Master Jay So is a professional martial arts instructor and the owner of NEXTStep Martial Arts, LLC., Fairfield and Gettysburg, PA.
He is currently a fourth degree black belt certified by the World Taekwondo Federation. Master Jay was born on August 17, 1983, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
His Taekwondo training began at the age of seven in Korea. He continued his martial arts training and development under his renowned grandfather, Grandmaster Chong C. So. Grandmaster So (1938-2005), a 7th degree black belt certified by the World Taekwondo Federation, immigrated to the United States in 1976.
There he continued his passion, exceptional Taekwondo training and instruction. Grandmaster So was acclaimed for being one of the first pioneers to introduce traditional Korean Martial Arts in the United States. While he expertly implemented the traditional approach, he incorporated modern trends. The unique curricula developed by Grandmaster So was a perfect blend and interaction of traditional and modern martial arts instruction. His instruction was tough, strict, and sometimes demanding.
Consequently, only the most elite of his students achieved 4th degree black belt status or beyond. His standards were high and unsurpassed. The authentic instruction under the Grandmaster was further characterized by his wise words. His giftedness and fervor positively touched the lives of many people including his grandson, Jay. Grandmaster So passed away in September, 2005.
Master Jay continued his legacy by running Grandmaster’s studio very successfully in Hanover, Pennsylvania for seven years. While Master Jay trained intensely under the Grandmaster, he competed in martial arts competitions from the age of fourteen. Since then, he has won more than thirty first place competitions in the Forms and Sparring divisions. Additionally, Master Jay has also won many Grand Champion Titles in tournaments along the East Coast. In 2010, Master Jay So enjoyed the prestigious honor of being inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Keystone State Invitational Tournament. Under Grandmaster So’s meritorious influence, Master Jay developed a philosophy encompassing both the mental and physical benefits of Martial Arts. This clear and precise understanding led him to pursue a career as a Martial Arts instructor. In 2011, Master Jay opened his own studio in Fairfield, Pennsylvania to continue the spread of knowledge, skill, and wisdom he inherited from his grandfather. Master Jay So is a professional, highly skilled martial arts teacher.
He instructed the Taneytown Police Department on Self-defense Tactics in 2014. Master Jay is also a community minded businessman who has given many public speeches on pertinent daily topics including Bully Busters, school safety seminars and women’s self-defense tactics.