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Our History

 Photo of Grandmaster Suh, Young-ik 

In the 1960's, former Korean presidential bodyguard, Suh, Young-ik, (student of Grandmaster Park, Chul-hee), moved from Korea to the USA. He established the school in 1964 in Burbank, California. He started teaching Kang Duk Won Martial Art, originally calling the school  "Young Suh School of Self Defense". 

He first started teaching in an unused car dealership hangar, and eventually opened a school in a more suitable location in the city of Burbank where he trained many great martial artists.

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 Photo of GM Baird and GM Suh 

When Grandmaster Suh retired, he selected Don Baird as his successor on July 20th, 1976. After his retirement, Grandmaster Suh continued to guide and teach Don one on one all the way up to the rank of Grandmaster. Grandmaster Suh passed away on October 30th, 2013. To honor his late Master and dear friend, on December 14, 2013, Grandmaster Baird renamed our system...

Suh Do Kwan 

(The Way Of Grandmaster Suh)

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 Photo of Grandmaster Don Baird 

Don Baird started training in the system in 1972, and it shows! He's a brilliant martial artist and a phenomenal teacher who has trained thousands of students.  Several have become world champions and some have even opened there own schools.  He has done countless demos, seminars, and even served as a consultant for the Burbank Police Department. He's been honored in the Martial Arts History Museum, inducted in the 2009 Masters Hall of Fame, and has become a well-known name in the martial arts community. In the early 2000's Grandmaster Baird moved American School of Martial Arts to a larger location in Burbank, which is where the school is located today. He also opened a second location in Palmdale.

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 Photo of GM Baird and Rob McIntyre 

Grandmaster Don Baird passed leadership of the school over to his dedicated and trusted student, Rob McIntyre in 2021 to follow in his footsteps. Grandmaster Baird and his wife, Grandmaster Maria Baird, have traveled to North Carolina to further expand the system and live closer to family. Their new school’s name is ASMA-Wake Forest Kung Fu. Despite physically leaving the school, he still holds a great presence.

To learn more about the history of our system, and the great men who build it, please visit the KungFuKarate website.

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