Our Instructors

Our instructors are all black belts who are highly trained, exceptionally skilled, and totally committed to your development and safety.

They possess the patience and sensitivity to motivate the youngest students as well as the ability to inspire adults to do their best. They make learning safe, fun, and exciting.


Grand Master Barry Partridge

Grand Master Partridge is 8th degree black belt with Kukkiwon (the World Taekwondo Headquarters) and 4th degree black belt with the US Central Hapkido Association under President In Hui Won.

Grand Master Partidge has over 45 years of martial arts training experience. He is the founder and president of United Taekwondo Academy. He founded United Taekwondo Academy in 1996 in Winston Salem, NC. He has since opened locations around the state.

Grand Master Partridge is a 3-time US National Champion medalist, 4-time US National Team Trials Medalist, and US International Champion medalist. He has successfully trained over 20 national and international champions. He was awarded the US Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2002.

Grand Master Partridge personally trains all instructors and is physically active teaching in classes.

Master Shay Tippens

Master Tippens is a 5th degree black belt.  He was born in Florida and moved to North Carolina in 1989.

He has over 18 years of martial arts experience and has been learning from and instructing with Grand Master Partridge and United Taekwondo Academy since 2010. Master Tippens is a devoted husband and proud father.

Master Tippens is also an active competitor and has won national in and international medals in Poomsae, Sparring, and Breaking. To date he has achieved:

  • 2013 Gold, Men’s Breaking National Championships
  • 2016 Silver, Pair’s Poomsae 30+ National Championships
  • 2016 3rd Placement, Pair’s Poomsae 30+ National Team Qualifier
  • 2017 Bronze, Men’s Breaking National Championships
  • 2018 Gold, Men’s +87kg Sparring (Ultra 33-40) National Championships
  • 2018 Silver, Men’s Poomsae Under 40 World Taekwondo President’s Cup

His goals are to continue improving and challenging himself through competition. He also wishes to earn a spot on the National Poomsae team and represent the USA internationally.

Master George Webb

Master Webb is a 6th degree black belt. He was born in Tennessee.

He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.Sc. in Medical Technologies. He has also done Post Graduate work at the University of Maryland.

Additionaly, he is also a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in North Carolina and has rescued animals from hummingbirds to tigers.

Master Webb has been practicing Taekwondo for 28 years.

He was the 1998 US National Champion in Ultra’s Light Division Sparring.

Master Milad Moghassem Hamidi

Master Hamidi is a 5th degree black belt.  He was born Lahijan, Iran.

He graduated in Electrical Engineering from with his B.Sc. from Iran University of Science and Technology and M.Sc. from K.N. Toosi University of Technology. In 2019 he graduated with PhD of Electrical Engineering from NC A&T.

Master Hamidi has been active in the martial arts for over 25 years. He was a member of the Iran Collegiate National Team in 2009 and 2010.

  • 2016 Las Vegas International Taekwondo Tournament, Bronze Medalist Sparring Ultra -68kg
  • 2016 Las Vegas International Taekwondo Tournament, Gold Medalist Poomsae Under 40
  • 2016 Denver International Taekwondo Festival, Gold Medalist Poomsae Under 40
  • 2016 Denver International Taekwondo Festival, Silver Medalist Sparring Ultra -68kg
  • 2017 US Open Taekwondo Championships, Bronze Medalist Men’s Ultra -68kg
  • 2017 Pan-American International Taekwondo President’s Cup, Gold Medalist Men’s Ultra -68kg

Master Zeph Putnam II

Master Putnam is a 4th degree black belt.  He was born and raised in Fuquay Varina, NC.

He Graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2018, with a B.Sc. in Chemistry. He was also a band member in the Agricultural & Technical State University Blue and Gold Marching Machine, specializing in trombone from 2013 – 2015. Where the team was a 2-time first place winner of the Honda Battle of the Bands.

Master Putnam started his taekwondo career at the age of 4 in 1999 and has never stopped training since. At the age of 5, Master Putnam began his sparring campaign and has since gone on to become a 4-time Nation Sparring Team member representing the United States in several countries.

  • 2011 AAU Jr. National Team Member
  • 2012 USAT Jr. National Team Member
  • 2015 AAU Sr. National Team Member
  • 2016 US Collegiate Team Member

Along with teaching the traditional art of Taekwondo, he will continue to compete in the sport of Taekwondo with aspirations of becoming an Olympic champion.

Master Joe Dickinson

Master Dickinson is a 5th degree black belt. He was born in Houston, Texas, but has spent most of his life in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

He started taekwondo in 2002 and has over 18 years of taekwondo experience.  

Master Dickinson is currently a student at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro where he is aiming for a degree in Finance. He is aspiring to earn his MBA there as well.

Layne Elstein

Mr. Layne Elstein was born in and raised in Durham, NC.

In 2018, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double-major in Communications and Psychology.

He has a passion for film making and stunt acting.

Layne Elstein has over 11 years of Taekwondo training. From 2016 to 2018 he was a member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Carolina Taekwondo Sports Club Demonstration Team, and a Club Instructor.

Marci Partridge - Office Manager

Marci is a 2nd degree Black Belt. She was born in China and has traveled worldwide.

Her career began as a registered nurse, then a World Bank consulting firm officer. She worked 5 years as a Grand Prix event manager. She studied 3 years in Foreign Trade and received an MS Degree in Service Management from University of Buckingham in the UK.

Her daughter Sophie Clark is also a 2nd degree Black Belt and a STORM Team Leader at UTA.

Marci married Grand Master Barry Partridge and works as Office Manager.


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Individualized attention. 
Attend as many classes as you wish.


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