Gentle East Martial Arts teaches taekwondo, a Korean martial art that translates to “the way of the hand and foot.” We teach both physical self-defense as well as self-improvement through discipline, self-control, physical fitness, and perseverance.
Our goal at Gentle East Martial Arts is to ensure that all our students get the best quality of training through our various programs available. All ages from 4 years old to adults are welcome. No matter your skill level, beginner to black belt, there is a place for you in our Gentle East Martial Arts family.
2007 Taekwondo Hall of famer and 2022 Howard University Athletic Hall of Famer, Grand master John L. Holloway is a 8th Don black belt, international Referee S Class. He is celebrating four decades of ownership of Gentle East Taekwondo in Silver Spring, Maryland which was established in 1982. Grand Master Holloway has served as the Co-Referee chair of USA Taekwondo and also Referee Director on the USA Taekwondo Board of Directors. He was also the 1st Chair of the Athletes Advisory Council (1985-1988) and Team Leader for the 1999 Pan AM Games and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The competitor John L. Holloway was the US Team Captain from 1977-1979, and was the first in the world, and the only American, to have medaled at both ITF (1974) and WTF (1977 and 1979) World Championships. Grandmaster Holloway has refereed at the national and international levels since 1980. He is the only person to attend every US National Taekwondo Championship, either as a winning competitor, referee, or official. He has help multiple leadership positions in Taekwondo since 1985, has Referee experience since 1980 and competition records from 1974. When you are a part of Master Holloway's Taekwondo classes, you know from the moment you step onto that mat, no matter if it's at the YMCA or his dojang in Silver Spring, that he is the real deal. You know he's paying attention. You know he cares. You know you're being trained by one of the best. And if you're smart, you're always a little nervous. That was a purpose-driven kind of fear, the feeling that what you were doing there mattered
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Founder and Owner
Master Shawn McDermott is a 6th Degree Black Belt who has been practicing since 1993 and teaching at Gentle East since 2004. In addition to teaching Master McDermott is an active national and International Referee, currently serving as a USATaekwondo (USAT) Referee Vice Chair. She is also active locally serving as a Vice President for the Maryland State Taekwondo Association (MSTA) and on the Collegiate circuit where she serves as a Referee Vice Chair for the National Taekwondo Collegiate Association (NCTA). Master McDermott has attended every USAT National Championship since 2002 either as a Coach, athlete or referee. She earned her International Referee certification in 2011 in Brisbane, Australia and has travelled to such places as Israel, England and Central and South America to officiate tournaments. Prior to finding her true passion in teaching taekwondo, Master McDermott worked in non-profit advocacy and public policy on Capitol Hill for over 15 years. Currently, Master McDermott splits her teaching time between the Silver Spring Gentle East and classes at the YMCA in Bethesda, MD.
Current Rank: 6 Dan
Master Lee earned his Black Belt in 1991 under Grand Master Holloway; he has instructed adult and children classes since 1991. Additionally, he has competed locally and nationally in poomsae and sparring competitions. He also ran in over 5 Marathons including the New York City Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
Favorite Color Belt Poomsae: Joon-Gun
Favorite books to read: novels by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Favorite Marvel character: Wong (Dr. Strange)
Master Lindeire started martial arts in England called Mu-gendo from white belt to green belt.
Moved to USA in 1991 and started training in Taekwondo at Gentle East Martial Arts under Grandmaster John Holloway. Became black belt in 1993.
Competed in various tournaments including the USA Senior Championships in 1994 where he placed 2nd.
In 2001 he became an instructor at Gentle East Martial Arts and still competed in tournaments until 2009.
He owns his own martial arts school in Malawi.
Profession: Certified Public Accountant since 1993.
Dr. Price is a 3rd. Degree.
Grew up in Ohio playing Little League Baseball and CYO football. Family moved to Massachusetts when I was in jr. High school. High school teams: baseball, football, tennis and Ski. Fighting my older brother was a regular occurrence. I attended Howard University for undergrad: BS degree in Microbiology and Doctorate degree in Dental Surgery. I have a Dental practice in the District of Columbia. I earned my Black Belt here at Gentle East in 1991 and am a proud member of this family of fierce competitors led by Master Holloway. I enjoy Tae Kwon Do because it is a science and a sport and as an athlete you choose your level of involvement as you abide by the tenets throughout life.
Mr. Sow started taekwondo under Grand Master Holloway at Gentle East Martial Arts when he was 10 years old. He is a 2nd degree black belt.
He has competed in numerous local and national tournaments and is currently the #2 ranked fighter in the US.
He is also pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and French at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.