Please join me in congratulating Mr. Michael Torchia for reaching 4th Dan in Tang Soo Do at the Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa held in Fayettevelle, NC last week. The San Kil Tang Soo Do Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa is a grueling 4-day process that includes 12-hour training days, teaching evaluations, and extensive written, oral and physical examinations. Most importantly it's a test of leadership and character that ignites a fire within and challanges one to become a better instructor and role model. The Shim Sa was administered by Kwan Jang Nim David Sgro with assistance from Kwan Jang Nim Steven Voelker and Sa Bom Nims Garth Charland and Jeff Galvin. As a result of his performance at the Shim Sa Mr. Torchia was awarded a 4th Dan and Sa Bom (Master Instructor) certification. Also promoting at this spring's Shim Sa were Sa Bom Nim Nick Coffman (5th Dan), Keith Beardsley, Phil Lawton, Ginnie Pajak, & Brian Nutter (all 4th Dan, Sa Bom).
Sa Bom Nim Torchia began his training along side me at the age of 6 in New London, CT. We each tested and passed our Dan Shim Sa (black belt test) in 1991 shortly after Mike celebrated his 10th birthday. I recall how impressed all of us were with his strength and determination at such an early age; something his father (a US Army Green Beret) had no doubt instilled in him. He and I tested side-by-side for both 2nd and 3rd Dan tests. I've watched him grow into the strong man and fine role model he is today. I'm extremely proud of his most recent accomplishment and I look forward to continuing our training together for many years to come.
Congratulations Sa Bom Nim Torchia!