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Sa Bom Nim Larry Drehs


Sa Bom Nim Larry Drehs started his training in 1971 at the age of 19.  Finding something more spiritual and challenging than just thoughtless, methodical exercise, he accompanied a friend to a Soo Bahk Do/Tang Soo Do studio in San Pedro and immediately became fascinated with the diverse techniques and mental training.  Under the guidance of Bob Alegria, his instructor, Mr. Drehs tested for his 10th Gup July 29, 1971, and received his Cho Dan (1st Degree) on October 25, 1977, Dan Bon #20592.

Along his martial arts career, Master Drehs trained under Master Al Johnson, Master Tommy Reyes Sr., Master Michael Reyes and Master Fred Messersmith.

Master Drehs credits SBD/TSD with helping him succeed both personally and professionally.  Though he has over 40 years of training, Master Drehs still allows himself room to grow and learn as a martial artist.  He sees himself as forever a student and he received his Yuk Dan (6th Degree) and Sa Bom on November 22, 2013.  Drehs Sa Bom still teaches SBD at Thornburg Park in Gardena, California.

Sa Bom Nim Michael Reyes with his
Father Sa Bom Nim Tommy Reyes

Sa Bom Nim Michael Reyes was introduced to Tang Soo Do in 1978 by his father Thomas Reyes Sa Bom Nim.  Michael Reyes joined the federation in 1980 and trained with Master Terry Updike in Torrance Tang Soo Do.  Michael Reyes moved to Gardena Soo Bahk Do in 1981 to train under his father. 

He was promoted to 1st Dan in 1983 in Lakewood, CA.  He was promoted to 2nd Dan & Kyosa (certified instructor) in 1985 in Carlsbad, CA.  He established State College Tang Soo Do in Pennsylvania in 1986 along with Dorian Burton who had trained under Sa Bom Nim Tommy Reyes at Gardena Soo Bahk Do.  Mike was promoted to 3rd Dan in 1988 in HQ Springfield, NJ. 

He started to take over instruction from his father at Gardena Soo Bahk Do in 1992.  He was then promoted to 4th Dan & Sa Bom (Master Instructor) in 1993 in HQ Springfield, NJ.   He is currently a student of Victor Martinov Sa Born Nim and has trained under Fred Messersmith Sa Bom and George Dolby Sa Bom.  He was promoted to 5th Dan in 1999 in High Falls, NY.  He's currently living on the central coast of California and comes down frequently to conduct classes/clinics at Gardena Soo Bahk Do.

Jo Kyo Steve Tracy

Mr. Steve Tracy entered the Moo Duk Kwan system in 1972 under Sa Bom Nim (Master) Russell Hanke while living in Michigan. Not being picked for a summer baseball team, and intrigued by a fist logo painted on a window, he found himself walking into a “Korean Karate” school. After being told by SBN Hanke that, “Nobody sits on the bench in the Moo Duk Kwan, we all participate…”, Mr. Tracy went home and eventually convinced his reluctant parents to let him join.

“It was a little scary at first, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The students were mostly adults back then and as a kid I thought some of them looked kind of mean. I quickly found out differently, everyone was very encouraging and supportive. It was a great experience growing up in that environment, we were part of a family.”

Mr. Tracy earned Cho Dan #22677 at the 69th Dan Shim Sa in Southgate Michigan. The promotional test was conducted by Sa Bom Nim Chung Il Kim (#475), SBN Russell Hanke (#4137) and SBN Steve Diaz (#19461).

After moving to California he began training at Gardena Soo Bahk Do under SBN Tommy Reyes, Sr. (#21956) and earned his Ee Dan (2nd degree) under SBN Michael Reyes (#23111).

Mr. Tracy began teaching Wednesday night classes at Gardena SBD in 1999 under the guidance of SBN Jay Itow (#28086) and continues under SBN Larry Drehs (#20592).

Training as a student of SBN Drehs Mr. Tracy has earned his Sam Dan (3rd degree), and strives to continue the traditions set forth by his seniors.


            Kyo Sa John Ballard

In September of 1985, Mr. John Ballard was talked into watching a karate lesson, by two of his female coworkers who were both Dans, he was hooked from day one. The classes were being held in Redondo Beach at Sa Bom Nim Al Johnson’s Tang Soo Do.      


In 1992, the Redondo Beach studio closed down and Mr. Ballard transferred immediately to Gardena Soo Bahk Do where Sa Bom Nim Tommy Reyes, (#21956), became Mr. Ballard's Master Instructor.  In June of 1994, he became a Cho Dan, (#32784), shortly thereafter, Mr. Ballard moved out of state. 

Mr. Ballard then resumed his training, in 2007 under Larry Drehs SBN, (#20592), at Gardena Soo Bahk Do and in October of 2009, he obtained the ran of E Dan.  During August of 2010, Mr. Ballard became a Jo Kyo, (Junior Instructor).

In April of 2013, Mr. Ballard earned the rank of Sam Dan (3rd degree) and in December 2013 he became a Kyo Sa (Certified Instructor).  He currently is the Chairman of the Gardena SBD President's Vision Tour.

Jo Kyo  Henry Russell

Mr. Henry Russell started his training in 1981 while living in Florida, in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan. He earned his Cho-Dan in 1986. After finishing school he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in Hawaii and Okinawa. There, he began his study of Okinawan Kenpo-Kobudo and eventually earned his Cho-Dan.

Upon his completion of his enlistment with the Marine Corps, he returned to Florida and continued his training in Tang Soo Do where he earned his Ee Dan and Sam Dan. Later he became the head instructor of his original dojang.

In 1994/5 Mr. Russell moved to California as an AVP Pro-Beach Volleyball player. While searching for a home dojang here in California he found Gardena Tang Soo Do/Soo Bahk Do. Under the great tutelage of Michael Reyes SBN (#23111) and Tommy Reyes Sr. SBN (#21956) Mr. Russell eventually made his transition into The U.S. Soo Bahk Do Federation earning his Cho –Dan in 1998.  Since finding a home with Gardena Soo Bahk Do back in 1994/5 Mr. Russell has assisted with the instruction.  He also trains with the Yamashita Aikido Organization, under Sensei Mitsu Yamashita.

Mr. Russell continues to train under Mr. Larry Drehs SBN (#20592) and eventually will expand his teaching responsibilities here at the school.  With his experiences, he also tries to share his perspective that it is more about the journey than the final destination.