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"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Lao Tzu

Grandmaster Sy Cheatham

Grandmaster Sy CheathamGrandmaster Sy CheathamGrandmaster Sy Cheatham is a native of Richmond, Virginia and after finishing high school, entered the United States Air Force. While in the military and stationed in Guam, USA, he began his martial arts study in Do Shin Kai karate under Sensei Carl Noble in 1968. After returning stateside in the same year, he returned to McCoy AFB, Florida where his study continued in the USA Goju Ryu System under Sensei William Liquori, a disciple of Sensei Peter Urban. After discharge from the air force in 1970, he returned to his hometown of Richmond and practiced under the guidance of Sensei Jerry Piddington, a student of Mike Stone, in American style karate. In 1973, Grandmaster Cheatham moved to the Northern Virginia area where he studied under Grandmaster James K. Roberts, Sr. in Tae Kwon Do/Tang Soo Do. He attained the rank of 4th Dan from Grandmaster Roberts after nine years of training. In 1986, Grandmaster Cheatham located Grandmaster Myung Seok Seo, 8th Dan in Waldorf, Md. Grandmaster Seo accepted him as a student in that year and his practice and martial arts education continued for thirteen years until Grandmaster Seo encouraged him to start his own Tang Soo Do family. Grandmaster Cheatham’s study under Grandmaster Seo resulted in the rank of 6th Dan. The Korean Tang Soo Do Academy was founded in 1997 due to encouragement from Grandmaster Seo. Also, during this time, Grandmaster Cheatham attained the rank of 5th Dan in Tae Kwon Do from the Kim School, Tae Kwon Do from Grandmaster Hun Soo Kim of Virginia Beach.


Grandmaster Cheatham is an active member of the World Korean Martial Arts Union, the National Tang Soo Do Federation, and the United States Head of Family Martial Arts Association-Int’l Supreme Elite Warrior’s Council. He received his 7th, 8th, and 9th Dan certification from these organizations. He is the Virginia representative receiving his appointment on January 13, 2002.
Grandmaster Cheatham has received numerous citations from different organizations citing his achievements in the arts as well as his dedication and devotion to the education and spreading of the martial arts to the general public.

2011 will begin Grandmaster Cheatham’s 44st year in the martial arts and he has been inducted into several halls of fame including the Eastern USA Int’l Martial Arts Association HOF, The United States Head of Family Martial Arts Association, Legends Champions Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Int’l Jujitsu Hall of Fame, World Organizer of Martial Arts and others. He is also a member of the Int’l Grandmasters Society. On June 28, 2008, Grandmaster Cheatham was appointed to the Tang Soo Do Board of Directors, Vice Chair, for Region 1.

Grandmaster Cheatham is a certified defensive tactics and general instructor for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In 2006, Grandmaster Cheatham was appointed Coach of the 2006 USA Int’l Martial Arts Team (Team USA) for the Pan Caribbean Championships held in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies. The team traveled with thirty members and returned with fifty gold medals.

Grandmaster Cheatham has produced several Grand Champions and one Supreme Grand Champion during his years of teaching and conducts seminar and clinics when requested for students who are interested in learning the old hyungs of Tang Soo Do.

 Grand Master Cheatham is the author of the book "The Lost Forms of Tang Soo Do". This book details the forms required for 1st Dan and 2nd Dan under Grandmaster Seo's system.