Korea Taekwondo Academy

Instructors

All KTA Instructors are officially certified dan (degree) holders through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters – and have extensive teaching experience.

KTA

Grand Master Instructor

Grand Master Instructor

Garth Cooley

Grandmaster Garth Cooley is an 8th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo certified by the Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Certification Headquarters) and brings nearly four decades of experience as an international competitor, coach, and instructor to KTA students six days a week.  Grandmaster Cooley was voted Indiana’s “Instructor of the Year” by USA Taekwondo and received a “Letter of Commendation” by the Kukkiwon for his outstanding leadership.

Under the direction of Grandmaster Yoon (Founder of KTA), Grandmaster Cooley has not only achieved great success as an instructor, but he has also found that same success throughout his years as an international and national competitor. Grandmaster Cooley is the only instructor in the Midwest who has been a member and Team Captain of the U.S. National Taekwondo Team. As a two-time National Champion, Grandmaster Cooley also received Bronze Medals internationally at the World Games, Goodwill Games, and Pan American Championships. In 1993, he was named “Athlete of the Year” in Taekwondo by the United States Olympic Committee.

Grandmaster Cooley’s National & International Sparring Records

Grand Master Cooley competing at the 3rd World Games Karlsruhe, Germany – July 1989
Grand Master Cooley competing at the 3rd World Games Karlsruhe, Germany – July 1989
Grand Master Cooley competing at the 3rd World Games Karlsruhe, Germany – July 1989

Grandmaster Cooley’s Poomsae Accomplishments

Since 2006, Grandmaster Cooley has enjoyed being a member of the U.S. National Poomsae Team and has competed at the World Poomsae Championships eight times as an individual as well as in pair and team categories.  He is one of very few Taekwondo Master Instructors in the United States who is actively competing, and this brings KTA students an even higher level of training not found at any other school in the region.

Grand Master Cooley competing at the 9th World Poomsae Championships Aguascalientes, Mexico – October 2014
Grand Master Cooley competing at the 9th World Poomsae Championships Aguascalientes, Mexico – October 2014
Grand Master Cooley competing at the 9th World Poomsae Championships Aguascalientes, Mexico – October 2014

Grand Master Cooley’s Resume

Grandmaster Cooley is a graduate of the University of Indianapolis and holds a degree in Business Administration. He also holds an International Referee Certification by World Taekwondo.

Led by Grandmaster Cooley, KTA also provides you with the largest and most experienced staff of certified Black Belt instructors, enabling us to give students the individual attention they need. We also provide special classes just for instructors and Black Belts to ensure that your instruction is consistent and top-notch!

Grandmaster Cooley is one of the most accomplished Taekwondo practitioners in the world and is often sought out by many in the Taekwondo community for consulting and seminars throughout the United States.

Grand Master Cooley pictured with KTA Founder, Grand Master Chul Koo Yoon, and Kukkiwon President, Choi Young Ryul, at the Kukkiwon on the occasion of his 8th Dan Promotion – May 2019
Grand Master Cooley pictured with KTA Founder, Grand Master Chul Koo Yoon, and Kukkiwon President, Choi Young Ryul, at the Kukkiwon on the occasion of his 8th Dan Promotion – May 2019

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KTA

Weekly Black Belt Leadership Team

Black Belt Leader

Derrick Vazquez

Derrick Vazquez is officially certified 5th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 1998.
What I enjoy the most about training is when GM Cooley breaks down forms.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is when their light bulb turns on and they understand the technique.
My best KTA memory is earning my first dan.
My favorite food is homemade chocolate chip cookies.
When I’m not at KTA, you will likely find me at home chilling out and listening to music on my iPod.

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Black Belt Leader

Tom Gaber

Tom Gaber is officially certified 5th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

David Bickel

David Bickel is officially certified 2nd dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Cindy Gould

Cindy Gould is officially certified 5th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 1987.
Challenging myself and trying to push past my limits is what I enjoy most about training.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is in reaching goals they did not believe they could obtain.
My best KTA memory is traveling to competitions in the 1990s with a great group of friends.
My favorite food is bananas.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you will likely find me pedaling a bike if the weather is nice or reading a book if it’s not nice out.

