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Tribute to Master Robert A. Thompson

Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan has a long and proud history.  Each practitioner in their own way contributes to this history.  On 02/13/2009 a great part of our history passed.  Master Robert A. Thompson passed away.   He was a man of great integrity, honesty, and humility.  He was one of the most senior members in region 5.  He lived in Dayton, Ohio.  He is survived by one son David, and two daughters Lois, and Nancy. Master Thompson's background was very unique. In the mid 1950's he served in the U.S. Army.  After that he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.  While in the Air Force he was stationed in Korea at the Osun Air Base.  Master Thompson told me many stories about his life,  and training in Korea in that era.  Mr. Thompson enjoyed staying in shape.  He remembered an old building that sat off base where the American soldier's could go to exercise.  His memories was that Founder and Kwan Jang Nim was over all the martial arts at that time ( late 50's ).  Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee had started to teach then Tang Soo Do to the Americans.  The two instuctors that where sent to the Osun Air Base was Sa Bom Nim Jae Chul Shin, and a Sam Dan named Song Ki Kim.  His memories of the training was that it was hard.  The building that they trained in had no heat, and in the winter it was so cold that they put towels in holes that where in the walls to keep out the draft of the wind.  Master Thompson was the eighth none Korean to receive the mid night blue belt.  He was one of the original students in Korea.  His Dan Bon was 1791.  Master Thompson was very loyal to Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee.  Master Thompson's was known for his fighting,  and breaking abilities.  While in Korea Master Thompson was a friend to another airman named Carlos " Chuck " Norris.  It was Master Thompson that introduced Mr. Norris to Tang Soo Do.  Master Thompson also told me stories of Sa Bom Nim Shipley.  After leaving Korea Master Thompson returned to Dayton, Ohio.  He brought with him the art of Tang Soo Do to the Dayton area.  Mr. Thompson tested for his Sa Dan under Sa Bom Nim Jae Jhoon Kim. Because of the large number of students in the Dayton area at that time Mr. Thompson asked for some help teaching.  As told to me Sa Bom Nim Chung Il Kim came to help teach, and brought Master Thompson's Red stiped belt.  Sa Bom Nim Kim verified this story to me also.  Master Thompson had several senior student's in region 5.  To name just a few of the people includes Master Felix Nichalson,  Sa Bom Nim Howard Long,  Ray Senkowski Sa Bom Nim.  With the passing of Master Thompson our art not only lost a senoir Master, but a father, a friend and a good part of Moo Duk Kwan history.

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