U.S. Taekwondo

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We provide a fun and safe learning environment for all ages. All of our programs are age specific and help students, regardless of their initial ability, to reach their full potential through the challenging and inspiring classes led by a professional teaching staff.

Our instructors understand that each student's individual progress should be the main focus of their attention. Through Continuing Education, our instructors consistently train, attend seminars, and work to improve their teaching abilities to help students reach their goals.

Deborah Kim

7th Degree Black Belt

Master Kim has been involved in martial arts training and teaching for most of her life. She holds international black belt ranking with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and World Chung Do Kwan Association in Korea and national certification with the American Taekwondo Association (ATA). She is the senior ranking member of United States Taekwondo, a group of schools based out of Daphne, Alabama. She has competed at both the national and international level and earned numerous National Championship titles for her efforts. Master Kim brings possesses an unparalleled wealth of teaching and training experience which she enjoys passing on to students and instructors. She has a passion for working with others to reach their personal goals and to become the best martial artist and person possible!

Personal Fact:

Master Kim is an assistant administrator for the local chapter of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) International Women's Group on the Eastern Shore.

John Kim

7th Degree Black Belt

Master John Kim began his Taekwondo training in 1973 at the Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina. He earned his Black belt in 1982 and has been teaching Taekwondo since 1983. He earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama in 1992. That same year he moved to Daphne, Alabama to pursue his Master’s degree in Sports Management from the U.S. Sports Academy and to establish the first location of United States Taekwondo. Master Kim works daily to research, monitor, and improve instructor curriculum and classroom design so that all United States Taekwondo locations deliver the finest quality instruction available anywhere. He has made this a personal quest in order to improve the martial arts in general but more importantly to develop the next generation of martial artist to reach for higher levels both physically and mentally.

Personal Fact: Master Kim enjoys traditional weapons training and regularly conducts seminars and courses as well as actively competing even to this day!

Karen Sullivan

4th Degree Black Belt

Ms. Sullivan is the co-owner of Montgomery Taekwondo Center located in Montgomery, Alabama. She holds an international black belt ranking with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and World Chung Do Kwan Association in Korea. She teaches classes at Goodwyn Junior High School. This location of United States Taekwondo provides a dedicated community service for the youth in the area and through her dedicated work and service, Ms. Sullivan has become martial arts icons in the Montgomery area. She graduated from Auburn University in Montgomery with a teaching degree and works for the Postal Service. Despite having busy a schedule, she makes time to work diligently for the students and families in her center to provide them with quality instruction.

Personal Fact:

Besides maintaining accrediation as a national judge and referee with United States Taekwondo, Ms. Sullivan is also a certified Olympic Sparring Referee for the World Taekwondo Federation headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

Ryan Gillikin

5th Degree Black Belt

Mrs. Gillikin is the owner and chief instructor at United States Taekwondo location in Bay Minette, Alabama. She has been training in Taekwondo since the age of 9 and became a Junior Instructor when she was 13 years old. She attended the University of South Alabama on a full academic scholarship and graduated with honors with a degree in Occupational Therapy. She currently works at several hospitals and medical facilities in the North Baldwin area. Despite her intense medical work schedule, Mrs. Gillikin makes time to operate her martial arts school in the afternoons and evening in Bay Minette. Her strong commitment to traditional training and hard work with no short cuts have allowed her to develop strong martial artists who have gone on to become productive members in their community.

Personal Fact: Mrs. Gillikin used to be a member of a crew that participated in sailing regattas in Mobile Bay and regularly competes in adventure races.

Sandy Thrasher

4th Degree Black Belt

Mrs. Thrasher is the chief instructor at Wetumpka Taekwondo Center located at the YMCA in Wetumpka, Alabama. She works in the Information Technology field and is presently Program Manager for General Dynamics I.T. in Montgomery, Alabama. Mrs. Thrasher is one of those unique instructors who truly gives it her all when it comes to teaching the students she comes in contacts with. Mrs. Thrasher enjoys weapons training and seeks out seminars and camps for more indepth knowledge to utilize when she co-hosts local camps for her students.

Personal Fact:

Some of Mrs. Thrasher's work involves the Department of Defense and requires her to have specific national security clearances. She is an avid Atlanta Braves fan!

Bryn Culpepper

4th Degree Black Belt

Ms. Culpepper began her martial arts training with Master Kim at the age of 12. She currently serves as a senior ranking instructor and advisor for United States Taekwondo's various Teaching Development Programs. Ms. Culpepper enjoys involving herself in a wide variety martial arts activities such as Olympic Taekwondo competition, International Sport Karate events, and ongoing continuing education for instructors. She trains and instructs at various United States Taekwondo (UST) locations in order to oversee and monitor classroom activities and instructor training. While studies and academic obligations occupy much of her time, Ms. Culpepper still manages to support United States Taekwondo activities and serves as an invaluable member of the team.