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Black Belt Leader

Larry Klutzke

Larry Klutzke is officially certified 5th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 1981.
Forgetting all the hustle and bustle outside the dojang is what I enjoy most about training.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is their growth.
My best KTA memory is every new black belt handshake line, I always tear up.
My favorite food is (wow, didn’t think this would be the hardest question) bourbon balls.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you will likely find me listening to a good audiobook.

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Black Belt Leader

Isaac Norman

Isaac Norman is officially certified 3rd dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Scott Thien

Scott Thien is officially certified 4th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Chris Bonham

Chris Bonham is officially certified 4th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 2008.
Finding new areas of improvement is what I enjoy most about training.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is seeing how much they achieve over time.
My best KTA memory is competing in a poomsae tournament with my daughter as a pair.
My favorite food is Mexican.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you will likely find me spending time with my three daughters, two of which are KTA black belts!

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Black Belt Leader

Gloria Hughey

Gloria Hughey is officially certified 3rd dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 2011. I enjoy the hard exercises and disciplined training we do every day.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is seeing the joy they get when they figure out how to execute their poomsae right.
My best KTA memory is the time when I broke my three boards back kick break.
My favorite food is Pancit, a Filipino noodle dish.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you will likely find me at my church praying or leading a teen group.

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Black Belt Leader

Sarah Skwire

Sarah Skwire is officially certified 2nd dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 2015 at KTA, but before that, I trained for a few years in college and grad school. It was hard to come back after a 20+ year break, but I’m glad every day that I did.
Gaining confidence in my ability to learn new things is what I enjoy most about training.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is helping them discover that even if you aren’t big on the outside you can be big on the inside!
My best KTA memory is the day my kids and I earned our black belts.
My favorite food is dark chocolate or anything spicy.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you will likely find me reading, knitting, or watching Marvel movies…sometimes all three at once!

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Black Belt Leader

Amy Norman

Amy Norman is officially certified 1st dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Caroline Wells

Caroline Wells is officially certified 1st dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

Biography

I have been training since 2017.
Being able to leave all of my responsibilities for that day at the door and just focus on training is something I enjoy the most at KTA.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is being able to witness that moment when a form, kicking combination or break clicks with them and they completely understand it.
One of my best memories in KTA is the first belt test I had coming back from my spinal fusion surgery because I pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I had and all my hard work had paid off.
My favorite food are smoothie bowls.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you would likely find me coaching wrestling or volleyball and curling up to a book.

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KTA

Junior Leadership Team

Junior Leader

Ben

Ben is a 3rd Degree Black Belt.

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Junior Leader

Don

Don is a 3rd Degree Black Belt.

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Junior Leader

Jackson

Jackson is a 2nd Degree Black Belt

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Junior Leader

Sarah

Sarah is a 2nd Degree Black Belt.

Biography

I have been training since 2012.
Conditioning and getting a good workout in is what I enjoy most about training.
What I find most rewarding about helping other KTA students is watching them feel satisfied with their work when they finally understand something about taekwondo (ie. their form or kicking combinations).
My best KTA memory is when Aaron Moore and I did a self-defense skit together for a demo and I got to slap him across the face. Neither of us could keep a straight face.
My favorite foods are steak and pasta.
When I am not at KTA or at work/school, you will likely find me outside running around with friends or hiking in a park somewhere.

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Junior Leader

Jonah

Jonah is a 2nd Degree Black Belt

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Junior Leader

Alex

Alex is a 2nd Degree Black Belt.

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Junior Leader

Caitlin

Caitlin is a 1st Degree Black Belt.

