Cambridge Tang Soo Do

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 10:59pm — webmaster
Cambridge Tang Soo Do
Address: Cambridge Athletic Club, 215 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 687-9156
Owner: Master Christian Klacko

Background Information

Q: When was the school started?
October 2000.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your martial arts background and share your experience about becoming a school owner? What motivated you to start your own school?
I opened my first school in Washington, DC in 1993.

My instructor, Master Strong, moved back to his home state of Alabama only a few months after I had received my Cho Dan from him.
Since there were no Tang Soo Do schools in Washington DC, the only way for me to stay active in the art and keep it alive was to open a school. I also felt a responsibility to honor a promise I had made to Master Strong. Having never trained in a "formal" dojang environment (we practiced in Master Strong's backyard) I was not sure how to go about opening a school, nor how to run one. Then I remembered what Master Strong once told me: "it takes only 1 student to be a teacher and a school owner..." what he was referring to is the way he and I had been training for the past 3 years because our session literally were one on one in his backyard.

So I decided to buy a kicking target for $10 and asked my roommate to hold it while I practiced my kicks. Sure enough, after a few weeks of being a punching bag, my roommate figured out that he may as well learn something in the process, so he bought a DoBokh and started training with me…and so the teaching began! Not before long, a few more students joined and we moved our Dojang from my tiny apartment to the basement of a church. It all grew from there and the rest is history as they say!

In 1999 I moved yet again to Boston, MA, and it took me only 2 weeks before opening Cambridge Tang Soo Do. The only difference this time around is that I brought my own targets so I didn’t have to spend $10 on a target.
Q: Was it always in your plans to someday be a school owner?
I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever be a school owner. To be quite honest, I never wanted to be. I never felt ready, I was always worried that I did not have the skills nor the capital to do it. After all, I was barely a Cho Dan when I started my first school.

Looking back today, I know I made the right choice. Starting a school is very much like having children: you are never ready, but once the first one is born, you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. You quickly realize that it is the best thing that ever happened to you. The rewards far outwayt the benefits and one of the greatest rewards is the ability to change people's lives. I think the ultimate joy of being a school owner is when you graduate your first Black Belt, and then watch them start a school of their own.
Q: What advice do you have for Black Belts who are interested in opening their own school?
My advice to anyone who wants to open a school is to believe in yourself. Think big but start small. Most students believe that opening a school requires a lot of money and a lot of student, which is absolutely not true. Remember: "It only takes 1 student to be a teacher and a school owner..." so get up, go on, buy yourself a kicking target and ask your best friend to hold it for you. Everything else will grow from there!

Q: How would you sum up your studio’s philosophy or focus?
At Cambridge Tang Soo Do we believe in enhancing people's lives by providing a platform where students can strive and challenge themselves to be their best inside and most importantly outside the Dojang.

Q: How do you put this philosophy/focus into practice in your school? Alternately, give a "real life" example of when this philosophy/focus was put into practice with a positive result?
Although we believe in excellent physical training, our focus is first mental discipline and the Moo Do. We always make a concerted effort to relate our Tang Soo Do training to our daily lives outside the Dojang. We constantly challenge students to confront their fears and/or dreams the same way they would confront any Tang Soo Do technique with hard work, discipline, focus, honor and humility.

Q: When did you join the Federation?
April 2007

Q: What has been the biggest benefit in joining the Federation?
To be around people who honor, cherish and share the same core values and beliefs as we do.

People Overview

Q: How many instructors do you have? What are their ranks, names and specialization, if applicable?
Master Jason Duva, Sah Dan, Sword Expertise

Q: How many black belts do you have?

Q: How many non-black belt students do you have?

Q: For what ages do you have classes?
PeeWees (2-6), Kids (7-13) & Adults (13+)

Standing Out

Q: What makes martial arts so beneficial to modern individuals and families?
If taught properly martial arts brings many benefits to the modern individuals and families such as discipline, respect, focus, balance, leadership skills, to name a few. At Cambridge Tang Soo Do, we believe that focusing on these core values benefits students inside and outside the Dojang.
In many western societies, social values are declining and the only way they can be restored is by inspiring people to embrace tradition and reintroduce these core values in their own lives.

Q: Why would someone choose your studio for their martial arts training?
Cambridge Tang Soo Do' s mission statement is to focus on the development of a person's soul and "to become a better person".
Physical fitness and self defense are secondary. Having the right attitude is the first step towards achieving anything else.

Q: What is your vision for your school’s future?
My vision for Cambridge Tang Soo Do is that we become a place of inspiration where people come to change their lives, achieve goals and become agents of change in their personal and professional lives by leading by example.

Q: Do you have specialized classes or curriculum for young children or other segments of the population (autism, ADHD, etc.)?
We do have a Pee Wee and children's program.


Sheraz Choudhary, age 31"
I have been practicing at Cambridge Tang Soo Do now for around five years and there is not one criticism that I can recall. This is literally in my humble opinion the best martial arts school in the Boston area.
The two things that I most like about Cambridge Tang Soo Do are:
  • The depth of knowledge of the instructors is impressive! The ratio of senior black belts to junior students allows for excellent personalized instruction. Master Klacko provides for a great and balanced atmosphere that is not only rewarding and challenging but also stimulating. Thus, the school attracts a great group of students of various backgrounds;
  • Unlike most other Martial Arts places that are run like a business Cambridge Tang Soo Do is run like a college. The focus is on teaching the students and allowing them to grow rather than on how much your next belt will cost. Cambridge Tang Soo Do is therefore very economical and does not have hidden costs. A review cannot adequately convey how wonderful training at Cambridge Tang Soo Do is so I would recommend that you just drop by for two FREE classes and judge for yourself.

Allivan B., age 24
I joined Cambridge Tang Soo Do for fitness and also because I've always been interested in Martial Arts. My first trial class was great. The teacher, the students were all welcoming. Master Klacko, Master Duva give personal attention to every student and since I was new I was taught separately by another black belt so I can understand the basics. The good thing about Cambridge Tang Soo Do is that it is not just karate. I've learned new things in every class that I went to. I really recommend Cambridge Tang Soo do to anyone who's interested in Martial Arts or just looking for a good fitness workout.
James Kim, age 34
If you are looking to practice a traditional martial art, then Cambridge Tang Soo Do is your place.
Master Klacko is an excellent teacher, being both friendly and knowledgeable and welcomes anyone who wants to learn into his school. It should be noted that this school is nonprofit, and all of the instructors have day jobs. They teach because they all truly love the art and want to pass it along to those who want to learn. This is not to put down any of the reputable for-profit martial arts studios in the area, but it is just one of the things that makes Cambridge TSD different. You will learn something new each session.
Other students are friendly and always willing to help each other out, as courtesy and respect are the foundations of our art. On weekends, there are kids classes as well and parents are encouraged to join. I switched from taekwondo, which had more of a focus on sport sparring, to Tang Soo Do. I find that Tang Soo Do has more of a complete martial art focus, because we train both hand and foot techniques, self defense, weaponry, sparring, forms, and more.
Additionally, there is a great emphasis on truly learning the art, the history and meaning behind each move and why it's done.

Cambridge Tang Soo Do Website