New Students FAQ

Commonly Asked Questions

When/where are classes held?

All new students must fill out the Student Waiver and bring it with them to their first class.

Download Student Waiver (PDF Download)

Class Schedule:

Monday and Thursday - 6:15 pm-7 pm 7:05 -8:00pm - 2717 Alloway Ct Raleigh NC 27606

No classes held on Sundays, legal holidays, and other days as determined by Master Marsh (i.e: Halloween).

Inclement weather - if Wake county/Raleigh schools are closed due to weather TSD classes are cancelled.

All new students must fill out the Student Waiver and bring it with them to their first class.


No contracts - please inquire with Master Ken Marsh.


Cary Tang Soo Do is a member of, the MuSa Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation headed by Grand Master Greg Boliard, 9th degree black belt . Grand Master Boliard (Grand Master Marsh’s direct instructor) has been training in the martial arts since 1969. The name translates to “Warrior [Musa] School [Kwan] for the Way [Do] of the Chinese [Tang] Open Hand [Soo]”. Both GM Boliard and GM Marsh were trained under the guidance of Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim, head of the World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Association.

Who is the head Instructor? Who teaches the classes?
Grand Master Ken Marsh 8th Dan, MuSa Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation is the head instructor. GM Marsh teaches approx. 75% of the classes. He is assisted by other black belts during classes; the black belts fill in for him as needed. As part of their training, senior students (red belts) may be asked to assist with teaching. However, this is always done under the supervision of a black belt.
What rank will a new student have?

A new student with no prior martial arts experience will enroll as a white belt – a beginner.

New students with prior training - subject to Master Ken Marsh’s approval - may be allowed to participate at their previous school’s rank until their first MUSA test, at which time Master Marsh will decide their MUSA rank.

What are the colors of students’ belts, and what do they mean?

Cary Tang Soo Do 10 gup, or student, ranks, before black belt.

These are spread among 4 colors of belts:

White belt – 10th / 9th gup – beginner, White belt w/ 1 stripe- 9th gup

Purple belt/1 stripe – 8th gup (novice rank), Purple belt/ 2 stripes – 7th gup

Green belt/1 stripe – 6th gup (intermediate), Green belt /2 stripes – 5th gup, Green belt w/3 stripes – 4th gup

Red belt w/1 strip – 3rd gup (Advanced rank), Red belt w/2 stripes– 2nd gup, Red belt w/3  stripes – 1st gup

Black belts, or Dans, wear midnight blue belts with gold (white) stripes. The number of stripes designates what degree (level) the Dan has earned. A 4th Dan or higher is a master and has a red-bordered, midnight blue belt.

Who can participate in the class? What if I have physical issues?

Class is open to both children and adults, who train together in the same classes. Please contact Master Marsh for information about the lower age limit for children (7 years old).

Physical limitations should be discussed with Master Marsh; he can best advise a person how to train with his/her particular limitation. Most people find that regardless of their physical issues, they are able to find ways to train in the martial arts. Safety and control are taught along with techniques, with an emphasis on when it would be appropriate for students to use their training.

Are uniforms required?

When attending the class on a trial basis, a uniform is not required. To participate you must wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. No shorts or tight fitting workout clothing is allowed.

If you decided to enroll as a student, you must purchase a uniform. See Master Ken Marsh for pricing.

What kind of martial art is Tang Soo Do?

Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art similar to Karate and Tae Kwon Do using kicks, punches, and blocks. Commands are given in English and Korean, so that students will learn the correct terminology as they learn the techniques. Korean martial arts etiquette, involving such things as bowing and specific ways of addressing instructors, is practiced.

Testing: When are student tests held? Who decides when a student is ready to test?

Testing is scheduled on a needed basis. Grand Master Ken Marsh with input from his instructors will make the decision as to which students are ready to test. Many factors; a student’s attitude, attendance, ability and knowledge of past required techniques and current material are determining factors. An invitation to test is considered an honor and is not guaranteed. It is also required that the student must be a member of the Musa Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation, wear a Musa uniform with required patches, and current on class fees. Cost for testing is a sliding scale based on the belt rank.

The format of a test is very much like a regular class requiring the performance of basic moves in a line drill format; one-step drills for hand techniques, foot techniques, self-defense, forms, sparring and breaking of boards.

Blackbelt tests are held twice per year by GM Boliard, usually in March and September. The cost varies according to rank. Please contact Master Marsh for information about black belt testing requirements and costs.

Are there study materials available?

Grand Master Boliard has written the Musa Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation Handbook. It is STRONGLY recommended that all students purchase a copy of the handbook, which covers information needed from White Belt through Black Belt Master. He has also created DVDs dealing with the various hyungs (katas, or forms) that the students will be learning. Please contact Grand Master Marsh for a list of available DVDs and their prices. Informal information will be distributed by Master Marsh and is required to be included in the student developed notebook.

Is there a Federation website?

Yes – please see It has information about the Federation, its member studios and the studio head instructors, testing requirements, Musa events, and testing study guides.

Are there Federation-sponsored tournaments?

Cary Tang Soo Do does not focus on tournament training.

However, the MUSA KWAN Federation does hold tournaments – Grand Master Boliard sponsors a yearly open tournament in the spring in Detroit MI. An open tournament is one where any martial artist, regardless of style or school, may compete. The rules for the tournament are similar to other tournaments’ rules, and judging is handled by the black belts who compete, regardless of style or school. Any Federation member, regardless of age or rank, may compete.

Is sparring done in class? Is equipment required?

Sparring between students of all ranks is done on a regular basis. If there are limiting factors that would prevent students from sparring (physical, religious, etc.), they must inform Master Marsh.

Required equipment: Mouth guard and (for males) cup are required.. It is strongly suggested that Hand and feet protection is used during sparring. (Available on many websites

Optional equipment: helmet, shin guards, and forearm guards, but it is strongly recommended that students purchase gear as soon as they can.

Are there any additional opportunities to train?

Periodically, Grand Master Boliard will present special seminars, using his own material, and conduct testing at our facility. He will also invite masters to visit and instruct using material related to their particular martial arts specialties. Hard copies of flyers for seminars are made available in the studio.

See Master Ken Marsh for one-on-one classes or opportunities to work one-on-one with instructors for an additional fee.