2016 Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation Master's Clinic and National Championships

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 7:18pm — webmaster

 On July 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2016, 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. These included one who tested to Yuk Dan (6th Degree), and five who tested to 4th Degree Master.  
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 were ready for a seminar with the Kwan Jang Nim which included Moo Do Combative and “real deal” street ready self-defense. Over 70 participated in the clinic which lasted for an hour and a half. 
After the Clinic we began the adult 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 as people filled the auditorium, we prepared for a great day.  The day began the youth black belt competition, which just like the adult black belt competition Friday night, was very spirited.  After the youth black belt competition we had our opening ceremonies.

There was a lot of excitement during opening ceremonies. There was a great demonstration by many of the Masters then a number of individual schools preformed demonstrations.  You could really see the hard work everyone puts into the demonstrations. There was also the crowning of our Grand Champions. The Grand Champion cups for Adult Black Belt E-Dan level and above competition were awarded to Peter Estrada of Abilene Karate Academy for the men and Kayla Sandberg of Karate World of North Georgia for the women.  Overall Black Belt Champion Cups for the Adult Cho Dan level went to Ivana Dalton of Karate World of North Georgia and Charles Fasola of Busby's Family Karate. Youth black belt cup winners were Benjamin Leverett of Two Dragons for the boys and Dia Baldwin of Birmingham Academy of Martial Arts for the girls. 

Finally, we were all honored to see the Masters promotions.  Michael Jett received his Yuk Dan and promoted to Sah Dan Master were: Peter Estrada, Chad Hinkle, Allister Akong, Laura Lee Sandberg, and David Watson-Jones.  It is always very emotional to see the results of so many years of work and dedication.  

After the competition that evening, there was an awards banquet with approximately 120 attending held at Funtastiks Entertainment and Bowling Center in Gainesville, GA. Presentations and commendations were made, including the 2016 Hall of Fame awards presented for the following:

       2016 Master of the Year – Int. Master Michael Jett of Karate World of North Georgia, Buford, GA
       2016 Instructor of the Year – Master Chad Hinkle, Sah Dan of West Texas Karate. Lubbock, TX
       2016 School of the Year – Int. Master Christian Klacko & Sr. Master Jason Duva, Cambridge Tang Soo Do, Cambridge, Mass
       2016 Family of the Year – The Watson-Jones Family of Karate World of North Georgia, Buford, GA
       2016 Moo Do Spirit Award – Mr. Darrell Bauer, Sam Dan of Karate World of North Georgia, Buford, GA
Following the presentations, there was time once again for another very special APTSDF Foundation (501C3 Non-Profit) 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, 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.

 Click to view 2016 Ko Dan Ja Photo Gallery

 Click to view 2016 Nationals Photo Gallery

 Written by Int. Master Deborah Jett, Yuk Dan