History


The Creators of Our Curriculum

Master Jennifer Branch recently earned her 7th Degree Black Belt, or 7th Dan, in Taekwondo. The United States Taekwondo Grandmaster Society awarded her 6th Dan in 2008, and 7th Dan in 2014, under the aegis of Grandmaster Won Chik Park, 9th Dan, and Grandmaster Roy D. Kurban, 9th Dan. Master Branch’s rank has also been recognized and certified through the American Karate Black Belt Association, Chin Sook Hage Kwan.

Twenty-five years of dedicated training has earned Master Branch many accolades including being ranked as a Top Competitor in the Southwest Region by Karate Illustrated Magazine (1986), a nationally accredited publication.

During her training for 5th Dan in 1996, she returned once again to competition and received Gold and Silver medals at the Texas State T.K.D. Championships in Dallas, TX. Winning at the state level resulted in the opportunity to compete in the 22nd U.S. National T.K.D. Championships in Colorado Springs, at the esteemed U.S. Olympic Training Center (Silver Medal – Forms).

Her competitive resume includes a corporate sponsorship by Meridian Service Corp. which provided funding for national and international competition such as the International Tournament of Champions in Bermuda, L.A. Internationals, Battle of Atlanta, Fort Worth National Pro-Am, National Karate Open Finals, Gulf Coast Nationals, and the United States Karate Championships, the latter at which she earned Black Belt Forms Champion in 1985 and 1986.

Master Branch founded the Taekwondo programs at The Las Colinas Sports Club at Four Seasons and the GTE World Headquarters in Irving, TX. Both programs grew rapidly and produced 4 Traditional Karate League Eagle Winners and 3 State Medalists in Olympic Style Taekwondo competition.

Shortly after returning to Austin from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, she opened the Austin Black Belt Academy of Austin. The South 1st school produced many talented students with an admiral list of competitive wins as well as state, regional and national awards.

Master Branch studied sports science/kinesiology and worked with NCAA women’s collegiate teams while at the University of Texas at Austin, further adding to her knowledge and expertise in physical fitness and training. Currently she is pursuing a nursing degree while serving as Executive Administrator at PL Management development company.

1974- Began Taekwondo training under Grandmaster Roy Kurban at the American Black Belt Academy in Arlington, Texas.

1975-2010 – Competed in local, national, and international events

1981 – Top 5 Jr. Fighter in Texas, A.O.K.

1982 – Top 10 Jr. Competitor – Southwest Region, Official Karate Yearbook

1984-87 – Top 3 Adult Competitor, Forms & Fighting, A.O.K.

1985-87 – Regionally Ranked Forms and Fighting, Karate Illustrated Magazine

1990-95 – Top Competitor, Eagle Award Winner, Traditional Karate League

1996 – Texas State TKD Championships, Gold & Silver Medalist

1996 – First Female to perform Demonstrations at Ft. Worth International TKD Championships

1996 – US National TKD Championships, US Olympic Training Center, Silver Medalist

1996 – Awarded 5th Dan Master Certificate under the aegis of Grandmaster Kurban and Grandmaster Won Chik Park, World TKD Federation

2008 – Battle of Atlanta, 1st Fighting, 2nd Forms

2008 – Awarded 6th Dan under Grandmaster Kurban and Grandmaster Won Chik Park, USTKD Grandmaster Society

2009 – W.T.F. US National Qualifier, Sport Poomsae, Gold Medalist

2010 – 42nd Annual US Karate Championships, Texas Legends Team Match

2014 – Awarded 7th Dan under Grandmaster Kurban and Grandmaster Won Chik Park, USTKD Grandmasters Society and the American Karate Black Belt Association.

2018 – Who’s Who Legends Award presented by American Martial Arts Alliance.

 

Grand Master Roy Kurban began his martial arts training in 1965 under Texas Karate greats Allen Steen, Larry Caster and Skipper Mullins; earning his black belt in 1968. He also spent a full year in Korea training with Grand Master Won Chik Park. He currently holds a Ninth Degree Black Belt from the United States Taekwondo Grandmaster’s Society, and is one of the very few Americans to receive a Master Instructor Certificate from the Kukkiwon.

1965
Began Taekwondo training under Allen Steen, Larry Caster, Skipper Mullins, Jerry Wiseman, Phillip Ola, and Dennis Dorris.  Also trained in Isshinryu Karate with Ed Johnson.

1968
Awarded 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo – Dallas, Texas.

1970-71
Trained under Grandmaster Won Chik Park while stationed with the U.S.  8th Army, Seoul, Korea.

1970
Awarded 2nd Degree Black Belt at the Ji Do Kwan Headquarters in Seoul, Korea.

1972
Awarded 3rd Degree Black Belt in Dallas, Texas by Allen Steen.

1973
“Best All-Around Karate Man in the U.S.” as quoted by Mike Stone in Professional Karate Magazine.

1975
Awarded 4th Degree Black Belt through Korea Moo Duk Kwan Association with the test conducted by Master Hee Deok Park in Odessa, Texas.

1980
Awarded 5th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructors Certificate under the aegis of the Kukkiwon with the exam conducted by Grandmaster Won Chik Park, Fort Worth Texas.

1986
Awarded 6th Degree Black Belt under the Kukkiwon and Ji Do Kwan Association, conducted by Grandmaster Won Chik Park. Concurrently awarded 6th Degree Black Belt certification in Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo by Master Larry Caster in Arlington, Texas.

1994
Awarded 7th Degree Black Belt by Grandmaster Won Chik Park through the Ji Do Kwan and Kukkison.

2005
Awarded 8th Degree Black Belt and title of “Grandmaster” by Grandmaster Won Chik Park, President of the United States Taekwondo Grandmaster’s Society.

2014

Awarded Ninth Degree Black Belt by Grandmaster Won Chik Park after testing under the aegis of the United States Taekwondo Grandmaster’s Society.