More About Master Jim DeBaca

The Journey to Achievement
“He didn’t know it couldn’t be done, so he did it”.
Author Unknown

Sonoma County Native and Local Business Owner, James DeBaca, founder/managing owner of Fitness Fanatics, Tang Soo Do Martial Arts Studio, was promoted to International Senior Master 7th Dan (degree) Black Belt at the World Championship, July 2010 in North Carolina. One of a few 7th Dan Black Belts in the world within the World Tang Soo Do Association (W.T.S.D.A.) which has over 150,000 member’s world-wide.

Jim DeBaca, known throughout the Martial Arts community and to his students as “Master DeBaca” was born in Eugene, OR in 1951. Later, the family moved to Sonoma County where DeBaca graduated from Piner High in 1969.

Father of seven and grandfather of eight, Master DeBaca began his career in Martial Arts under Frank Scalercio in 1972 and achieved his 3rd degree Black Belt. In the 1970’s DeBaca was a member of Scalarcio’s Kick Boxing team and had the opportunity to travel to Australia and compete there as well as local kickboxing competitions.

It was always a lifetime dream of Master DeBaca to open and own his own Martial Arts Studio. After training and teaching for Master Scalercio, Master DeBaca began teaching students out of a converted garage. With 17 students, he soon reached capacity and outgrew his space and in 1987 moved to his current two story location on Aero Drive in Santa Rosa, CA where he was able to combine an area for weight, strength and endurance cross training with his Tang Soo Do Martial Arts.

Fitness Fanatics is a Tang Soo Do” Dojang” (martial art training hall) and is certified by W.T.S.D.A.. The W.T.S.D.A. was founded and is under the leadership of Grand Master Jae C. Shin, who originally trained Chuck Norris in the Military in Korea.

Master DeBaca trains at the annual Master’s clinic under Grand Master Shin in physical aspects of martial arts, weapons training, and high level forms. Once a rank of Master is achieved, there is a great deal of focus on “Ki Gong”--internal energy, meditation and breathing exercises. It was there at the Master’s Clinic where Master DeBaca tested for his 7th Dan Black Belt and on July 17th 2010 in a formal Black Belt promotion ceremony that he was promoted by Grand Master Shin.

 Master DeBaca promotes non-violence in the instruction of technique. He believes that the martial artist must practice the art of self-defense and the need for controlling the situation. As Sun Tzu proclaims, "The true object of war is peace.”

During these tough economical times, many Martial Arts studios have come and gone. Master DeBaca’s reputation and years of high standards in training people in Tang Soo Do has helped him maintain his student enrollment numbers. It is Master DeBaca’s belief that the person needs to adapt to the Martial Arts training, rather than the Martial Arts training adapting to the person. Some might consider this an old fashioned philosophy but it is well in-line with Master DeBaca’s high level of integrity, an attribute that he learned from Master Scalercio. This says a lot about why his Martial Arts school is still a success.

When asked what one of the most rewarding things of owning a Martial Arts Studio was, Master DeBaca said, “It’s not just the physical training in Tang Soo Do, it’s the development of the mind, body and spirit. It’s a great feeling to watch the many generations of students come through my doors. Students I once trained now bring their children into the studio to train and that is the best compliment I could ask for.”

“No matter what the Black Belt rank, always remain a student. Become a good student and you will become a good instructor.”
-Master Jim DeBaca

In closing, Master DeBaca does what he loves for a living and it has been said that “if you do what you love for a living then you never work a day in your life”.

Fitness Fanatics
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