U.S. Tae Kwon Do College/Washington Sports Club Satellite (now defunct to my knowledge) Master Myong Pyo Kim
First Test: 10th Gup 7/26/95. Erica Guttman (4th or 5th? Dan) was my first instructor. In the summer of 1995, she laid the foundation that was essential to my development. Also, attending her testing for what I believe was 4th Dan was very inspirational. This is where I first saw weapon poomse taken seriously. Tony would like to send best wishes to training partner (and drinking buddy) Kevin Mayberry.
First Test: 7th Gup 5/28/96. Masters (5th Dan) Sun Chul and Jun Chul Whang should be commended for the fantastic atmosphere they have created and for making training fun. The greatest thanks goes to the cadre of black belts who made this the ultimate Tae Kwon Do learning environment. My hat is off to Master Malick Coulibaly Dit Fall (4th Dan) for his infinite patience and ability to divide his attention in a way that makes forms class so very worthwhile. Brandon Saltz (2nd Dan) deserves a special thanks for his constant advice. Alex Chung (3rd Dan) efforts at the New York Sports Club Satellite to the main school transitioned me into Tae Kwon Do at West Side Tae Kwon Do in the late winter and spring of 1996. His class co-taught with Andrew Cohen (2nd Dan) and his Hap Ki Do instructions were excellent. The school had some tremendous sparrers such as Lightweight National Team member, Tom Lynn, Jr., Kenia Sosa Lynn, and Jennifer Huang.
Many of the weapons techniques you see Tony perform while practicing were inspired by Masters Whang who emphasized the importance of being ambidextrous and bidirectional with as many techniques as possible and being able to transfer techniques from one weapon to another. Tony hopes to be as inspiring to watch practice as Nicolaj is to watch. Tony also hopes to develop some techniques that are as spectacular to watch as Teresa Throckmorton's (2nd Dan) jump spinning back hook kick.
For a better understanding of the World's most popular martial art I recommend the book "Tae Kwon Do: The state of the art", ISBN # 0-7679-0214-9 by Masters Whang and Brandon Saltz
Tony would like to send best wishes to training partners David Kim (1st Dan) and Jamie Kaplan among others. Jamie's attention to detail was as important a contribution to my development as anyone's. He would also like to thank Kenya Peterson (1st Dan) and Sean Nichols (1st Dan) for numerous beatings in sparring.
In addition to personal contributions, several of the school's black belts inspired me by contributions to the spirit of the school. Most noteworthy among those individuals was Chris Abramson (1st Dan) who was a model of dedication to the pursuit of excellence. Jennifer Huang's (2nd Dan) sparring successes were also quite inspiring. I also should mention Joseph Incognoli, Jr. (2nd Dan) for his general leadership. Each of these individuals gave me significant personal advice, but I felt an even greater benefit from their general contributions to the school.
New York City Uei Chi Ryu
Senseis Dave Finkelstein and Chris Ronzoni
Nancy Simoneski, David Herman, & Lawrence De Voe all provided great encouragement for the pursuit of perfection. More importantly, this martial arts' emphasis on deep understanding of techniques through practice of mirror image forms and bunkais will continue to make me a better martial artist regardless of what style I practice.
Rob Schulman's advice as a training partner/instructor was helpful in Tony's development. Best of luck in continued growth to Jay, Big Mike, Nick and Itzig.
First Test: 3rd Gup 7/2/97. This is where Tony received his black belt (1st Dan 9/17/98) and most of his formal weapons training. Tony trained at 5 of the 9 area academies (Phone numbers shown where not available on their web page: Chestefield (314-743-8800), Crestwood, Hazelwood, Mayfair (314-355-9629), and Olivette (314-432-2378)), but learned most of his weaponry from Master Byung Rho at Mayfair after Louis Neiwald (sp?) introduced him to the Nunchaku. Tony's belt testing occurred at Olivette.
Master (6th Dan Tae Kwon Do, 5th Dan Hop Ki Do, 2nd Degree Kung Fu) Byung Rho, then of World Martial Arts Academy in St. L, is responsible for most of Tony's formal training. Jessie Lane & Welton Avery were especially valuable as training partners. James Dunger's demonstrations of 6,9 & 11 count stick drills will remain with me.
Tony would like to thank Tim Hall. Also, Marvin served as a great sparring partner. I should also mention David Fedder, the martial artist and comedian, but not David Fedder, Esq.
East Sea Martial Arts
Tony served as Assistant Instructor, to Master Maceo Pembroke, Jr. for the first year of the school (January 2005-January 2006). Tony is greatful for the opportunity to regularly hone his modest instructional skills.