As a young boy, Frank was fascinated with the martial arts and attributed much of his interest from watching kung fu movies. While visiting his Aunt in San Jose, California one summer, he took a trial class at a Japanese Karate school. During his first sparring class, he accidentally kicked his partner in the face. He felt so bad he never returned.
A few years later, Frank started attending free kung fu classes offered through the local Chinese Language school back in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The kung fu teacher only taught classes part time and appeared to have mainly learned his techniques from video tapes.
Frank was anxious to train more seriously, so he begged his parents to enroll him in a full time karate school. The cost was significantly higher, however being able to train at a full time studio was definitely worth it.
At the age of 11, Frank was officially enrolled in Cho's Karate, the closest martial arts studio his parents could find. It turned out this school taught the traditional Korean art of Soo Bahk Do / Tang Soo Do (Moo Duk Kwan) and this was where his martial arts journey began.
The school's former owner was the late Moo Duk Kwan Grand Master Hwang Kee's son-in-law Kook Hwang Cho. When Frank began his training, Master Cho had already left to become a pastor in Los Angeles.
Frank's first instructor was one of Master Cho's senior students, Master Monty J. Fulk (Dan ID: 26298), who took over the school. Master Fulk was a Sam Dan (3rd degree midnight blue belt) at the time.
In the beginning Frank attended every class he could, even 2 classes a day. He even went to another Karate club offered through the Ohio State University on Sundays when Cho's Karate was closed. Frank trained 7 days a week for the next few years until he finally dropped the Karate club and dedicated training with Master Fulk full time.
When Frank became a Cho Dan (first degree midnight blue belt), he started to teach all the children's classes. By then Frank was in 8th grade and became involved in wrestling. It was the closest activity related to the martial arts, so he trained concurrently in Soo Bahk Do and wrestled through out high school.
After graduating high school in 1997, Frank left for Baltimore, Maryland to attend the Johns Hopkins University. There were a couple of Soo Bahk Do programs in Maryland, but they were too far to attend regularly, so he tried out the local clubs offered through the University. He trained with the Wing Chun club and participated in a couple Tae Kwon Do classes. Nothing provoked his interest, so he decided to teach Soo Bahk Do on his own.
He created some crude flyers and posted them around his dormitory offering free Soo Bahk Do classes. A few of his floor mates saw the flyer and decided to give it a try. This was the beginnings of the Johns Hopkins Soo Bahk Do Club, which was an official sports club for a number of years.
Throughout his years at Johns Hopkins, Frank trained primarily on his own in addition to the monthly instructor classes offered by Master Russell Colston (Dan ID: 22358). Master Colston was the former head of the German Federation and relocated to Maryland. This is where he met his second instructor of the Moo Duk Kwan.
During the US Soo Bahk Do National Championships in 2003, Frank met Master Eui Sun Choi (Dan ID: 19203). In 2007, Frank was presented with the opportunity to open a 2nd school with Master Choi. Master Tsai finally passed the reins of the Johns Hopkins Soo Bahk Do club to his senior students and moved to Danbury, CT to open Han Dol Martial Arts.
Master Tsai participated in the Korea Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa at the Neo Ri Gool Cultural Village in An Seong, Kyung Ki Province, Korea from October 30 to November 6, 2009, to test for his O (5th Degree) Dan promotion. 32 participants including candidates, visitors and officials were in attendance from Australia, Belgium, England, Malaysia, Korea and the United States.
In May 2012, Master Tsai took over as headmaster of Han Dol Martial Arts, when Master Choi departed to spread the art of Soo Bahk Do in China. Master Choi is now teaching at the Central Headquarters of World Moo Duk Kwan in Seoul, Korea.
In 2013 Master Tsai met his beautiful wife Haesung(HS) and Han Dol Cha (Tearoom) concept of fusing Martial Arts and Tea was born. You can find many of the rare teas collected form their travels from Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Nepal. More can be found on her website at handolcha.com