News Clippings

The Black Belt USA Family

(Picture taken from San Diego Magazine from an article written about the Kang family in 2011)

Meet the Kang Family, a family of Tae Kwon Do Black Belts. Sally, the youngest in the family, is a 2nd Degree Black Belt. Her older brothers, Jim (bottom) and Mark (top), are now 3rd Degree and 4th Degree Black Belts. Julia, wife and mother, is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt. And Master Kang, who is the head instructor and owner of Black Belt USA, is a 7th Degree Black Belt with over 35 years of experience.

As a Family of Black Belts, there is a high level of physical and mental endurance as a direct result of dedicated years to Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do has been a beneficial activity for the family, especially for the kids. Tae Kwon Do has helped build their confidence, physical and mental strength, and a deep-rooted understanding of Respect. Though, like in any family, the Kang siblings fight and disagree at home sometimes. But on the studio mat cooler heads prevail, "Whenever we have a fight or is upset with one another we just naturally forget about it when we're in class." Practicing Tae Kwon Do mentally conditions students to displace negative feelings and instead to focus in on the current moment. This ability helps to improve academic performance, staying focused for longer periods of time, and an overall healthier state of mind. 

Master Kang and his family teach and work at their studio in Poway, CA called Black Belt USA. The number one rule all instructors must follow is this, "Teach with action, not words." All the instructors, Master Kang included, teach each class by physically demonstrating each new technique, form, and kick. Master Kang believes in a hands-on-approach when teaching to best help his students understand the art of Tae Kwon Do. Master Kang hopes each of his students is able to use the teachings of Tae Kwon Do to live life without Self-Doubt and to work hard towards achieving their dreams.  


2013 ATU National Championship

 (Picture taken from San Diego Magazine, 2013)

Local San Diegan and Tae Kwon Do 4th Degree Black Belt Mark Kang has become the newest 2013 Junior American Tae Kwon Do United (ATU) National Champion. The tournament was hosted in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. With well over 2000 competitors, flying in from 32 different States, this was one of the larger tournaments in California. Competing in the Olympic Light-Welter-Light Middle weight class in the 14-17yr old Division, Mark placed first in the Forms and Sparring event. Winning the Sparring event solidified a spot on the 2013 Junior National Team (4 boys, 4 girls) to compete in Korea at the 2013 Korea Open Championship.

Growing up with a father who is a Tae Kwon Do Master and a mother with a 3rd Degree Black Belt, Tae Kwon Do has always been a part of Mark’s life. Tae Kwon Do not only taught Mark advanced techniques and self-defense, but also morals and mental strength, which are the building blocks of Tae Kwon Do. Being exposed to this at such a young age has made Mark a much more confident and motivated individual.

Besides excelling in Tae Kwon Do, Mark is a stellar student at Bernardo Heights Middle School. At his 8th Grade Graduation he received 7 awards for his academic achievements, athletic abilities, and volunteering at Rescue Mission, Teen Court, and Peer Tutoring. At Rescue Mission, Mark spends his time teaching young children Tae Kwon Do, who would not otherwise be exposed or have the option to learn. Volunteering at the San Diego Courthouse as a Teen Juror has sparked an interest in discovering more about the functions of the Government. A frequent volunteer at Peer Tutoring, Mark enjoys helping his fellow students with their homework. Mark truly embodies the spirit of Tae Kwon Do as a talented Tae Kwon Do practitioner and as a student leader.

The 2013 Korea Open will be held either this October or next April 2014. When asked about his tournament win Mark said, “I’m just really happy I did well and excited to be on the [USA Junior] team. I’ll give it my all and hopefully come back home with a win!” Mark’s Tae Kwon Do Master had this to say, “Tae Kwon Do trains the body for health and self-defense, but more importantly Tae Kwon Do trains the mind to build confident leaders. Mark is a role model for the younger students at the studio and at school, and I’m very proud of him.”  Good luck Mark!


2012 CTU Championship

Brothers Mark Kang (left) and Jim Kang (right) won first place in the Form and Sparring events at a qualifier tournament in San Diego. With these wins, Mark and Jim were chosen to represent San Diego at the 2012 California Tae Kwon Do United (CTU) Championship. Behind these two, from left to right, is the VP of the San Diego Tae Kwon Do Association (SDTKDA), President of the SDTKDA, President of the CTU, VP of the CTU, and finally Black Belt USA's Master Kang.


2006 International Summer Camp

 (Picture taken from Tae Kwon Do News, 2006)

At the age of 10, Master Dong Hee Kang began studying Tae Kwon Do and would keep with his studies until his graduation from Yong In University, a well-respected University known for its strong Tae Kwon Do program. After his graduation in 1992, Master Kang set out on tour of the United States as part of the 1993 Blue Dragon Tae Kwon Do Demo Team, where the idea of bridging two cultures would first be cultivated.

In 1994 Master Kang opened his first studio in Korea (Ka Dong Tae Kwon Do)and began making annual trips to the United States to tour the country, entertaining and influencing thousands with dynamic Tae Kwon Do demonstrations. After a few years and with the combined success of his first Tae Kwon Do studio and touring the United States, Master Kang was able to open his second studio in 2002 (Korea Tae Kwon Do Academy). He would boast a student body of over 400 students, with some students coming specifically to Master Kang from America.

In 2004, he and his family moved to San Diego, CA to open a third studio, Black Belt USA Tae Kwon Do. And in 2005 Master Kang and his family would create an International Tae Kwon Do Summer Camp. Tae Kwon Do students from America and Korea would live with each other for a week in a camp, learning, training, laughing, and creating human connections with each other despite a language barrier. This summer camp was meant to accomplish a few goals. First, Master Kang wanted to expand and bring awareness to the Tae Kwon Do community on an international level. The sport of Tae Kwon Do in Korea is equivalent to Football in America. It's a huge sport that hasn't garnered much awareness in America and Master Kang believed this camp was the right stepping-stone. Second, to expose Korean and American students to a brand new culture, especially for Korean students since the American society is a melting pot of cultures. And finally, and possibly the most important reason for the Summer camp, Master Kang wishes his students to use Tae Kwon Do as a tool to not just break cultural barriers, but to break down the barriers of doubt and insecurity that dwell within ourselves in order to become healthy, confident individuals, unafraid to live to our utmost potential. The success of the first camp encouraged a yearly continuation in 2006, 2007, and 2008.