The week of July 24th was huge for the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation under the direction of Master J. John St. James, Chil Dan. The Federation, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia, put on it's annual Masters (KODANJA) Clinic (July 25 - 28), and it's International Championships, Awards Banquet, and Championship Party (July 28 - 30) at both the Marriott Boca Center and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
There were many firsts at this year's events. These included: Masters from as far as Australia, Israel, and Holland attending the Masters Clinic and Championships. There was a first ever breaking competition for the Federation and Team Forms which were very well received. Additionally, six (6) senior Masters were recognized for 30 plus years of dedication to the art of Tang Soo Do at the award banquet on the evening of July 29th at the Marriott Boca Center. They were: Master Stephen G. Washington, Chil Dan (President and Founding Master of the Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation), Master J. John St. James, Chil Dan (President and Founding Master of the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation), Master Steven Voelker, Yuk Dan (President and Founding Master of the Pyong Hwa Kunin Tang Soo Do Federation), Master David Sgro, Yuk Dan (President and Founding Master of the San Kil Tang Soo Do Federation), Master Aldwin Lee, Oh Dan (President and Founding Master of the Holland Tang Soo Do Federation), and Master Carole Coker, Oh Dan (Senior Master in the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation).
In addition to covering traditional Tang Soo Do requirements through 8th Degree Black Belt, Federation Masters and guests were treated to various segments on forms interpretation and practical application during the KODANJA by Master Stephen G. Washington, Chil Dan of the Asia Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation. Master John St. James covered weapons forms and self defense covering the cane, dagger, and staff. Shihan Moti Horenstein, Pal Dan, covered pistol defense, and Federation Masters and special guests covered everything ranging from the sword to advanced empty hand self defense.
At the conclusion of this year's Championships, two competitors were awarded Grand Championship status based on their total number of points during the two days of competition. They were Mr. Kevin Dixon of Dragon Heart Tang Soo Do (Overall Men's Grand Champion) Austin, Texas and Mrs. Rachel Lynn Chisolm of Karate World (Overall Women's Grand Champion) Suwanee, Georgia. This certainly was one of the many highlights of the week long celebration. However, the greatest highlight of all was the rank promotions of three new Master Instructors and one new Sah Dan in the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation under the direction of Chief Master J. John St. James. Congratulations to Master Leif Becker, Sah Dan, Master Steve Fernandez, Sah Dan, Master John Leger, Sah Dan, and Mr. Michael Jett, Sah Dan on their promotions and new responsibilities.
Finally, the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation announced it is not too early to start thinking about joining Team USA for a trip to compete at the Asia Pacific TSD Nationals in Brisbane, Australia next year. The Federation also announced that they have successfully formed a strategic partnership with officials representing Beijing University and the National Sports Center for a delegation trip to China in 2008. They are now trying to secure Olympic passes for our cultural tour and training trip. If anyone is interested, please contact Master John St. James, President and Founding Master of the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation at (770) 614-9884, or use the Contact Us page on the website.