James Cummings Jr.
1939 - 2003
Pin # 4493
At the age of 16, James
"JC" Cummings, Jr. made
the U.S. Army his home. A youthful Cummings saw the Army as a way
out of a dead-end environment in Ohio.
During the mid 1950's while stationed in South Korea
with the U.S. 8th Army, Grandmaster Cummings was offered the opportunity
to study Tang Soo Do on a full time basis. He trained primarily
under the instruction of Master Chun Cha Kyu, and because he studied
full time, he was able to receive his Black Belt in 13 months. In
October of 1961, he was awarded his Cho Dan by Grandmaster Hwang Kee.
Grandmaster Cummings retired from the Army and moved
to San Angelo, Texas. There he attended Angelo State University where he
studied psychology. While attending ASU he opened his first martial
arts school, holding some of the first classes in the back yard and
garage of his home. He eventually became a probation officer for Tom
Green County and opened The Martial Arts Academy. His dojang became
quite well known throughout Texas and the Southwest. A number of his
students were nationally ranked in fighting, weapons, and forms
competition by Black Belt Magazine and Karate Illustrated.
In the mid 1980's, he relocated to Columbus, Ohio to be
closer to family. While in Columbus, the Grandmaster counseled at-risk
children and opened and operated a home health maintenance business for
the mentally and physically handicapped.
Through the 90's Grandmaster Cummings returned to San
Antonio, Texas each year in December
to participate in the
Tang Soo Do Karate Association
(TKA) annual conference
and black belt test. In June of 2002 he permanently relocated to
San Antonio, Texas and once again picked up the reins of instructor and
mentor to the many students associated with the TKA.
Grandmaster Cummings continued to study martial arts
throughout his life. He received black belts in Tang Soo Do, Soo Bahk
Do, Tae Kwon Do, and at the time of his death, he was studying Kenpo. In
December 2001, Grandmaster was promoted to the rank of 8th
On July 1, 2003, Grandmaster James
"JC" Cummings, Jr.
passed away at the Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.