Q: What is Taekwon-Do?
A: Taekwon-Do is a modern Korean martial art. The word Taekwon-Do literally means foot-fist-art. This style was created and introduced to the world by the late General Choi Hong Hi, the Founder of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (a/k/a ITF).
Taekwon-Do (TKD) is known for its arsenal of impressive and effective kicking techniques, along with a wide array of foot, hand, elbow, and knee strikes or blocks. It exercises and strengthens the entire body and also improves cardiovascular fitness. Board breaking, patterns, and sparring are facets of the training. TKD is also known to build character through the practice of its five tenets: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit.
Q: What is special about this particular organization?
A: Our classes are known for our structured, high quality, teaching techniques that focus on improving the student mentally, as well as, physically. Students that train together often become lifelong friends through their common interest and respect for each other's efforts. Our Taekwon-Do classes are one of the few opportunities where families are able to train together. In fact, our entire family holds black belt ranks.
Q: What is the cost for Taekwon-Do classes?
A: There are several plans available, determined by how often you will be training per week. Our classes are reasonably priced so that anyone can train and there are no contracts to sign that commit you to long-term training or payments. The fee is paid monthly to the Midland Community Center at the beginning of each month.
Q: What happens if I am sick or going on vacation?
A: Because we offer classes on several different days each week, you are able to make them up for no extra or lost cost. For example, if you normally train on Tuesday & Saturday and you miss one week, you are welcome to train on two other additional days after you return.
Q: Do I have to purchase a uniform?
A: In the beginning, a T-shirt and comfortable shorts or pants are acceptable. However, you will be required to purchase a uniform and USITF membership before your first formal test, which is in approximately three months. A yearly USITF membership is required which also makes you a member of the ITF. ITF Black Belt certification is available, which is a highly sought after throughout the world.
Q: Are there any additional costs involved in training?
A: In addition to monthly training fees listed above there are testing fees for each test for students that want to achieve color belt rankings; a total of 9 up to black belt. Black belt testing fees differ and are additional. You will also most likely want to purchase safety equipment, but it is not necessary right away.
Q: Do I need any experience?
A: No previous experience or athletic ability is required. All you need is the desire to learn. We do also welcome students of other martial arts who want to learn Taekwon-Do. Taekwon-Do students who have received ranking but are no longer training with that school are also welcome.
Q: Am I too old or out of shape to begin Taekwon-Do classes?
A: You are never too old or out of shape. Your goal is self-improvement. Each student starts at their own place and progresses at their own pace. It is not a competition or race. We like to remind students to just enjoy the journey! At this time our oldest student is 82, but people in their 90's have trained in Taekwon-Do.
Q: How young do you start children in Taekwon-Do classes?
A: It can depend on the child. Normally around age 6 or 7 when children begin first grade, they become more physiologically able to focus and follow directions. Occasionally a child is capable at age five. However, very young children can become discouraged if they are not ready. Beginning at a very young age does not usually help students achieve anything more or faster than those who begin later. A helpful home test is to see if the child is able to do jumping jacks and can follow directions involving the left and right hands or feet. The child must have the desire to train. Visiting a class may help determine that.
Q: What type of contact is made during sparring?
A: We stress no contact for low belts. Higher belts may be allowed to make very light, touch contact, if agreed on and with the use of the proper Safety Equipment. Students learn sparring at a very gradual pace. The level of contact is appropriate for the age and ability of the student. The safety of our students comes first and foremost. Injury is actually very uncommon in this sport/art, likely due to the control of the techniques that is stressed. In our over 40 plus years of teaching, our students have had very few injuries and those were more often been pulled muscles or strains that came about without a partner.
Q: Do I need any special safety equipment when I spar?
A: Sparring equipment is recommended both for your own safety, as well as that of your partner. Equipment is available for purchase through the instructor. We usually recommend that you get sparring gloves and shin pads first. Males should also wear an athletic cup. Mouthpieces can also be a wise early purchase. Safety kicks for your feet are especially important if you make any contact at all. We offer discounts on sparring equipment when a uniform and USITF membership is purchased.
Q: What if I only want to learn self-defense rather than traditional Taekwon-Do?
A: Self-defense classes are offered periodically through the Midland Community Center or through small private seminars with Master Terry Batch and/or Chief Instructor Emily Batch.