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

July 2012 Masters Profile



Name: James F. Mars, Jr.

Rank and date of rank: Sah Dan - July, 2006

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region #7 - Chapel Hills Tang Soo Do



Personal Information

Where were you born?

McKees Rock, PA

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

My wife Mary is an E Dan.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:


List your academic accomplishments, military service:

B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Student) and M.B.A.

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I trained under Master John Beam, Lancaster Tang Soo Do School of Karate. My son was training with Master Beam and he knew I trained in Tae Kwon do in Texas. Master Beam said why just watch - why aren't you training as well. So I did.

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

I loved to train and work out. In fact Tang Soo Do helped me relieve the stress in my day jobs as I transferred and moved.

Notable accomplishments in the martial arts field:

In 2000, I was the WTSDA Student of the Year and I was honored in to be selected as the 2012 WTSDA Master of the Year.


Jang Gum Hyung is Master Mars' favorite weapon hyung.

Tang Soo Do Career

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

I did my thesis on Ki Gong. I have trained in Ki Gong for about 15 years and I believe it helps me stay healthy. I have learned a lot about my body and myself from both Ki Gong and Tang Soo Do.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

Hyungs and weapons. I especially enjoy the sword.

WTSDA committees or positions:

Region 7 Director, Building Committee Chairman and Governance Committee

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

Grandmaster Jae C. Shin, Grandmaster Robert Beaudoin and Master Mujahid Khan in England.

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

I enjoy meeting and getting to know all the people I have trained and studied under. Having lived in England for ten years, I have some very close friends who I have trained with.

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

My favorite weapon is the sword. When I train with my sword, I seem to go into my own world. It is an exhilarating experience. Having learned Jang Gum Hyung first, this is certainly my favorite. In the open hand hyungs, I enjoy Bassai. I guess because it brings back such memories and the repetitious training with the drum and Grandmaster Shin whether it was at Black Belt Camp in Region 8 or the Masters' Clinic.

Difference between when you first started training and today?

I have a lot more gray hairs but I feel a lot more focused and have a much better understanding of myself and Tang Soo Do.

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

I hope that others can realize the enjoyment and the importance that our organization has in one's life. Our organization has bonds like no other that I have been associated with and that's a wonderful feeling. I can only hope that over the next 30 years we will continue to provide that to everyone.


Master Mars was selected 2012 WTSDA Master of the Year and will receive his award at the 2012 World Championship in July.

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

Today's world is very hectic and your time can get consumed with many activities and work. Carve out time for the things you enjoy and make sure you allow yourself the time to do it. Hopefully that enjoyment is your martial arts training.

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

I like to change up my students' training and challenge them mentally as well as physically.