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

June 2013 Masters Profile


Name: Robert Henry Grissom Jr.

Rank and date of rank: Oh Dan, July 2010

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region # 3  
MG-Karate Institute, Lexington, MN

Contact Information:


Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in Mildenhall, England. My father was in the Air Force and we returned to the US when I was a year and a half old to San Diego, CA.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

Simple answer is OH YES!   Details: My wife - Mrs. Master Teresa Grissom (Oh Dan candidate);   My daughters Renee Lynn Stewart (Sam Dan - Sah Dan candidate), her husband Jeremy Stewart (6th gup) and their daughter Jasmine (Tiny Tiger 9th gup), Stephanie Ann Larson( Sam Dan) and her husband Ian Larson (Sam Dan) , Aubrey Nicole Grissom ( Cho Dan Bo) and my son, Robert Andrew Grissom( E Dan). Tang Soo Do has been a huge part of our lives.  We have lived, traveled, sweat, and dreamt about Tang Soo Do for over 30 years.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

I work for the Federal Aviation Administration as an Airway Transportation System Specialist. I maintain the Radar and computer systems for the Minneapolis Airport.

List your academic accomplishments, military service:

I graduated from McLoughlin Union High School in Milton-Freewater, Oregon in 1981. I served 8 years in the United States Marine Corps from 1981 to 1989. I moved to Minnesota in 1989 and completed my BS at Northwestern College in Minnesota.

Master Grissom and his students.

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I was introduced to the martial arts years earlier by my Uncle Gene. I remember being in the living room of our house when I was in third grade, standing in a horse stance, punching and thinking that I was learning the secrets to life itself. Little did I know at the time, just how profound that really was.I formally started my martial arts career in Walla Walla, Washington at a YWCA self-defense class when I was in high school. I started training in Tang Soo Do at the YWCA as soon as the self-defense class ended. The class was taught by Mr. John Malloy, a Cho Dan from Detroit. He was a prison guard living in Walla Walla at the time and he instilled in me a passion for Tang Soo Do. His classes were long and difficult, but they were also rewarding.

I remember when I was an orange belt getting ready to test for green belt, my girlfriend decided to come to class with me and participate. A week or two later the two of us were sparring in class and I accidently punched her in the stomach. She breathed a heavy sigh and I dropped my guard, thinking that I might have hurt her, and asked her if she was alright. She responded by kicking me upside the head. Though I had suspected so before, I knew right then that I had to marry this girl. Don’t tell anybody but she still kicks me upside the head every now and then!

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

My first impression of Tang Soo Do was awe. Mr. Malloy was dynamite and I was amazed by this fascinating new world that I had stumbled into. I couldn’t wait to learn and finally continue that dream that I had experienced as a third grader in my living room.

Difference between when you first started training and today?

Today we are by necessity much more business savvy.  I remember my original instructor and he had almost no business education at all. Today we have a wealth of information at our disposal. We are stronger in many ways because of this.

Any other martial arts studied?

I have experienced many different styles throughout the years. My uncle later trained in Kung Fu and I would train with him on many occasions. I formally studied Akido, Hapkido, and am now involved in a Korean sword martial art called Haidong Gumdo.

Notable accomplishments in the martial arts field?

My most notable accomplishment in the martial arts was watching and being a part of my family’s growth and development in Tang Soo Do. I can think of no greater reward than to see my wife and children experience and learn Tang Soo Do. At the2013 Masters Clinic, both my wife and daughter were testing, my wife for her Oh Dan and my daughter for her Sah Dan. I think that I may be the first person to have both their wife and daughter testing at the clinic at the same time. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Master Grissom receiving his Oh Dan belt and Master's oath from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the 2010 World Championship.

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 for Oh Dan was on memory and how it relates to the Martial Arts.  I was amazed at the complexity of the human brain and the vast wealth of knowledge yet to be discovered. Studying about memory and the brain gave me a new appreciation for the difficulties and challenges that many of my students face when learning Tang Soo Do. It also gave me an awareness for the challenges that I experience myself when it comes to memory.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

My favorite part of Tang Soo Do still, after all these years, has to be Hyungs. As a green belt I fell in love with Hyungs when I started learning Pyung Ahn E Dan.  That facination and thrill with hyungs has never diminished.

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

I love the sword. I find that learning the sword today provides me with many of the same challenges that I remember when I first learned Pyung Ahn E Dan. The intricate movements, the concentraton requirements, the seemingly endless possibility of growth, are some of the things that make me love the sword. While I feel like a complete novice while it is in my hands, I dream of greatness just around the corner… if I will only practice just a little more.

WTSDA committees or positions:

I am currently the Regional Director for Region 3. Grandmaster Shin assigned me this position and I gladly accepted, little did I know the challenges and learning that I would experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Association in this position and feel that it has helped me discover many things about myself and the art of working with people.

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

Obviously Grandmaster Shin has provided inspiration for years.  I have, however, also been amazed at the leadership and the person of Grandmaster Beaudoin. I have watched him follow in the footsteps of a great leader and become a great leader himself.  In fact I was just recently struggling with an issue and Grandmaster Beaudoin was at the top of my list of people to counsel with and seek advice from. The more I learn about him the deeper my respect and admiration becomes. In addition to our Grandmasters, I admire my instructors for the example, mentoring, and friendship that they have given me over the years. Mr. Malloy inspired me and Master Darryl Khalid of Phoenix, AZ molded me into a thinking and analytical martial artist. I will forever be in their debt for what they passed along to me during my time under their direction.

Master Grissom and Mrs. Master Grissom with their students. Master Grissom promoting his students.

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

There are too many great “favorite” memories to recount. I remember the first letter that I received from Grandmaster Shin. It was obvious that he had written it by the broken English and unique wording that he always used. I loved that letter. I remember the China trip that I had the good fortune to go on. I still have close friendships today that were originally formed on that trip.

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

I hope the next 30 years bring the quality of students and instructors that we have seen during the first 30 years. If we can discipline ourselves to continue to seek the same path that our leaders sought, we too will find the same success and benefit that they experienced. In 30 years I will be 80 years old. As an 80 year old man, I want to see Tang Soo Do full of leaders and Masters that still awe me like they do now!

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

Youth - Learn to Obey; Teen - Learn to Listen; Adult - Learn to Think.

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

Remember that YOU (the instructor) set the tone and pace. If you give to your class all of your energy, they will give to you all of theirs!

Tang Soo!