Here are just a few things people tend to wonder about our program.
What should I bring and how should I prepare for my first class?
Expect to exercise, so you should wear comfortable clothing. We suggest wearing ankle-length pants: sweatpants, track pants, yoga pants, etc. Shorts are not appropriate for takewondo. You should also wear a top with short sleeves. A typical T-shirt is fine. Bring a water bottle. We have a sink, but no drinking fountain or vending machines. Also, most of our students come to class already dressed out for exercise, but we do have changing rooms. Also, trim your fingernails and toenails. We work out in bare feet. You should also remove any jewelry, including piercings and gauges, to reduce the risk of injury. Wedding bands without stones are permitted.
What happens in class?
The specifics of each class vary depending on student need, instructors’ short and long term goals, and upcoming events such as testings and tournaments. But, generally speaking, every class begins with a warm-up period of light to moderate cardio-pulmonary exercise followed by stretching. Instruction will revolve around reviewing previous techniques, learning new techniques, building speed and power, and applications of techniques in self-defense, sparring, or patterns. Students receive group and individualized instruction and practice alone, with a partner, or in small groups.
I’ve never done anything like this before and am worried that I’m too_________ to practice taekwondo or that my __________will limit me.
Apart from a minimum age requirement to join open classes, you are not too __________ to practice martial arts. Though we train and exercise as a group, each student works to his or her personal degree of comfort and we base advancement on individual performance. Students do not need to “keep up” with the class and instructors will individualize instruction and expectations to accommodate any physical limitations. We have trained students with a wide range of physical abilities. Martial arts can be adapted to suit anyone and we will work to help you become the best martial artist you can be.
What is taekwondo? How is it different from other styles?
Taekwondo is a striking-focused (as opposed to grappling-focused) martial art best known for its powerful kicks and aerial kicking displays. However, it is a comprehensive martial art that incorporates a wide range of hand, elbow, and knee strikes, grappling and throwing techniques, and soft-style evasion and redirection as well as hard-style blocking and countering. Taekwondo is a relatively young martial art that arose from a number of different styles practiced on the Korean peninsula. In the late 20th Century, Taekwondo became an Olympic Sport. Taekwondo is generally a stand-up style focused on delivering powerful and debilitating strikes (like Karate and Muay Thai.) Unlike Karate, Taekwondo focuses on kicking over punching, and unlike Muay Thai puts more emphasis on staying at a long or mid-range striking distance than clinching.
Is Taekwondo the ‘best’ martial art?
No. But it is an excellent martial art. We don’t believe any particular style is the best. No one style can comprehensively outmatch any other style. Even in our own instruction, we incorporate techniques from other disciplines including Go-ju-ryu Karate, Muay Thai, Aikido, Hapkido, Jujitsu, Judo, Shorinji Kenpo, and modern combatives.
What’s a black belt, and what belts are there, and what do they mean?
Generally speaking, a black belt indicates a student of a martial art has learned all the fundamentals he or she needs to know become a “master” martial artist. A black belt is a trained martial artist who understands the essential principles of technique and philosophy of our style. A black belt indicates a “beginning” to training, not an end.
Every system demonstrates rank slightly differently. At Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo all students begin as white belts. This indicates a lack of training in our style. Between white and black belt students advance through 10 stages indicated by 5 belt colors: white, orange, green, blue, and brown. White and Orange are considered beginner ranks–green and blue, intermediate–and brown, advanced. Each colored belt has 2 levels, for example: low orange and high orange.
I already have a _________ belt in _____________. What can you offer me?
Unless you come to us from another Universal Taekwondo Association School, we will not honor your colored-belt rank. In order to earn a black belt in our system, you must demonstrate knowledge of all the lower ranks’ requirements. We have found learning these rank-by-rank is easier and faster than trying to master the requirements for several belts all at once. Typically, experienced martial artists advance from beginner to advanced ranks much more quickly than other students. If you have a black belt or better in any nationally or internationally recognized taekwondo association, we will honor your present rank. Future promotions require demonstration of all lower rank requirements.
What does training cost? What are the other fees* associated with Taekwondo?
Open class membership rates vary for each student. We offer college student discounts, family rates, and other promotions. Contact us to get a specific quote for your particular case. Beyond monthly membership dues, there is a registration fee for new students. This fee includes a taekwondo uniform and belt, a student manual, and membership in the Universal Taekwondo Association. Equipment costs vary for each student’s needs and preferences. A decent set of tournament-legal sparring gear runs $50-$100 dollars. We have used gear available for new students to borrow. Students pay a $35 fee to test for advancement in rank (until testing for black belt.) Typical students test 2-4 times a year. For students interested in competition, registration in local and regional tournaments usually runs about $50. National tournaments of course cost more. We encourage students to compete in a minimum of 2 tournaments a year.
*Testing and Registration Fees are established by the Universal Taekwondo Association and are subject to change without notice.