Master Tony Johnson is the Chief Instructor of our organisation.
Master Johnson was born in Liverpool, and started his martial arts training there at around the age of 17. From the first, Master Johnson felt a strong passion for his training, and would spend many hours working to improve his techniques. Over the years, Master Johnson and his instructors experienced a number of moves, including international ones, which led him to train to a high level in a number of different arts, including Shotokan Karate, Kung Fu, Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do.
In 1977, Master Johnson began training with Master Hwangpo Yong Soo, a Korean Tang Soo Do instructor who had been a direct student of Grandmaster Hwang Kee, the creator of Tang Soo Do; and came to the UK to promote his art. Master Johnson enjoyed several years of intense training with Master Hwangpo, becoming a Dan Grade before the latter's move to the U.S. There being no other suitable instructor locally, Master Johnson then had to travel from Coventry to Cardiff to train with Master Tong Mun Kim (6th Dan, Tang Soo Do). Beginning again from white belt, and making the trip 3 times a week for the next two and half years, Master Johnson once again his achieved his Dan Grade.
His training and teaching have had a defining effect on Master Johnson's life- over the years he has been privileged to demonstrate Tang Soo Do for the Korean Ambassador to the U.K., receive an award from the Governor of the Balearic Isles, teach self defence to the Canadian Armed Forces, and win the World Grand Championship in Tampa, Florida in 1993. He even met his wife and fellow instructor, Master Rachel Griffiths-Johnson, through his art. Master Johnson has travelled extensively overseas to benefit from training directly with top instructors and masters around the world, including to the U.S., Hawaii, Taiwan, Korea, and others, and was recently inducted to the Combat Magazine Hall of Fame.
Master Johnson has been a full-time professional martial arts instructor for many years, and Johnson's has been an independent organisation since its beginning in 1996. By 2008 Master Johnson felt that the art he was teaching had evolved to the point of needing its own name, Kong Sudo, reflecting our directly Korean heritage, as well as the Okinawan roots of the art, and the fact that Master Johnson incorporates much that he has learned from training in arts other than Tang Soo Do into his teaching. It is Master Johnson's belief that no martial art should ever become stagnant; but that we must balance this change with respect for the long history and significant traditions of training. Both of these beliefs are reflected in the style of teaching found at the club, and Master Johnson still teaches at all levels, from beginners to senior Black Belts, every week.
Master Johnson and Master Griffiths-Johnson currently travel less, as they have a growing family- but Master Johnson continues to study from multiple sources and brings all the benefits of this to the organisation, as well as a profound understanding of the need to balance family life and commitment to training which is shared by all of us.
Below are some of the noteable trips/visits Master Johnson has made over the last few years. More details about some of these will be added to the website in future.
2000:- training with Shaolin Monk Shi Yan Zi, weapons specialist Albie O'Connor, and Donna Liu (t'ai chi)
2001:- visit to train with Sensei Rick Martin (Uechi Rui), in Florida
2002:- visits to U.S., Canada and Taiwan
2003:- studying Chinese arts in Taiwan, travelling with a group of students
2004:- visit to Korea with students from the U.K.
2008:- launch of Johnson's Kong Sudo.