The certified instructors at Master Kwon's Hapkido Karate School have
many years of experience. All instructors have been tested and certified by
Grandmaster Kwon. Instructors attend quarterly seminars to review and
refine training techniques, as well as expand their skills. See our Black
Belt page for a partial list of individuals who have earned their black belts
under the instruction of Master Kwon, most of which have been assistants
Instructors | Instructors | Assistant
Instructor Certificate Class, 29 October 2011
Masters (5th Degree and above)
||Master Carton is a 7th Dan and is the senior
instructor having trained with Master Kwon since 1974. Master Carton is a licensed firearms, O/C (pepper
spray), baton, and handcuff instructor. He also specializes in weapons retention. He has over 30 years of security, personal and professional protective skills, and street self defense experience.
He is starting his own personal defense and security instruction
company. In an interview with Master Carton, he said:
"Hapkido gives you skills in self defense, a philosophy of action and living and confidence. Master Kwon is a great mentor, friend, and one of the finest individuals I have ever met. I enjoy teaching at the school for the interaction with the students, the ability to share knowledge, skills and to build confidence in people. I respect the different skills and knowledge that other instructors have. I love to share the martial arts skills with others. I have seen a great number of students progress under my tutelage. Some of them are now instructors with Master Kwon."
||Master Fountain is a 7th Dan and
has been a mainstay in Master Kwon's dojang for 25 years. On the
recommendation of his brother (a Los Angeles police officer), Mr.
Fountain first made the drive from his Inglewood home to Master
Kwon's Torrance studio in the late 1970s. "My older brother
said that sometimes you have to go out of your way to get what you
want," says Fountain. When he arrived, Fountain immediately saw
that unlike many other martial arts, Hapkido focused on practical
defenses and attacks. In action, the discipline incorporates
grappling, striking, throws, breaks, and locks to swiftly disable
opponents and end unpleasant confrontations. "The first time I
saw Master Kwon, he demonstrated perfect technique, and he made it
look natural. He was the first true Asian master that I had
met," says Fountain. "Master Kwon is a legitimate master
of Hapkido. If you are going to learn from someone, this is the
man," says Fountain. While he has taught students of all ages,
Mr. Fountain focuses now on the adult night classes. A retired
electrical engineer, the 57 year old Fountain favors the late class
because it fits his work schedule. While earlier classes must keep
to a strict schedule, an extra benefit of the night class is the
added time that students get. While day classes must adhere to a set
timeframe, there are no such limitations at night. If you need extra
help or merely want to discuss fighting philosophy, Mr. Fountain
will often stay late for extra practice. For more on Master
Fountain, see Adult Classes
||Master Fried is a 7th Dan and has
studied many different martial arts. Bryan Fried began his martial
arts career in 1965 as a student of Skotokan stylists Phillip and
Howard Umanski who trained under Bob Tiani at Tong Dojo in New York.
He achieved a Nidan before moving with his family to Wantagh, New
York. Bryan began training with National Karate Federation President
Ed Gross in 1971. Eventually, he continued his training at the
(Korean TaeKwonDo Assn President) Richard Chun TaeKwonDo center in
Massapequa New York; a school which produced such Black Belt
Magazine Hall of Famers such as Joe Hayes. In 1974, Bryan and three
partners founded the Korean Karate Studio in North Levittown, New
York. In 1975, he co-authored Weaponless Defense, A Law Enforcement
Guide to Self Defense and Control, published by C.C. Thomas and Sons
of Springfield, Illinois. During this time, he taught self defense
tactics to the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey.
Bryan moved to southern California in 1977 where he continued his
practice of TaeKwonDo eventually holding a third dan ranking. In
1988, Bryan met Grandmaster Kwon and has been training with him ever
since. Bryan’s entire family, wife Cindy and sons David and Robert
are students and instructors at Master Kwon’s Hapkido. Bryan Fried
attended the City University of New York and St. Johns University
School of Law. He currently serves as President & CEO of
Visionaire Lighting in Rancho Dominguez, California and is a parter
both in the Terravant Wine Company of Santa Ynez, California as well
as Inception Wines.
||Master Eva is a 6th Dan.
||Master Dean Kwon is a 6th Dan.
||Master Shuman is a 6th Dan. Eric Shuman
began training with Master Kwon in 1998. He started going four
times a week and quickly went to eight times a week. Now he’s
there for almost every class, especially the kid's classes. He has
trained in other martial arts and appreciates Hapkido’s
versatility and practicality. You’ll usually see one of his
motorcycles parked in front of the studio.
||Mr. Johnson is a 5th Dan. He
started training with Master Kwon in 1981. Prior to starting
Hapkido, he had taken Aikido for about 3 years.
