This Magic Moment: Part 3 CM Wacholz

Written by on May 30, 2023

CM Wacholz


CM Wacholz:  the facts

  • BA in Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • started Taekwondo in 1974
  • joined ATA in 1977
  • has taught taught Taekwondo, self-defense, restraint techniques, and weapons to naval law enforcement personnel.
  • has taught combative techniques to sailors and Marines on every command in which he has served.
  • retired USN after 28 years as a Lieutenant Commander
  • married to Connie for 50 years in 2023.
  • enjoys sailing his 28′ Erickson yacht.

I first met CM Wacholz many years ago at a tournament in San Diego.   I live in Arizona and was instantly envious because he lived in San Diego.  I soon realized that he was career USN and that was why he lived there.  No chance for me to join him.

Like CM Brice and CM Sandoval, I began to see CM Wacholz over and over again at ATA events and we developed a professional relationship.

In addition to teaching his own classes in Southern California, for the past 20 years, CM Wacholz has been  Chief of Staff to GM Soon Ho Lee.  In that role, he has overseen the grandmaster’s schedule, and most importantly, worked with him on the first Black Belt Protocol Guide (pictured here) which is now in its second edition.

Whenever you see GM S.H. Lee, you will see CM Wacholz  nearby.   Recently I asked for CM Wacholz’s help and learned something really important….  I learned why he qualifies to be a 9th degree.

It occurred at WORLDS 2022.  Apparently, a parent was not satisfied with the result of his child’s competition….. imagine that?    This person, however, took his anger to an unacceptable level.  He actually followed tournament staff out of the convention center and into the hotel lobby across the street.  There, he confronted the staff, berating and threatening them.  Although the staff dismissed this attack as insignificant, I did not.

These days you don’t need to look far to find examples of “lone wolf” attackers, people who loose control and humiliate and even injure those whom they believe have wronged them.  I could see this parent going right to the top and confronting GM S.H. Lee.

So I called CM Wacholz and chatted with him.  I explained the situation to him.  He listened intently and said he would be sure to stay alert and coordinate with others like hotel and convention center security.  It is impossible for me to describe what really happened here because I did not record the conversation.  But the truth comes down to this:

There was a calm tone of strength, confidence, and power in CM Wacholz’s voice.  I’m very close to GM S.H. Lee.  He dubbed me Senior Master and Chief Master, and he has been training me since 1998.  EGM was supposed to run our Masters’ training sessions in 1998, but he was called to Washington DC by President Bill Clinton for some kind of state dinner.  Imagine that!

My instructor got called by the President and had to leave.  Well SH Lee stepped in and he was just wonderful.  That was the beginning of us being close.   We have become closer and closer over the years and I care deeply about him.    CM Wacholz has that same kind of relationship with him.  I heard the love and concern in his voice, and I let out a relaxing breath.

Nothing happened.  But I knew CM Wacholz was standing watch.  And that is why he qualifies to be a 9th degree.   Enjoy your “magic moment,”  Sir.  Thanks for being in my life and thanks for caring for GM S.H. Lee in such a special way.


Bill Babin

is available to speak / teach / play music / consult at your

ministry / martial arts academy / convention / event



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