areas provided entrants 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 can contribute to growth as a martial artist!
Congratulations to all who competed! Asheville Sun Soo looks forward to seeing their sister schools at future events!
Grandmaster Kim awarded the Growth of Martial Arts Medal from the World Martial Arts Grandmaster’s Federation
On Saturday October 19th, 2019 Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, Founder and President of Taekwon-do International attended the prestigious World Martial Arts award ceremony hosted by the World Grandmaster’s Federation and was awarded the Growth of Martial Arts Medal. The ceremony was held at George Mason University’s Science and Technology campus in Manassas, VA in honor of many martial arts greats and pioneers.
Master Chris Malarkey of Complete Taekwon-Do in Bergenfield, NJ accompanied Grandmaster Kim and had this to say:
"Upon entering a sea of mostly black belt practitioners, I took notice of the many banners throughout showing the late General Choi, the creator and founder of Tae Kwon Do, Bruce Lee, Grandmaster Hee Il Cho, John Rhee, Chuck Norris, and more. I quickly found myself in the auditorium’s main room where I easily stood a foot shorter in the collection of Grandmasters from all over the country and the world. Walking into this large gathering I was able to pinpoint Grandmaster Kim happily seated with a number of fellow practitioners/friends collected in the front seats with flowers and decorative sashes to commemorate the Highest Medal of Honor they were set to receive in mere moments.
"When his name came across the big screen in the front of the room, I stole myself away to follow him into a narrow corridor where again, he seemed happy but still very humble to this recognition that is well-earned--a lesson I took without even having to put on my uniform or belt. He was still teaching me even in that moment of some of the highest recognition out there without formally conducting a class.
"Grandmaster Kim’s name was called and the whole room applauded with a standing ovation and seemed to feel the same way I’ve come to about this extraordinary instructor and mentor. I then realized not only how vast the martial arts world really was but also the lasting impact Master Kim has left on the entire discipline itself.
"Adding this honor to his Hall of Fame induction, Grandmaster SJ Kim has left his mark on the world of Taekwon-do, all the while straddling the present state and forward thinking of the Taekwon-do of the future, the Taekwon-do that was, and the Taekwon-do as it was intended; the Korean art of self-defense.
"Congratulations Grandmaster Kim!"
Asheville Sun Soo Martial Arts in Asheville, NC once again enjoyed tremendous student participation in a demonstration at this year’s Leicester Elementary School annual Fall Festival. It was a wonderful opportunity to show support for teacher Amy Vaughn, a 2nd degree Black Belt practitioner at Asheville Sun Soo and first grade teacher at Leicester Elementary, as well as to show support 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.
Asheville Sun Soo loves supporting the local community and they are proud of the community contributions all their 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.
Every year, the people of Western North Carolina are given the opportunity to vote for their favorite businesses in the area. Asheville Sun Soo in Asheville, North Carolina is proud to share that once again, Asheville Sun Soo has been voted #1 in the “Best of WNC” voting in several categories! They are honored to be recognized with this distinction, and are grateful for the support of the Asheville Sun Soo family and friends!
The categories in which they were voted #1 in WNC are:
Best Kids Martial Arts Program *
Best Martial Arts Studio *
Best Parent’s Night Out Program * for our Kid’s Night Out program
Best Kids After School Program
Best Day Camp
In addition, they were voted the 3rd best Youth Sports Program in the Asheville area!
Asheville Sun Soo sends thanks to all who voted!
* Indicates Hall of Fame status. This designation is reserved for winners who have won first place for at least 4 years in a row, including the current year!