Grandmaster St. James President and CEO Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation

Grandmaster John St. James has been training for over 45 years. He is currently holding rank of 8th Dan in Tang Soo Do

He began his martial arts and leadership training when he was 13 years old. He earned his Black Belt before graduation from high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Grandmaster Young Kook Kwon. When he was 18, he became a certified instructor and started his teaching career under the tutelage of Grandmaster Young Hyuk Kwon in San Diego, California where he later started his first school while attending the University of California, San Diego. Master St. James attained his Bachelors Degree in Political Science in 1984 and later an advanced degree in Insurance and Risk Management from the American Institute in 1986.

In addition to being an expert in Tang Soo Do, Grandmaster St. James is considered an expert in personal development and peak performance training. He has been featured in MA Success Magazine, MA Professional, Tae Kwon Do Times Magazine, EFC Eagle Express, Business Master Publications, and has also been recognized in Black Belt Magazine.

Grandmaster St. James holds a brown belt in Shotokan Karate (1975), a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do (1981), and a 5th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido (2003). He is well versed in advanced pressure point manipulation and is certified as an instructor in Quick Defense by the American Self Defense Association in Belton, Texas. His is also a past Board Member of the World Tang Soo Do Association where he served as both the Director of Finance and Business and a Regional Director for many years. Grandmaster St. James received his Master’s rank and Senior Masters rank from the late Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin while a member of the World Tang Soo Do Association.

 

1974 – Entered martial arts training under Sensei Ron Johnson of the Japan Karate Association and trained to brown belt in Shotokan at Westchester State College (Westchester, PA)

1976 – Started Tang Soo Do training under Young K. Kwon and his brother Young H. Kwon as part of the US Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation (Newtown Square, PA)

1979 – Achieved 1st Dan Black Belt under the US Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation in Philadelphia, PA with Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin presiding (Clifton Heights, PA)  

1981 -  Earned a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do & Tae Kwon Do under Grandmaster Moon Ku Baek as part of the World Martial Arts Association (Mira Mesa, CA)

1981 – Started intensive training under Master Hong Ku Baek in the internal arts including Chi Gong, Acupressure, and Trigger Points (Mira Mesa, CA)

1981/82 – Started first ever Tang Soo Do program at the University of California, San Diego as Chief Instructor (La Jolla, CA)

1984 – Started first ever Tang Soo Do program at Naiman Tech Center in San Diego as Chief Instructor (Sorrento Valley, CA)

1985 – Member of the World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA) delegation team to demonstrate Tang Soo Do throughout Mexico (Culiacan, Mazatlán, Ecuinapa, MX) and help establish Tang Soo Do curriculum in Mexico colleges (COBAES)

1985 – Stated first ever Tang Soo Do program at the University of California, Irvine as Chief Instructor (Irvine, CA)

1986 – Promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do under Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin as part of the World Tang Soo Do Association

1986  - Assisted in the formation of the UMAF with Grandmaster Young K. Kwon and Grandmaster Young H. Kwon and served as the first Regional Director for the west coast

1987 -  Started first ever at risk (non-profit) Tang Soo Do program at Western Avenue Community Center in Bloomington, Il

1987 -  Appointed to the WTSDA Board of Directors at the age of 28 as the Director of Finance & Business Development

1988 – Assisted in WTSDA Region 5 by helping Grandmaster Shin initiate Tang Soo Do schools in Illinois and Iowa

1989 – Was invited to do a series of Tang Soo Do training videos by Panther Productions

1989 – Founded Business Master Publications which was one of the first martial arts business publications for the martial arts industry

1990 -  Knighted 4th Dan Master by Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin at the Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, PA as part of the WTSDA.

1990 – Instructed the World Grand Champion (Mrs. Mercy St. James, E Dan) at the WTSDA World Championships at the Philadelphia Civic Center (Philadelphia, PA)

1990/91 – Started the first ever Tang Soo Do program at the Ashford Dunwoody YMCA (Atlanta, GA)

1991 – Started the first ever Tang Soo Do program at the Atlanta Falcons training center providing instruction to Atlanta Falcons and select students from the community (Suwanee, GA)

1992 – Started World Karate Academy at the Fitness Plus and from this school produced multiple school owners and eventual Master instructors (Buford, GA)

1992 -  Assisted Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin in the publication of his first book, Traditional Tang Soo Do Volume 1 The Essence by helping to write and act as a consultant

1992 – 2002 – Assisted Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin in several of his books (Traditional Tang Soo Do, Volumes 1, 3, 4, & 5 – Hyung, Dae Ryun, Instructor Training)

1996 – Started Karate World, Inc. which would become one of the top 5 rated full time martial arts school in America in the early 2,000’s as documented in the Education Funding Company All Star book (Suwanee, GA)

1997 – Featured in Martial Arts Professional Magazine on page 3 with the Power Belt which I consulted on and was sold through Century Martial Arts (St. Petersburg, FL)

1997 – Appointed Regional Director for Region 6 of WTSDA

1997 – Certified as Quick Defense Instructor (Austin, TX)

1998 – Promoted to 5th Dan Black Belt (Senior Master) by Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin (Orlando, FL)

1998 – Served as the Championship Manager of the 1998 WTSDA World Championships at the Orlando Civic Center (Orlando, FL)

