2014 Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation Masters Clinic & National Championships

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 7:27pm — webmaster
On July 23rd, 24th, 25th & 26th 2014, the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation hosted its annual Ko Dan Ja Master’s Clinic and National Championships. The events took place at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, GA.
As I sit here and reflect over the past week of events, I am again struck by the experience.  The physical and mental challenges of the Masters clinic, the excitement of seeing old friends and meeting new ones, the thrill of seeing martial arts preformed at the highest level, the pride in seeing students step out of their comfort zone and face their own challenges.  It was again an extremely rewarding experience. 
The week started on Wednesday with the arrival of our Federation’s Masters and Master’s Candidates. Soon followed by competitors from all over the Unites States for this year’s National.  The excitement had begun!!!
On Wednesday KJN St. James welcomed us to our Masters clinic.  As always, the Masters clinic was intense and a wonderful learning experience. It is such a privilege to stand with this group of Masters, as we all continue to learn, grow, share, and support each other. The most special part of the clinic was the Masters testing.  Six candidates in all were tested during the week to higher levels of rank and I was one of them. These included two who tested to Yuk Dan (6th Degree), two who tested to 4th Degree Master and two who tested to 4th Dan black belt.  
Immediately following the end of the Masters clinic on Friday, it was time to start the other events. The first event was the all ranks clinic. As the students filled Curtis Gym on the campus of Riverside Military Academy, you could feel the excitement in the air. They knew the rare experience they would be able to enjoy with Masters from all over the country offering their expertise. Students could choose between studying staff, advanced self-defense, sword, Il Soo Sik (One Step techniques from hand and foot), and sparring or Ja Yu Dae Ryun.
After the Clinic we began Black Belt competition. It was a fierce and spirited competition as is our tradition.  Black Belts competed into the evening in forms, sparring, weapons and breaking divisions.  As always our black belts demonstrated great moo do spirit, friendship and sportsmanship, for the hundreds of spectators.
The next morning began the gup competition. As hundreds of people filled the auditorium, we prepared for opening ceremonies. One of the most thrilling orders of business was the crowning of our Grand Champions. The Grand Champion cups for Friday night’s black belt competition were awarded to Chad Hinkle, Sam Dan, owner and Chief Instructor of West Texas Karate in Lubbock, Texas in the men’s division and Laura Lee Sandberg, Sam Dan of Karate World of North Georgia for the women’s division. Overall Black Belt Champion Cups were awarded in the Youth Division and the Adult Black Belt Division for Cho Dan level. Winners were Ethan Sandberg of Karate World of North Georgia for the boys and for the girls the cup went to Ann Segar of Birmingham Academy of Martial Arts. In the Adult Black Belt division the cups went Kristine McGovern of Karate World of North Georgia for the woman and Jeremy Smithheart of Family Martial Arts Academy of Fayetteville, N.C. for the men. Then there was a demonstration by the Masters and a number of individual schools demonstrated. The day’s competition went very smoothly. Even with hundreds of competitors, judges, and spectators, everyone worked together to make it a great day.
After the competition that evening, there was an awards banquet with approximately 170 attending held at Funtastiks Entertainment and Bowling Center in Gainesville, GA. Presentations, speeches, and commendations were made, as well as a video was shown showcasing the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Foundation (501C3) non-profit organization. The APTSD Foundation is the charitable arm of the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation.
Next was the 2014 Hall of Fame awards presented for the following:
  • 2014 Master of the Year – Sr. Master Deborah Jett
  • 2014 Instructor of the Year – Mr. Chad Hinkle, Sam Dan
  • 2014 School of the Year – Busby’s Family Karate Center
  • 2014 Family of the Year – The Sandberg Family of Karate World of North Georgia
  • 2014 Moo Do Spirit Award – Master Brian Hebert of Great Bay Tang Soo Do in Dover, New Hampshire


Following the presentations, raffle winners were presented and then it was time for a very special Foundation fund raiser. Kwan Jang Nim and the Masters took on all comers in the two story laser tag arena to help raise funds for the APTSD Foundation. Everyone had a great time for a great cause.

The National Championships was a tremendous success this year. As always, it is an excellent opportunity for meeting new friends and forming bonds with people from other Federation schools.  It was also wonderful to see family and friends enjoying themselves throughout the week. We may live in different places, perhaps speak different languages, and maybe even have slight stylistic differences, but one thing is for sure. We are truly bound by our love of the martial arts and our bond through the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation.

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By Sr. Master Deborah Jett, Oh Dan