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 2015 Masters Profile (Spanish Version)


Name: Miguel A. Soto

Rank and date of rank: Dan Master (2011)

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region #18,
Dragon Masters Karate Studio, Quebradillas, Puerto Rico

Contact Information: 787-408-6727 or email:


Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in in the city of Ponce, known as the Pearl of the South, on the south coast of the island of Puerto Rico. I grew up and was raised in Ponce, then I moved to Bayamón, Manatí and Barceloneta and then ended up in the beautiful town of Camuy Puerto Rico, as it is known as the "Romantic City" where I have lived for the past 25 years of my life.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

I have several relatives in Tang Soo Do, starting with my 3 children, Lily, Michael and Angel who are all E Dan. My brother-in-law Orlando Cintron is also an E Dan.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

I am a full-time Instructor of Tang Soo Do. I worked as an engineering technician for 23 years at a pharmaceutical company. I specialize in programming and HVAC controls. Also I worked in graphic arts and multimedia.

List your academic accomplishments, military service:

I earned my Bachelors degree in electronic engineer at the University of Puerto Rico-Bayamón and an associate degree in instrumentation engineering.

Master Soto receiving his Master's promotion from Grandmaster Shin.

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

Like any kid my age who grew up with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris movies, I always wanted to learn martial arts. I didn’t have any karate studio near my home. My only experience in martial arts was in Judo for a short time but I had to ride my bicycle for 2 hours to assist to classes but was too  hard for me at that time. So when I move to Camuy, I started Tang Soo Do in 1992 under Master José Torres. I also trained under Master Carmelo Rivera and Master José Zaragoza.  When I become Sah Dan Candidate in 2009, I opened Dragon Masters Karate Studio in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico.

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

When I started, Judo and Tang Soo Do were very different in all aspects.  I remember that not everyone was allowed to train. It was not suited for students with physical needs. It was hard-core all the way and there were no padded floors, mats and all the gadgets that we have today, I remember that we started by running 2 miles (minimum) bare foot on the hot asphalt. I enjoyed the challenges. Master José Torres was very strict especially with the details when we practiced forms. I was a slow learner and did not have natural abilities. I thought I was the worse of my group when I started, but I didn’t let that stop me from doing what I loved. I have never let anyone telling me that you can't do it. My instructors help me overcome these challenges and that fueled my determination to better myself. My thinking has changed as I began Tang Soo Do. I see that I just am starting and I have much to learn and improve. Tang Soo Do has evolve and now everyone can learn no matter what their situation and the only thing that can stop them is their own minds and lack of determination.

Difference between when you first started training and today.

I think most important is the way we teach martial arts. When I started it was more hard core, it was intensive. Today is more structure and design to teach all kinds of people. You can address the needs of all your students and also teach kids in a fun way and all ages.

Any other martial arts studied?

Before the Tang Soo Do I trained in Judo for a couple of months, grappling and now I am learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Master Soto as a red belt in the front row in 1994 with Master Jose Torres and Master Carmelo Rivera (left) and in as the 1993 Region 18 Gup Grand Champion (right).

Tang Soo Do Career

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

My thesis was the different uses of technology to promote your studio entitled Information Technology from Zero to Hero.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

The application of techniques, self defense and weapons are my favorite parts of Tang Soo Do. I am always looking for different ways to apply the techniques, how to improve it in real situations. You can’t always kick or hit an opponent for different reasons so you have to use your other self-defense skills to defend yourself.

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

Kong Sang Koon and Jang Gum Hyung are my favorites for their degree of difficulty. I enjoy the challenge to learn, refine and master them.

WTSDA committees or positions:

Web Committee and Region 18 Secretary.

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

My model within the Tang Soo Do is Master Wilfredo Burgos and outside Jackie Chan and Jet Lee.

Master Soto promoting a student (left) and at the Region 18 Championship (right).

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

My first summer seminar in Quebradillas when I met our Grandmaster Jae C. Shin for the first and my first Master Clinic in 2009.  Unforgettable.

What are your future goals in WTSDA?

I want to continue training Tang Soo Do as long as I can. I want to continue to learn and grow as a Master and a student.

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

The path to success is not to be walk alone". It’s never too late to start something, a dream, study, to look for happiness. Look always the positive side. The best person of the world is always the same…. You.

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

Always speaks in a positive way, you cannot discriminate students because they are "different" or because they aren't as skilled in the art. These people are going to fill you with happiness and pride when you can help them.

Tang Soo!