January, 2020 Newsletter


January 2020 KIAP! Newsletter



Taekwon students, parents and friends,

            As I am writing this article, it is December 2019.  Where did this year go? More important and more enlightening is what do you want to do in 2020? How or what is your vision for 20-20? 

            A good way of preparing for future planning is first looking back at where you have come this past year.  I have traditionally handed out a December KIAP! with all we’ve done in the past year and this would be a version of that.

            This has been a year of big transition.  You have all helped the dojang close the lease of the Forman Road dojang and you have all helped recreate the same wonderful atmosphere at the Heritage.  To give up the palace of a dojang was a very difficult decision but it had to be done.  We just couldn’t afford to keep the lease going without raising tuition and I didn’t want to do that.  It was a very smart business decision.  Now, we have air condition in the summer and steady heat in the winter.   We have a large enough room for our classes. The Heritage folks love having us in their Banquet Room and I am proud to be affiliated with the Restaurant center as it’s been a landmark of our area’s history.

            We started January 2019 with a bunch of Saturday seminars, some of which we broke down the patterns and worked on details.  The same idea is included in our 2020 BLACK BELT SPRING TRAINING scheduled for April 17-19, 2020.  We had several students compete and help out at the North Penn TKD tournament last January and we are looking forward to their annual tournament….may be closer to Spring 2020.  We had Mr. Louie lead us through a LIGHT SABER NIGHT at the dojang January 25, 2019 followed by a STAR WARS movie on the big wall of the dojang. 

            On February 9, we held the DOJANG CHAMPIONSHIPS pitting the three clans, Koguryo, Baek Je and Silla to see which group of students win the championship.  2019 champs were the Koguryo clan.  The Best of the Best in Patterns was won by Rich Hollenbach.  The Ground Pattern Champion was Carly Deluca and the Flying High Kick of 89” won it for Peyton Weaver.

            On March 8th and 9th we have our 2019 TUL-A-THON to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  We raised $2670 from the 50 students who participated.  As a dojang we did 4997 patterns within the 24 hour period.

            March 23 we held our SOUDERTON INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT and we had 23 of our own students competing!  I gave out the 2019 OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE YEAR award to Tyler Kratz and Jacob Deluca.

            In April we cleaned our adopted highway, route 113 from Schoolhouse Road to Allentown Road.  We ended up cleaning our highway three times this year.  We adopted the highway in 2001, not knowing someday our dojang would be on that route! 

Then I remember Wednesday, May 1st I had called a special meeting at the dojang where I explained that our dojang’s lease ends June 30, 2019.  At that time I didn’t know quite where we would have our dojang but that next week, because of our dojang’s community of friends, the Heritage center gave the correct number to call and they invited us to check out the lower level banquet room.  Once I met the folks in charge and saw the room, I knew it would be a good move.

            Next big problem: how to downsize all the stuff in the dojang?  Most will remember the SILENT AUCTION we had which allowed our wonderful old equipment to find another home.  In the meantime, on May 18th we had a Black Belt grading.  On that day we saw Mr. Jesse Schane test for his 6th DAN.  Mr. Jason Ricci, who trained up to 3rd DAN when he was a child and since came back with him two sons, earned his Sabanim 4th Degree Black Belt.  We also saw Mr. Peyton Weaver earn his 2nd Degree, and Mr. Brent Ricci and Mr. Owen Ricci earned their 1st Degree Black Belts.

            We had a great turnout of walkers in the Harleysville Fair Days Parade on May 25th and we ended the month with our 2019 SPIRIT OF TKD SUMMER CAMP at Camp Innabah, May 31, June 1 & 2.  That weekend was a milestone of 25 years our dojang has hosted a weekend TKD summer camp.  Some will be sad that we won’t have one this year, but know it is being replaced by the 2020 BLACK BELT SPRING TRAINING camp April 17-19, 2020.  Please read more about this fantastic weekend later in this KIAP! newsletter.

            On June 15 we had a DOJANG ADVENTURE and carried on yet another tradition of over 10 years set up by the Erskine family, baseball with Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs!!  This new year the date for our IRON PIGS game is Saturday, June 27, 2020. (please put it on your calendar)

            Meanwhile with every day that passed, the dojang seemed a bit more empty with equipment and wall coverings.  It came down to our last class at Forman Road on Thursday, June 27th.  That Friday we had a bit of a social gathering as we cleared the walls and took down some of mirrors.  The real fiasco happened the next day, Saturday June 29.  With a crew of fine volunteers, we disassembled the 100 piece floor in a careful way so that most of it could be used again.  The floor was donated to Mr. Mike Cantrel and Hope Taekwon-Do 2.0 north of Allentown, PA.  They plan on using our floor at their dojang once their building is ready!

