Instructor and Owner of Crouching Lion Tang Soo Do
Gary Starecheski started training in Tang Soo Do in 1977 under Masters Young Kook Kwon and Young Hyuk Kwon in Clifton Heights Pennsylvania. He achieved Black Belt in 1980 under Head Examiner Jae C Shin. Gary was a charter member of the World Tang Soo Do Association formed in 1982 by Grandmaster Shin.
In 1985 he left the organization and trained on his own until 2004 when he returned to the dojang as assistant instructor in Master Scott Belisle’s TaeKwonDo class in Huntington, VT. When Master Belisle moved out of the area in 2004, he suggested Gary take over the program. This was the beginning of Crouching Lion Tang Soo Do, named for the old French name for Camel’s Hump Mountain.
Teaching inspired a return to learning and he was very lucky to find Master Peter Desorda’s dojang in Waterbury VT. When SaBomNim Desorda moved to New Hampshire Gary traveled there to train often enough to test for Second Degree Black Belt in 2013. Master Desorda introduced Gary to The Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation in 2015. After attending several seminars and the 2016 Black Belt Camp, he and Crouching Lion joined the Federation. In October 2016 Gary was promoted to 3rd degree Black Belt after testing before Grandmaster John St James, Senior Master Deborah Jett, and Master Desorda. In June 2019 he was promoted to 4th degree Master Instructor (SaBomNim) by Grandmaster John St James. He also has the rank of 3rd degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo under Master Daniel Linde.
Gary is known for his challenging and fun classes and is most proud to be teaching children and adults the mental, spiritual and physical benefits of Tang Soo Do. He also focuses on personal safety training which combines physical self-defense, situational awareness, and how to de-escalate threatening situations involving yourself or others.
Outside the DoJang Gary is a hospital pharmacist with a special interest in teaching other professionals how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of medications.