The World Tang Soo Do Association

A True "World" Organization


Grandmaster Jae Chul Shin
(December 20, 1936 - July 9, 2012)

Robert E. Beaudoin


Studio of the Month

April   2015

Fairbanks Tang Soo Do Karate Academy

Chief Instructor:

Master Larry Wick, Yuk Dan

Other Instructors:

Master Michael Meeks, Sah Dan
Master Kristie Gebhardt, Sah Dan
John Gebhardt, Sam Dan
Scott Sexton, Sam Dan
Sunnie Gebhardt, Sam Dan
Deena Jallen, Sam Dan
Jun Shin, Sam Dan
Jacob Williams, Sam Dan
Nancy Allen, E Dan


385 Chena Tump Plaza
Fairbanks, AK 99701



Square Footage of Studio:

2600 sq ft

Types of Classes:

Traditional World Tang Soo Do classes
Tiny Tigers / Little Dragons
Home School karate classes,
Split Second Survival


Web Site:

Fairbanks Academy of Tang Soo Do

History of the Chief Instructor:

Master Wick is currently a Yuk Dan who began his martial arts training in 1967. He earned his first degree black belt under Grandmaster Hwang Kee in 1973. Master Wick opened his first studio in 1977 and transferred to the World Tang Soo Do Association under Grandmaster Shin in 1985. As a member of the WTSDA, he has served on the Board of Directors, assisted with the creation of the association books, taught at Master’s Clinics, participated in European and World Championships, and been a primary studio owner/instructor for decades. In 2002, at the inception of Alaska becoming its own region, he became the simultaneous Director of Regions 15 and 19. Master Wick was honored to receive the Instructor of the Year award in 1992, Master of the Year distinction in 2008, and has been the recipient of the Spirit award at four Master’s Clinics. At the 2015 Master’s Clinic he not only received the Spirit award, but it was named after him as well. This particular year’s plaque will be housed at World Headquarters per Master Wick’s request. Besides his own honors, Master Wick has produced students who have received the Family of the Year award in 1996, Student of the Year in 2004, and the studio has won the World Championship Creativity division in 1996 and 2000. Master Wick’s extensive martial arts background culminated in the creation of the Split Second Survival self-defense program as well. SSS is an ultimate personal protection system that addresses multiple attackers and the various weapons used in “street” situations, and therefore is a complement to traditional Tang Soo Do training. The February, 2009 issue of Black Belt magazine includes a feature article on Master Wick and his SSS concepts. Visit the SSS Facebook page to view weekly training tips in a video format.

Larry Wick:

What makes your studio stand out from the rest:

Nestled in the middle of Alaska, with some of the most extreme weather conditions in the country, this studio has achieved great success in the World Tang Soo Do community. This success is due to its leader, Master Larry Wick. Through his visionary leadership, passion for the martial arts, and commitment to education, Master Wick has created a learning environment where students are encouraged to excel and the art and standards of World Tang Soo Do are held in high regard. Parents, teachers, and students appreciate the atmosphere and expectations of training at Fairbanks Tang Soo Do Academy. The studio has been at its current location for more than twenty years and is well-utilized by over two hundred students and ten certified instructors. It has matured into a training facility that keeps growing and changing with the times. Tiny Tiger and Little Dragon classes have been a staple at the studio for the past ten years, and daytime classes tailored to homeschoolers were recently added. Once per week the focus of the teens’ class is on tricks and demonstration team practice, and classes in non-traditional TSD weapons are on the horizon.
One of the goals of the studio is to enhance youthful students’ educational skills by emphasizing concentration, positive attitudes, leadership skills, confidence, and

determination. By promoting an environment of mutual respect, it is easier to resist peer pressure and build self-esteem. Another belief held by students and instructors at Fairbanks Tang Soo Do Academy is that training should be demanding and challenging of our minds and bodies, but it can also be fun! The instructors are always looking for new ways to make classes interesting and exciting. The educational emphasis encouraged by Fairbanks Tang Soo Do’s instructors has not gone unnoticed. Master Wick was recently honored as a recipient of the North Star Imagination Library’s 2014 Champions for Children. The following is an excerpt from a newspaper article regarding the award.
Fairbanks Tang Soo Do Academy is truly a family-oriented studio, and therefore has annual traditions. Summer picnics, the “Spider Web” challenge, and decorating for the holidays are a few of the highlights that all members anticipate. Located just fifteen miles from North Pole, Alaska, it is not surprising that the students help fill the studio with Christmas lights throughout the month of December. Many students also gather in the warmth of the Do jang to have an excellent view of the New Years Eve fireworks from the large picture windows. Even when it is negative 30 degrees outside, or even colder, students show up to sweat together, laugh together, and spend time with “family.