2001 – Was guest instructor at the 1st ever WTSDA European Masters Clinic (Cardiff, Wales)

2002 – Acknowledged as co-author of Traditional Tang  Soo Do Volume 5 – Instructor Manual by Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin

2003 – Appointed Regional Director for Region 21 of WTSDA

2003 – Founded the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation (Atlanta, GA)

2003 – Created the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation Instructor Training Program Manual (384 pages) and the Federation Student Handbook

2003 – Created alliance and affiliate program with my instructor Grandmaster Stephen G. Washington and the Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do (Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, England, United States)

2004 – Promoted to 6th Dan International Master by Grandmaster Stephen G. Washington of the Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation in Australia (Adelaide, Australia)

2004 – Produced and served as Championship Director of the 1st ever APTSDF International Championships (Orlando, FL)

2004 – Featured by Educational Funding Company in the October issue of the EFC Eagle Express Magazine

2004 – Featured by Education Funding Company in the November issue of the EFC Eagle Express Magazine

2005 – Featured in Martial Arts Success Magazine in the July issue with an article produced by Terry Wilson on Life Coaching: A New Era in the Martial Arts

2006 – Produced and served as Championship Director of the 2nd ever APTSDF International Championship (Boca Raton, FL)

2007 – Featured in Tae Kwon Times Magazine with a focus on breaking (Kyuk Pa)

2007 – Headed 2nd APTSDF Delegation Team to Australia for the Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation (Darwin, Australia)

2007 – Honored to be included in the Tang Soo Do World Who’s Who of traditional Tang Soo Do pioneers along with many legends including Hwang Kee, Jae Chul Shin, Chuck Norris, and approximately 40 other martial arts legends.

2008 -  Produced and served as Championship Director of the 3rd ever APTSDF International Championships (Lawrenceville, GA)

2008 – Promoted to 7th Dan Senior International Master by Grandmaster Stephen G. Washington and Grandmaster Chuck Blackburn (Atlanta GA)

2008/2009 – Initiated more schools in Mexico and completed a comprehensive seminar on traditional Tang Soo Do weapons with a focus on the Bong or Bo (Mexico City & The Pyramid of the Sun – Teotihuacan)

2009 – Created TAC Tour Super Series Seminar and completed the first of 11 CD/Videos on Hyung, Ho Sin Sul, Moo Sul Weaponry, Ju Yu Dae Ryun, Shil Ki, and Il Soo Sik)

2009 – Initiated school in Aruba and completed the first ever APTSDF Aruba Clinic

2010 – Produced and served as Championship Director of the 4th ever APTSDF International Championship (Lawrenceville, GA)

2010 – Completed TAC Tour Seminar Tour of the United States and continued to create Tang Soo Do training videos

2010 – Completed 2nd Aruban Seminar with assistance from Master Antonio Rivera, Jr. (Aruba, Caribbean Island)

2010 – Appeared on Aruban TV on the Time Out Show to discuss the APTSDF and traditional Tang Soo Do

2011 – Founded the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Foundation, Inc. 501(c) (3) Public Charity to help at risk youth and adults learn traditional Tang Soo Do and leadership skills. The Foundations has donated thousands of dollars to help at risk students throughout the U.S. (Atlanta, GA)

2011  – Initiated first school in Mexico (Escuinapa, MX)

2011 – Initiated school in Costa Rica

2011 – Completed 3rd Aruban Seminar with assistance from Grandmaster James Allison with specialized training for the Royal Dutch Marines (Aruba, Caribbean)

2012 – Promoted to 8th Dan by Grandmaster Stephen G. Washington, 9th Dan (Lawrenceville, GA)

2012 – Produced and served as Championship Director of the 5th ever APTSDF International Championship (Gainesville, GA)

2014- Produced and served as Championship Director of the 6th ever APTSDF International Championship (Gainesville, GA)

2015 – Founded the Healing Warrior Society with focus on the internal arts including the healing arts, nutrition, mindfulness, and energy cultivation (Atlanta, GA)

2015 – Certified as an International Trainer, Mentor, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team (Orlando, FL)

2018 – Produced and served as Championship Director of the 7th ever APTSDF International Championship at The B Resort (Orlando, FL)

2018 – Oversaw 2nd ever APTSD Foundation Leadership Camp (Camden, AL)

 

1979 - 2019 – Honored to teach and promote well over 30 students to Master Instructor (United States)

1979 – 2019 – Produced and actively taught and coached 5 World Grand Champions with one holding the World Breaking title set at Universal Studio, CA

2004 – 2019 – Honored to help teach and promote well over 100 APTSDF certified instructors (United States, Central America, South America & Middle East)

2004 – 2019 – Honored to help teach and promote well over 1,200 APTSDF certified black belts (United States, Central America, South America, & Middle East)

1979 – 2019 – Honored to help teach and promote well over 15,000 APTSDF certified color belt (Gup) members (United States, Central America, South America, & Middle East)

1980 – 2019 – Was guest instructor, taught at, or hosted well over 30 Master’s Clinics and Camps (United States, Europe, Australia)

1980 – 2019 – Sponsored, hosted, or taught at 43 Black Belt Camps (United States & Mexico)

2004 – 2019 – Have produced 9 TAC Tour Seminar Tours throughout the United States