Incident Reporting

As previously discussed with the Regional Directors (and country directors), the WTSDA has a form for incident reporting. The report is to be used when an incident occurs, at a WTSDA event (such as Dan Testing, Dan or Gup Clinics, Regional Tournaments, the World Championship, etc.) including (but not limited to) in the event of any of the following:

* Injury to instructor, student or spectator
* Conflict between students/Parents/Instructors/Staff
* Student / Parent is upset with actions taken by instructors or students.
* Physical damage is incurred to the building or training equipment
* A complaint is received about something that occurred at the event (beyond an administration related occurrence).

The timely completion of these reports will allow for the most up-to-date, and therefore accurate, compilation of data about any incident.  The on-line form may be found here: while the word document is included on this page below.  

Once completed, the electronic version is automatically sent to the WTSDA LAC.  If you are using the hard copy, you may send paper copies to the LAC (please contact for the mailing address) or scan and send them via email.  If you scan and send, once the LAC confirms receipt, you may shred the forms as electronic recordkeeping is preferred (and the LAC will have the records)!

Also, for any studio or club desiring to use the form for incidents in your school, please feel free to adapt the form. 

Any questions on how to use it, please just ask!

Word version:  WTSDA Incident Report 

Assistant Regional Director – Candidates Sought!

As most of you know, each Region has a Regional Director. The Executive Committee and Governance Committee have, as part of the succession planning for the WTSDA, established the official position of Assistant Regional Director for each Region. Accordingly, each Region is being asked for candidates for Assistant Regional Director.

ANY INTERESTED PERSON, please send an email to for the application NO LATER THAN JULY 10, 2022. The job description is below.

Position DescriptionWTSDA – Assistant Regional Director
Position title: Assistant Regional Director (“ARD”) Date Prepared: April 1, 2021

I. Primary Function
This position is responsible for assisting the Regional Director (“RD”) in the management and oversight of all activities within the region assigned. The ARD is the primary support for the RD and must be capable of performing the RD’s responsibilities in his or her absence. Such activities include managing events and regional accounts, supporting and advancing WTSDA goals and initiatives, the technical and business development of all members and instructors of the region, Black Belt testing, enhancing the level of professionalism of the instructors, and enforcing all WTSDA rules and regulations (see RD job description for more information).
This position reports to the Regional Director. If acting as the interim RD, the position reports, and is responsible to, the Operational Vice President, and President and the Board (through the Executive Committee and/or the Governance Committee).

II. Essential Functions
Under the direction of in consultation with the RD assists as needed with the following:
· Event support – Black Belt testing, clinics, seminars, championships, instructor training classes.· Acts as an added resource for helping to resolve issues, complaints, and arbitrates disputes as assigned by RD.· Abides by and enforces all WTSDA policies and regulations.· Coaches and counsels, with the assistance of the RD and appropriate WTSDA leaders, those who need direction.· Promotes and expands TSD locations and training events within the region.· As assigned, submits timely, accurate and complete reports (including injury reports) as required by the WTSDA.· Helps manage regional events to maximize revenue for the WTSDA, while minimizing expenses to the extent possible.· Attends and helps oversee all sanctioned events, and ensures that all protocols (including safety) are followed.· Recommends to the RD, special commendations of merit for Tang Soo Do activities.· Carries out any other duty as may be stated in the WTSDA by-laws, the Regional Director’s Guidelines, or other similar document prepared by the WTSDA.· Reports to the RD behavior or incidents that need the attention of the RD or other WTSDA personnel.

III. Performance Skills, Background, Capabilities, and Attributes
· Documented dedication to the WTSDA.· Willingness to be oriented and trained in the duties of the ARD and RD.· Ability to receive critical feedback and respond professionally.· Public speaking ability.· Writing skills.· Ability to be humble, keep a positive attitude, and help develop a sense of camaraderie among the membership.· Highly developed organizational and communication skills.· Must be a member in good standing. · Knowledge and understanding of the WTSDA’s history, mission, philosophy,technical curriculum, goals, and organizational structure.· Ability to bring people together and unite members of different social, ethnic, economic and cultural groups.· Behaves in accordance with WTSDA Tenets and is a positive role model for instructors and students.· Treats all people with respect and fairness.

