Tang Soo Do News


Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation
Promotion Ceremony, Northeast Region

Contributed by Master Bob Thomas, 4th Dan - Cambridge Tang Soo Do

On Sunday, November 17, 2019, four of us had the honor and privilege of being promoted to 4th degree or 5th degree black belt. It was special for all of us because our Grandmaster, John St. James, President and CEO of the Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation, made the trek all the way to Cambridge, Massachusetts, just for the promotion ceremony and to award us our belts. It was a special privilege to be standing  beside Master Noelle Drewicz, who was promoted to Senior Master (5th degree black belt), and Master Oleg Khodko, who was also promoted to Senior Master. They are two dedicated instructors who volunteer their time to all of us at Cambridge Tang Soo Do. I would not be where I am today without their help and encouragement.

Master Drewicz and I were in the first class at Cambridge Tang Soo Do, when Senior International Master Christian Klacko - then a 3rd Degree Black Belt - opened the school in October 2000. Master Klacko has been an inspirational leader and a true friend to all of us for 20 years.

I was also privileged to be standing beside Master Gary Starecheski, who was promoted from 3rd Degree Black Belt to Master, and who I have had the opportunity to spar with (and lose to) over the past 5 years at our regional events. I partnered with Master Starecheski on the second day of our black belt test in June. It was truly an inspiring experience to work with him. Master Starecheski started training in Tang Soo Do in 1977. He achieved Black Belt in 1980 under Head Examiner Jae C. Shin, founder of the World Tang Soo Do Association.

I would like to thank all the students from Cambridge Tang Soo Do who came out on a Sunday morning to take part in this event with us! We appreciated the support.

The New England Regional Masters and Leaders were in the house as well. It was a humbling experience that I'm sure we will always remember. Thank you to Grandmaster St. James, Senior International Master Klacko, International Master Jason Duva, Master Pete Desorda, Master Paul Harmon, Mr. Shawn Burns, and Mr. David Day for supporting us, sponsoring us, and being there for us every day through the years!



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