Who's Who in Tang Soo Do


Grandmaster James Cummings Jr.
1939 - 2003
8th Dan
Pin # 4493



At the age of 16, James "JC" Cummings, Jr. made the U.S. Army his home. A youthful Cummings saw the Army as a way out of a dead-end environment in Ohio. 

During the mid 1950's while stationed in South Korea with the U.S. 8th Army, Grandmaster Cummings was offered the opportunity to study Tang Soo Do on a full time basis. He trained primarily under the instruction of Master Chun Cha Kyu, and because he studied full time, he was able to receive his Black Belt in 13 months. In October of 1961, he was awarded his Cho Dan by Grandmaster Hwang Kee.

Grandmaster Cummings retired from the Army and moved to San Angelo, Texas.  There he attended Angelo State University where he studied psychology.  While attending ASU he opened his first martial arts school, holding some of the first classes in the back yard and garage of his home. He eventually became a probation officer for Tom Green County and opened The Martial Arts Academy. His dojang became quite well known throughout Texas and the Southwest. A number of his students were nationally ranked in fighting, weapons, and forms competition by Black Belt Magazine and Karate Illustrated.

In the mid 1980's, he relocated to Columbus, Ohio to be closer to family. While in Columbus, the Grandmaster counseled at-risk children and opened and operated a home health maintenance business for the mentally and physically handicapped.

Through the 90's Grandmaster Cummings returned to San Antonio, Texas each year in December to participate in the Tang Soo Do Karate Association (TKA) annual conference and black belt test. In June of 2002 he permanently relocated to San Antonio, Texas and once again picked up the reins of instructor and mentor to the many students associated with the TKA.

Grandmaster Cummings continued to study martial arts throughout his life. He received black belts in Tang Soo Do, Soo Bahk Do, Tae Kwon Do, and at the time of his death, he was studying Kenpo. In December 2001, Grandmaster was promoted to the rank of 8th Dan.

On July 1, 2003, Grandmaster James "JC" Cummings, Jr. passed away at the Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.


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