Who's Who in Tang Soo Do


Master Ted Mason
8th Dan
Pin # 12895



Master Ted Mason, 8th Dan, began practicing the art of Tang Soo Do in 1964 under Master Don Garrett (# 5991). He was awarded his Cho Dan in 1967, and in 1968 opened his own studio. In 1971, he opened Oceanside Soo Bahk Do in Oceanside, CA, the studio where he continues to teach.

He began practicing Kendo (Japanese Swordsmanship) in 1974 in San Diego with Yamanishi Sensei and has trained with Yamaguchi Sensei in Costa Mesa since 1989. He presently holds a Yon-Dan (4th Degree) in that art as well as a San Dan (3rd Degree) in Iaido (the art of drawing a sword). He has been teaching Soo Bahk Do for the Carlsbad Parks and Recreation Department since 1973.

He was elected to the Board of Directors of the
U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation from 1978 to 1996, and elected Chairman of the Board of Directors serving in 1986, 1987, 1990, and 1991. In 2005 he was appointed to the Hu Kyun In (Guardians of the art) and elected as its Chairman. He also has a lifetime credential in Personal Self Defense awarded by The California Community Colleges.

In 1974 Roberto Villalba, the president of a large association in Argentina was visiting California to receive training from an instructor in Los Angeles. Disappointed with what he was being taught, he found Master Masonís studio in Oceanside and began training with him. Upon returning to his country, Mr. Villalba convinced a number of schools to join the Moo Duk Kwan and begin practicing Tang Soo Do. One such school was operated by Gustavo Poletti in Buenos Aires.

Master Mason sponsored Master Polettiís immigration to the U.S. in 1983 where he began living in Southern California and opened a school of his own. Master Poletti has since attained the rank 6th Dan. Because of Master Mason's efforts with the Argentinian schools, he has come to be known there as "El Padrino", or The Godfather.


In 1980, Ted Mason competed in the California Police Olympics and won gold medals in both Form and Sparring Divisions. He won a silver medal in sparring in the International Police Olympics held in New York later that year. In 1993 he retired from the California Highway Patrol after over 27 years of service as a State Traffic Officer. He was the area training officer instructing methods of arrest, handcuffing, and use of weapons (Pistol, Shotgun and police baton).

In addition to his own success in competition, Master Mason also instructed the late Howard Jackson, a # 1 tournament competitor in the 70's and a Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee.

Both Master Mason and his wife Master Keiko Mason, 6th Dan, have performed as officials in National and International Championships and given seminars and clinics in England, Argentina, Korea, New York, Texas, Washington, New Jersey, California and Florida.


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