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

November 2015 Masters Profile


Name: Nicole J. Peterman

Rank and date of rank: Sah Dan Master (2014)

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region 8; Brandywine Martial Arts Academy II, Honey Brook PA


Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in State College PA on July 21, 1974; along with my identical twin sister.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

My entire family is involved in Tang Soo Do….my husband Ken, Oh Dan Master, daughter Lauren, E Dan, and son J.T., E Dan.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

Prior to the birth of my daughter in 2000, I worked as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of a local company.  In 2000, I “retired” from that profession to be a mom to my daughter and 2 years later my son.  At the same time, I was teaching evening classes twice per week at our studio in Coatesville PA.  Since both children have been in school, I have devoted my time to running a full-time Tang Soo Do studio and volunteering for Region 8 activities.

Master Nicole Peterman with her family; Master Ken Peterman, Lauren and J.T..

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I began training in Tang Soo Do in January 1994 at Penn State Martial Arts Group, under Master Michael Kaye.  I was first introduced to martial arts through Ms. Kelly Kemper, when I attended her Women’s Self Defense class taught at our local community education center.  I enjoyed the class tremendously, and when it was over, she suggested that I come to the class where she was training and try it out.  I was immediately hooked on Tang Soo Do.  An unexpected aspect to my training, was meeting my husband that first night of class.  He was a Cho Dan Bo, and was assigned to teach me the basic moves in the back of the classroom. We began dating later that year, and we were married in 1995. We moved to Phoenixville PA and continued our training with Master C. Vaughn at Vaughn’s Dojang, where I continued through the Gup ranks to Cho Dan Bo.  Just prior to testing for my Cho Dan in 1997, we opened our first studio, Brandywine Martial Arts, in Coatesville PA.


Master Nicole Peterman and Grandmaster Beaudoin at her promotion at the 2014 Region 8 Championship.

Tang Soo Do Career

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

I chose to write my Master’s Thesis as a guide for running World, Regional, and Local Championships, as well as Regional Dan Testings, based on my experiences in Region 8 and in the World Championships.  I wrote the thesis as if it were a manual, so I listed out step-by-step instructions for each individual responsibility.  That was a cathartic experience! The many different responsibilities and aspects of running a tournament have become sort of second nature to me, and I can often complete certain tasks on auto-pilot.  As I wrote down each individual responsibility, and the steps that go into its preparation and execution, I learned more about my thought processes and organizational skills.  I also learned why I do things a certain way, and how much the running of these events has changed over the last 5 years or so.

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

My students will tell you that I am constantly saying “this is my favorite part” of Tang Soo Do training.  The problem…..I say that all the time, about everything!  I truly love the art of Tang Soo Do.  I love the way our human bodies work and are able to move and generate great amounts of power, even when small in stature.  I love the high kicks and the jumping and flying kicks.  I also value our hyungs training; they teach us about true fighting, changing directions quickly, and they represent the art and beauty in Tang Soo Do.  My current favorite part about my Tang Soo Do training is in-close fighting and one-steps.

WTSDA committees or positions:  

I am currently serving as the Competition Manager for all Region 8 Championships, as well as managing the competition portion of the World Championship.  I believe strongly in Grandmaster Shin’s visions for WTSDA, and I will do anything I can to help our organization continue to grow and succeed.

Master Peterman and her team at the 2013 Region 8 Winter Championship.

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

Some of my favorite times in the WTSDA have centered on training with our elite and world-class Masters, and most especially Grandmaster Shin.  I was blessed to be able to train directly with him during our Region 8 Instructor’s classes, and that type of direct training leaves a very lasting impression.  A very fond memory of Grandmaster Shin was in April 2012 during the time when our headquarters was packing up in Philadelphia to move to North Carolina.  I was able to go to Philadelphia and help pack the boxes and then return another day to help load the truck.  During that time, Grandmaster and I had some time to talk and we discussed specific plans for the World Championship that was coming up in July.  At one point, I was carrying a stack of three boxes to the door to be loaded on the truck.  Grandmaster Shin came over to me and asked me to put the boxes down.  He then smiled very genuinely and said “Nicole, you very important person; carry only one box at a time!”  We both laughed, and I answered “Yes Sir!” That was our final conversation, and I carry his words with me all the time.

What are your future goals in WTSDA?

I plan to continue to train hard every day in Tang Soo Do.  There is so much more to our training than kicking and punching.  I will do my absolute best for my family, my studio, my Region, and my WTSDA.  I will persistently look for ways to give back to my students and my community.  I will continue to teach classes at the highest possible level, and work to grow our studio and thus our Region and WTSDA.  I will determinedly volunteer for my Region and WTSDA to help out in any area that I can.

Master Peterman and Mr. Tom Fletcher demonstrating self defense techniques with a dagger.

Advice/Words of Wisdom

Youth, teen and/or adult martial artist:

My advice to all Tang Soo Do practitioners is simple.  You don’t need to be perfect.  We are not looking for perfection.  We are looking for YOUR BEST, and that changes from minute to minute. It’s okay to be frustrated or upset because that means it’s important to you.  Your goals are achievable, with hard work and time.  Tang Soo Do is a lifestyle, not a sport.  There is no season for us.  A Master is just a white belt that hasn’t quit.

Teaching tips or ways you make classes more exciting:

My best teaching advice would be: when teaching our youngest students, do not expect them to look like you remember you looked at that rank.  They are young, and cannot be expected to perform as the older students do.  It’s ok if they can’t be still or focused the entire class time, and it’s okay for you to abandon the plan you had when you walked in, and go with the flow of the class.  Sometimes we plan for things, but life has a different goal in mind.  Roll with it, you might be surprised at what happens.

Tang Soo!