2004 Federation Recap Letter From Master St. James

Sun, 03/23/2003 - 3:01pm — webmaster

2004 - A Great Year For the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation

Dear Federation Members:

As a summary of our past year, I'll start at the beginning, which of course was January 2004. We started our year out very strong with a studio owner workout and meeting. February found Master and Mrs. St. James getting ready for a big trip to Australia and the South Pacific.

In early March, we put on our Federation's Master Clinic in Suwanee, Georgia. We had a good group attend and worked hard and long to ensure the continued growth of our organization. We also hosted Federation members from as far as the UK and from all parts of the U.S.

In March and April, Master and Mrs. St. James left for a one month goodwill trip (and some Federation business) to Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Master St. James said their time in Bora Bora and South Australia were tied for the best times they have ever had. Chief Master Stephen G. Washington (Founding Master of Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation...our sister organization) and his lovely wife Linda were great hosts as were Master Vaughn, Paul, and all the students of South Australia Tang Soo Do.

In May, the Federation secured the Wyndham Orlando Resort Convention Center for the Federation's first ever International Championships to be held in October. A special thanks to Chief Instructor Gary Horner of The Karate Center and Mrs. Monica Barber (Mr. Horner's student) for taking time out of their busy schedules to help the Federation secure such great facilities! There was also a short trip to Montgomery, Alabama for our May cycle Black Belt Testing and a general clinic. The Federation would like to take this opportunity to thank Senior Master Carole Coker for hosting another very successful event.

In June, Master St. James took a good will trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale, where he visited with the head of the Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, Chief Master Darryl D. Khalid and his executive assistant, Ms. Pam Abbot. Master St. James and Master Khalid pledged each other's support for future events and brainstormed ways that the two organizations can work together in the future. 

July was another very busy month for our Federation. The Federation conducted a very successful Black Belt Camp in Jackson Gap, Alabama at Camp ASCCA. There were well over 100 Black Belts and Cho Do Bo's in attendance for the three-day event. The Federation would like to thank Head Master James K. Allison, Chil Dan of the International Sun Moo Kwan Hapkido Federation for serving as our very first Black Belt Camp special guest instructor. As many of you already know, Master Allison is an affiliate member of our organization and an honorary Board of Director. We would also like to thank our very own Senior Master Kevin T. Case for his on-going service and support as it relates to our candidates program. Master Case did an excellent job with candidate classes, curriculum, and management. 

In August, Master St. James took another goodwill trip. The Federation was invited to San Diego as the guest of the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation to attend their National Championships. The event was held at the Towne and Country Resort in Mission Gorge. While there, Master St. James was able to meet with Grand Master H. C. Hwang and the US Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan's senior advisory counsel and the chairperson of their Technical Advisory Committee. He also met briefly with their executive director and took time to attend many of their events including a banquet for the Grand Master. While in San Diego, Master St. James also spent time with the head and founding master of the Educational Martial Arts System (TEMAS), International Master Brian D. Manna. Overall, the San Diego trip was very productive and went a long way in building a bridge between our organization and other legitimate Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan organizations. 

In September, the Federation conducted two more Black Belt tests and clinics. One was held in Suwanee and the other was in Lakeworth, Florida at The Karate Center. Everyone did very well. The Federation  would like to take this opportunity to thank Chief Instructor Gary Horner for hosting a very productive and enjoyable event in South Florida. Congratulations to all our Federation members who successfully tested to black belt and senior black belt level!

In October, the Federation held its first-ever International Tang Soo Do Championships. Federation masters, black belts, and gups from as far as Australia came to the Wyndham Orlando Resort for three days of learning, competition, and celebration. The event was a tremendous success and everyone enjoyed the clinic, International Championships, the formal banquet, and of course the pool party. The Federation would like to take this opportunity to thank Chief Master Stephen G. Washington (Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation), Master Phillip J. Bartolacci (United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation), Master Coker, Master Case, and Master Busby (Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation) for their help with our clinic. The Federation would also like to thank Head Master James K. Allison (International Sun Moo Kwan Hapkido Federation) and Master Omar Khalid (Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance) for their help and support at our Championships as well. A very special thanks to Master Stacy Busby for helping to oversee logistics the entire weekend! Lastly, the Federation would like to thank Head Master Warren Adams ( United States Jung Do Kwan Federation), and all the other US Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Masters that were in attendance for their show of support.

November was an opportunity for many of our Federation's leadership to get back together for a leadership workshop and clinic. Our special guest instructor was Grand Master Young Hyuk Kwon, 8th Dan co-founder and co-Grand Master of the United Martial Arts Federation. The event was another opportunity to build more good will between martial arts organizations and introduce family and friends to one of Master St. James's original instructors. Several other Tang Soo Do organizations were represented and it was good to see so many black belts and masters training together regardless of patch and or affiliation. Tang Soo!!!

Here it is December of 2004 and our organization is just one and a half years old. A mere baby in chronological years and yet much wiser and older than many as it relates to professionalism, progressiveness, and pro-activeness. Our Federation's Moo Do is strong, our Tang Soo is flourishing, and our membership is growing daily. Evidence of this is the addition of three new schools in just the past year. Congratulations to Chief Instructor John Leger of Alabama Karate Academy for his new professional school in Wetumpka, Alabama. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Senior Master Carole Coker and Chief Instructor Morris Coker on their new professional school (Family Karate Center) in Montgomery. We have also added another Master Instructor to our ranks and another school. Welcome and congratulations to Master Carrell Smith of Carrell Smith's Tang Soo Do Institute of College Park, Georgia to our international family. Last but not least, a special congratulations to Senior Master Case for expanding our organization into New York. Job well done to all of you.

It has also been a banner and record-breaking year for growth in our Federation. This could not have been possible if it had not been for the dedication, professionalism, and open-mindedness of our Board of Directors and affiliate organizational heads/friends. It therefore seems only appropriate that I end this letter with a special ko map sam nida to the following school owners, leaders, Masters, chief instructors, and Federation support staff. Thank you Master Washington, Master Allison, Master and Mr. Coker, Master Case, Master Busby, Master Smith, Master Chaplin, Master Hall, Mr. Horner and Ms. Cooper, Mrs. Jett, Mr. Leger, Mr. Cosenza, Mr. Stevens, Ms. Carpenter, Ms. Grabowski, and last but not least, Mrs. Mercy St. James for all that you do to help the Federation. I appreciate you all!!!

I remain humbly...

Yours in Moo Do
Tang Soo!!! 

Head and Founding Master
J. John St. James
President and CEO
Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation