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Credentials

Martial Arts:

  • 2nd Degree Black Belt  (#052757) - World Tang Soo Do Association
  • 1st Degree Black Belt (#1-40/0078) - World SinMoo TangSoo Hapkido Association
  • Ki Gong White Shirt - World Ki Gong Association
  • Level 3 in Chi Gong - World Chi Gong Hapkido Association
  • Trained in Nabard, Wu Shu, Jiu Jitsu, Ninjitsu, and military combatives

 

Self-Defense:

  • Certified Level 1 Instructor - Split Second Survival System

 

College:

  • Arizona State University - Bachelors of Science in Sociology - Summa Cum Laude 2021

 

Military:

  • Served in the US Navy from 2007-2019
  • Attained 1st Class Petty Officer (E-6)
  • National Intelligence Profesional Award - Given by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
  • 12 Medals and Ribbons
  • Served in Afghanistan
  • Certified US Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer
  • Shellback and Plank Owner 

 

T​he​ir Story

Mr. Ferguson Started his journey in the Martial Arts as a teenager in 1997. He was pulled into the studio by family members and was reluctant to try it at first. But, once he tried classes he immediately took to it and found a lifelong passion.

 

His first studio was with the World Tang Soo Do Association in Reno, NV under Masters John and Carla Bennett as well as Master Steve Davis under the World Chi Gong Hapkido Association. Additionally, he was lucky enough to train under Master Marc Fortin in Kwan Um Do Kwang, when Master Fortin traveled to the Reno area. He trained with them all five masters for years in the various systems, attended three world tournaments, as well as numerous regional tournaments and clinics.

 

Life was very complicated for Mr. Ferguson around this time and cuase some breaks in his training, which his made promotion a little slower.  Coupled with the fact that training in multiple arts takes extra time, study, focus, and energy. He also attended a Split Second Survival Clinic put on by the system’s founder, Larry Wick. The concepts of this system opened up his understanding of how martial arts aspects can be used in self-defense situations but must be adapted for the modern day. These experiences ignited a everlasting love of not only martial arts and its nuances but how to understand them in a modern and realistic approach.

 

Life ended up taking a different turn and Mr. Ferguson enlisted in the US Navy. Throughout his 12 years of service he continued training in Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, and Chi Gong on his own. He also sought out schools to train out whenever possible and gained some great experiences in a variety of styles. His naval career benefited his martial art training in many ways as well. As a trained rescue swimmer he learned more ways to train the body and how body mechanics work to be the most efficient and effective in its use. He also went through rigorous training for his deployment to Afghanistan with the special forces. For this he was trained in military combatives, special weapon tactics, and certified on a slew of both lethal and non-lethal weapons. This training greatly benefited from the martial arts training and gave him new insights and a deeper understanding of how to apply martial arts techniques into realistic and modern day use.

 

Over the 12 years of honorable service Mr. Ferguson was awarded 12 medals and a variety of ribbons and awards, to include the National Intelligence Professional Award, which he received personally from the Director of National Security, James Clapper. His experience and expertise led to his selection to help create new national training programs and give a lecture at an National Security Agency Development Conference.

 

Mr. Ferguson finished his naval service in 2019 and moved to the Phoenix area where he took up martial arts training again, while attending ASU for his Bachelors of Science in Sociology. He returned to the World Tang Soo Do Association and started training at the Martial Arts Academy of Tang Soo Do Arizona in Tempe under the tutelage of Masters Stephanie and Ian Larson. Here he earned his Black Belt in 2020 and continued training in Hapkido while finishing up his bachelors. In 2021 he attended his first Regional 2 Tournament, since coming back to the association, and took Grand Champion in his division.

 

In 2022, he graduated Suma Cum Laude from Arizona State University, as well as awarded a Black Belt in Hapkido, and was officially certified as an instructor in Split Second Survival (only currently certified instructor in Arizona).  He then focused on buiding Tao Martial Arts.  He attended his his third World Championship and won two silver medals in open hand and weapon forms.  In the regional championships of the same year he won gold in all three sections and awarded the Grand Champion Trophy. To Round out 2022 he passed his test for his 2nd Degree Black Belt (E Dan), and was awarded his second stripe by Senior Master Williamson. 

in 2023 Mr. Ferguson won 1 gold & 2 silvers, as well as a bronze in team competition at the Region 2 Championships.

 

Now Mr. Ferguson is focusing on developing Tao Martial Arts as a strong school in order to help expand Region 2 of the World Tang Soo Do Association into the East Valley.

Tao Martial Arts

Owner & Chief Instructor

Benjamin "Fergy" Ferguson 

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