Tae Kwon Do As We Practice It

red belt doing side kick

The starting point for choosing a martial arts club is getting some idea of what the art is and how the club fosters the art. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art of kicking and punching, known for its high, powerful kicks – including a wide variety of jumping kicks – its powerful hand strikes, and its strong defensive techniques. More information on the history of the art is available from our summary of the history of our club and from many good sources on the Internet, such as the Wikipedia article on Tae Kwon Do.

Classes begin with 30–45 minutes of calisthenics – pushups, sit-ups, abdominal exercises, and jumping drills, to name just a few. These build physical endurance and stamina. Then we stretch (or stretching is mixed in with the calisthenics). Then we go through a variety of kicking and hand drills, target exercises, and sparring. We also practice hyung – forms made up of prearranged patterns of movement for each rank.

We work very hard on the physical aspects of Tae Kwon Do. In fact, the group devotes all of every class to working on them – from a certain point of view, we work on nothing else. But it is also true that as individuals, we work just as hard or harder on the mental aspects of our art: the way in which the club trains to achieve physical goals acknowledges and cultivates these mental goals. Our overall goal in training is total mind and body control. It's an unattainable goal, of course, but we improve and grow a lot as we strive hard for it. At its core, Tae Kwon Do as our club practices it is an opportunity for students to learn about themselves, to discover where their strengths and weaknesses are, and to try to become stronger. And there are many kinds of strength to acquire through training in Tae Kwon Do. We strengthen ourselves physically by pushing ourselves to our physical limits. Pushing ourselves up to and sometimes beyond the limits we thought we had in one area of experience opens us up to overcoming our limits in other areas. This basic process characterizes our approach to the art. Through rigorous physical training, we strive for goals in addition to physical excellence. We discover ourselves, and discover our roles in the world, which are larger than our own needs.

No web page can fully describe who we are or what we do. We invite you to watch – or better yet, join in – a class. You will begin to get a sense of the motivation that drives us, the goals we strive to reach, and also the closeness and support we share.