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   2017

Aim High Tang Soo Do

Chief Instructor/Owner:

Maria Thomas

Other Instructors:


16205 NW Bethany CT #100
Beaverton, OR 97006



Types of Classes:

Tang Soo Do
Tricking program
Kickboxing Program
TaeKwonDo Program
Fusion Mixed Martial Arts Program
Youth program for 3-7 year old


Web Site:

History of the School

Aim High Tang Soo Do was founded as a WTSDA club in October of 2014, and became a WTSDA studio in 2017. It is currently the only WTSDA dojang in Portland, and hopes to become a staple of Region 1, located as it is halfway between Seattle and the Regional director in Roseburg, OR.

History of the Chief Instructor

Maria Thomas started her training in Tang Soo Do and Aikido with Master Johhny R Williamson in 1999 in Sierra Vista Arizona. Her brother started clases just before her, and her parents started classes soon after. They came up through the ranks together and are currently all WTSDA 3rd Dans. They were recognized as WTSDA family of the year in 2006. In 2008 Maria teamed up with her mother, Lupe Thomas, to manage the Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness for Master Williamson. In 2013 she moved to Portland, OR, and in 2014 founded Aim High Tang Soo Do.
In addition to teaching Tang Soo Do, Maria is also one of the only women trained as both a coach and attacker in the FAST adrenal stress self-defense training, and is one of the few active female trickers (gymnastic martial arts) in the Portland area. Maria is also pursuing fight choreography and stunt-work in the Pacific Northwest area

What makes your studio stand out from the rest:

Aim High Tang Soo Do is a WTSDA studio that operates as a pillar program (one of the core styles) of Aim High Academy of Martial Arts, a not-for-profit organization in Portland, OR. As a non-profit, we are able to offer tuition assistance, and one of our mission statements is to never turn a student away because of finances. With multiple styles of martial arts gathered under one roof, families have the option to pursue the martial arts path that interests them the most, even if that interest is different for different family members. Being part of this community of nearly 600 students offers the students of Aim High Tang Soo Do a rich training experience both technically and emotionally, and gives them many options to become involved in giving back to the community (another of Aim High’s mission statements)!

Student Testimonials:

“Maggie really likes Ms. Thomas' class. She practices a lot and works hard at home. I notice she is more confident when talking to her friends and adults than before. She is speaking louder and is becoming more independent. For the last few weeks of school, she talked with her teachers when she thought they made a mistake on her grade, and they fixed it for her. She is very proud of herself for doing Tang Soo Do, and shared her martial arts experience with her friends at school, and with her sister. Maggie also prepares herself before I get home so I don't have to wait for her, instead, I pick her up and drop her off directly, making it easier for everyone.”
For Maggie Bao, 12, 7th Gup

“In such a short time, I have learned a lot about myself. Sounds like a cliché, but it’s really true.
I have a gained a bit a humility starting out as a White belt again. I am surprised at how much I both have remembered and forgotten. It’s funny, details of somethings are as fresh as the day I learned them (though accuracy in the execution is going to take a bit more work), and yet others things seems like a big void in my memory… who knew! And I thought my long-term memory was pretty good. On the bright side, I’ve also learn how much is still muscle memory! It’s absolutely amazing, if I get my mind out of the way, how much my body will “just react” in certain situations. Apparently developing those neural pathways as a teen did wonders even still. Very cool!
This has also helped me re-focus or compartmentalize the work-induced ADD-like thought behavior. This is something I really needed, and is something I can’t get out of a simple workout. Overall, taking Marital Arts classes again has really helped mentally, physically and spiritually. I had forgotten what I was missing!”
Leaha van Olphen, 35, 10th Gup

“As a parent, I am thrilled to see Tucker involved in and committed to Aim High Tang Soo Do. I have seen some wonderful improvements in Tucker's attitude, confidence, and focus. Tucker is getting more physically fit and active as well as listening to the talks at the end of class and having conversations with me afterwards about them. I can tell these talks and the general approach from Ms. Thomas is really helping Tucker inside and outside of Aim High. Thank you!”
For Tucker Cyphers, 10, 8th Gup