Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin
(December 20, 1936 - July 9, 2012)
Grandmaster Robert E. Beaudoin
Click on a Year Below to see a list of Studios of the Month for that year.
Studio of the Month
Northern Tang Soo Do
Master Martin Silk
Mr. Colin Silk (Sam Dan),
Mr. Mathew Silk (Sam Dan)
Ryhehills School, Redcar Lane
Redcar, Cleveland, Great Britain, TS10 2HN
Combined classes for all grades & ages
Tiny Tigers 5 – 7 years old
Black belt training sessions
Northern Tang Soo Do is part of Great Britain Tang Soo Do and was founded in January 2003 in Redcar (North-east England) by Master Martin Silk, supported by his brother Master Andrew Silk (both E Dans at the time). Their aim was to provide an atmosphere of enjoyment whilst promoting good family values, fitness and health in an environment that children and adults would be comfortable in.
After a slow start and some difficult times the club has grown steadily with a strong, dedicated core of students among its current membership of around 75. Members range from 5 years old to over 60 years and include several family groups.
At Northern Tang Soo Do we have always promoted a "be the best you can" attitude, not a "must win" one with an emphasis on students working hard to progress to the best of their abilities, not necessarily to be better than everyone else.
With the support of Master Khan and Master Carter we have hosted two successful competitions and a seminar, and have welcomed many of Great Britain's excellent Masters to our area.
Northern Tang Soo Do's ambitions are for the association to spread and grow in the North-east of England by encouraging our Black Belts to develop as instructors and to open new clubs in the area, and also to motivate our gup grades to reach their full potential in everything they do in or out of the dojang.
Master Martin Silk has been training with the WTSDA for about 25 years, starting in Middlesbrough in 1991 at the age of 6, along with his brother Andrew, who at the time was 5. He didn't show any interest in martial arts training but his parents took him along hoping to help develop his self - confidence. After his first session he was keen to continue and progressed through his grades, achieving his 1st Dan in 1998. Shortly after, his instructor left the association and closed the club, but he and his brother persuaded their parents to travel to Newcastle (a 95mile round trip) three times a week to continue their training. He achieved his 2nd Dan in 2001. When he turned 18 he opened Northern Tang Soo Do in Redcar with the support of his family and he has never looked back. He has continued to train hard and supports GBTSD events around the country, achieving 3rd Dan in 2005 and going on to receive his Masters Belt in Munich in 2013.
Through his time training he has always given recognition to his brother Andrew, who has trained and graded alongside him all the way from white belt to 4th Dan Master. He has always been grateful for the support given from the GB Masters, especially Master Khan and Master Carter who guided him and his family when the club was first formed (and still do).
He enjoys the challenges that teaching students bring and gets a satisfaction from seeing them achieving and improving. Under Master Silk's tuition several students have gone on to open clubs in the area. His goal has always been to develop a family orientated club and always encourages parents to join in training when they bring their children. This has been successful with many parents and children training alongside each other.
Outside of Tang Soo Do, Master Silk has a Chemistry Degree and works as a lab technician in a local school. He also owns 2 huskies and enjoys long walks with them.
Northern Tang Soo Do always strives to instill a sense of belonging to a family through our training. We ensure that respect, discipline and etiquette are at the forefront of all we do. Our training environment is friendly and welcoming, which helps potential new students come and feel that they are welcome to train with us. Northern TSD students have always been recognizable because of their etiquette and spirit at events.
Five years ago, at the age of 48 I was "guilted" into attending a karate class with my sister and her two young sons (aged 6 and 7). Her two sons had been attending class for a while and it was her bright idea that, rather than sit and watch a class for 2 ½ hours, it would be more entertaining to actually participate in the class. Admittedly I was less than enthusiastic, the mere thought of my middle aged self high kicking (never going to happen!) alongside these fit and focused students really gave me sleepless nights, but family is family and you do what you have to do to keep them happy! However, looking back I now have to admit that she was right! Not only did the students not make fun of us, but they have actively encouraged us, pushed and helped us every step of the way, and if I ever make black belt, the rest of the class's names should be on my belt!
After the first class with Master M Silk, it became apparent through his teachings, that it didn't matter that we could not do 100 pushups straight off, or kick as high as the younger students, or that it took a little longer for us 'oldies' to remember our first hyung. It was our own personal journey through the class and the belt system that was taught. Although my nephews moved onto other sports about 2 years ago, my sister and I continue to attend 2 classes a week, along with local and national seminars when possible. With the help and support of the Silk Family I have reached Cho Dan Bo status, a belt that I honestly thought I would never attain, I can honestly say that despite my age and fitness levels I have enjoyed every moment trying to learn this great art of Tang Soo Do. Over the years, I personally have taken strength and inspiration from some of the great instructors in the art, local, national and international. Watching our European Director (Master M Khan) take us through a 'warm up' is inspirational and makes me strive to do better in myself. So, if you think even for one moment that you would like to join a Tang Soo Do class, I urge you to do so, you will never regret it!
Debra Thomas - Aged 53 (Cho Dan Bo)
My two young boys joined Master M Silk's class some years ago and I sat for many hours watching them have fun and grow in their training and self-belief. Mrs Janet Silk kept encouraging me "to have a go". I kept thinking about it but wasn't confident enough "to have a go" on my own and so press ganged my sister to join with me, kicking and screaming! Over 5 years on and we have never looked back, I personally have learned so much and Master Silk brings us constant motivation and encouragement. The training disciplines are physically and mentally challenging but are staged so that each step is taken one by one. Master Martin Silk, Mr. Colin Silk and Mr. Mathew Silk as well as the other club instructors regularly go out of their way to help and guide us, the classes are full of energy and we also have the added benefit of opportunities to train and learn from wonderful martial artists: Master M Khan, Master C Carter and Master D Khan at our regional and European events. The team building and comradery of the class is second to none and I would encourage anyone to have a go.
Tracy Allison -Age 49 (Cho Dan Bo)
I joined Tang Soo Doo just over a year ago after I came to watch my younger brother. It looked fun and I thought I would enjoy it too. At first I got upset because I couldn't do the press ups. Master Silk came over to me and said if I keep trying I will be able to do it. I am now a green/brown belt and I have 2 certificates for most improved student. I go twice a week, sometimes three. I'd like to go three times a week all the time, but I have dancing and other things. My favorite bit is everything.
Everyone is really helpful, especially the black belts and Master Silk. Nobody shouts at you or tells you off. They explain things and are very friendly. My aim is to become a black belt.
Katie Wheeler, Age 10, 5th Gup