Mr. Teran is a combat veteran who served in the Marine Corps for several years before working with the U.S State Department where he provided high threat personal protection to all U.S and Foreign Diplomats visiting Iraq for 10.5 years.

Mr. Teran was first introduced to Taekwon-Do at age 5, training under his instructor SahyunNim Rodolfo Carrera in New York City. Mr. Teran became a Black belt at age 13, where he first started his initial training as an assistant instructor teaching children ages 8-12 and assisting the adult classes under his instructor’s supervision.

At the age of 15, Mr. Teran had the opportunity to compete for the Tri-State Championship in Virginia taking a Gold medal in Sparring and Silver medal in the overall Championship. In addition, Mr. Teran is a Silver medalist at the All-American Grand National Championship in New Jersey. His hard work, dedication and determination has helped him learn and appreciate Taekwon-Do as an art and has given him the opportunity to travel to Seoul, Korea to train with the Korean Olympic Team.

Upon his return to the United States, Mr. Teran was offered six more months to train in Seoul with the Olympic committee, as well as an opportunity to travel to Colorado Springs for the United States Olympic team trials. All of these years in training, Taekwon-Do has given him the tools and discipline to take on any challenge life would throw at him. Mr. Teran joined the Marine Corps at age 18, attending Marine Corps Boot camp in Parris Island, SC.

Upon graduation, Mr. Teran was stationed in Camp Lejeune NC, taking on a new challenge as an Infantry man. In early 1999, he came across a Taekwon-Do club where he continued his training, and within a few weeks Mr. Teran became the Chief Instructor for the Marine Corps Taekwon-Do team. Mr. Teran’s main focus was on “fighting” drills while he was waiting for approval to participate on the Pan American Games in late 1999.

Reconnaissance training in Dam Neck, Virginia In 2002, Mr. Teran attended the Marine Corps Martial Arts program. Through hard work, blood and sweat he was able to move up the ranks and graduate as a Marine Corps Martial Arts/Close Combat Instructor trainer. Mr. Teran continued his service in the Marines for eight years and was honorably discharge from the United States Marine Corps to pursue other challenges in life.

Advance Sniping and Counter Sniping Instructor course Mr. Teran not only became a close combat instructor (Hand-to-Hand) but also a Military Operation in Urban Terrain instructor (House to House clearing), Enemy Prisoner of War instructor as well as an attending advance sniping and counter sniping instructor courses. Mr. Teran attended many other tactical courses to include intensive weapons training, tactical operations, medical training and 6 evasive driving courses to name a few.

In 2003, Mr. Teran deployed to Iraq, fighting the War on terror where he earned another star on his Navy and Marine Corps achievement medal. In March 2004, he decided to leave the Marine Corps to join State Department as a Private Security Contractor stationed in Iraq, conducting high threat personal protection for High level dignitaries. During this time, Mr. Teran would train his teammates in both Taekwon-Do and Close Combat.

Mr. Teran promotions/titles are as follow: Personal Security Specialist; Tactical commander; Quick reaction force commander; Advance /reconnaissance commander; Air reconnaissance and reaction force; Shift leader; Detail Leader and finally Agent-in-Charge (Security Protection Specialist) for the U.S Ambassador /Consul General protective detail and any other high level Diplomatic Advisers under the U.S Department of State.

In 2011, Mr. Teran became the Chief Instructor for the Baghdad Taekwon-Do Club, where he trained the Iraqi Olympic Committee in Baghdad Iraq under a US – Iraqi Diplomatic program with the U.S Department of State. Shortly after, Mr. Teran reported back to Washington DC for training. Upon graduation, he gained the title of Security Protective Specialist (Agent-in-Charge), returning to Iraq as his first post as direct hire in the Regional Security Office with the U.S Department of State.

After ten and a half years operating in Iraq, Mr. Teran decided to resign his position to continue his teachings and training in the art that first taught him the basic fundamentals. “Taekwon-Do is a way of life, by following the tenets of Taekwon-Do it can only lead to success. What I have learned over all these years is not just kicking and punching or doing the exercise, but understanding the importance of these fundamentals and guidelines we must abide by. These guidelines are what made me successful in life and kept me alive”.

Mr. Teran’s understanding of the tenets of Taekwon-Do and the Marine Corps core values, is what he plans to bring forth into his new school – courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, honor, courage and commitment.

Mr. Teran is also looking forward to teaching the next generation of students and see them grow and learn the art of Taekwon-Do.”One of the most rewarding things as a teacher is passing my knowledge, experience and the love for the art. The greatest gift that I can receive is having those who want to put that extra effort to learn”.

Mr. Teran has received many awards and letters of recommendations from American Ambassadors in Iraq, Secretary of State(s), Consul General, Certificate of Appreciation from the Baghdad Taekwon-Do Club and many other High level Diplomatic figures who served in High Threat.

Since being back and operating the school, the International Taekwon-Do Academy has received a ‘Letter of Proclamation’ from the Jersey City Mayor’s office. In addition, International Taekwon-Do Academy has been awarded the Best Martial Arts School in Jersey City 2015 by the Jersey City Awards Program and awarded the Best school in the U.S Open Masters Taekwon-Do Championship. Mr. Teran also competed on the 10th Metro Championship bringing home the Gold.

Mr. Teran not only teaches martial arts and teamwork to the youth in our community but is also an Ambassador for the Student Veterans of America Chapter for the American Military University. His focus is to work with veterans’ outreach programs, partnering with other organizations like Wounded Warrior Project to provide mentorship and training to wounded veterans who suffer from PTSD, CTE and TBI.

Mr. Teran looks forward to making a positive impact in his community on this ever-changing environment. “I look forward to sharing my experiences and seeing every ITA student grow in their own way with the tools they learn in my school. It’s about personal growth, positive vibes and someone who will give them that extra push to become a good citizen, a good student, a good son and daughter. My focus goes to every person who decides to be a student of Taekwon-Do”.

image“I am proud of the effort each student puts in their training. Their focus and determination to reach a new level is something to admire on these young minds. I always make it clear, it is not about the belt; but the person they transform into. You can see the growth in their maturity, confidence and self worth; that’s the beauty of martial arts!”


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International Taekwon-Do Academy

Although many people think the martial arts are just about fighting, the truth is that the physical “kicking and punching” are really just the tools that I use to teach the more important, and MUCH more valuable lessons about yourself.

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