Mr. Edward Gunderson
Academy Director - Fountain
Chief Instructor - Fountain
4th Degree Black Belt
Tiger Rock Certified Instructor
US Army Retired
Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I moved all around the country because my father was in the hotel business. I ended up in Georgia in 1993 where I started my Tiger Rock career under Senior Master Lili Bowen. I reached blackbelt in 1995 and became a trainee instructor at the age of15.
When I was 17, I left for Marine Corps boot camp located in Parris Island, SC and took a break in my martial arts training. When I returned at the age of 18, I took over as SM Bowen's Asst. Academy Director working under her and SM Kyle Church. When I graduated military college in 2003 and became a commissioned officer in the US Army Reserve I was offered the Academy Director Position for one of Mr. Starr’s Tiger Rock Academies in Marietta, Georgia. There I was the head instructor for the Trickum location alongside Master Groce and under Master Starr. I received my certified instructor in the 2004. With a 150+ student school, the Trickum Academy was doing very well. At that time, I was #1 in traditional forms, #2 in sparring, and #2 in Extreme forms and in 2005 I was the Grand Champion for the 3rd Degree division. I am an expert in swords, hapkido, Korean grappling/wrestling, and Army Combatives.
In 2006, I received my first orders to deploy to Afghanistan in which I switched to active duty with the Army. I did four tours in Afghanistan and deployed over 30 times around the world in such units as the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Division. In 2012 I was injured in Afghanistan and in 2014 the Army officially retired me due to medical injuries. I am still an active member in the wounded warrior community teaching shooting and archery for rehabbing soldiers. I retired with a Bronze star, 5 Army Commendation Medals, one for Valor, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, Combat Action Badge, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, and 82nd Airborne Shoulder Combat Patch.
In 2014 I returned to El Paso, TX where I re-entered school, using my GI bill to earn my second bachelor's degree in Operations and Supply Chain Management (graduated 2016). Through the VA I am currently working on completing my Master's Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations and Supply Chain Management.
In January 2017, I rejoined martial arts training under the tutelage of Master David Overstreet in Alamogordo, NM. I became the an Academy Director for him in March of 2017 after I re-certified with Tiger Rock. I earned my 4th degree blackbelt in January 2018 at the TR Summit in Jackson, MS.
My future goals are to continue to advance in belt rank and academy business management. I look forward to establishing myself in the Fountain Community where I can help the Fountain Academy grow, thrive, and help students reach their Taekwondo goals and dreams.