Master Barry Shackelford

Master Instructor, Co-Owner, and President

Master Barry Shackelford began his Tae Kwon Do training in 1978 at a traditional Tae Kwon Do Moo Duk Kwon school in Danville, VA headed by the accomplished and well-respected Master Ju Hun Kim. Under the direct instruction of Black Belt Instructors Dr. Stephen Ausband and Mr. Lewis Wilson, Master Shackelford received his 1st Dan Black Belt from Master Kim in 1982. At that time, he was the youngest to attain a Black Belt at the Ju Hum Kim School of Tae Kwon Do. He received his 2nd Dan from Master Kim in 1985.

Also in 1985, Master Shackelford began studying Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do from World Champion Master Charlie Lee in Blacksburg Virginia while attending Virginia Tech. Master Shackelford received his Jhoon Rhee Black Belt from Master Lee in 1987 after training under Mr. Yoon Lee (and serving as an assistant instructor). For his remaining two years at Virginia Tech, Master Shackelford was Co-Head Instructor of the VA Tech Jhoon Rhee Martial Arts Club along with fellow Jhoon Rhee Black Belt, Mr. Roger Vasiliadis.

After graduating with a Psychology degree in 1989, Master Shackelford relocated to Washington, DC, where he obtained the position of Head Instructor at the prestigious Georgetown Jhoon Rhee Institute, which was then one of the largest Jhoon Rhee Studios in the world.

In 1990, Master Shackelford entered Graduate School at Radford University, majoring in Psychology, where he continued to train, teach and compete in the Martial Arts.

In the late 80s and early 90s, Master Shackelford competed in numerous regional and national Martial Arts tournaments, winning hundreds of divisions and awards. In the early 90s, he was Nationally rated as one of the top four competitors in the Korean Forms division as well as one of the top four in the Super-Lightweight Sparring division. In addition, he was recognized as one of the top 20 fighters in the nation across all weight divisions.

In 1992, Master Shackelford graduated with a MS in Counseling Psychology, with a 3.9 GPA, and relocated to the Washington, DC, area. While working in the field of psychology, he continued to instruct at various Jhoon Rhee affiliated schools, such as Charlie Lee Karate and the Jhoon Rhee Institutes in Annandale and Falls Church, Virginia. Over the next decade, he instructed many students who would go on to become accomplished fighters and World Champions in their respective divisions.

In 1994, he became more than just a student of Jhoon Rhee by entering the family when he married Heather Chun, whose mother, On Goo Chun, is Jhoon Rhee’s sister. Dedicating time to his wife and his career, Master Shackelford decided to informally “retire” from competition.

In 1999, Master Shackelford ended his competition “retirement” by competing at a few National Tournaments. While he did not enter the requisite number of tournaments to be considered his division’s Champion, he did win his division as well as Grand Champion much of the time. He also defeated the then current World Champion of his division and other accomplished fighters.

Well overdue for his next degree, in 2002 Master Shackelford received his 3rd Dan from Grand Master Jhoon Rhee while training and instructing at the local Jhoon Rhee schools.

After working for more than a decade in the field of Psychology and Employee Assistance Programming (EAP), and obtaining a License as a Professional Counselor, Master Shackelford decided to make teaching and operating a Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do school his full time endeavor. In 2005 he opened the first Jhoon Rhee School in Arlington, Virginia, and also received his 4th Dan Black Belt, which is considered the Master level in the Jhoon Rhee Institute. His colleague and head instructor, Master Francis Pineda, joined him in partnership at the end of 2005, and after the first year of opening, they had established one of the fastest growing schools in the Jhoon Rhee Institute. Master Shackelford is also a Certified Master Instructor, having completed formal Instructor Certification from the Jhoon Rhee Institute. In November 2010, Grand Master Rhee promoted Master Shackelford to his current rank of 5th Dan.

Master Shackelford’s wife, Heather, is also a Black Belt, passing her test in November 2008 as one of the first Adult Black Belt students from the Arlington School. Mrs. Shackelford and Master Shackelford have two teenage children, Braden and Jenna.  Jenna is a Black Belt continuing on her way to 2nd Degree.  Braden has been taking classes for over half of his entire life and passed the test for his 1st Degree Black Belt in June 2010. At the age of 9, Braden became the youngest student from Jhoon Rhee Arlington to earn the rank of Black Belt… Just as his father was the youngest to earn his Black Belt at his Tae Kwon Do school in 1982.