Meet Bill Babin


William J. “Bill” Babin

Drummer, Producer, Agent
8th Degree Black belt
Chief Master Instructor
Speaker / Author

          William Babin was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and he began drumming in 5th grade when he got his first transistor radio.  A couple of years later, he connected with friends in his neighborhood and The Rubber Memory band was born.  The band rocked on for 10 years, playing more than 200 gigs and releasing their album, WELCOME, in 1970.

He married his high school sweetheart, went to college, and gradually life won out and drumming took a back seat.  He moved to Arizona and while in graduate school at University of Arizona, and he began his Taekwondo training in 1976 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  There he met Mr. Rex Veeder, a 2nd degree ATA black belt at the time, while both were graduate students in the English Department.   ATA is American Taekwondo Association, the world’s largest single style martial arts organization.  He earned his 1st degree in 1979 and shortly thereafter moved to Phoenix.

Take Mr. Rogers, the Blue Power Ranger, and Superman and mash them together and you’ll get “the kicking man,” otherwise known as Chief Master William Babin. Master Babin’s work as a speaker goes back nearly 40 years. Over that time he has been teaching martial arts to all ages and doing speaking presentations to kids and teens. His presentations focus on life skills like courtesy, humility, enthusiasm, respect, and discipline. He can also focus on leadership, success, or dealing with bullies. He is energetic and dynamic, especially when he is kicking. I have been working with kids my entire life. When asked about teaching children, Bill said: “I especially enjoy helping them shape their views about success.”

 

While working at a computer company in Tempe, he became an ATA certified instructor and began the first ATA operation in Phoenix, a small club that held classes in the Mesa Jaycees meeting hall (1981).    A short time later, he and his wife, 4th degree instructor Jocelyn Babin, opened a full-time school (1982).   That small program has grown over the last thirty -five years to include 22 ATA BLACK BELT ACADEMIES in the Phoenix metro area.

Over the years, Chief Master Babin competed regularly, earning world top ten honors four times (1992, 93, 94, 95).    In addition to many regional awards, he took a bronze medal in the World Championships in the traditional forms competition in 2010.  He was among the group of instructors to climb the mountain in 1983 as Eternal Grandmaster H.U. Lee presented the Songahm forms for the first time.  He and Mrs. Babin traveled to Korea on the first instructor tour in 1987 and returned in 2011.  He broke 99 boards in 25 seconds in 1995, earned 6th degree, Master Instructor in 1998;  earned 7th degree Senior Master Instructor in 2004, and became an 8th degree Chief Master in 2011.

In addition to teaching 1000’s of classes, Master Babin has given keynote addresses at 100’s of tournaments.  He also spent years volunteering for local schools teaching children the principles of success, goal setting, and leadership skills.

Chief Master Babin holds a B.A in English from University of New Orleans and an M.A. in English from the University of Arizona.  He and his wife of 45 years have two grown sons, Jacob  (3rd degree and world champion) and Nicholas (4nd degree and state champion).

Life moves on and in 2016, Bill and Jocelyn sold their Taekwondo academy and retired from daily Taekwondo teaching.   In 1994, after twenty years, Bill could no longer ignore the rhythms in his mind and heart and he began playing drums again.  After doing jam sessions and sub gigs for many years, he started BIG ZEPHYR in 2005.  The band has performed consistently since that time.