Master Andy started his martial arts training at the age of 11. He began his training under Instructor Paul Raymond of Don’s Kenpo Karate and The Capital Academy of Martial Arts, in the style of Shaolin Kenpo. Master Andy earned his 1st dan (degree) black belt under Mr. Raymond and also trained in several different martial arts styles with friends and enthusiasts. “Mr. Raymond opened the doors of the martial arts world to me and I will always be grateful to him for that. He was always such a fun instructor too, even when he landed a few punches on you!” In 1998 he joined Master An’s TaeKwonDo in Bedford NH where he primarily trained in TaeKwonDo as well as Boxing, Muay Thai, HapKiDo, Yudo, and Kumdo. After approximately six months of training there, Master Andy was made a part-time instructor and eventually full-time head instructor and earned several awards for his teaching skills.
Training under Grandmaster Nam Yell An and his son Master Richard An, Master Andy grew into the Instructor he is now. “I value the time I spent with Grandmaster An, Master Richard An, and their family so much. I trained with true masters and champions! I am so lucky!” He now holds a 5th dan black belt under Grandmaster An and has over 30 years of martial arts experience. He continues to train and teach in the fashion that his masters taught him. “Grandmaster An has a simple and direct way of teaching that helps you find your strengths and improves upon your weaknesses. I was amazed at how much I improved in all areas in such a short time! His wisdom and guidance were exactly what I was looking for.”
TaeKwonDo is a world-famous martial art and yet often misunderstood, a fact that Master Andy soon learned. “I was skeptical at first to learn TaeKwonDo because I thought it was all kicking and just for sport. If I hadn’t been convinced by Grandmaster An to join I would have never realized how TaeKwonDo was incorrectly stereotyped.” Master Andy was initially hired as an instructor when Master Richard An began training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. However, once Master Richard An returned it wasn’t too long before they were working alongside each other and Master Andy got a taste of training with a world champion in TaeKwonDo. “Master An and I are just about the same age, I think he is a little older than me. That was the first amazing thing about him to me, to be my age and to have done so much already! He really improved my exercise routines and always has such a positive attitude that one can’t help but look up to him. It must run in the family!”
“I don’t think of myself as unstoppable or an amazing martial artist. But I feel as though I understand the truth about martial arts; which is, Martial Arts Training Makes You A Better Person! Grandmaster An taught me that and I believe in it wholeheartedly. I try to give my students traditional discipline along with their modern training. There is something mystical about martial arts and I believe it stems from straightforward disciplined training. We must struggle and work through being tired, in pain, or unmotivated. When we get knocked down, we have to get back up again. A teacher is there not only to teach you the techniques but to help guide you through your struggles. In this way, the student finds strength in themselves they may have never known they had! So I guess could say the mystical part is within us and martial arts training is just one of the ways you can bring it out.”