IV. Knowledge, Education, and Training
· Must be a Black Belt member in good standing, with no significant disciplinary history.· Proven dedication and involvement in studio, regional and WTSDA events.· Leadership experience is preferred both with individuals and large groups.· Demonstrated performance characteristics required of the position. · Knowledgeable and sensitivity of cultural and ethnic differences.· Sound knowledge and understanding of WTSDA curriculum. · Knowledge and understanding of the ARD and Regional Director job descriptions.

V. Persuasion, Direction, Motivation of Others, Coaching and Counseling
· Over 20% of the time (this is meant to be a metric to assist in understanding how much time spent doing this job will be spent on these types of functions. Those functions without time noted will represent any remaining time.). · Demonstrated ability to work with others in a collaborative environment.· Ability to maintain the allegiance and commitment of the membership, and sustain the culture of service to the membership.· Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.

VI. Standard Computer Knowledge and Skills
· Email skills· Word processing· Ability to collect and analyze data, ability to organize and assess information and data

VII. Dealing with Confidential Material
· As needed and approved by the RD, the job has access to and uses confidential materials, the disclosure of which could have significant ramifications for the organization as a whole. Information is restricted to members of senior management and the ARD must understand that much of the information they receive is not to be shared with individuals not authorized to have such information (which may include spouses, children, parents, etc.).

VIII. Other Important Information
There are certain actions which are explicitly prohibited as Regional Director (please see the Regional Director Guidelines), and accordingly as ARD. Additionally, there are certain functions that are reserved to the RD. For example, the ability to contract on behalf of the region (e.g., signing a contract with a center for a tournament) is implicit in the RD position (and NOT the ARD position without obtaining prior consent from the WTSDA). There is also a Conflict of Interest policy that applies to the RD and the ARD. For more information, please speak with the RD, OVP or LAC Chair.

COVID info

A few resources related to COVID and reopening! – Now a page here, with info and helpful links.  Some of the items on the page are listed below.  Stay safe!

COVID SAMPLE disclaimer – a sample waiver for use with folks before you start permitting in-person training again

COVID reopening – all regions v2 – a best practices document coving a range of topics.  Includes information on:

  1. General Considerations for Reopening
  2. Check-in Process
  3. Dropoff and Pick-up protocols
  4. Layout of Classroom
  5. Classroom Disinfectant Protocol
  6. Transition Cleaning Between Classes
  7. Daily Disinfecting Schedule
  8. Weekly Disinfecting Schedule
  9. Karate Equipment
  10. Common Areas
  11. Communication
  12. Suggested PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and Cleaning Supplies
  13. Cleaning After Someone Displays Symptoms

generic waiver for virtual events – a sample of a waiver for conducting a virtual event (not reoccurring classes)

Region 8 Background Check Information Updated

Please note, the background check information on the Region 8 page has been updated to reflect the use of a new vendor by the Commonwealth of PA for the FBI fingerprint based checks.  I was told that checks are taking 4-6 weeks – so please plan ahead.  Checks are still good for 5 years (note, when the law changed we required new checks, so while there was technically a change at this point it should be that everyone has a “new” check  – i.e., all three pieces – and if that is the case you don’t need a new one until the applicable 5-year period is up).  The code for the new vendor is 1KG6ZJ.  Please see the appropriate page for more information.  

WTSDA Hall of Fame Nominations Wanted!

For all members of the WTSDA Board of Directors, this is a call for nominations.  You may nominate one (1) person (or dojang in the case of Dojang of the Year) for each category.  Please be sure to provide as much detail about the nominee as possible – the more information provided, the better other Directors will be able to assess the nominee’s worthiness!

