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

June   2012

Capitol Tang Soo Do

Chief Instructor:

Kristan Mack, Sam Dan

Other Instructors:
Andrew Blank, E Dan; Alonzo Mays Jr., E Dan; Chris Tighe, Cho Dan; Ed Saul, Cho Dan; Sharon Lovering, Cho Dan; Mike Matsko, Cho Dan

4238 Wilson Blvd, Suite 3018, Arlington, VA 22203 USA

Club Phone:
(703) 816-8800;
Business Phone:
(703) 815-0245
Date Openned:

Types of Classes:
Traditional Tang Soo Do; Women’s & Basic Self Defense Seminars; Private lessons upon request



Our History:
Capitol TSD was formed in 2000, in Arlington, Virginia by Ms. Kristan Mack. Ms. Mack was aided in this effort by her fellow students and friends, Mr.  Chris Tighe and Mrs. Lisa Arafune-Pickett. All were former students of Northern Virginia TSD, which closed due to the move of instructor Chris Klacko.   In the absence of NOVA, Ms. Mack decided to start up a new school and continue teaching others what she had been taught.  As the physical location of the Dojang was less than 2 miles outside the Washington, D.C. city limits, the school was named for the capitol city and thus “Capitol TSD” was born.

History of the Chief Instructor: Ms. Mack began her career in Tang SooDo in 1994, after having moved to Washington, D.C. to work for a member of the U.S. Congress.  Having played both tennis and soccer competitively through the end of her undergraduate career, Ms. Mack was looking for a physical activity that would fit the time constraints of her new work schedule.  She began training under Mr. Christian Klacko, who had recently opened Northern Virginia (NOVA) Tang Soo Do.  While brand new to martial arts, she learned quickly to love the challenge and excitement of Tang Soo Do and along with NOVA’s 4-5 other students, progressed until her first Dan test in 1998.   When Mr. Klacko moved away from the area in late 1999, Ms. Mack opened Capitol TSD and continued her training.  Since that time, she has had the privilege of training under Master Bill Strong, Master Vance Britt, and her current Master Instructor in Region 7, Master Jim Mars.


What makes your studio stand out from the rest: 
Washington, D.C. is rated one of the top 5 most stressful cities in the U.S. to live and work in.  Everyone you meet is a Type-A personality, everything around you tends to cost more, and transportation times are out of control.  The area can truly be exhausting.  With DC also being a very transient city, Capitol has to be flexible enough with training schedules as to appeal not only to families, but also to the many segments of professionals that comprise the general population  –
government, contractor, military, IT, etc., many who work very long hours.   Classes offer a combination of hard training, to allow for stress relief, and also a small, friendly enough atmosphere, that you can come in to the Dojang after a very long day, and feel like family.  Traditionalism is embraced, but so is an atmosphere of friendship and fun.

Student Testimonials:
“I've spent two separate stints training at Capitol Tang Soo Do, leaving in 2002 and returning in 2007.  When I came back after five years at other WTSDA schools, I was happy to meet new friends and amazed that old ones remembered me after that much time away.  But that's one of the unique things about Capitol: the lasting friendship and camaraderie among its students.  CTSD students never fail to look out for each other; we're not just classmates but friends.   

I've had the privilege of training at many great schools in the Association, but Capitol is where I became a black belt and instructor, where I learned to love teaching Tang Soo Do as much as practicing it, and where I learned the meaning of Tang Soo Do brotherhood: that all my fellow students are part of my family.” 

        ~Andy Blank, E Dan

“Why do I train with Capitol?  It's right in my neighborhood -- a definite plus for me, since I don't have a car.  I joined in 2006, after meeting Ms. Mack on my way out of a sculpting class.  I'd told her I was interested in joining, and she invited me to come watch an upcoming Gup test and take 2 free trial classes the following week.  So that's exactly what I did.  Watching the higher ranks twirl their wooden staffs around, I was hooked!  I wanted to do what they were doing.  I showed up the following week for the two trial classes, and when one of the assistant instructors asked me whether I'd decided to join, I said, "Sign me up!" 

Little did I know then that I'd just launched myself on a long journey.  Throughout the last 6 years, I've had mountain-peak highs, including winning a bronze medal at worlds in weapons (2008), lows, and plateaus.  There's still stuff I struggle with.  Has it been worth it?  Yes!  I'm in better shape than I was a decade ago.  I've found a place I belong, friends who have my back, and a much stronger grasp of self-defense than I had as a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

We work out hard, enjoy each other's company, and welcome guests.  If you're ever in the D.C. area, come visit us!”

            ~Sharon Lovering, Cho Dan

“My decade’s long involvement in Tang Soo Do has been transformational. It has helped me come to grips with my sense of self, making me more self-aware; keeping focused and remaining goal-oriented, despite set-backs.   And there have been a couple of set-backs in that time.

I have learned to control myself and pick my “fights” carefully.  I have learned to remain optimistic, trying to keep mindful of why it’s more important to stick with your commitment to a journey, with all its bumps in the road, versus letting your ego get in the way..

I am a busy guy:  theater, the fire department, church, condo community, US Park Service and consulting all keep me occupied.  But I have found a way to fit Tang Soo Do into this myriad of commitments because it is important to try and be a better all-around person.

I would encourage anyone to give it a shot, and see if there is something in this Martial Arts discipline (like learning to defend yourself) that appeals to your needs.”

        ~Gene Tighe, 3rd Gup