Ms. Maria Patalinghug
Golden Dragon Defense was founded in 2014, by Maria Patalinghug, with the desire to plant a seed of hope through specialized martial arts and self-defense training to children and adults, men and women.
Maria began her martial arts training at age sixteen. She is currently a 5th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do under the International Tae Kwon Do Federation (ITF) and a 6th Dan in Eskrima under the Doce Pares style. Her accomplishments include:
- “Outstanding Achievements in Martial Arts as a Grandmaster”, Awarded by Action Martial Arts Magazine, Inducted into Hall of Honors (January 2017)
- “Most Valuable Instructor of the Year”, Awarded by the Doces Pares Hall of Fame (2008)
- Feature in Columbia Magazine’s “Women at Work” (2006)
- “TKD Instructor of the Year”, Awarded by Eastern USA International Martial Arts Association (1999)
- Member, Eastern USA International Martial Arts Association (1999)
For more than twenty-five years, she has guided students of all ages to set, reach, and exceed their goals. She coached numerous students to achieve their black belts in Tae Kwon Do, trained students to compete and medal in regional, national and world championships in Eskrima, and empower women to become confident in self-defense techniques.
Her desire to motivate students is evident in the time, attention, and care she puts into her classes and coaching. She prides herself on the relationships that she has built with her students and their families. Their success drives her to continue doing what she does best.