You may submit one category at a time, or all at once (but if you nominate more than once in a category, only your first nominee will be counted).  Nominations are due no later than December 15, 2017.  The LAC will send reminders, but we are accepting nominations, beginning now!  Directors should check their email for further information.  For reference, former winners of each category are listed below.

Nominations may be submitted by clicking here.

Former Winners:

Year Master of the Year Instructor of the Year Student of the Year Family of the Year
1983 Chuck Vaughn
1985 Y. H. Kwon Larry Dercole
1987 Darryl Khalid Mujahid Khan
1988 Larry Dercole Karen Phillips The Sachs
1989 G. Morgan Becker Ronald Ravers
1990 Michael Hicks Louis Marvil Irma Tudara The Youngers
1992 Larry Wick Bob Mitchell The Greens
1994 William Strong Alejandro Pisoni Nancy Clark The Keiffers
1996 Vance Britt Adriaan Blignaut Stephanie Uttech The Gebhardts
1998 Jerry Whitten Brian Olden Vince Melchiorre The Valentins
2000 Mujahid Khan John Costa Jim Mars The Ewings
2002 Allen Sharpe Joseph Scota Mary Clements The Prescotts
2004 Jeff Haney Joe Centrone Hisako Ito The Newmans
2006 Jeff Green Becky Rupp Shyla Sickels The Thomases
Master of the Year Instructor of the Year Student of the Year Family of the Year Community Service Humanitarian Studio of the Year
2008 Larry Wick Jared Arteca Susan Strohm The Fausnachts Doug Smith Chuck Vaughn
2010 John Godwin Giselle Sharpe Jarrett



Bono Family

Frank Altiere Sandy Lipstein Valley Tang Soo Do Academy
2012 Jim Mars Kristen Winsko Jeanette Arteca The Miller Family Mary Jansa Not awarded Karate Masters
2014 Frank Fattori Dan Farrelly Karin Roumanis Insohita Family Katrina Fausnacht C. Donald Weinberg Vaughn’s Dojang
2016 Larry Wick Montana Cole Paul Helsdon Sharpe Family C. Donald Weinberg Jeff Wheeler Lorenzo Tang Soo Do

WTSDA Hall of Fame Voting Now Open

For all members of the WTSDA and WTSDF Board of Directors, the voting for the 2016 Hall of Fame is now open.  Please be sure to vote (once only 🙂 ).  If you are a member of the Board, you should have received and email from Mrs. Winsko ( with a link to the voting.  If you did not, you can use the link below.  Any problems voting, please let Mrs. Winsko know.

Voting will CLOSE at 10 pm (Eastern) on Monday, March 21 – in time to get information on the winners from the appropriate Regional Directors at the USA Master’s Clinic.

Click here to vote!

Region 8 Background Check Info Now Available!

For those located in Region 8, you may or may not be aware of the newest Child Welfare Law that potentially impacts both the WTSDA and your individual school(s). For purposes of general education here’s what it boils down to:  in Pennsylvania, those adults who are charged with care of children (e.g., our overnight Youth Dan Camps), or regular contact such with children (e.g., during classes on a weekly basis) are required by law to have a background check conducted every five (5) years.  There are also requirements around the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse.  You should check with your attorney and/or insurance company for details.

How is the WTSDA impacted?  Well, for a number of years, Region 8 has required those counselors attending the Youth Dan Camps to provide copies of completed background checks.  Region 8 did this because it believes this is a best practice for an organization like ours.  Now, it will be mandatory (reminder, the camps are currently held in Pennsylvania so all counselors, regardless of which state they reside in, are impacted by this).  And the check must be renewed every five (5) years.

If you are in Region 8 and you need to have the check performed, please visit the page with the information on where to go to get your background checks completed.  It may be found here.

