The World Tang Soo Do Association

A True "World" Organization

 

























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



















Grandmaster
Robert E. Beaudoin

Untitled Document

August 2015
Masters Profile

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Name: Veronica Ann Amorim

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

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region #14, South African Tang Soo Do Academy located in Rustenburg, North West, Republic of South Africa

Contact Information: satsd14@gmail.com

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Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in Rustenburg, NW, South Africa.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

My cousin Adele Coutts recently joined the WTSDA , along with her two daughters, Keani, 4th Gup and Chante, 7th Gup, which helped me fulfill my desire to have family members experience the WTSDA family unity.   In addition, Caitlin and Aidan De Beer (Little Dragon and Tiny Tiger, respectively), who are children of my other cousin, Linda De Beer. Finally, there is my father, who has always been very pro-WTSDA and has supported me behind the scenes, serving as a pillar of strength. They have all helped me create the foundation of a family orientated martial arts school.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

For the past decade I have been working in the fields of marketing, public relations and logistics in the hydraulic, pneumatic and air brake sector. Recently my daily duties are more involved in operations and serving as accounts coordinator for industrial premises leasing.  Both of these are family businesses, which allows me more time to pursue my Tang Soo Do passion. It is a beautiful thing when career and passion come together. If the economy would allow it, I would practice World Tang Soo Do as a full time career.

List your academic accomplishments:

My main studies were in Marketing Management (with Merit) and Public Relations (PRISA). Currently I have one learning area to complete my Diploma in Financial Accounting (CTFAIcbSA).

 

Master Amorim and her family Keani, Adele and Chante.
Master Amorim in a family hug, with Keani, Chante, Caitlin and Aidan.

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I started my training at Sincerity Dojang (in Rustenburg South Africa) in April 1989, under Adriaan Blignaut, who was an E Dan at the time and who was responsible for bringing the WTSDA to Region 14. My mum introduced me to Tang Soo Do when she was in search for extra assistance with my development; I was already in speech and occupational therapy. Tang Soo Do with Master Blignaut was the best development for me as a shy young girl who suffered from underdeveloped motor skills, trouble concentrating and lack of confidence.

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

I was that typical child going with mum for a drive in the car. We walked into the school during the vacation period in South Africa. The school was quiet, with Master Blignaut and his two children greeting my mum, my brother and myself.  We received a tour around and our first class started. I was in TEARS. How could my mum make me do this…. Push ups? Kicking and punching? I was really not impressed. Fortunately Master Blignaut had a very warm and caring personality. He was a real father figure that made you feel safe and comfortable. Now I can’t imagine life now without Tang Soo Do - arriving at the academy every day is similar to arriving home. It has helped me in so many ways, not only helping me in childhood but additionally making me realize that the limits we put on ourselves, especially being a female, can be confronted and overcome.

Any other martial arts studied?

I have had the opportunity to train formally in World Tae Kwon Do, and also in kick boxing and Ken & IaiJutsu. Additionally, I have attended many self-defense seminars and other style clinics since I completed high school and my Sam Dan.

The various training has definitely added to my everyday Tang Soo Do skills, however there is no other organization like ours in the world. Traditionalism, Professionalism and Brotherhood are often empty words spoken by other groups. It’s truthfully alive in the WTSDA. I fully believe: “Once World Tang Soo – Always World Tang Soo”, where our learning is endless!

Notable accomplishments or future goals in the martial arts field?

In 1994 I received my Springbok (National) colors while representing South Africa at the World Championship. I was the national and regional ladies grand champion several times. And my definitive goal of achieving the rank of Master, took 13 years after my promotion to Sam Dan, and it definitely tested my drive and passion. These are very proud moments in my life.

While they will always be remembered,  the excitement is short lived compared to the excitement of achieving the task that Grandmaster Shin set before me. After my Instructor Master Blignaut tragically passed away in a motor car accident, there was some mis-management of the previous controlling body. WTSDA in South Africa  had only two members. On his visit to Region 14, 2005, Grandmaster Shin gave me a challenge to build a permanent studio in the country that could be the hub and back-bone.  He wanted this to build stability and a future growth-point for the WTSDA in South Africa. We were finally able to honor this challenge 3 years ago; even though it took many years and we had to overcome plenty of obstacles, the permanent studio has finally opened. WTSDA is once again alive and flourishing in South Africa and this I would say is the best accomplishment in my martial arts life.

Master Amorim (the first female master for Africa) proudly represents South Africa at the 2014 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 thesis was based on The ABC’s of Teaching Kids Karate, A Guide to help New Instructors. The writing was tailored to give new instructors the confidence and expertise in teaching World Karate Kids which in turn helped advance my goal of growing WTSDA in South Africa.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

My favorite part of Tang Soo Do is the youth students, without a doubt. There is never a dull moment or a day that I’m faced with the same situation. I teach youth because, it's the most effective and most enjoyable way I can think of to change a child’s life. Teaching allows me to work on hearts and minds, to guide children in becoming self-confident and self-controlled. I always believed they can transform and find themselves, discover their skills that they didn’t know that they could have.

WTSDA committees or positions:

South Africa State Director and a recruiter for the New Hwarang Dan League (HDL).  The HDL is about to be launched by the Association under the guidance of Master Giselle Sharpe. The league is a complete youth leadership initiative and system, where the youth will become our Ambassadors of WTSDA tradition, integrity, honor and pride.

Difference between when you first started training and today? 

