Grandmaster Robert Beaudoin was a charter Master of the World Tang Soo Do Association and the father of traditional Tang Soo Do in New England.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1942 and grew up in Connecticut. After joining the Air Force and being selected for a special language program at Yale University, he was stationed at Osan Air Base in Korea and got his first taste of the martial arts. In 1962 he began training in Tang Soo Do under Grandmaster Jae C. Shin. This date marks the beginning of a student/teacher/friend relationship the two would share for more than 50 years. On May 12, 1963, Grandmaster Beaudoin tested for his black belt in Inchon, Korea in front of Grandmaster Hwang Kee and Grandmaster Shin.
After returning to the United States, he set up his first school in Roswell New Mexico while finishing his time in the Air Force at Walker Air Force Base. The school proved so successful that it expanded beyond just the service men and included wives and children. Upon completing his military service, he returned to Connecticut and opened the Academy of Karate in 1965. Meanwhile, he married JoAnn Conway, with whom he raised Jennifer and Eric, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Connecticut, a master’s degree from Trinity College, and completed his Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida.
After Grandmaster Shin came to the United States in 1968 and opened his school, Grandmaster Beaudoin would regularly drive to New Jersey with groups of his students to continue his training and friendship with Grandmaster Shin. In July 1971, Grandmaster Shin promoted Grandmaster Beaudoin to the rank of Master in a special presentation by removing his own Master’s belt and tying it on Grandmaster Beaudoin. During the succeeding years, his studio grew, and through his efforts and those of his students Tang Soo Do spread throughout the New England region.
Grandmaster Beaudoin combined his martial arts teaching experience and his Doctorate in Education by starting the Quality Training and Consulting business, conducting leadership training programs for private and public organizations. He has served as a college professor at the University of Connecticut, an adjunct professor for Post University, Illinois State University, and the University of New Haven. His combination of leadership and teaching skills has helped him develop the ability to teach students from Tiny Tigers to seniors.
Grandmaster Beaudoin was promoted to the rank of 8th Dan at the 2010 World Championships at the same event where Grandmaster Shin was promoted to 9th Dan. Throughout his martial arts career loyalty has been one of the central tenets of his training and one of the primary attributes he has passed onto his students. Following the passing of Grandmaster Shin in 2012, Grandmaster Beaudoin stepped in to lead the World Tang Soo Do Association. Grandmaster Beaudoin travelled extensively around the world to teach and grow the World Tang Soo Do Association. Grandmaster Beaudoin continued to travel and teach until his untimely passing in January of 2020. Grandmaster Beaudoin's student have come together to continue teaching and growing his legacy, his contributions and memory will never be forgotten.