Some other helpful resources:

Some FREE general information about the requirements and the applicable law (from the University of Pittsburgh Child Welfare Resource Center):

Some FREE on-line training regarding the reporting of child abuse:

More FREE information on child welfare and training programs to benefit children (includes information on bullying and a broad array of other topics):

Lease considerations for that new dojang space

There are a number of different models for obtaining space to hold classes: own the space, lease the space, find a host location to hold classes (think YMCA or gym that you neither rent nor own).  The WTSDA has many affiliated schools in each of those categories.  But, commercial locations seem to lease space more often than the other two options.  I say this because looking at a lease is one of the things that I get asked to do most often.  Many prospective school owners believe they have no (or at least very little) choice in the terms of the lease presented to them by the future landlord.  However, that is not always the case.  While it is true that it is very unlikely you can get everything you ask for, sometimes it just takes a little bit of time to discuss and negotiate.  After all, most of the time, it doesn’t hurt to just ask.  What should you be asking for then?  Here are a few of the things you should be thinking about when reading that lease you were just handed.

1.  The lease will (virtually always) significantly favor the landlord.  The landlord wrote it after all – or their lawyers did.  So, they are obviously looking out for the interests of the landlord.  You need to keep that in mind.  If you read something and think that it doesn’t seem fair for you to be required to do something, it might not be and it might be intended to be that way.  Make a note and see if you can change the item.  If you read something and you aren’t crystal clear on an item, you also need to ask.  While there is a theory in contract law called “contra proferentem”that is latin for “against the offeror” where an ambiguity will be interpreted against the person who drafted the document – do you really want it to come to that?

2.  The term and termination.  Often, a commercial lease will automatically renew unless you provide affirmative notice (at least a certain amount of time ahead) that you don’t want it to renew.  And, renewal for a length of time equal to the original term is common.  But what if you are ok with a first term of 5-years but are planning for growth and then don’t want to be stuck for an additional 5-year term?  If you want additional terms to be one or two years, you should ask.  This is where people often have leverage.  Although it may come at a price.  I will talk more about rent increases, but keep in mind that it is common to have the landlord have the right to increase rent with every renewal term.  A shorter second (or subsequent) term might be easy to negotiate if you are willing to discuss the impact on price increases.  Termination is often only upon certain events and many times requires the payment of a fee based on the reminder of the term, even if a replacement tenant is found.  You can ask to reduce the payments by the amount of rent paid by any future tenant.

You should also consider options for expansion.  If you are lucky enough to need a bigger space, can the landlord accommodate?  And if they can, what is the impact on the lease?  Sometimes you can work a clause into the lease that permits you to move to another property the landlord owns that can accommodate your needs, without penalty on the existing lease.

3. Price.  What’s included?  Insurance, property taxes, maintenance?  Are utilities included? Price may or may not be listed in one section of the lease. Typically, it is easy to find “rent”.  But often, things like your pass -through share of property taxes is listed in another section of the lease.  In order to have an understanding of the total cost, you need to look carefully for other fees that may or may not pass-through to you, including “CAMs”.  That’s a term that you may not be familiar with – Common area maintenance charges.  These are typical in a “triple net lease”.

A triple net lease is one where the landlord passes through all expenses to the tenants on a pro-rata basis. CAMs charges are included in that.  They typically are added to the “base rent” as “additional rent”.    It is not uncommon for CAMs to include administrative fees, maintenance fees, costs for repair and replacement of roofs, lighting, plumbing, electrical wiring, HVAC, snow removal (think walkway and parking lots – they need to have the snow cleared and you typically pay for it as part of CAMs) etc., for the common areas.

You can try to negotiate a cap on some or all of the CAMs.  Sometimes you can get a fixed fee (although for folks in snowy climates, snow removal is often excepted out of any fixed cost) and you can attempt negotiate exclusions to items that are passed through to you (for example, exclude costs due to the landlord’s or another tenant’s negligence).  You should also ask for the right to obtain an accounting of the charges and the right to audit the landlord’s books to ensure that these amounts are properly calculated.

It is also important to understand how space is calculated and allocated so that you can ensure the CAMs charges are correctly apportioned to each tenant.