            The following Monday we held our first classes at the new location, lower level banquet room of the Heritage Restaurant. Ever since then, we’ve held our classes in wonderful air conditioning during the summer, and instant warmth in the winter….no more cold feet!  I hope this new location doesn’t soften us up too much.  It’s been a transition without a doubt. 

            Personally I feel from the teaching perspective, I have a better chance of watching each student’s technique and it seems a bit more personal in a smaller room.  We have the same wonderful family atmosphere as we always had and our students are getting the attention they need.  We have quite a few more assistant instructors joining our team to help with requirement sheets and instruction. 

            October 3rd we held our annual DAN-GUN DAY celebrating the birth of the legendary founder of Korea.  Students Yellow Belt to Black Stripe competed performing the pattern DAN-GUN.  The Youth Girl Champion was Peyton Anderson, Youth Boy Champion was Sean Anthony and the Adult Champion was Arianna Druckenmiller.  That first weekend in October we had our 19th UATW, Ultimate Adult TKD Weekend, this year at Camp Oak Hill in Nottingham, PA.   It’s a weekend camp where all the men sleep in one big room bunkbeds and all the ladies sleep in another big room with bunkbeds.  We all work together cooking our group meals, clean-up, plenty of training and wonderful social time together.  Next year is our 20th UATW so we have to go somewhere special.  I’m taking ideas.

            November 2 Grandmaster Wheatley held his annual seminar in New Jersey which many of our students attend every year.  Word has it next year’s Grandmaster Wheatley seminar might be an Instructor Seminar!  November 16 we held a Black Belt test at the Lansdale YMCA.  We were happy to promote our dojang’s first 7th Degree Master Instructor to Mr. Eugene Nederostek.  Mr. Dave Bennett earned his 5th Degree.  Miss Carla Renner, from Brandywine YMCA earned her 4th Degree.  Ms. Tina Fisher earned her 3rd Degree.  Mr. Alexandre Pecora, Mrs. Pam Peters, Miss Alexa Peters and Miss Jessica Gebhardt earned their 2nd Degree.  Mr. Sean Anthony, Mr. Giovanni Iervolino and Mr. Francesco Iervolino earned their 1st Degree Black Belts. 

We ended the month with our annual TURKEY DAY EVE 500 on the 27th, where we did at least 500 kicks in class the night before Thanksgiving.

            December we marched in the Souderton Holiday Parade like we have done the past 30 years.  Special thanks to the students who participated on that chilly morning.  Next year I hope to have our group in the beginning of the parade instead of the end like the past 10 years….I know, they save the best for last, but we miss much of the parade being last.

            Now we are in the Holiday season getting ready to start a brand new year!  Now it is important to find some time to sit with a paper and pencil and write down a couple long term goals, perhaps where you want to be 20 years from now, 10 years from now, 5 years from now and next year this time.  What steps will it take to make those plans come true?  Some folks make resolutions at this time of year.  Many folks break their resolutions in the first week!  Some folks say they don’t want to make resolutions because they set themselves up for failure.  Remember failure will not stop a Black Belt who jumps right up and tries again! 

            As for our dojang in 2020, we have many fine students who improve class after class.  Some will move up a couple color belts ranks and some will reach a Black Belt goal this year.  Everyone else is on that journey of self-empowerment, physically and mentally.  We may have some injuries next year, but it gives us a chance to heal stronger!  We may have lots of new students join us in 2020 and we may have a few who stop their training which has always happened.  This is a fact of the dojang life.  It’s the personalities and the fellowships that really build a dojang and keep it strong. 

            As a student, please practice on your own.  Find a place to train in your house or yard or nearby park.  Also, when in class, ask questions and ask us to repeat the instruction of what we are working on at that moment so it is clear to you.  Encourage and inspire the lower belts and show respect to the higher belts, and everyone else for that matter.  Be humble, compassionate and strong and together we can make a more peaceful world.


Respectfully Submitted,

 Mark Cashatt