Master Stephen D. Smith
Began training in the martial arts (Tae Kwon-Do) on November 15, 1974.
First instructor was John Miller at the Respectful Martial Arts Gymnasium in Altoona, PA.
Promoted to first degree black belt in March 1977 from the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation.
Received a first degree black belt from the World Tae Kwon-Do Federation in Nashville, Tennessee from
Master Shin in March 1977.
Promoted to second degree black belt in March 1981 from the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation.
Began training in Shoto Kan karate with Master John Snyder in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1981.
At that time, Master Synder was the number one ranked fighter, the number one ranked kata performer,
and the number one ranked weapons competitor in region ten, which then included Pennsylvania, Delaware,
and New Jersey. Mr. Smith feels that Master John Snyder was the biggest influence upon him as an instructor
in martial arts.
Moved to Lompoc California in 1986 and trained with Master Harris Warren at the Vanderburg Air Force Base
in Haka Doryu karate. Also trained with Steve "Nasty" Anderson, former United States points sparring champion
and Master Zip White, former Texas point sparring champion.
Upon his return to Pennsylvania in 1988, Mr. Smith began entering various tournaments throughout Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and Maryland with much success. Mr. Smith has won numerous black belt fighting grand championships
including winning the Jersey Shore Open Karate tournament three out of the five years the tournament was conducted.
Mr. Smith has also won four fighting championships at Master Lenny Young's karate tournament in Bellefonte,
In the early nineties, Mr. Smith began training with James Del Real (Mu Do Kwan) and Nick Gracinen
(Wing Chung Kung-Fu). Each of these instructors are from State College, Pennsylvania. Training was held at
the Penn State University.
Mr. Smith published "Buying Time for a Reverse Punch" in Inside Karate
magazine in May 1998. The article
dealt with the four quadrants of movement and their relationship to sparring in the martial arts.
Mr. Smith is one of the founding partners and an instructor at The Altoona Center for Martial Arts. With over
thirty years experience, Mr. Smith has trained in a wide variety of systems, and now adds each one of them to his
own fighting system.
Currently, the Altoona Center for Martial Arts is a member of the Chin Mu Kwan Tae Kwon-Do Federation
under the guidance of Master Lenny Young.
On February 25, 2006 Mr Smith was promoted to 3nd Degree Black Belt by a board of the
Chin Mu Kwan Taekwondo Federation, and on May 5th of 2012 Mr Smith was promoted to 4th