"Master Kwon has been a great friend and an invaluable
instructor. (He has forgotten more about Hapkido than I will ever
know!). I have learned more than just Hapkido while attending his
"I have enjoyed watching the kids and adults progress in
both their techniques and self-confidence over the years."
||Mr. Evans is a 4th Dan Instructor.
He began studying Martial Arts in 1994 in the art of Kenpo Karate.
He studied Kenpo for several years, and had the opportunity to train
under Senior Master Professor Dr. Ron Chapel. Mr. Evans took a break
from studying Martial Arts and pursued other extracurricular
recreational activities to stay active. After a four year hiatus
from Martial Arts, Mr. Evans returned to Martial Arts training in
the arts of Hapkido.
A student of Grand Master Tae M. Kwon and brother, Grand Master
Tae Y. Kwon. Mr. Evans has benefited greatly from his time spent in
learning, training and instructing under both Grand Masters with
their decades of knowledge and experience in the art of Hapkido. He
has also benefited greatly from training with their Masters and
other Instructors. Studying Hapkido has helped in maintaining
balance in life and has become a tremendous family bonding
||Ms. Fried is a 4th Dan. Cindy Fried
is a native of Southern California. Born in East L.A., she grew up
in Torrance and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in
Microbiology before beginning her career in the title insurance
business. In that regard, Cindy has run divisions for Ticor
Title Insurance, Gateway Title and currently serves as President of
the largest residential/commercial division for Fidelity National
Title Insurance Group (FNF:NYSE) in the nation. Cindy met
Grandmaster Kwon in 1988 when she and son David, then 5 years old,
began training in the old location on Calle Mayor in Torrance.
Cindy has opted to train for long periods of time in between
promotions, achieving 1st Dan in 1994, 2nd in
2002 and 3rd, also seven years later in 2009. She
currently teaches on Saturday mornings, work schedule permitting,
with husband Bryan. In addition to family and work
responsibilities, Cindy is an avid skiier, racing for South Bay Ski
Club in Mammoth’s Chaminoix League for many years and was voted
the United States Ski Association Snow Queen in 1977. Cindy
also shares husband Bryan’s interests and participation in the
wine industry as a partner both in Inception Wines and Terravant
||Mr. Carratala is a 3rd Dan. "I began training with Master Kwon my junior year of high-school
(1985). My Father
promised he would pay my way to Black Belt on the condition that I
didn’t quit. During
that time martial arts was not main-stream and often misunderstood.
I really wanted to give it a try, so I took my Dad up on the
those early years of training I learned some hard lessons about
being unique. At one
point during my senior year of high school many a tough-guy caught
wind of my martial art study and wanted to fight me, the “karate
kid”. Interestingly I
stood up to the challenge every time and inevitably they backed down
every time. At another
time my study of Hapkido led to a parting of ways between myself and
my core group of 'friends'. During
those formative late teenage years I spent several hours every
evening training at Master Kwon’s after school. I
continued studying and teaching at Master Kwon’s into my twenties
eventually earning the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt.
Along the way I met my wife Sonia at the dojang and we were
married in 1997. We now
have three sons and all train together at Master Kwon’s.
Hapkido is a unique bond that unites our family in a special
way. In retrospect it is interesting to note that the decisions that
set me apart in such a big way as a young person are the very
decisions that gave me courage to continue to pursue uniqueness as I
grew into an adult. As a self-employed artist and entrepreneur these
traits have served me well over the years. I
challenge all students to have the courage to embrace their identity
as a martial artist. You are unique by virtue of the path you have
chosen. This is a road
less traveled; many miles may still be before you but every step of
the journey will be well worth it."