Learn Tang Soo Do From an Esteemed Master


About Master Gary S. Josefik

Master Josefik is an honorably discharged Vietnam War-era veteran who has been practicing Tang Soo Do for several years. He helps adults and children train in the martial art under the guidance and leadership of the WTSDA.

Early Life

Master Josefik was born in July of 1953 in Philipsburg, PA. He lived in Grassflat, PA until he graduated from West Branch High School in 1972. Master Josefik then enlisted in the US Navy.

Introduction to Martial Arts

Master Josefik was first introduced to martial arts in 1972 while he was stationed in Long Beach, CA. After a short period, he was sent to Subic Bay in the Philippines, where he received military-style classes. Master Josefik was taught by Mr. Davis, a member of Korea Dang Soo Do Association® Chung Nam Moo Duk Kwan.

Mr. Davis trained under Mr. Williamson, dan# 014955. Additionally, Mr. Williamson learned martial arts directly from Master Yun Tak Bong, who led the Korea Dang Soo Do Association®.

Military Discharge

After coming back to the US, Master Josefik was transferred to Bremerton, WA, where he was honorably discharged from duty. He then relocated to San Diego, CA and worked as a welder. In 1975, Master Josefik moved back to Pennsylvania and started working for Piper Aircraft.

Continuing His Training

While working for Piper Aircraft, Master Josefik decided to look for a place to continue his martial arts training. The first place he went to was Alberts Airport in Morrisdale, PA, which opened in 1975.

Melvin Smeal, then a first-degree black belt under Grandmaster Shin, taught the classes in the studio. Mr. Smeal, dan# 19921, attained his black belt in March 1976 after training under Master Dellano Taylor and Master John Werner.

Starting His Teaching Career

Master Josefik found a place in life for himself after meeting Grandmaster Shin in 1978. He was inspired to train other people and teach them the art of Tang Soo Do.

Master Josefik started teaching martial arts at the Tyrone Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) on July 1, 1980. Before him, the classes at the YMCA were instructed by Al McClure, first dan.

Master Josefik started charging 75 cents a week for his program. He gave half of it to the YMCA for facility use. This school is still in operation today (click here).

Other Jobs

In 1980, Master Josefik started to work for Pennsylvania Electric Co. He stayed there until 1983 then quit to work at the State Correctional Institute in Rockview, PA, where he retired after 22 years of serving as a sergeant.

From January 2006 to October 2009, Master Josefik was employed at the Moshannon Valley Correctional Center, which houses federal inmates. He worked there as a supervisor/captain and a sworn deputy federal marshal. In addition, Master Josefik worked at St. Joseph Institute for Addiction from June 2010 to August 2010.

Master Josefik served as a licensed private investigator in the state of Pennsylvania. He is also certified as a lethal weapons instructor by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Memberships and Achievements

Master Josefik is a charter and life member of the WTSDA. He received his first dan on November 1980, second dan on July 1984, third dan on June 1987, master fourth dan on July 1993, fifth dan on July 2001, and international master sixth dan on July 2011. In June 2002, he was inducted into the World Karate Union Hall of Fame as the Master of the Year in Korean Tang Soo Do.

His school was named as Studio of the Month in World Karate 1998. Master Josefik’s studio has also been featured in articles in Black Belt and TaeKwonDo Times magazines.

Additionally, Master Josefik has a degree as a private investigation, which he received from The University of Scranton. He is also a certified Pennsylvania State Constable and a degree-holder acupressurist.

Studios Master Josefik Started

Master Josefik trained under Mr. White for several years until 1984. While under Mr. White’s guidance, Master Josefik assisted in the opening of the following studios:

  • Clearfield YMCA (1981) – Instructor: Al English
  • Penn State Martial Arts Group (1979) – Opened By: Master Charles Vaughn
  • State College YMCA (~1980) – Instructor: Master Charles Vaughn
  • State College Athletic Club (1980) – Instructor: Master Michael White
  • Tang Soo Do in Bellefonte, PA (January 1985) – Instructor: Barry Williams
  • Tang Soo Do in Houtzdale (1975) – Instructor: Dennis Odrosky
  • Lock Haven University Tang Soo Do (1982) – Instructor: Barry Williams
  • Lock Haven YMCA Tang Soo Do (1981) – Instructors: Carmen Daberio and Barry Williams
  • Williamsport Tang Soo Do (1985) – Opened By: Steve Walker, Cho Dan Bo, a Student Under Instructor Barry Williams

He also helped start Master Robert Manculich in Johnstown (1992) and Richard Artecca in Potters Mills (2000). In addition, Master Josefik has helped establish two cardio kickboxing schools, which are run by black belts—Barb Haversack third dan and John Lake third dan—under his direction.

To date, Master Josefik has four Tiny Tiger programs, which are currently in operation. He also has studios in the following places:

  • Altoona, PA (1986)
  • Huntingdon, PA (1996)
  • Morrisdale, PA (1986)
  • Tyrone, PA (1979)
  • Clarion, PA (2002)
  • Warriors Mark, PA (2008)
  • Hollidaysburg, PA (2010)

Other Activities

Master Josefik started the Kick-A-Thons in Central Pennsylvania that still take place today. He has also been doing fundraisers for 20 years straight for Tyrone YMCA. Additionally, Master Josefik has done the following:

  • Served on WTSDA Region Eight Dan Testing Boards
  • Attended and Taught at Region Eight Black Belt Camps
  • Attended World Championships and Region Eight Championships
  • Held Clinics of His Own for His Studios
  • Attended Every Masters Clinic Since 1992
  • Instructed at the Masters Clinic
  • Done Fundraisers for the WTSDA Building Fund and American Heart Association for Muscular Dystrophy
  • Started Giesinger Miracle Network Telethon (Since 1991)

Family and Friends

Master Josefik is thankful to his wife, Diane, for letting him be his own man and being a part of what he wants in life. He is also grateful for Lindy, who made him proud to be a father. Master Josefik appreciates his granddaughter, Haylee, who showed him the circle of life.

Additionally, Master Josefik is thankful to Master Chambliss for taking the time to talk with him. He would also want to express his gratitude to his instructors and Grandmaster Shin for taking the time to guide him into being a better person.

Master Josefik will not forget training out in a field before winter started to set in when they did not have a building to train in yet. Getting electricity and heating the building they were able to pay for was memorable as well. He will also always remember training on the beach at Black Moshannon State Park.

Recommended Readings

  • “Traditional Tang Soo Do: Volume I: The Essence” by Jae Chul Shin
  • “Traditional Tang Soo Do: Volume II: The Basics” by Jae Chul Shin
  • “Traditional Tang Soo Do: Volume III: The Dae Ryun” by Jae Chul Shin
  • “Traditional Tang Soo Do: Volume IV: Advanced Hyung” by Jae Chul Shin
  • “Traditional Tang Soo Do: Volume V: Instructors Manual” by Jae Chul Shin
  • “Muye Dobo Tongji: Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts” by Yi Duk-Moo and Park Je-Ga (1790)
  • “Art of War” by Sun Tzu
  • “All Men Are Brothers” Translated by Pearl S. Buck (Original Print)

Note: You may order the Traditional Tang Soo Do books from the WTSDA or through your studio instructor.