Our Recent History

      While serving in the U.S. Air Force in Korea, Grandmaster Robert A. Cheezic began the study of Tang Soo Do under Grandmaster Jae C. Shin. Grandmaster Shin is today the head of the very large World Tang Soo Do Association, which is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Grandmaster Cheezic received his black belt in October 1960 from Grandmaster Hwang Kee, who developed and established the discipline of Tang Soo Do as we know it today.
     Master Cheezic came home to Waterbury, Connecticut in 1960 and in that year opened a Tang Soo Do dojang. Over the years this dojang has grown into the Cheezic Tang Soo Do Federation that today includes over 70 locations in 13 states including several international locations. Over 50 years later, the Cheezic Tang Soo Do Federation has proudly awarded 1800+ members the rank of Black Belt and over 50+ members the rank of Master Black Belt.

       Master Harry Needham, III, began training in Cheezic Tang Soo Do at Central Connecticut State College in 1970 under Master Bob Gladney. He attained his Black Belt, # 012 in 1972. In 1974, Master Needham took the reins over from Master Gladney and began teaching the program at CCSC (CCSC became Central CT State University in 1985). He founded the Needham Karate Academy in 1982 through Wallingford Park & Rec along with his wife, Master Anne Needham. In 1990, it became named the the Needham Landry Karate Academy when Master Lyne Landry partnered with the Needhams.  The IMA name was developed in 2002 when the program at the Wallingford Parks and Recreation Department outgrew itself. 

Master Amy Cote began training under Master Harry Needham in September of 1993 at Central Connecticut State University. She received her first Dan on June 1st, 2001. She began the Little Ninjas program through Oxford Parks and Recreation under the school  name Institute of Martial Arts (I.M.A.) - Oxford on April 8th, 2003.  The Youth Program for older students began on September 29th, 2003 and the Family Program began on March 29th, 2004. Since then, Kickin’  Kids, Specialty, and Women's classes have been added to the curriculum along with Red Belt and Black Belt classes to further enhance the students’ training.

On Sept 28th, 2007, Kathleen Mifflin was the first student promoted to 1st Dan. On February 10th, 2008, I.M.A. Oxford was recognized with the highest honor at the annual Cheezic TSD Awards Banquet as the “School of the Year”.

At the end of 2011, IMA - Oxford felt it was in their best interests to remove its affiliation with the Cheezic Tang Soo Do Federation along with several other schools to create a new alliance, Jeongshin Tang Soo Do. Our sister schools are Northwest Karate under Master Kim Janak, Thornton Martial Arts New Britain and Hartford under Master Lynda Thornton and Edward Thornton, and IMA - East Harford under Master Sandra Dube. We are also joined and supported by Masters Joseph Barbera, Jen Melo, Andrew Kosarko, and 3rd Dan Alijah Nutley.

On April 28th, 2013, Robert Librandi earned the rank of 4th Dan Master Belt. He is the first to earn this rank within Jeongshin Tang Soo Do. He joined IMA - Oxford in September of 2006 and has been instructing alongside Master Cote and Mr. Steven Cote, 3rd Dan since then..

Our training is traditional, encompassing the refinement of technique, hyung (forms) and dae ryun (sparring). We encourage the pursuit of excellence in our Art and applaud our students' and instructors' achievements both within our discipline and in their scholastic and personal achievements. 

Very simply, our goal is to teach self-respect and respect for others through the study and practice of Tang Soo Do, a very historic and traditional Korean discipline of the martial arts. The ideas of respect and tradition are pervasive in all of our activities and for all students at every level of achievement.