Grand Master Michael Clark began his martial arts training during his tour in Vietnam at the age of 20. He was stationed at DaNang Air Base on the DMZ of North and South Vietnam. He attended training 6 days a week, 4 hours per day for 10 months with the Korean Masters. The training was gruelling and brutal in its methods. At the end of the 10 months, Grand Master Clark made his 1st attempt to earn his black belt. The test was to be 4 hours long with the fighting at the end. To earn the coveted black belt, Grand Master Clark needed to knock out his challenger and physically remove his opponents black
belt. This was no easy feat. His 1st attempt, he was knocked unconscious in the first minute of fighting. He failed the test. Over the next 6 weeks, Grand Master Clark tested 3 more times - all with the
same outcome - failure. He had one last and final attempt before being shipped home to the USA. Grand Master Clark made a decision to NEVER be knocked down again. On his 5th and final attempt, Grand Master Clark did what he set out to accomplish. At age 21, he was able to knock out his opponent and removed his belt. Grand Master Clark had earned his black belt.
In 1973, Grand Master Clark returned to the United States and started the first martial arts school on the Pease Air Force Base. The school grew from 35 students to 125 within the first few months. He remained there until his discharge from the military in 1975.
After the military, Grand Master Clark moved to Massachusetts started a family, worked for the US Postal Service and continued to train at a Kenpo Martial Arts school. With a busy family life, teaching was put on hold in order to raise his 2 daughters and earn his degree in Criminal Justice. In 1980, Grand Master Clark transferred to Bangor Maine where he met Grand Master Ed Budd. Grand Master Budd taught Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do at the local YMCA. After a few years of training, Grand Master Budd offered the class to Grand Master Clark and he moved back to New Hampshire. Grand Master Clark eventually outgrew the room at the YMCA and found his own space in downtown Bangor. For the next 24 years, Grand Master Clark would train and teach future generations of martial artists.
Grand Master Clark believes strongly in adherence to traditional Tae Kwon Do practice. This tradition is at the very core of martial arts and should not be forgotten. Over the years, he has had the honour to meet and train with many martial artists. Grand Master Clark holds all his black belts to the highest standards and is proud of all they have accomplished. Grand Master Clark is passionate about passing on his extensive knowledge and expertise to the members of our organization and looks forward to being involved in the Martial Virtue Alliance for years to come.