Bu Sabom Nim, Sam Dan
Thunderbird Martial Arts
Bu Sabom Nim Tom Witterholt is a Third Degree Black Belt (and Head Instructor/School Owner) with the Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation (APTSDF). Mr. Witterholt started his martial arts training in the U.K. with the World Kuk Sool Won Association. Shortly after receiving his Brown Belt in Kuk Sool, Mr. Witterholt was reassigned with the Air Force, and was unable to continue his training.
Over the years, he continued looking for a school offering Kuk Sool in various localities with his Air Force assignments, without success. It was not until his daughter was three, that he renewed his quest to find a martial arts school—this time, with a school that would allow him to train with his daughter.
In the fall of 2010, he joined the Montgomery Family Karate Center, a local APTSDF school, under the instruction of International Master (6th Degree Black Belt) Carole Coker (now Smith). In addition to attending his own class, Mr. Witterholt assisted Master Smith with instructing the Tiny Tigers (age 2-4), Little Dragons (age 5-7) and Junior Eagles (age 7-11), as time permitted.
Mr. Witterholt formally entered the Federation Certified Instructor program in early 2011, receiving credit for the hours spent teaching, and running the school, during Master Smith’s illness. Several months later, he completed his Certified Instructor Training and tested for his Black Belt and Instructor Certification.
After testing, Mr. Witterholt was responsible for instructing his fellow Black Belts on becoming Certified Instructors, and for preparing the next class of Black Belt candidates. He continued this until retirement from the Air Force and leaving the Montgomery, AL area in mid-2011.
After moving to Albuquerque, NM, Mr. Witterholt received permission from Grandmaster St. James to open his own Federation-sanctioned school. Mr. Witterholt taught adults at the Kirtland AFB Fitness Center starting in December 2011 and youths age 8-18 in June 2012. In the summer of 2013, Mr. Witterholt moved classes to the Holiday Park Community Center, 11710 Comanche RD NE.