The discussion on this question could be endless, as we constantly change and grow.  I personally used to train with many boys while still a Gup belt. I was constantly told that Tang Soo Do was not for girls, and I was always asked as I got older when I thought I was going to stop training, as Tang Soo Do was not for ladies.  I am overwhelmed today seeing how many younger girls are training, not just in my school but worldwide as well. One special occasion that I have experienced was getting to train with the various WTSDA female masters from around the world. Their passion and strength has been such a rejuvenating influence on me!  The WTSDA standards have always been high and through the years standardization has gone from strength to strength. When I first started we had a lot more contact and hard core training, now we are still have that, but with improved understanding.

Region 14 Grand Champion 2009 in Seychelles (Indian Ocean off East Africa) with Grandmaster Shin (left); excitement after receiving Sah Dan in 2011in Mozambique(right).

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

My favorite weapon will always be sword. Jang Gum Hyung was the first sword form I learned while still in school. Master Godwin sparked my interest in it while I was still an E Dan. I still love practicing it now, 19 years later because it requires me to go back to the essential basics and improve the fundamental foundation.

I have always preferred training in hyungs as it always sets alight a fire in my core. Choosing one favorite is extremely difficult for me. The latest hyung that I was learning would receive most of my time and attention. Master Jared Arteca was performing Oh Sip Sah Bo Hyung. I could not stop watching him performing it over and over. I still named it my Tang Soo Do Tang form; watching him gliding into move after move. At my last USA Masters Clinic, I had the privilege of learning the hyung and best of all I was able to practice it with Master Jared Arteca. 

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

In the early 2000’s I was diagnosed with a life changing illness. My father Artur Amorim has always been my constant in my life, ever supportive and my guide. Grandmaster Shin too was more than a mentor and teacher. These two remarkable men hold great values – they have been in my life to pick me up whenever I was found myself stumbling. They gave me the strength and support to never give up. There was a long time that I felt I was sleep walking through life, yet hey helped me realize that setbacks can be opportunities too. I now live each day to the fullest, appreciating and valuing family, friends, students every single moment in life that presents itself.

My training Mentor is without a doubt Master Allen Sharpe. Constantly inspiriting me to be on the training floor willing to learn. To have a role model that is calm, self-driven, and who has a great sense of humor is one thing, however, when you see him move, it’s just inspiring. His strength, precision, and fluid like lightning mobility is just amazing to witness. You find yourself going back to your own basics, constantly picturing his movements and hearing him say more hips, heel down, and in the famous words of grandmaster Shin “one more time”. His constant Facebook posts have a way of popping up when you need them most. Training for masterly, not rank - Training to better your skills, to re-energize yourself, and to find balance within yourself.  Master Sharpe is my mentor on and off the mats as well as when I’m teaching and learning.

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

Most definitely my Cho Dan Test in 1993 and my first World championship in 1994. In 1995 Master Khan, in 1996 Master Godwin and 1997 Grandmaster Strong travelled with Grandmaster to Region 14. WTSDA was imprinted into my heart.

Then the various Masters Clinics in the USA, the Latin American Masters Clinic in Argentina. (Can’t wait for this years European Masters Clinic in England). I have always aimed to travel the world with WTSDA. That dream has started happening during the last 7 years. Traveling the world is not just for sightseeing and traveling with Association members is like meeting distant family members, either for the first time or again, the camaraderie is unbelievable.

Master Hutchinson and the whole Sharpe family (Master Allen and Giselle Sharpe), are living proof that World Tang Soo Do is a FAMILY orientated association. They welcomed me into the homes, and shared their leadership and family time with me. These are memories that are more than a promotion or a training experience. These are a few of the wonderful members that lead and mentor in the association. They created once in a life time memories for me and will be cherished.

What are your future goals in WTSDA?

My future goal is to develop a program to enable instructors with students who have autism, attention-deficit and other ineffable issues use “Tang Soo Do as a creative development of assisted learning or therapy”. This will be where Tang Soo Do provides mechanism the instructor can use to teach these students crucial coping skills and provide a platform for improvements in the quality of childrens lives who have both mental and physical health issues. This will be similar to the psychotherapy that Equine assisted therapy achieves.

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

My hopes for WTSDA is that the quality and traditions that have been our foundation continue. My wish is that the Association's family values and tradition of unity never fades so that the next generation can be equally inspired too.

Master Amorim with Grandmaster Beaudoin at the 2010 USA Masters Clinic.

Master Amorim with Onthatile Mabaso after his creative weapons division at a Mixed Korean Development Tournament

Master Amorim with Master Dan Jansa at the 2011 USA Masters Clinic.

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

Keep in mind that your training only ‘BEGINS’ at the end of your comfort zone. If you can't take it – you can't make it. So never give in – never give up. Keep training 24/7 with “Jin Shim Ro” ~ with all your Heart & Courage!

  • The Courage to Live with Integrity
  • The Courage to Dream Bigger
  • The Courage to Take Responsibility
  • The Courage to Speak Up
  • The Courage to Step Boldly into Action
  • The Courage to Persevere
  • The Courage to Open Your Heart Fully
  • The Courage to Be a Leader
  • The Courage to Never Give Up

Master Amorim’s interaction with a Lion at Akwaaba Predator Park.

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

All students are wired differently. Be flexible and use sensible in the manner in which you adapt your class plan accordingly such that each student upon leaving a class feels both exited and eager to return again. Keep your passion and energy alive. Create class traditions; they are equally important to not knowing what to expect during each class. Um, Yang, Chong Day is special to us, which is a team competition day. Students leave know: “What works – Teamwork” is a phrase I often use in class. At the end of each session the students circle together making a Tang Soo Tribal Dome. This is where they stand in a circle of brotherhood and unity to Tang Soo into the air like an erupting volcano and exiting the circle with a bow thanking each other respectfully for the class together.

Tang Soo Blessings!

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