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About Steel Dragons
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Chief Instructor
Mr. Dave Ilko (Bu Sah Bum Nim)
Sam Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt)

Mr. Ilko began his journey in Tang Soo Do in 2001 under the guidance of Master Homschek of River Valley Tang Soo Do Academy in Ambridge, PA.  When he was a green belt, he developed a love for teaching martial arts and was asked to assist with teaching the youth classes, became an instructor trainee, and enrolled in an instructor certification program.  In 2005, Mr. Ilko began to instruct his own classes at River Valley when he was a Cho Dan Bo, Black Belt Candidate.  At this time, his desire to branch out and bring Tang Soo Do to another community grew.  In 2008, he and
his wife opened Steel Dragons Martial Arts at their first location in Beaver Falls.
  He was promoted to Sam Dan, 3rd degree Black Belt, in 2010.

Since he started to train in Tang Soo Do, Mr. Ilko has attended numerous World Tang Soo Do Association events, clinics and
seminars.  He has worked and trained with several highly skilled Masters and instructors specializing in weapons, sparring, techniques, hyungs (forms), self-defense, fitness, Yoga, and spiritual energy (Ki-Gong) exercises.  He has taught at several regional Tang Soo Do clinics and local self-defense classes. He was a speaker and instructor at the annual WTSDA Region 22 Black Belt Camp.  He finds it beneficial to be a part of a worldwide organization and to have the support of other local martial arts schools.  Also, he finds it important to “give back” to the community in which he serves; furthermore, he is involved with the World Tang Soo Do Foundation where he volunteers time towards community service and raising money for the Association’s regional scholarship fund, local charities and National charities.  Of the National charities, Steel Dragons Martial Arts has raised over $60,000.00 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital & other charities by sponsoring and hosting their annual Break-A-Thon.  On the World Tang Soo Do Association level, Mr. Ilko is the  Region 22 Security Director, and Western PA Black Belt Class Coordinator.  He served at the WTSDA Regional Treasurer for 4 years.  In 2011, he, along with his family, was inducted into the WTSDA Region 22 Hall of Fame as Family of the Year.

Mr. Ilko has been an active professional high school educator since 1994 where he teaches engineering and technology at a public school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.  He believes that it is a distinct privilege to teach both in public education and Tang Soo Do.  Both are unique in their own ways and every day is a new challenge and learning experience for both the teacher and the students.  Mr. Ilko also values the camaraderie and bonds that are formed through Tang Soo Do and enjoys seeing the success of his students.


In his spare time, Mr. Ilko enjoys history, outdoors, reading, sports, boating, photography, camping, and spending time with his wife, Amy, and his daughters, Jaina and Mara.

Class Instructor
Mrs. Amy Ilko (Kyo Sah Nim)
E Dan (2nd Degree Black Belt)

For her thirtieth birthday, she needed a change.She told her husband that she wanted to take karate lessons.  In March 2001, she took her first class at River Valley Tang Soo Do Academy in Ambridge. Wanting to become more involved quickly, she was asked to join the leadership team in January 2003.  Starting as a class assistant, she could not wait to instruct her own classes.  In 2006, Mrs. Ilko was promoted to Cho Dan, first degree Black Belt.  In 2008, she was promoted to second degree and founded Steel Dragons Martial Arts with her husband.  Mrs. Ilko is also a 2011 recipient of the WTSDA Region 22 Hall of Fame for Family of the Year.


With her love for Tang Soo Do, she enjoys working with children.  In January of 2003, she became a class assistant for the Little Dragon Program, 4-6 year olds.  She feels that the importance of the strong mind, body and spirit aspect of Tang Soo Do starts in the younger children and promotes life-long learning and betterment. After receiving her black belt, she was asked to be instrumental in developing a transition program for six year olds.  The Mighty Dragon program has been successful in transitioning the Little Dragons to the Youth Beginner Class for the past several years. Mrs. Ilko has also developed and started a Little Dragon program for another studio within our region.  Also, she has taught women self-defense classes within the Beaver County area .

Mrs. Ilko is also a member of the World KiGong Club.  She is a Level 2 instructor in KiGong and has taught KiGong at several seminars and clinics including our Region 22 Black Belt Camp.  She is the primary KiGong Instructor at SDMA.


Along with studio involvement, Mrs. Ilko feels it is important to get involved in the community. The World Tang Soo Do Foundation is very active in helping people who need the extra help. She and her husband, Dave, organized the first Annual Toys for Tots drive at River Valley. It was a tremendous success.  Mrs. Ilko is responsible for organizing the annual Break-A-Thon at Steel Dragons Martial Arts which raises money to benefit kids with cancer and other diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 


Mrs. Ilko was born and raised in Economy Borough, PA.  She is a graduate of Ambridge Area High School.  After graduation, she attended the University of Pittsburgh where she became a Registered Dental Hygienist.  Continuing her education at California University of Pennsylvania, she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Education.  She actively practices dental hygiene in the Beaver Valley, and when given the chance, Mrs. Ilko educates preschool children on the importance of dental health.


Along with her love of karate, which she shares with her husband, she has two daughters, Jaina and Mara, who are also growing up in Tang Soo Do.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and camping.

Mr. Robert Capo (Bu Kyo Sah Nim)
Cho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt)

Mr. Capo began his training in martial arts in December of 2008 as one of the first students at Steel Dragons Martial Arts.  Developing a passion for Tang Soo Do, he was invited to join the SDMA Leadership Team, enrolled as an Instructor Trainee and began to assist teaching classes.  Throughout his martial arts career, Mr. Capo used Tang Soo Do as a balance in his life while he was a full-time student, graduating from college and having a professional career as a  survey CADD technician. 

Mr. Rob Capo successfully tested for his Black Belt in September 2012.  His responsibilities at Steel Dragons Martial Arts include teaching the Tuesday evening Free Training class, teaching introductory lessons, instructing classes, teaching Saturday Class and is a member of the Review Board for WTSDA Gup Testing, and he is a member of the SDMA Break-A-Thon Team.  On the Association level, Mr. Capo serves as a member of the Region 22 Security detail at Association functions.

Mr. Matthew Loeffert (Bu Kyo Sah Nim)

Cho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt)

Mr. Loeffert is a Black Belt Instructor at Steel Dragons Martial Arts who tested for his 1st Deg
ree Black Belt in September of 2013. 

Due to his professional job responsibilities, Mr. Loeffert had the privilege to train at WTSDA studios all across the country, including WTSDA HQ in Burlington, NC, while traveling for work.  Each experience has provided Mr. Loeffert with a learning opportunity that he was able to bring back to the studio and share with the students of SDMA.

He is a member of the SDMA Break-A-Thon Team, SDMA Leadership Team and volunteers
at WTSDA events as a member of the Regional Security Detail.

At Steel Dragons Martial Arts, Mr. Loeffert teaches and assists with the Little Dragons, Youth and Adult Classes as well as a sitting on test panels for Gup student rank evaluations.