Frequently Asked Questions (re: Children)
What is the starting age?
Children develop at different rates. To get the best benefit from Taekwondo, an age of at least 5 is recommended. It is best if the child can follow instructions, tell left from right, and be able to attend a class of 45 minutes to an hour.
Can I see a class before signing up?
Yes, in fact it is encouraged! Email, contact an instructor before a class, or check the schedule and visit at the appropriate training time to see if it meets your expectations. Remember that there are many things that will be covered during the course of training. A single class may be focused on developing one single technique.
Can I watch the class?
Yes. There is an assigned viewing area in the lobby and lounge. There is also a viewing area near the TKD floor where parents/family can watch. This particular area is a privilege afforded us by Midwest Gymnastics as it is very close to their free-form exercise floor, and thus a potentially hazardous area for members and spectators alike. If viewing is allowed in this area, parents are instructed not to let any younger children walk or run free, and not to interfere in the class at any time as it may distract the student. The focus for the student is best put on the instructor during the course of the class. Of course, parental help at home is encouraged.
Can I participate in the childrens’ class?
No. Only Black Belt Instructors are allowed to teach in the children’s class. Other active Taekwondo Members may be enlisted to help with particular techniques.
Will Taekwondo make my child more aggressive?
Taekwondo is intended to teach self-control, respect, and discipline. We can work with the child on any issues, whether of aggression or non-aggression, to help them become a more confident person and to be able to handle the many situations that are possible in an appropriate manner.
Why do you bow?
This is a simple, traditional show of respect for the instructor, other students, and one’s self.
Why is Respect so important?
Children will be encountering authority figures for the rest of their lives. The respect we instill will be helpful in dealing with difficult situations. Our goal is to instill respect for all. From lower to higher rank or younger to older, because of the senior person’s life experience or knowledge. And from higher to lower rank or older to younger, recognizing the quality of the person’s potential to learn.
Why is Discipline so important?
When we talk about discipline, we use it as a noun, not a verb. That is, it is something that comes from within, not something that is imposed from outside. Discipline is “what you make yourself do”, not a punishment for doing something wrong. We help the student discover that they are capable of many things perhaps thought not previously possible.
How long will it take to get to the next belt?
It all depends on the student and how much time and effort the child is putting into training and learning the required techniques for passing to the next level. It is not just a matter of learning just enough to pass, but of performing the technique to the best of their ability at the time. It should be at least a couple months between belt tests, and longer as the rank gets higher.
Why does it cost so much?
The basic non-discounted rate comes to about $20 a week. There is an unlimited number of classes the student can attend as long as it is appropriate to their age, ability, and rank.
My child has ADD/ADHD/Asperger’s Syndrome…
We have found that children diagnosed with these conditions often turn out to be ones to benefit from TKD training the most. With a clear set of rules and expectations, it makes for a comfortable environment where the child can know what to expect.
Instructors are trained in CPR
I’m afraid my child will get hurt!
Taekwondo is a martial/fighting art and there will inevitably be a bruise or bump from time to time. Our instructors take the greatest care to make a safe environment. Very rarely is any serious injury incurred during the course of the class.
Frequently Asked Questions (Adults)
What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a martial art of Korean origin that is over 2000 years old. It consists of about 70 percent kicking techniques and 30 percent hand techniques.
How many classes a week can I attend?
You may attend as many classes as are available that are appropriate to your age, rank, and experience. Special advanced classes may require permission of the instructor.
Am I too old to start?
No! We have had many students of all ages, even of “advanced retirement”age. Many of our instructors are over 40 years old.
What if I have a medical condition? Can I still train?
Yes, as long as the instructor is aware of your condition. We can work around knee or heart problems and will never require you to perform a technique that could affect the condition negatively.
Will it make me more aggressive?
Taekwondo is a martial art for self-defense.
What if I get an injury during the course of my membership?
While serious injuries are rare, in case of an injury requiring more than a month the membership can be put on hold.
What if I go on vacation?
Memberships are sold by the duration specified. Special extended absences can be determined by the head instructor.
I am coming from another school/martial art. Will I be able to keep my rank?
It depends on the martial art style, amount of experience, and many other factors. If you come from a WTF or USAT-approved school, the rank retention should not be a problem as the testing requirements should be the same or very similar. If you are a student from another style (karate, kung fu, etc) it is up to the head instructor to evaluate your technique and award the TKD rank accordingly.
How do I get to the next belt?
Tests are scheduled every few months. The student has a list of required techniques and patterned that must be learned and demonstrated in front of a panel of Black Belt judges. All techniques will be covered during the course of regular class training, and students will be pre-tested to see that they are ready for the main test.
Why is there a fee for testing?
There is a cost for the new belt and the fee goes to the rental of the gym.
How long until I get to the next belt?
It all depends on the student and how much time and effort is put into training and learning the required techniques for passing to the next level. It is not just a matter of learning just enough to pass, but of performing the technique to the best of one’s ability at the level. It should take at least a couple months between belt tests, and longer as the rank gets higher.
How long will it take to get a Black Belt?
There is an “average” time of about three years, but rarely is it on an exact schedule. Some particularly talented and dedicated students can qualify earlier, but many find as they increase in rank that they like to take longer between tests to really make sure that they perform well at that rank before proceeding. Consistent effort and varied training is the key.
What about tournaments/competition?
If you are interested in tournaments or competition, this is the place to be! Mr. Koy is a nationally/world qualified trainer, producing many Gold medalists in high-level competitions. Competition is not just fighting only – depending on the tournament there will likely be form/pattern and board breaking events as well.
Do I have to fight in tournaments?
It is not a requirement to participate in tournament competition to advance in rank. However, it does make for a better overall TKD student experience, especially at the advanced level when students begin teaching others. We occasionally have intra-school tournaments that are recommended for the competition experience. Fighting/self-defense ability is of course a requirement for testing.