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 2016 Masters Profile


Name: Mark Wayne Taylor

Rank and date of rank: Sah Dan Master (July, 2011)

Region and Studio Name & Location: Region #1, Puget Sound Tang Soo Do, West Seattle, WA

Contact Information:


Personal Information

Where were you born?

I was born in Montgomery, Alabama.

Family members involved in Tang Soo Do:

My wife reached Red belt.

Description of profession or trade outside of Tang Soo Do:

My full time career is an architect.

Martial Arts Career

When, where and why you started Tang Soo Do?

I started Tang Soo Do around 1983 at the age of 12. A childhood friend took me with him to Montgomery Tang Soo Do Academy under the instruction of Master Michael Hicks, and I never looked back.

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

First impressions? Wow, that’s going back a ways. Let’s say I was very receptive to the discipline of the martial arts at a young age. This grew into understanding the responsibility to spread the art. More than anything, I have appreciated the lifelong challenges the martial arts have offered.

Any other martial arts studied?

In college, I was the president of the Tulane University Martial arts club. In this environment, I studied, Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu.

Notable accomplishments or future goals in the martial arts field?

Among my accomplishments are Region 6 Grand Champion, Region 1 Grand Champion. I also assisted Master Hicks in developing the design for the traditional Korean Sword. I am the Design Architect for the World Tang Soo Do Association Headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina.

Master Taylor and Master Michael Hicks.

Tang Soo Do Career

What is your favorite part of Tang Soo Do?

The family and brotherhood of the art is the most special part of WTSDA. To be able to train with the top martial artist from around the world and know that just about wherever I go there is a Tang Soo Do family member is a very special feeling. Even more is the opportunity to teach and share the art with new students is also very special. There is no greater feeling for me than to see the light bulb ‘turn on’ in a student. Just recently, I had a student who showed up to class after a bad day. And her training showed it. By the end of class, not only had she turned it around but she was on fire! I cherish the impact that Tang Soo Do training has on people’s lives.

WTSDA committees or positions:

I have been a Building Committee member since late 1990s. I am currently the Building Committee chair.

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

I’ve always been a big fan of the staff as the basis of all weapons. But Master Hicks instilled in me a love of the sword.

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

So many to choose from….first and foremost, I was lucky to have known Grandmaster Shin. I still look back on his leadership methods and am enamored at how he lead us all often without us even knowing. Secondly, my original instructor Master Michael Hicks. In addition, to being my instructor he was often my father figure as I was growing up. I’m not sure he knows just how responsible he is for who I have become. Very few people know this, but when Master Hicks awarded me my Sam Dan, he gave the inside of my belt a very special inscription. “Lead by example, be their guiding light.” Maybe it was on purpose that I was a Sam Dan for 17 years, I just didn’t want to give that belt up. But I still think about that every time I put my belt on.

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

Where to start. As a teenager, I was lucky to travel with Master Hicks to a little town called San Antonio, Florida. There was a monastery there as well as a Tang Soo Do school run by Morgan Becker. Not only was this the coolest thing as a high school kid to go on a trip like this, but it also helped form my career path as an architect to see the beautiful dojang next to a river which had windows on all sides and opened up to let nature in. Only to find out years later that this was also the location of the first Master’s clinic was also a fun fact. Another memory was my second year as a Master’s candidate. What an incredible experience to be a part of!! To see how everyone (all 30+ candidates) came together as a team to support one another. And I was honored to speak on the candidates behalf at the Sunday morning graduation brunch. More recently, I hosted a clinic in the Seattle area and invite Master’s to teach. This year, I was honored to have Master Inoshita, Master Pacini, and Master Hutchinson attend and teach. To make it even more special was the fact that it was my 45th birthday. Can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than training.

Master Taylor is the Design Architect for the World Tang Soo Do Association Headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina.

Tang Soo!