On the weekend of April 15-17, the southeastern region of the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation had its spring cycle Dan Shim Sa (Black Belt test) and review, as well as its annual championships in Cleveland, Georgia. Over 50 Black Belts and Cho Dan Bo (Black Belt Candidates) tested or reviewed at the White County YMCA on Friday night April 15th. Two hundred and fifty (250+) plus competitors gathered the next day, April 16th at the same facility for the regional championships.
Karate World of North Georgia, owned by Kwan Jang Nim St. James and Sr. Master Deborah Jett hosted the very successful event. The black belt test on Friday night opened with the announcement of the high scores on the written test. Elliott Oslund of Karate Central in Selma, Alabama scored highest among the children, and among the adults, Chad Hinkle of West Texas Tang Soo Do in Lubbock, Texas had a nearly perfect score. The Black Belt test was quite challenging which is the Federation’s tradition. Best of test was awarded to Peter Estrada of Tang Soo Do Ho Sin Sul Buies Creek of Buies Creek, North Carolina. Cassie Bjorge of Karate World of North Georgia won best of test honors for the children.
The tournament took place the following morning and started at 8 am sharp with a judges meeting. Black belt competition which started at 9 am was completed before many of the color belt competitors arrived so that everyone could witness the awarding of the championship cups. The women’s cup went to Valorie Slaughter of Birmingham Academy of Martial Arts in Birmingham, Alabama and the men’s cup was awarded to Peter Estrada of Tang Soo Do Ho Sin Sul Buies Creek of Buies Creek, North Carolina. Following this were black belt presentations for all candidates who had successfully completed their six (6) month probationary period. Then, competition opened.
The tournament lasted into the late afternoon, and was a great success. All of the students performed admirably. The weekend finished with Kwan Jang Nim St. James teaching a Master’s only workout from 9 am to 10 am. Afterwards from 10 to 11 am a studio owners and instructor’s workout was taught by Kwan Jang Nim James Allison of the International Hapkido Sun Moo Kwan Federation who is also a Sr. Master in the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation. Overall, it was an excellent weekend of Tang Soo Do.
by Shanon Jett, Sam Dan