Increases are typical, at a minimum, at the beginning of each new term.  Sometimes they are for set amounts and other times they are tied to inflation (CPI, etc.).  It is often a good idea to set out any potential increases right in the lease.  Especially if the increases occur during the initial term.  Don’t be afraid to include a chart in the document (or as an exhibit) which makes it crystal clear what the rent is during any given month.  If the increases aren’t set amounts, one thing to look for is if the amount is capped.  If the increase is tied to something that is a moving target, like the CPI, I would ask for something like “the lesser of $X or the CPI”.  If the landlord has the right to merely notify you of an increase prior to renewal, make sure you get that notice 15/30/60 days before the notice period for termination.  You don’t want to not notify that you will terminate and then get told rent will double and have it be too late to do anything about it!

Landlords often also “give away” a free month (or more) at the start of a brand new lease.  Make sure this is properly reflected.

5. Improvements (and repairs – wear and tear, force majeure).  This one can be tricky.  Some improvements, to be fair, should probably be your responsibility.  But, if you make improvements in many jurisdictions those improvements become fixtures and you can not “unimprove” or remove before moving out.  What state is the premises in at move in?  Do you need to ensure it is in the same or better when you leave (almost 100% of the time or it will cost you)?  If your use of the facility causes damage, you should probably be responsible.  But, if the water heater that was there when you moved in is 20 years old, should you have to be the one to replace it?  If a tree falls down and breaks the front window, who is responsible – you, your insurance, the landlord, the landlord’s insurance?  If there is a flood or major storm and you can no longer occupy the premises, what are your options?  How fast does the landlord need to repair the premises?  Or, can you merely terminate without penalty?

6. Sub-leasing and assignment.  Many commercial leases prohibit the assignment or sub-letting of the space.  So, it is important that you understand what this means.  You can ask to sub-let or assign, with permission (such permission not to be unreasonably conditioned, withheld or delayed).

7. Signage.  Can you display a sign?  Is there a marquee and can you be listed on it?  Are neon lights prohibited?  Are there local ordinances that apply (e.g., some towns require permits and approval of signs before they are placed).  The landlord will not want to be responsible for your compliance with the law, but they are the ones with the property and you can ask if they are aware of any requirements before putting any signs up.  You should also ask about your remedy in the event any required approval (be it by the landlord or the local government) is not granted.

8. Permitted Usage (martial arts activities; marketing to fellow tenants of shopping center; birthday parties; after school programs; parking of a school vehicle overnight).

9 . Use.  It is crucial that you ensure your planned use is permitted.  You also need to make sure that the use provision is broad enough to cover any of the activities that you have planned for the future.  Think hard about the future and what you want from your dojang – you need to make sure that all potential uses will be permitted (and if there are requirements around any particular uses).

10.  Exclusivity.  I have seen a few commercial leases where there is an exclusivity clause – that it, it states that no other tenant can engage in the same business and sometimes (just sometimes) you can also get the landlord to cover a geographic area covering all properties they own.  For example, I saw a commercial lease where the landlord agreed to not rent any property to a business classified as a competitor of the tenant within a 10 mile radius of another tenant.  Here is where it does not hurt to ask!    But if you ask, be careful how the competitor is defined – the exact wording can make a difference (is an MMA studio a competitor?  Definitions are important here).

11. Personal Guarantee.  These are becoming more and more common.  This is a tricky item – you should consider it carefully.  There are options, however.  Consider:  (1) a time limit for the guarantee; (2) a letter of credit in lieu of the guarantee; (3) guarantee the rent for a set time frame after early termination; (4) offer a larger security deposit; (5) build in waivers for certain events (e.g., sale of the business); or (6) cap or limit the amount of the guarantee.   There may be other options as well – if you are using a broker you should discuss this with them.

