Korean Martial Arts - Huron, SD

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About Us

The Vaillancourts Korean Martial Arts program in Huron is taught by Abby Vaillancourt and mentored by Grandmaster Dana R. Vaillancourt.  The program's primary course of instruction includes classical Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo.

Grandmaster DANA R. Vaillancourt, 9th Dan

Grandmaster Vaillancourt has been training in the Korean martial arts for over forty-seven years. He studies both traditional and modern Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan.  He has a 9th degree black belt in Traditional Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan from Grandmaster Jon Wiedenman, endeavoring to preserve the legacy of Grandmaster LEE, Nam Suk. He also has a 9th dan in Taekwondo from the United States Amateur Athletic Union's (AAU) Taekwondo program, an 8th dan (#178) and international instructor certification with the World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan (Korea) and a 6th dan (2002) from the Kukkiwon (Korea).  While familiar with the methods and merits of modern sport Taekwondo, Mr. Vaillancourt stresses the more traditional material and training methods of Korean self-defense and self-improvement, placing less emphasis on the sport aspect. 

Mr. Vaillancourt is also no stranger to Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan.  Dana (Dan Bon #14676) received all of his Tang Soo Do dan ranks up to 7th dan from the late Grandmaster KIM, Jae Joon (Dan Bon #38) and was promoted to the rank of 8th dan in Tang Soo Do by the late Grandmaster KIM, Chung Il (Dan Bon #475).  He also has a 9th dan in Taekwondo (traditional forms track) from the United States Amateur Athletic Union's (AAU) Taekwondo program.  Mr. Vaillancourt was an Executive Committee member with the World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation (WMDKTSDF), a certified WMDKTSDF master instructor and received many Letters of Commendation and several Certificates of Appreciation from Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim.  He is currently a member of the World Tang Soo Do General Federation based in Seoul, Korea and a 2021 Hall of Fame recipient with that organization.

Mr. Vaillancourt also has experience in Hapkido, having taught his first Hapkido program in Delmar, New York in 1989 and later continuing in South Dakota.  He was fortunate to continue to train Hapkido in Virginia while he worked in Washington D.C.  He maintains affiliations in Hapkido including The World Hapkido Martial Arts Federation in Seoul, Korea.

A long-time successful competitor and martial arts teacher, Mr. Vaillancourt has promoted many students to dan rank and several to master-level rank.  A student first, Mr. Vaillancourt continues to personally teach advanced classes in Huron, SD, trains on a weekly basis, and participates in martial arts seminars whenever possible. 

He has a Master of Science (MS) degree in cultural resources management and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in both history and sociology/anthropology.  An archeologist and historian by profession, Mr. Vaillancourt retired from being the Federal Preservation Officer for the Natural Resources Conservations Service (USDA) in Washington D. C.

Abby Vaillancourt, Bo Sah Bum Nim, 3rd Dan


Abby S. Vaillancourt began her martial arts training in 1/2011 under Grandmaster Dana Vaillancourt and the late Master Mary Ellen Vaillancourt. She currently holds a 3rd dan in Tang Soo Do from the World Tang Soo Do General Federation in Seoul, Korea, a 3rd dan in Taekwondo from the World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan in Seoul, Korea, and a 7th gup certificate in Hapkido.

Abby began assistant teaching the youth program in Huron in 2013 and took over the youth and adult programs in May 2016 when Grandmaster Vaillancourt moved to Washington, D.C. for his job.  She is the lead instructor for the youth beginner, youth advanced and adult beginner classes with Grandmaster Vaillancourt assisting with the youth and adult advanced classes.

Mrs. Vaillancourt has undergraduate and graduate education from Mankato State University, speaks French, and spent a year abroad teaching language in France.  




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In Memoriam

Mary Ellen Vaillancourt


The late Master Mary Ellen Vaillancourt was a fifth-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo and also had a first gup in Hapkido Sun Moo Kwan.

Master Mary Ellen was a successful tournament competitor for many years, as well as being the head instructor of her own school (Dojang) in Belle Forche, bringing her youth and adult students up through black belt. 

A recipient of numerous martial arts awards and certificates of appreciation, Master Mary Ellen brought decades of first-hand teaching experience to the Belle Fourche and Huron Dojangs.    A wonderful and caring person, she was also an outstanding example of a well-rounded martial artist, bringing both power and grace to the training floor.  

Mary Ellen had a passion for protecting the natural environment and worked as an environmental educator, biologist, soil conservationist and wetland specialist.