Personal Fact:

Ms. Culpepper is currently enrolled in her 2nd year of medical school to become a physician!

Julie Pittman

3rd Degree Black Belt

Mrs. Pittman initially started her martial arts training with her son and daughter in the mid-nineties. She works as a director for M.A.R.C. (Mobile Association for Retarded Citizens) in Mobile, Alabama where she oversees various programs and day to day operations. Since becoming involved with martial arts, Mrs. Pittman has been able to combine her professional career with her hobby by heading up the M.A.R.C. Martial Arts Club located in the heart of downtown Mobile. This location is a full fledged affiliate of United States Taekwondo which requires the same quality control, teaching curriculum, and classroom format as all of the other associated locations. The added challenges of teaching this special group is something that Mrs. Pittman manages with almost "Super-Human" ease! Her patience and understanding of her clients/students is a key to her enormous success as an instructor.

Personal Fact:

Mrs. Pittman also has the experiences of being trained in classical ballet and modern dance.

Nick Logiotatos

3rd Degree Black Belt

Mr. Logiotatos heads up the beginner teen and adult program at the Daphne, Alabama location of United States Taekwondo. He works closely with all of the schools to ensure technical and teaching consistency as well as quality control. Mr. Logiotatos strives to seek out both student and parent interaction in order to provide constructive feedback to the teaching staff in their ongoing efforts to deliver the highest quality instruction possible. He is a franchise owner/operation of Home Instead Senior Care located in Mobile and on the Eastern Shore.

Personal Fact:

Mr. Logiotatos attended Auburn University with William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, Rowdy Gaines, Frank Thomas, Chuck Persons, Charles Barkley, and some guy name Bo. :-)

Zachary Blackmon

3rd Degree Black Belt

Mr. Blackmon currently serves as the Chief Instructor for the United States Taekwondo location in Semmes, Alabama. He is in his third year at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Blackmon brings a youthful and fresh martial arts experience into the classroom and works hard to ensure that students learn the structured content that they need but in an energy charged and motivating environment. You can also find Mr. Blackmon teaching some classes at the Daphne school as he travels between the two locations.

Personal Fact: Mr. Blackmon speaks German and actually majors in German Studies.

Kristen Smith

3rd Degree Black Belt

Ms. Smith is currently a senior at Spanish Fort High School in Spanish Fort, Alabama. She started her martial arts training in 2005 and became an instructor in 2008. Ms. Smith manages her martial arts training and her academic commitments with great focus and ahs manged to excel in both arenas. She currently holds the highest GPA in her high school and well as being a valuable teaching instructor at the Daphne location of UST. In addition, she has worked to become a national level competitor in Weapons and Form divisions and travels around the country to compete and constantly improve her skills.

Personal Fact: Ms. Smith's favorite weapon to train with is the sword and she is also an aspiring model.

Emma Wooden

2nd Degree Black Belt

Emma is one of our newest additions to the teaching staff at the Daphne, Alabama location. She currently attends Spanish Fort High School in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Emma enjoys the technical aspect of both traditional form patterns as well as modern creative martial arts movement and performance. Ms. Wooden is also a national level competitor in both the weapons form divisions as well as empty hand fo

Personal Fact:

Emma is involved with the Symphonic Band at her high school.

Erin Goins

Ms. Goins is the assistant instructor at the Semmes, Alabama location of United States Taekwondo. She is in her second year at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama where she studies Computer Information Systems. Ms. Goins' dynamic personality is hard to keep up with however, the students in class as well as other instructors feed off her motivation to keep the energy level in the classroom pumped up and exciting!

Personal Fact:

Ms. Goins enjoys playing soccer and longboarding in her spare time

Pamela Smith

7th Degree Black Belt

Master Smith is the co-owner and chief instuctor of Montgomery Taekwondo Center, located in Montgomery, Alabama. She holds International Black Belt ranking with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and World Chung Do Kwon Association in Korea. She teaches Taekwondo classes at Goodwyn Middle School. This location of United States Taekwondo provides a dedicated community service for the youth in the area. She has competed at the collegiate level for Auburn University Montgomery as a memeber of their Taekwondo team where she graduated with a teaching degree in Physical Education. Master Smith has earned certification as a National Judge and referee with the United States Taekwondo Association and has co-directed the Taekwondo events for the Alabama Sports Festival. As a result, Master Smith has become a Martial Arts icon in the Montgomery area.

Personal Fact:

Ms. Smith is an avid University of Alabama football fan.