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KTA

Black Belt Leaders

Black Belt Leader

William Latimer

Master William Latimer is officially certified 6th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Jeremy Raymer

Jeremy Raymer is officially certified 5th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Kristi George

Kristi George is officially certified 5th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

David George

David George is officially certified 4th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Heather Becker

Heather Becker is officially certified 4th dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Alicia McClure

Alicia McClure is officially certified 3rd dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Black Belt Leader

Rondell Jackson

Rondell Jackson is officially certified 3rd dan (degree) through the Kukkiwon – World Taekwondo Headquarters.

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Tribute to Master Max Myers

This page is dedicated to one of KTA’s most special leaders, Master Max Myers, who passed away on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

Below are submissions by other Masters, Instructors, Students, and Friends of KTA; which are a tribute to his leadership and contributions to KTA.

“He is wise who can instruct us and assist us in the business of daily virtuous living” – Alexander Pope

3/30/14

Dear KTA Family,

It is with great sadness that I announce that Master Max Myers passed away unexpectedly today.

I do not have details of his passing at this time.

For those who knew Master Myers, we share a huge loss. He was a pillar of strength and positive energy for his family and those around him and one of KTA’s greatest leaders for over two decades.

There is great uncertainty on many fronts, but we must rely on our faith in God to help us endure this sudden and unfortunate loss.

As more information becomes available, I will share it with you.

If there is one thing I know, it is that Master Myers would want everyone to continually carry his spirit of endless positive energy and love forward even in his passing. He also would want others to carry on the strong leadership he commanded. I cannot put into words what he meant to me and to countless others.

With great sadness,
Master Garth Cooley


4/1/14

Master Myers was a large influence on me as a child and an adult. When I returned to KTA after a fourteen-year break, Master Myers was the first person to remember me. He was also the first person to welcome me back.

Master Myers always set a good example for all of us at KTA. I will miss him greatly, but I will never forget all I learned from him. Master Myers: Charyut sa bum nim kae kyung yet.

Sorrowfully,
Adam Christian Vargo


4/2/14

Master Myers had a remarkable way of lifting up everyone he knew. He embodied everything that great leaders share – the ability to inspire, encourage, and embolden those around him. And often did it, with just four words: “You can do it.” There was no obstacle that you couldn’t overcome when Max looked you in the eyes and delivered those words.

I’ve had the great privilege of knowing this amazing man for more than 20 years. He led the first class I took at KTA. I cannot put into words what a blessing that Max was to us. But, God’s Word says how we can touch lives the way Max did in ours…

Encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:13
Julie Cooley


4/2/14

Master Myers was a constant friend and mentor to all KTA students no matter which location you called home. He went above and beyond, especially before and during belt tests, to make sure everyone was comfortable. He would often offer guidance to students warming up and was a calming influence with his quiet strength. He will be sorely missed by the entire KTA family.

Condolences,
The Desserich Family


4/3/14

Master Myers was a leader who will never be forgotten. He would always come up to us after our tests and congratulate me and the other students. He always had a positive attitude whenever he was around. I did not know Master Myers that well, but he was a wonderful leader and will be missed by all KTA families.

Katie Wiseman


4/4/14

When we moved to Indy 6 years ago, I tried a number of local tae kwon do schools in the area for my son, Noah. None of them had the combination of strong technique, discipline, and true caring about the student that we were seeking in a school. One day, in a local restaurant, a student of Master Myers’ happened to walk by me wearing a martial arts t-shirt. I stopped him, introduced myself, and asked if he studied. He told me all about KTA and invited Noah to visit. At that first visit, I was very impressed that Master Myers was a true “teacher”. I immediately enrolled Noah in his classes and was relieved that I had finally found the right training. Over the years, I watched Master Myers be so much more than a “teacher” to his students. He took a vested interest in each and every student by always giving them the encouragement and support they needed to grow not only as martial arts students but as young men and women. Words cannot possibly express the loss that is felt with his passing. He would be very proud to see how Jared and his senior students have stepped up this past week to continue his legacy and ensure that his students continue to receive the training, discipline, encouragement, and support he set as his school standards. Master Myers will be missed terribly but the personal standards he encouraged his students to strive towards daily will live on in them.

Respectfully,

The Kaiser-Smelser Family

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