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

August   2012

Carolina Shin Karate

Chief Instructor:

Anthony Barker, Sam Dan 035159


World Headquarters Dojang
2436 Hanford Rd Burlington, NC 27215



Number of Students:

Estimated max enrollment at this location is approximately 200 students – the first student to commit to starting classes is actually from New Jersey and came into the studio with all of his certificates from 1975 – 1977 (signed by Jae C Shin) when he trained with the US Tang Soo Do Federation – amazing how things come full circle.

Types of Classes:

Little Dragons,
Kids and adults


Our History:

Carolina Shin Karate is in the Lower level (South Wing) of the new World Headquarters building in Burlington, NC. The WTSDA staff, GM Shin and his Family moved into the new HQ building and residence in May of this year. The building was dedicated on July 22, 2012.

Shin Karate has a rich history in different locations from Burlington, New Jersey to Philadelphia and now North Carolina.

We all know that GM Shin’s first studio was in Burlington, NJ where he taught until the move to Philadelphia. The South Philly location has had multiple owners and Chief Instructors since GM Shin turned over the day to day operations of Shin Karate to take on the role of CEO of the WTSDA. Past Chief Instructors at Shin Karate include Master John Godwin, Master Nate Gordon, Master Brian Fisher, and currently Master Louis Castelli and others.

History of the Chief Instructor:

Mr. Barker started training in Korean martial arts 30 years ago when his grandmother decided she would pay $25/month for his classes at the only martial arts school in town. He achieved a black belt in ITF style TKD in 1987. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the USAF where he studied multiple different styles that were offered at base rec. centers, etc. He found the World Tang Soo Do Association in 1999 when he met Master Howard ‘Bud’ Draper in Soldotna AK – he appreciated the traditional training aspect of the association with emphasis on the whole person, not just competition.

As an E Dan in 2005, a work related move took Mr. Barker 200 miles from his home studio to Wasilla AK, a town of about 7000 people, where there was no WTSDA School. He had been assisting Master Draper with teaching duties for some time and was encouraged by Masters Uttech

and Draper to open his own studio. He did so in August of 2005 – full time, with zero students. Within 2 years, his studio, Valley Tang Soo Do Academy, had grown to over 120 students. By 2009, they had outgrown their original location. They then decided to build their own 5000sq foot facility to house their 250+ students. At the 2010 World Championships, Valley Tang Soo Do Academy was honored as the first ever ‘Studio of the Year’ for the WTSDA. Their new building was completed in 2010 and in January 2011, with an active student count of 315 students, Mr. Barker sold the studio to one of his assistants and the studio bookkeeper; his goal was to serve in the Alaska Air National Guard as a loadmaster on a C130, which he could not do as a full time studio owner.

In February of 2012, Mr. Barker decided to call Headquarters to update his instructor status, address etc – he was fortunate enough to speak with Grandmaster Shin and he asked what Mr. Barker’s wife and he had planned for the future. Mr. Barker thought Grandmaster could sense his frustration with the military’s ‘lack of urgency’ – then Grandmaster Shin said “I have a 1500 sq foot studio…in the new building…hello? You still there?” Mr. Barker was on the other end of the line, 5000 miles away in complete disbelief of what was happening – was he just offered THE headquarters studio?? Grandmaster Shin and he discussed the proposition further, and he informed Grandmaster Shin of his military commitment and Grandmaster Shin informed him that the Association had a board meeting scheduled for March where he would mention the idea to the board. Mr. Barker went into his commander’s office the next day and mentioned that he may be moving – the next day, miraculously, his training dates came through…12 months of training at different bases around the country. He then had to make the worst phone call ever; to tell Grandmaster Shin that he had a military commitment for the next 12 months and would be unable to start a new school this summer. Grandmaster Shin said he understood and asked when Mr. Barker would be available. He told Grandmaster Shin in the spring of 2013. Mr. Barker was worried that he’d turned down the offer of a lifetime, however in April, in addition to being told his wife could not be with him during training, he also learned from Grandmaster Shin that they were holding the position open for him in North Carolina. That was enough - Mr. Barker out-processed from the Alaska Air National Guard in 2 days and made plans to move. Mr. Barker visited the new HQ building in May. Grandmaster Shin and he worked out the details of the studio and Mr. Barker was able to spend about a week working at Headquarters learning the inner workings of the WTSDA. He let GM Shin know that he’d

move down by the end of June to begin work on getting the studio up and running at full speed. Grandmaster Shin walked him out to his vehicle and waved goodbye – “see you in a couple of weeks Sir.” Mr. Barker left Alaska on June 22nd and drove 4852 miles in 5 days; Headquarters was his first stop in North Carolina. He sat with Grandmaster Shin on June 28th , and Grandmaster asked the name of the studio. Mr. Barker told him “Carolina Shin Karate”, and Grandmaster told him the name was a good name.


What makes your studio stand out from the rest:

Carolina Shin Karate is unique in many ways; first and foremost, it’s the headquarters Dojang. Mr. Barker won’t have to wait a week for a Gup manual to be delivered in the mail . Seriously, however, the facility is world class, built with the purpose to be the perfect training facility. Everything about it says ‘quality’, just like the Association, Quality. In Alaska, it was challenging to find good black belt assistant instructors but at Headquarters, Mr. Barker is sure he’ll have no shortage of applicants if the need arises. Carolina Shin Karate will have the benefit of hosting visiting Masters, Instructors and students from around the world – all are welcome to train in the classes when they’re visiting the Burlington area. If you’d like to schedule time for special training outside normal class times, please do us the courtesy of dropping us a line so we can schedule some time for you; demand for floor time will be high. At present, the studio has begun with an abbreviated schedule of 8 classes per week, on Monday August 6th, with more classes to be added as student numbers grow and need arises. A full schedule of about 20 classes per week is planned out to accommodate future growth. Carolina Shin Karate is in the unique position of having no shortage of help available in the form of advice from experienced studio owners and Masters; business plans, class schedules, instructional methods, you name it. Everyone has offered their assistance if needed; multiple times this past week Mr. Barker was told “the whole world is behind you”. He looks at it this way; even though he is running the business of Carolina Shin Karate, he’s only the director for this part of Grandmaster Shin’s dream – he wrote the screenplay to follow. Now, Mr. Barker just has to ensure it’s put on the big screen the way Grandmaster Shin envisioned. We’ve all seen the credits at the end of a movie. There are a lot of people involved in making what was once only a dream into reality, just like the building of the Headquarters building, it takes a team of people. Together, Mr. Barker and all WTSDA members will make Carolina Shin Karate everything Grandmaster Shin envisioned it to be. This is our studio; Carolina Shin Karate is here for the entire Association , and Mr. Barker is honored to be a part of it, and humbled by Grandmaster Shin’s faith in him to direct this part of his dream. Thank you all for your support and dedication to the success of Carolina Shin Karate. Tang Soo!