Hwarang Mastery Martial Arts

Rocky Mount, Virginia



(Style that we practice) 


Tang Soo Do was founded in Korea by Hwan Kee in 1945. Because of the Japanese occupation in Korea at the time, Hwan Kee had to train underground in the mountains of Jangdan, and at age 21 was known as a Soo Bahk Do Expert. In 1936 he fled to China where he learned from a number of Kung Fu Experts. He later incorporated their softer, flowing hand oriented movements along with the harshness of Soo Bahk Do to create his own style, Tang Soo Do. Grand Master Hwan Kee said that his art is 60% Soo Bahk Do, 30% Northern Chinese Kung Fu, and 10% Southern Chinese Kung Fu. Hwan Kee is credited by some as being the first to utilize waist rotation and hip extension to increase reach and power when punching and kicking.



Hwarang Mastery was founded sometime in the mid to late 70’s in Cheasapeake, Va by Master Scott Carle and pasted on to Grand Master Ray Shackelford in 1986. In 1992 Grand Master Ray and Master Curtis Bowen Became Partners. They have since expanded from the traditional Tang Soo Do and have added different forms and techniques to enhance our style. Hwarang Mastery is now a martial arts association and has included styles like Jeet Kune Do and Tae Kwon Do to the school. Our goal is to produce the very best martial artists that we possible can and maintain a balance of Honor, Respect and Disciplined.



Bill Pensy has been studying the Martial Arts since 2000. Bill began his training under John Hellein in the art of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan. He then transferred to Dragon Connections where he continued to study Tang Soo Do as well as Kenjitsu, Kendo, and Thai Chi under Kathleen Orr and Master David Taylor. In 2002 Bill returned to the Hwarang Mastery School to continue his study of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan under Grand Master Ray Shackelford. Bill’s talent with assisting other students lead to him conducting weekly “Open workout” sessions as an Assistant Instructor. In 2007 Bill began the fist Hwarang Mastery satellite school in Franklin County, VA.

 Bill has competed in many tournaments including being a Finalist in the 2002 U.S. Open. Through Bill’s hard work and dedication he has been appointed to Second Dan.



  Like most boys, John Hellein’s fascination with the martial arts began at a young age. The construction of nun chucks out of broom handles and twine was not an uncommon occurrence in the Hellein household. In January of 1997 his martial arts dream became a reality through the study of Tang Soo Do at Virginia Wesleyan College under (now) Grand Master Ray Shackelford. The Hwarang Mastery program taught John about the honor, respect, and discipline necessary to become a true martial artist. In May of 2000 John was awarded his First Dan in Tang Soo Do. In June 2003 John earned his Second Dan from Hwarang Mastery. In December 2009 John earned his Third Dan from Hwarang Mastery. During this time John was also given an honorary Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do from Christian Martial Arts Academy for his work with the students in the program.

  In February of 2007 John received the rank of 2nd Degree from the World Black Belt Bureau under Grand Master Kang Rhee. John has also been recognized as a Certified Instructor under the World Black Belt Bureau. John currently has the honor of also practicing Jeet Kune Do (Bruce Lee’s Martial Art) under Grand Master Gary Dill. Grand Master Dill trained under James Lee (Bruce Lee’s partner) and is now the head of the Jeet Kune Do Association. John currently holds the rank of an Advanced Level Practitioner in this program and is eligible for an Apprentice Instructor.




  • Started Tang Soo Do at the end of 2011 in November.
  • Studied under Mr. Pensy for a little over 2 years. Became an apprentice instructor on July 24 2013.



Competed in:


  • 21st American Karate Championships in March 2012 as 9th gup won 1st forms.
  • 22nd American karate championships march 2013 3rd gup won 4th in weapons form and sparring.
  • East coast tidewater challenge April 2013 3rd gup. Won 2nd in weapons and forms.


She earned her first Dan and became certified as an instructor on February 9th, 2014. In addition, she is the current Head Instructor of Hwarang Mastery's beginner Kenjutsu class.