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

August Masters Profile


Name: Cesar E. Fernandez

Rank and date of rank: Sah Dan (2013)

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region #8,
C&J's Mountain Warriors Karate, 6200 Interchange Road,
Lehighton, PA

Contact Information: 570-977-6820


Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in Cuba.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

My daughters Lois Eisenhauer (Cho Dan), Cindy Fernandez (E Dan), Jody Fernandez (5th Gup) as well as my son Cesar A. Fernandez (CJ) (4th Gup) all train in Tang Soo Do.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

I am the Front-End Retail Manager for the world's largest ShopRite in Kinsley, PA.

Master Fernandez with Grandmaster Shin and Master Kuehner. Masters Richards, Fernandez, Molinaro and Kuehner.

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I started 1993 with Master Randall Kuehner, Kuehner's Martial Arts in Reeders, PA.  I had three daughters and I wanted to get in shape and defend them from their suitors. I couldn't run fast so I figured it had to be then and there. No chasing involved! Most student's goals are to become a black belt.  Some student’s goals are to become a Master.  My goal was to become my Master's FIRST Master and I am very proud to say that I accomplished that goal.  Thanks to Master Kuehner.

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

My first impression brought back good childhood memories of when I began karate at six years old.  It felt very comfortable.  I have come full circle and I try to give my students the same experiences, same joys and same sense of accomplishments that I experienced.

Any other martial arts studied?

First Guard Member with Master Mike Molinaro studying Shurite Kempo.  Member of the Guard for 8 consecutive years. Many Silk & Steel trainings with Master Mike Kaye and Master Scott Homchek.  Filipino Martial Arts with Bryan Agostino & Joe Walls.

Relay for Life team from C&J's Mountain Warriors

Tang Soo Do Career

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

The Broken Wheel was my thesis on relationships -  home, work, school, friends, and family.  One of the most important things we develop in martial arts is relationships.  I learned that balance is never achieved and there is always one spoke that needs attention.  The wheel is never fully balanced.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

I like being able to make a positive difference in people's lives, by helping them apply the five honor codes to their daily lives.

WTSDA committees or positions:

My claim to fame in Region 8 has been the Master of Hospitality.  We provide food for most tournaments, black belt tests and even S'mores at kid’s camp!

Difference between when you first started training and today? 

In the beginning it was all about me, now it is all about my students.  Back in the day we trained without air conditioning and used Prestone bottles for targets, training on concrete slabs.  Our honor and respect was for our Master.  We trained hard.  Today in order to run a commercial school, there needs to be air conditioning, proper props, matted floors and a constant reminder of respect for your elders and brother students.  It is often difficult to introduce old ways to students that feel they are endowed by a society, but we do our best.

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

My favorite Hyung is Bassai.  For me that was my first competition form and it was also the form we would do at Black Belt Camp for the last hour with Grandmaster Shin and his drum.  It was so special and taught me so many lessons, that I made it into my ki up and use the expression constantly. My favorite weapon is the knife.  I am an avid collector, thanks to Master Homchek and Master Kaye.  The principles and motions of using the knife can be applied in so many ways to empty hand or armed combat, that it has expanded my understanding of fighting and preparedness.  I always have a multiple of knives with me at all times and I am probably the highest armed retail manager in ShopRite.

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

Outside WTSDA - My father first as he has overcome many obstacles from the Concentration Camps in Cuba to his battle with the Big "C" (cancer).  He is 84 years old and keeps moving forward. Also my wife Lori who always says " If you want something done give it to a busy person as busy people get things done".   She has so many responsibilities.  She is affectionally known to my 4 children as their "Siri Mom".

Inside WTSDA, there are too many to list but I will mention a few. Master Randall Kuehner, he is the reason I joined.  I admire his discipline, dedication and faith in his students before they had faith in themselves.  He knew exactly how hard to push his students, mentally and physically before collapse.  He knew just when to stop.  He kept building on that breaking point to make you better in every way. Master Mike Molinaro took me under his wing and opening my eyes to the true spirit of martial arts. Master Vance Britt - I love his teaching style and how he makes things fun.  He knows how to make you remember the lesson but also knows where to draw the invisible line so you know not to cross it. I find him to be one of the top motivators in Tang Soo Do! I attended Master's Camp as a candidate under Master Britt, he has facilitated my outlook and observations on how to think as a Master. And of course - Grandmaster Shin for his lifelong commitment to martial arts and the WTSDA.  He always walked the walk not just talked the talk.

Master Fernandez at the Youth Dan Camp. Master Fernandez with C&J's Mountain Warrior students at the 2014 Youth Dan Camp.

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

I have so many memories and a few highlights include:

    • Stepping outside the box and competing as a Red Belt at a Region 8 competition.  I had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and often tell this to my students when they are hesitant to compete.
    • Trips to Black Belt Camp with my roommate Mr. Cohen.
    • Going to the World Tournaments with my daughters.
    • When I began Instructor classes, I was able to speak directly to Grandmaster Shin more often.  I always thought of him as untouchable but found during our conversations that he was very approachable and down to earth.
    • In 2005 we rented a small 1500 square foot building for our first Dojang.  It was small and cozy but we outgrew it after 2 years. My wife found a small retail building that looked like a small cabin.  It was right on the main street.  One of our student's fathers helped us build a new 2400 square foot addition. We broke ground in November, 2007 and it was completed in April, 2008.  In the end we had many parents help with the insulation, siding, painting and handicap ramps.  It was truly a journey and definitely worth the sweat!  We now have a wonderful complex with the old building serving as the waiting area, offices and a daycare/preschool.  We kept the candle shoppe charm and integrated our new studio complete with swain mats on the practice floor and no columns to contend with!
    • When I was promoted to Master, the school threw me a party.  I had Masters attend from everywhere and it was quite humbling to see old friends and new, old students and new and work colleagues all coming together.  It was the best party I ever had!

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

My hopes and wishes for the WTSDA is for continued growth, solidarity and prosperity.  I hope our members and the association continue to be guided by the best and the brightest Masters, continuing building on Grandmaster Shin's dream.

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

"A Warrior Must Only Take Care That His Spirit Is Never Broken".  This is what the back of our school shirt says and I find it is profoundly true in today's world.  We can never ever give up!

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

Make classes fun and they will remember.  Thanks for this tip from Master Britt.  Be sincere, if you are passionate about what you do it will come out in your teaching.  Use your passion!

Tang Soo!