Student Testimonials:

“Fairbanks Tang Soo Do has provided me with a wonderful outlet for physical training and continuing education. I really enjoy sports and after years of running and training for marathons I wanted something more challenging both physically and mentally and that I could continue practicing with age. After four years of training and studying to reach Cho Dan I look forward to continuing my practice and reaching even higher goals. Training for black belt has given me the internal drive to continue to achieve goals in other areas of my life including continuing to train for international marathons and other distance sports. It has also helped me focus on my family goals…if I can reach the level of black belt…I can do anything.”
~ Melissa Shippey, Cho Dan

“I like our school because everyone is a teacher there. You can learn so much from the smallest child to the oldest adult. Everyone feels like family and are treated as equals regardless of rank. The Masters are top-notch in their abilities and attitudes and everyone is just a pleasure to be around. They make learning and teaching fun.”
~Thomas Ellis, 3rd GUP

“Fairbanks Tang Soo Do is more than a studio or place to learn the art. It is a home. The Masters are knowledgeable, skilled, and truly care about every student. Everyone is treated with respect and dignity, no matter their rank or skill level. Teaching and helping others is a key element expected from every student. The pride and friendship felt by all, from black belts to white belts, is what makes Fairbanks Tang Soo Do not just another studio, but a family in which I am honored to be a member. “
~ Angie Ellis, 3rd Gup

“Fairbanks Tang Soo Do, a studio that turns young kids into very competent young men and women, capable of doing anything they want. This all happens while they also attain their black belts working up through the ranks from Tiny Tigers. It is a family oriented studio that also allows adults to feel that they belong.”
~R Scott Sexton, Sam Dan

“A typical night at Fairbanks Tang Soo Do proves one can be serious in approach, give all out effort and yet maintain a sense of humor - these all combine to cultivate the Whole Person. Inspiration surrounds us at all levels: from Master to the Tiny Tigers.”
~ David Thurman, Cho Dan Bo

“Our son Max has been a student at Fairbanks Tang Soo Do for the past two years. During this period of time, he has met many kids and became friends with all of them. Everyone is very polite and respectful, from the Black Belts, down to the Tiny Tigers, as well as parents. It is our privilege to have Masters to teach our son Martial Arts and for them to assist us in making our child the best person that he can be. When we moved to Alaska, we wanted to continue our son's karate training, which he had pursued since he was three years-old. We were delighted to discover Fairbanks Tang Soo Do, especially given Fairbanks' small population. But, what sets Fairbanks Tang Soo Do apart from the rest is the "old school" philosophy and approach to instruction. The students are pushed hard so they all might achieve their own potential, while at the same time remaining appropriately differential to an individual student's unique abilities. As Master Wick often explains: He yells because he cares! And care he truly does. Thank you so much Fairbanks Tang Soo Do and more power to you Master Wick!”
~ Robert and Joy Vollmer, parents

“Tang Soo Do and this school in particular has always felt like a second home. It is a pl;ace where people feel safe and very accepted. I find the studio helpful in improving my teaching skills and it feels amazing to me to be able to give back what I know and to change lives the way Tang Soo Do has changed my life.”
~ Jun Shin, Sam Dan

“Why do I like going to Fairbanks Tang Soo Do? That’s like asking why I like life. The instructors are very nice and training is really fun.”
~ Kai Clein, 7th Gup

“My son’s participation in karate has been extremely positive for his focus, thoughtfulness, and physical discipline. This is the best activity for my child. The teachers at the studio are fantastic and they all know how to propel our kids to be the best.”
~ Uma Bhatt, parent

“Fairbanks Tang Soo Do, including all of the excellent instructors and students, have halped my two daughters grow so much over the years. My girls are currently Red belts and constantly bring tears to my and my husband’s eyes with their strength and perseverance learned in this school. I can’t wait to see them become Black Belts as they will be pushed to their limits and to only show excellence in their learning. Tang Soo!”
~ Jewel Healy, parent

“My mom brought me to my first karate lesson when I was twelve years old. It’s something my dad trained in too, so it’s cool to have that in common. Tang Soo Do helps me focus on something besides school and gives me something to be proud of. Thank you, Fairbanks Tang Soo Do!”
~ Alissa Healy, 2nd Gup

“Fairbanks Tang Soo Do has changed my daughters lives in so many ways! They have structure, more discipline, and have learned so much! The instructors have been positive role models with great advice for kids and parents. My children are inspired to always do their best.”
Thank you,
~ Candace Taylor, parent

“I would like to thank Fairbanks Tang Soo Do for my AWESOME instructors teaching me new things!”
~ Olivia Grace Tucker, 3rd Gup

“I like Fairbanks Tang Soo Do because it teaches discipline and has great instructors. They take time to know each kid.”
~ Madalynn Tucker, 6th Gup

“The Fairbanks Tang Soo Do do jang has been a place for learning discipline, sportsmanship, compassion, friendship, and skills. My son has grown up here. It is home. The true value is hard to quantify. I will say this: At forty below zero temperatures, how do you get a kid to sweat, smile and want more? Fairbanks Tang Soo Do is the ticket.”
~ Raughley Koehler, parent

“I like Tang Soo Do because it is fun and inspiring.”
~ Timmy Koehler, 3rd Gup

“I like Fairbanks Tang So do because it is a good way to stay in shape and it teaches me life lessons.”
~ Darshan Nautiyal, Cho Dan Bo

“I like learning new stuff and the rope game.”
~ Abby Conklin, 7th Gup

“It’s fun! I like everything that we do!”
~Lindsay Hile, 7th Gup

“I like karate because it’s fun and helps me get stronger and deal with bullies.”
~Mackenzie Albright, 4th Gup

“I like Tang Soo Do because it is good for me.”
~ Tillahun Newman, 5th Gup