The history of our club dates back to 1981, when a club known as the U.S. Air Force R.O.T.C. Tae Kwon Do Club was run by Mr. David Reed. Mr. Reed was the club president at the time, and had some training in Tang Soo Do. In 1982, Mr. Reed met Master Charles Vaughn, then a 2nd Dan and student of Master Michael White (2nd Dan at the time), and invited him to come help teach the class. The students were very impressed by Master Vaughn’s knowledge and teaching ability, and Mr. Reed, acknowledging his superiority, handed charge of the club over to him. Master Vaughn became chief instructor of the club, under the Appalachia Tang Soo Do studio (Chief Instructor Master Michael White). The club became a part of the World Tang Soo Do Association when the Association was chartered in November, 1982. During this time, while in the process of certifying the club through the Penn State Association of Student Activities (ASA), the club’s name was changed to the U.S. Air Force R.O.T.C. Tang Soo Do Hap Ki Do club.
In July of 1983, Master Michael Kaye, then Cho Dan Bo, returned from a one year internship in Philadelphia, during which time he trained at the World Headquarters under Kwan Chang Nim Jae Chul Shin and Master Charles Irwin. Master Kaye assisted Master Vaughn, who had left the area because of work, by supervising club business on a daily basis. Master Vaughn returned about once a week to teach the class. During the 1983-84 academic school year, under the guidance of Mr. Donald Suit, our club’s faculty advisor, the constitution was passed and the club became part of ASA and club sports. Master Vaughn changed the name of our club during the 1983-84 academic school year to the Penn State Martial Arts Group. Master Kaye received his Cho Dan rank in 1984, at which time Master Vaughn passed the club over to Master Kaye.
At that time, the Penn State Martial Arts Group, along with other Tang Soo Do Studios in the central PA area were all part of Appalachia Tang Soo Do. In 1986, under Master White’s guidance, the Penn State Martial Arts Group became an independent studio of the World Tang Soo Do Association (Studio #239), with Master Kaye as its Chief Instructor.
A lot has happened since that time. In 1983, Master Kaye also began assisting with classes at the Athletic Club under Master White. He was soon responsible for the day to day teaching of the class. Sometime around 1987, that class became integrated with the Penn State Martial Arts Group. In 2005, the C5 class became a separate studio under the direction of Master Scott Merrill and having the name A Mountain Wind Martial Arts. Penn State Martial Arts Group and A Mountain Wind Martial Arts both continue to train together regularly and work closely with one another at all sanctioned events. Following Master White’s death, Master Merrill became the studio head of Appalachia Tang Soo Do in Philipsburg, PA, and recently passed the Athletic Club Studio, now called A Mountain Wind, to Dr. Susan Strohm.