MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY OF TANG SOO DO AZ OWNER'S SPOTLIGHT
Stephanie A. Larson #035158
Sah Dan Master Instructor and Co Owner..
Head instructor of Tigers program (3-5 year olds), Teen & Adult Program and Leadership program.
Stephanie Larson has been training in Tang Soo Do for the past 28 years and is a World Tang Soo Do certified instructor for the past 15 years. Having started as a young child herself, her passion is teaching children and guiding them through the physical and mental development of martial arts. Stephanie is a Registered Nurse and also works part time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at St Joes Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. With her past experience in pediatric nursing and her passion for women and children both in health care and martial arts, she specializes in women’s and children’s self-defense as well as childhood safety and development. Stephanie has successfully competed in both regional and world tournaments and has served on the first aid team at numerous martial art events as a volunteer.
Ian M. Larson #036181
Chief Instructor – Sah Dan Master Instructor and co-owner.
Head Instructor of Youth Programs (6-11 year olds), Teen & Adult Program and Leadership program.
Ian Larson has been training in Tang Soo Do for 23 years and has been teaching as a World Tang Soo Do Association certified instructor for the last 20 years. He has recently acquired his Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy, and this, along with his long standing passion for fitness, allows him to not only teach martial arts but understand and teach the medical knowledge and philosophy behind the techniques. His past experience as a youth fitness instructor at a middle school along with his high energy and dynamic teaching abilities makes him an inspiration to children of all ages. His work as a Therapist has also led him to understand the developmental mile stones of children and incorporate them into his teaching curriculum. Ian has successfully competed in both regional and world tournaments and has served on the first aid team at numerous martial art events as a volunteer.
Ian and Stephanie first met as teenagers in 2002 and trained together about twice a year at regional events. In 2007 they began teaching together under Masters Robert and Teresa Grissom (Stephanie’s parents) and managed the children’s martial art program at Circle Pines Karate Institute in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
They began officially dating in 2009 and were married December 30, 2011, promptly moving to Arizona to allow Ian to finish out his graduate school in physical therapy. They now reside in Laveen, Arizona and have five children, Michael, Matthew, & Marcus and Evelyn (twins), and Malachi.
Ian and Stephanie Larson opened the Martial Arts Academy of Tang Soo Do Arizona in 2014, under the tutelage of Senior Master Johnny R. Williamson. In 2017 the Larson's secured a commercial location in Chandler, Arizona, where the school has become poised to grow into one of the premier martial arts studios in the East Valley of Phoenix.
The Martial Arts Academy of Tang Soo Do Arizona is a family-owned and family-focused, traditional martial arts studio, emphasizing the respect and humility of the art just as much as the physical training. Classes are arranged by age group and by rank, so students are always practicing with their peers .
There are students of all ages from 2 years old -70+. The Larson's passion is teaching kids important life lessons of responsibility, courage, self-esteem, and self-control through the Korean martial art Tang Soo Do.
Ian and Stephanie look at martial arts as a life-long endeavor that has multiple benefits for any person in any stage of life. “Unlike football, soccer, and basketball, martial arts has been there for me through junior high, high school, community college, state college, and graduate school, and will continue to be there through every stage of my life,” Ian says. “It is something that has gotten me through many hard times, and I plan to continue doing Tang Soo Do with my great-grandchildren.”