12.  Remedy.  Now we are starting to talk about items which are more “legal” and less “business”.  Suing the landlord for damages is the first thing most people think of when considering remedies.  And this is a good option – what that means is that I would not want to give up my right to sue the landlord (if I had to, it would be in very specific and limited cases; I would try to avoid arbitration or mediation; I would not agree to a waiver and hold harmless that is a blanket exculpatory clause).  Remedies are something that your lawyer should review carefully and work with to negotiate specific terms.  In some cases, you might want the right to terminate the lease, abandon the premises – without penalty.  You should have provisions for temporary loss or use of the premises (see #5 above for examples of when).

13. Default.  Any breach should require certain notice and an opportunity to cure.  Termination or forfeiture of a commercial lease is legally justified in certain situations (breach of a material covenant or condition or a violation of applicable law) and there are two categories of grounds for termination (monetary and non-monetary).   Knowing that, any tenant should want all the details and options for curing a breach or terminating the contract as a result of a breach (timing, penalty, etc.) to be clear so that the tenant can understand their rights an options.

14.   Warranty disclaimers and indemnities (and other rights).  These are going to be in the lease and may very well be IN ALL CAPS (AND SOMETIMES BOLDED TOO). They are written this way to draw your attention to them (some jurisdictions require the emphasis in certain circumstances) so that you can’t claim you weren’t aware of what rights you are giving up.   However, the exact rights you have, and the rights you may be giving up, are jurisdiction specific.  In some places, courts have recognized an implied warranty of fitness or suitability, so you do not want to let the landlord explicitly disclaim these.  In other jurisdictions, you must have language in the lease addressing such issues so that you can sue for breach.   You should also be careful what you agree to indemnify the landlord for.  Typically, commercial lease indemnities are included to cover third-party suits.  But, any indemnity provided should not alleviate the landlord from its responsibility in the event of the landlord’s gross negligence, willful misconduct, reckless disregard or fraud.  You also may be asked to limit the time frame for raising an issue with the landlord, whether the limit relates to an informal notice for a small repair or to file a suit against the landlord.

15.  Relocation, demolition, insolvency.  Those three words are a mouthful.  And they are frightening situations because they are things that are outside of your control (I am assuming this is landlord insolvency).  Relocation provisions are designed to permit the landlord to relocate you.  Believe it or not, sometimes you are expected to pay the cost if the landlord wants to move you.  And if they move you, unless you have the right language requiring the landlord relocate you to comparable space (and the definition of comparable can be key) you may loose all your foot traffic and walk-in business.  Not to mention the disruption to your class schedule.  Although relocation may be minor compared to the demolition clause – if that kicks in and the landlord has the right to demolish the space, what then?  You need to understand the landlord’s rights, and your rights in these cases.   If the landlord files for bankruptcy, you should also know your rights.  A purchaser may assume the obligations under the lease or they may look to make changes.  If you negotiate these clauses well, you may have rights (e.g., termination) if these situations arise.

This list isn’t all inclusive, if you can believe that.  These are just some of the issues you should be thinking about when you get the lease, and you should be prepared to discuss with your attorney before executing a lease.

Some helpful terms that are often used by landlords:

  • build outs – improvements and/or modifications when new space is being finished to a tenant’s specifications
  • CAMs – common area maintenance charges
  • estoppel certificate – an “instrument” which prevents the signor from asserting facts different than what is contained in the document.  This is often required and it will contain certain facts relating to the lease
  • common areas  – places such as hallways, rest rooms, and elevators
  • demised area – the walled off and secured area of a leased space
  • gross lease – when the rent a tenant pays includes things such as insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs
  • holdover – how much the landlord can charge if you overstay the termination of the lease
  • length of lease – this is the term; options for renewal and extensions included
  • net lease – when the rent a tenant pays does not include things such as insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs and the tenant gets charged for such items separately
    • double net lease – taxes and insurance are included
    • triple net lease – taxes, insurance and maintenance costs are included
  • rent, including allowable increases or escalations – the amount you will pay
  • rentable square footage – combines usable square footage plus a portion of the common area
  • turn-key – space that is ready to occupy
  • usable square footage – the square footage rented and used exclusively by the tenant