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On July 9th, 2012 at 9:43 a.m., a bright and shining light went out of the world of martial arts. Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside, after an extended illness.
The World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA) was formed November 13th, 1982, at the Airport Hilton in Philadelphia, PA. From its beginning until now, the organization has grown world-wide to boast a current membership of over 150,000 students, producing close to 30,000 Black Belts over the years, with 6,000 actively practicing in 34 different countries.
Grandmaster Shin was that rare leader who inspired people to be better people. Since 1968 when he first started teaching at his dojang, located in Burlington, New Jersey, he has worked tirelessly to spread the message that self-actualization may be found in the study of traditional martial art. He taught tolerance and respect for others.
He has been a goodwill ambassador, traveling the globe in search of the best martial artists to form a brotherhood/sisterhood of warriors called the World Tang Soo Do Association.
His second great accomplishment came with the forming of the World Tang Soo Do Foundation (WTSDF). This is a non-profit entity that reaches out to people in need through its many dojangs around the world. One of the qualifications for higher Black Belt in the WTSDA is accumulated credited hours of community service.
He has been a prolific author, with his last work being the sixth book on the art of Tang Soo Do. A brand new central headquarters has been opened in his name, in Burlington, NC; it marks his grandest accomplishment since establishing the WTSDA and the WTSDF.
Grandmaster Jae Shin has been a pioneer in the development of new teaching programs designed to reach out to a whole new range of potential students. The Tiny Tigers/Little Dragons, a program for 4- to 6-year-olds, has changed the way we look at child development. He paved the way so that we now have a program in which special needs students can train and achieve the coveted Black Belt. Championships are well attended. Competitors feel safe and confident, knowing judges at the competition have all been qualified through the WTSDA judges training program.
Grandmaster Shin is survived by his loving wife Sue, his son Robert, and his daughter Catherine. On behalf of Mrs. Shin and family, and on behalf of the WTSDA, I would like to express thanks for the many condolences received from great martial artists and friends around the world, expressing heart-felt sympathy over our loss.
Master Chuck Vaughn (Vaughn's Dojang)