Master Michael Porco, Sr and Master Michael Porco, Jr, from Porco’s Karate Academy in Sandy Hook, recently attended the 25th Masters’ Clinic held by the World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA). It was held at the University of Northern Alabama in Florence, Ala, under the leadership of Dr. Robert Beaudoin, its current Grandmaster.
The WTSDA is an international martial arts group representing 34 countries with more than 160,000 members world-wide. It held its first convention in November of 1982, hosted by its founder Grandmaster Jae C. Shin (1936-2012). Since that time, the WTSDA has become a powerhouse in the world of martial arts.
A group of more than 200 masters and candidates from around the world spent four days of intense training and testing.
The clinic began with orientation and lectures. The second day started at 6 am with intense physical training and exercise and continued throughout the day until 5 pm. After their evening meal, the group was treated to lectures until 9 pm. This schedule repeated itself on day three, and at 10 pm that evening, candidates who were up for promotion were tested for their next rank. The exam is approximately a four-hour physically demanding test of technique and endurance. The candidates range from those testing for fourth degree on up to eighth degree in Black Belt. The final day included morning meditation followed by a noon banquet.
Old and new friendships are kindled between practitioners at this unique gathering of warriors. Goodbyes were expressed with hopes of seeing one another at the upcoming World Championship to be held at Greensboro, NC this coming July.
The Masters’ Clinic was started by Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin back in 1989 with 27 masters from around the globe. It has prospered and grown to become a premier event in the world of martial arts.