Owners and Instructors



Meet the Studio Owners


The Weida and Bearse families trained together for many years, and when their instructor decided to close her studio in 1998, they stepped in as the new owners so the many dedicated students could continue training. First known as West Haven Academy of Karate – Rhode Island Center, the school operated out of a local fitness center. In 2009, the growing number of students led to the opening of a new, dedicated training center in Portsmouth and the name Sakonnet Martial Arts.  In June of 2012, the Weidas passed the baton to Adam Sherman who trained with the Weidas and Bearses since 2001.  Adam continues to take instruction from Master Instructor William Lear from Corner Stone School of Karate in Salem Connecticut and now shares ownership of the school with the Bearses.

Betsy and Tim Bearse
Betsy began training in 1991, one year after daughter Sarah and son Tim began classes. By 1992 the whole family, including husband Tim, was training together. Sarah achieved 2nd Dan in 1998 and son Tim achieved the rank of 1st Dan, and husband Tim is a 4th Dan and Certified Master Instructor. Betsy is a Certified Master Instructor and 5th Dan. The Bearses live in Tiverton, RI.

Adam Sherman
Adam began his training in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 8 years old.  After moving to Colchester, CT in 1991, he cross-ranked to Tang Soo Do in the Moo Duk Kwan Organization.  In 1995, when Grand Master Charles Ferraro started the Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan, he joined the Mi Guk Kwan, where he's been consistently training since.  Adam's dad and his older brother are still actively training in the Mi Guk Kwan Organization.  Adam lives in North Kingstown, RI.


Instructor Biographies

Sa Bom Nim Betsy Bearse
(401) 225-4338
• 5th degree Dan
• Master Instructor
• Co-Owner and President of Sakonnet Martial Arts
• Practicing martial artist since 1991; trains regularly with Grandmaster Charles Ferraro in West Haven, CT
• Teacher in the Tiverton School District for the last 18 years
“Our journey has definitely been a family affair, and one that has supported us during difficult and joyous times.  Tim and Sarah, now age 29 and 26 respectively, have become involved with their professional lives in other areas of the country, but we still share our martial arts memories and the strength that naturally comes from being martial artists. Whenever they call home, they ask about our school and our karate family. 
“It was Timmy's passion for the martial arts that led us to our present path. That alone is a wonderful feeling. I remember asking Tim and Sarah if they would mind if I started karate.  I thought it might be an intrusion into their special activity, but they were enthusiastic that I wanted to join. I felt that was a special gift and it was a real gift when Mr. Bearse bought me a year of karate lessons as a graduation present when I completed my coursework for my MAT-C at Rhode Island College. So, since May of 1991 I have had the pleasure of being on the path of a martial artist.
“In 1998, when SBN Weida and I were asked if we wanted to take over the school we were both hesitant, but realized that regardless of our fears it was our time to give back to the art of Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan, our style of karate. We have been giving all that we can to our students since then and we regard each and every student as a special karate family member.  Our lives have been enriched immeasurably.
“We love when new students join us in studying our art. In fact, new students add even more energy to our classes.  So, if you have ever thought of studying a martial art, come and visit our school.”


Sa Bom Nim Stan Sherman
• 5th Degree Dan
• Master Instructor
• Practicing martial artist since 1985
• Electrical Engineer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport
“I began my martial arts training in 1985, first achieving a green belt in Japanese Kempo. In 1987 I began training in Tang Soo Do and earn
ed Cho Dan in 1991. My interest in martial arts is both training for good health and learning self-defense.
“In 2005, I became a Master Instructor (earning the title Sa Bom Nim). Only three years later, two of my sons, Josh and Adam, also achieved Master Instructor Certification. Two other sons, Matthew and Joel, earned green belts.
“In addition to karate, I enjoy ballroom dancing with my loving and supporting wife, backpacking, weight training, and water sports.”

AdamSa Bom Nim Adam Sherman
(508) 415 0195
•5th Degree Dan
• Master Instructor
• Co-owner and Secretary Sakonnet Martial Arts
• Practicing martial artist since 1990
•Logistics Specialist at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport
“I be
gan my martial arts training in 1990, first achieving a yellow belt in Tai Kwan Do. In 1991 I began training in Tang Soo Do and earned Cho Dan in 1998. Training in the martial arts has become a significant part of my life.
“In 2008, I became a Master Instructor (earning the title Sa Bom Nim). My dad is Sa Bom Nim Stan Sherman; my brother, Josh, also achieved Master Instructor Certification; and two of my other brothers, Matthew and Joel, earned green belts in Tang Soo Do.  Martial arts has been a major influence in our family."
Sa Bom Nim Adam Sherman has competed regionally, nationally, and internationally, and has been assisting and teaching regularly for over 14 years.


Sa Bom Nim Timothy Bearse
(401) 742-9551
• 4th Degree Dan and Master Instructor
• Co-Owner and Treasurer of Sakonnet Martial Arts
• Practicing martial artist since 1992
• Masters degree and 35 years experience in electrical engineering
“I have great respect for Mi Guk Kwan's practical and effective self-defense techniques, as well as its purpose of developing a person who is free from inner conflict and a person who can deal with the outside world in a mature, intelligent, forthright and virtuous manner.