The World Tang Soo Do Association

A True "World" Organization


Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin
(December 20, 1936 - July 9, 2012)

Robert E. Beaudoin

Untitled Document

April 2014 Masters Profile


Name: Kelly Dee Goodwin

Rank and date of rank: Sah Dan Master (2012)

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region #20,
Coastal Canyon Tang Soo Do, San Diego, CA

Contact Information:


Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in Hollywood, FL.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

My husband, Robert Johnson is an E Dan.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

I am a molecular & environmental microbiologist at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

List your academic accomplishments, military service:

I received my Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida and earned both my Master's and Ph.D from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).  

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I started martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do and Aikido in 1986 while an undergraduate at the University of Florida. When I moved to California to attend graduate school at Caltech, there was not a Korean style available at the University. I continued Tae Kwon Do training on my own and trained Aikido at Pasadena Aikikai. I started training in Tang Soo Do when the Caltech club was started in 1990. At that time, southern California was still part of Region 1. I trained with WTSDA for 2 years before testing in as a Black Belt. Testing was a difficult decision because I did not want to be disrespectful to my Tae Kwon Do seniors. In addition to training in Pasadena, I also trained with SBN Mark Schoenberger in Long Beach while stationed at the Caltech marine lab and Master Pat Marsch in San Diego while at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. In 1995 my family moved to Northern California area and I started my first Tang Soo Do club in an area south of San Francisco. I enjoyed training with Master Jerry Stein and Master Jim DeBaca during those years. I returned to Florida in 1999 and joined the crews of Region 6 and Region 21, starting a club in Miami and later Hollywood, Florida. During this time, my husband Robert Johnson, a Shotokon Black Belt, joined Tang Soo Do to consolidate our competing training needs. Such efficiency was vital after the birth of our son, Kai, in 2003. In 2007, we returned to southern California and our original Tang Soo Do family (now Region 20) and we founded our most recent school, Coastal Canyon Tang Soo Do.

Master Goodwin and a newly promoted Little Dragon.

What were your first impressions when you started and how have they changed?

My first impression of Tang Soo Do was that the people were good hearted and of high integrity. This impression has not changed. Good people remain the foundation of Tang Soo Do.

Any other martial arts studied?

Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Muay Thai.

Notable accomplishments in the martial arts field??

I was the editor of Grandmaster Shin's last book 'Traditional Tang Soo Do, Volume 6' and am currently working on the second edition of "Traditional Tang Soo Do, Volume 1"

Master Goodwin demonstrating techniques and during her Sah Dan Master promotion.

Tang Soo Do Career

What was your Master’s thesis on, why did you choose it, and what did you learn from it?

My master's thesis was 'Teaching Safety Skills to Very Young Children (3-5 years)". When my son turned 3 in 2006, I started devising role-play based safety training to bring into my Tiny Tiger classes. Scenario-based learning is an approach taken by certain full-contact self-defense organizations. I thought the approach could be adapted to teach behavioral skills for young children. The curriculum involved providing information to parents, as well. The development of this curriculum became the topic for my thesis. My thesis research led me to literature from an organization called Kidpower. They had taken a similar approach to mine; however, their curriculum was quite mature -- they had honed it for twenty-five years and taught millions of children. I was so impressed, in 2009 I began training as a certified Kidpower instructor. Today, I incorporate Kidpower into Tang Soo Do classes in addition to providing full-length Kidpower workshops.

Difference between when you first started training and today?

On a personal level, obviously there are many differences between being 47 and 18 years old. The physical changes are the most frustrating, and the level of administrative responsibility the most unforeseen.  But at heart, I feel pretty much the same.  I started training in a college environment, and that environment continues to provide a distinct experience compared to family training. Nowdays, traditional martial arts have increased competition for the time and attention of the college-age demographic. In addition to the plethora of traditional martial arts, MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and a variety of fitness programs (e.g. Crossfit and others) vie for this coveted age group.  Luckily, we are generating many fine young adults through our children’s programs. The success of programs for children marks a real difference for traditional martial arts. An obvious outcome is more young students. An additional outcome is that more first-time students are middle aged because we are training both children and their parents. The upshot is that the primary demographic is either entering or exiting physical prime, and that presents new challenges as an instructor.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

My favorite part is training with my Tang Soo Do family and creating an environment where others can make the type of bonds I have made.

What is your favorite Hyung and/or weapon and why?

At the moment my favorite hyung is Sei Shan because of the side kicks. I am also partial to Bassai and Pyung Ahn E-Dan.

WTSDA committees or positions:

Past positions include Region 6 Secretary and Region 21 Secretary, Education Scholarship Chair, Proctor Guide Committee and Tournament Committee.

Who are some of your role models in and out of WTSDA?

I am deeply grateful to many WTSDA seniors, peers, and students that have taught, inspired and motivated me.

Master Goodwin with Grandmaster Beaudoin and Master Strong and the Region 20 Masters and Master candidates at the 2014 USA Masters Clinic.

What are some of your favorite memories of your time in WTSDA?

There is a long list of favorite memories. Some that come immediately to mind include Hawaii cliff diving with Master Jim DeBaca and Master Tim Schroeder, various adventures with bottles and flames with Master Mike Inoshita, egg physics with Sah Bum Nims William Glenn and Ricardo Hassan, magic Camp with Master Matt Hutchinson, and conga lines and chicken dances with the wonderful people of South America and the US crew, including the unparalleled Master Larry Wick.

As WTSDA celebrates its 30th anniversary, what are your hopes/wishes for WTSDA in the next 30 years?

I hope we continue to learn and grow. Of course we all hope to deepen our understanding of the martial arts and improve our ability to transfer knowledge. Staying true to that path is a mortar that bonds us as martial artists. It is the heart of mutual respect.  In addition, we must continue to mature as a professional organization. Examples of progress include improving the ability to do business electronically and utilizing databases to increase efficiencies (including tournaments). Such progress improves the ability of our organization to serve its members. I hope we can learn from processes and programs designed to build leadership and management skills. Skills to build communication and manage conflict serve at all levels – individual, family, dojang, Region, and Association.

Master Goodwin.

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

Train (hard) with people outside of class – it builds critical learning and lifetime friendship.  Don’t neglect bag work.

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

Stay sincere and tuned to student energy, ready to adapt activities to address both overarching goals and individual needs. Most of all, work hard and have fun!

Tang Soo!