About ROMA (Russell Oster Martial Arts)

Integrating life skills into our martial arts program.

The manner in which we administer the ROMA TSD studio and program is, we feel, somewhat unique. 

Family Friendly Tuition

We’ve set our tuition at a reasonable, competitive rate. Our family-oriented tuition structure is truly family-friendly. The first two students from the same family pay the regular rate. Every family member after the first two, attends for FREE. This way parents or siblings do not have to sit and watch from the sidelines, they can fully participate at no cost. And, they receive the same full benefits the first two students receive.

All-Inclusive Pricing

We have experienced and have been told by parents they struggled with paying dues and then having to pay for every single small or large item along the way. At ROMA TSD, our tuition structure will be “all-inclusive”.  From day one up to black belt testing, once you pay your monthly tuition, you never pay for anything needed or required again! Outgrew your kids uniform? You get a new one at no cost. Time for sparring gear? Free. Training weapons? Free. Testing fees and new belts (sometimes every 2-3 months)? Free! Of course, if a student wanted an item that was “special” we can arrange the purchase for them. 

Experienced Instructors

Ms. Russell and Mr. Oster have a combined training and teaching history spanning over 85 years! Our formal education enables us to be professionally informed about the teaching, learning, and training processes. 

Ms. Russell has a BA in Education and worked as a teacher. She has an MBA and a career in which she oversees technical staff implementing their clients’ services. 

Mr. Oster has a doctorate degree in Psychology and practices as a Psychologist for some 37 years. He was also a university professor for 31 years. Both have traveled the country teaching Martial Arts in a variety of venues.

ROMA Tang Soo Do

Our owner-Instructors

Pam's Side Kick

Pamela Russell

4th Degree Black Belt Instructor

Ms. Russell, co-owner and chief instructor, began her formal martial arts training in 1987 in both Tang Soo Do and Hapkido. Over the last 36 years she has trained with various Master Instructors in the World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA). In 2006 Ms. Russell earned her 1st degree Black Belt in both Tang Soo Do and Hapkido. She continued her training and earned her 2nd degree in 2008, her 3rd Degree 2012, and her 4th degree Black Belt in Tang Soo Do in 2020. She continued her training in Hapkido, earning her 2nd degree Black Belt in 2011.

Ms. Russell began her martial arts teaching as an Assistant Instructor in 2000 and an Instructor in 2006, teaching children and adults of all ages and ranks.  Ms. Russell has also been an instructor at various local and Regional WTSDA events.  She has been a visiting instructor at a number of WTSDA schools in the U.S. and Central America.

Ms. Russell joined the World Tang Soo Do Association in 1991 and is a Certified Instructor and International Judge. She has regularly competed at Regional Championships and in 2011 earned the Senior Cup (Grand Champion). She also competed at the WTSDA World Championships.  She continues to support and judge at the bi-annual World Championships.

Ms. Russell worked in the Villa Park School District as a Teacher’s Assistant, while earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Elmhurst College.  She later went to Roosevelt University, earning an MBA in Information Systems. She currently works as a Senior Director of Managed Services for True Group Inc. Ms. Russell lives with her husband Marc Oster in Bloomingdale.

Marc's Brick Break

Marc Oster

3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Mr. Oster, co-owner and head instructor, began his formal martial arts training in 1973. In the fall of 1974, he joined the Western Michigan University Karate Club and became a member of his United States Korean Karate Association, becoming part of their demonstration team. Starting as an assistant instructor in the WMU Physical Education Department, Mr. Oster went on to teach his own PE classes in Tang Soo Do/Karate.  

He earned his 1st degree Black Belt in 1976, Later that year he received an Instructor’s certification. He taught for several local organizations. In 1978 he operated a commercial studio, which he operated until moving from the area.

His teaching experience continued at Michigan State University. In 1978, Mr. Oster received his 2nd degree Black Belt and in 1982 he received his 3rd degree Black Belt. Mr. Oster moved to the Chicago area and while working on his doctorate degree in Psychology, he began a Tang Soo Do club comprised of his doctoral classmates. In 1986 he began a park district club running until 1992. 

Mr. Oster started training with Master Instructors in the World Tang Soo Do Association, joining the association in 2010. Mr. Oster is a Certified Instructor and a Certified International Judge with the World Tang Soo do Association. He continues to train and teach at various local and Regional WTSDA events. In 2023 his martial arts involvement has spanned 50 years. 

Outside of the martial arts, Dr. Oster has a part-time private practice. He lives with his wife Pamela Russell in Bloomingdale.