Meet Saul Easley
My real martial arts journey started in the gymnasium at Pine Middle School in Reno, Nevada on a Monday evening in 1983. I was literally the only student of approximately 25 that night in a black uniform with everyone else in a white, standard World Tang Soo Do Association uniform. I was in a new state, a new city, and now a new karate class. I was completely unfamiliar with Tang Soo Do as an art, its’ structure, protocols and, most important, the teacher. Up to this point my only martial arts experience was with a Japanese system called Shorin Ryu; so to say that I was an “infant” in the martial arts would be an understatement.
Over the decades I had a chance to study different martial arts and even teach. While serving in the Air Force, I studied Xingyiquan Gongfu and some elements of Chinese Qigong. During a deployment to Saudi Arabia in 1993 I studied under Mr. Brian Nelson, a Tang Soo Do Black Belt that was originally stationed in Alaska while I, myself, taught an introduction to martial arts class for beginners. Lastly and most recently from 1995 to 1996, I studied Moo Duk Kwan (ITF) Tae Kwon Do under Grandmaster Duk An Yun in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
HONOR, EXCELLENCE, RESPECT...
I started Byeonhwa Tang Soo Do LLC (변화 당수도), pronounced "pinn-hwa dangsudo" in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin at the end of 2011, and officially launched it as a business in January of 2012. Byeonhwa means "change" or "transition", so prospective students who come to BTSD looking for this, and are willing to work for it, will receive it.
We are a traditional school where order and discipline are expected and maintained. We wear traditional Tang Soo Do white uniforms, follow the traditional WTSDA belt system and Korean terminology is introduced at an early stage during the beginner classes. Eventually very little English is used to describe techniques in the intermediate/advanced classes (it’s also less noisy since talking during the warm up and workout is not allowed). It was a gamble, of sorts, to go this route with the style of class, but I think it was worth it. I have found that students respond very well to clearly defined standards and expectations.
At BTSD, quality is more important than quantity. Hard work, practice and excellence are expected. "Getting by" with the bare minimum of effort or a lack of attention to detail will get you nowhere at BTSD. I emphasize to adult and parents of child students alike that they will be taught Tang Soo Do techniques in great detail and at a pace that is tailored to each individual so that no one is left behind.
Yes, some students have passed through or quit for various reasons of their own, but not many. I started this school with the intent of producing high quality, skilled and disciplined martial arts students; never desiring that I have more students than the school down the road or that I make a lot of money teaching. No, I started this school to fulfill a passion of mine and to stir a passion for Tang Soo Do and martial arts in others.