General Questions & Answers
How many classes per week should I attend?
We recommend at least two classes per week for beginners with some additional practice time in between classes. As you advance in rank you will also want to put in more practice time. As a general rule, students should match their involvement with their fitness level.
Do I have to pay for an upgrade program if I want to take more than 2 classes a week?
No. Your monthly membership fee entitles you to up to 6 classes/week.
Do I have to be fit and athletic to start Taekwondo?
No. The continuous practice of Taekwondo will make and keep you fit. Taekwondo is all about perseverance and becoming disciplined in your practice and in life. Being overly talented or super athletic sometimes becomes a hindrance in achieving long term goals. A high percentage of our black belts as well as top competitors started off not being very coordinated or athletic. They persevered, outlasted and surpassed most of the super talented “prodigies” that came and went through our studio.
How long does it take to become proficient enough in Taekwondo and how many years do I have to train to become a Black Belt?
All this is dependent on a variety of factors. Some of the most important ones being: the effort you put in, your natural abilities etc… In most cases students feel that they could defend themselves fairly well after about six months. To get a black belt in our school involves serious commitment. We are not one of those schools that will give you a black belt after one or two years of casual training . It took most of our Black Belts between three and five years to reach their rank.
If I’ve trained in another martial art or at another Taekwondo studio, do I have to start over as a white belt?
No. We will recognize your rank, if you trained at a USAT/WTF certified school. You will keep your current rank while you learn our curriculum up to your rank. You then continue to advance when you’re proficient enough to do so.
Do I have to compete in tournaments?
No. We don’t require tournament competition. We realize that every student is unique and has different aspirations. Although we also feature a competition training program for students, that are interested in competing at local, national and international levels, it is run as a separate program.
Is sparring required ?
All Yellow belts and up are required to practice sparring in class. It is necessary to practice in conditions similar to as actual confrontation in order to learn about distance,speed, timing and control. If you have learned all the necessary techniques within Taekwondo, but never practice them by sparring, you have learned absolutely nothing. Sparring beginners are always partnered with black belts and our experienced competition team members, to ensure trust and safety. They have the experience and control neccessary to avoid injuries caused by errors in timing, distance, etc. Next, the beginner practices “promise sparring”, which is a controlled form of sparring that regulates the force of all techniques according to his/her and his/her partner’s desired level of challenge. It gives the beginner a chance to try things out without any risk of injury whatsoever.
How high is the risk of injury?
Considering that martial arts is ranked 19th as a dangerous sport (cheerleading is no. 1, followed by volleyball and basketball), the risk of injury in Taekwondo is minimal. All our classes are closely supervised with safety in mind. Our studio is fully equipped with mats and all students are required to wear protective gear during sparring drills and free sparring, which reduces the risk of injury even further.
Why do people bow upon entering a martial arts studio?
Bowing is a symbol of respect in Asian cultures similar to the western handshake. Bowing is also a wonderful way of disciplining our ego, as through bowing we become more humble beings.
Does Taekwondo involve meditation or any religious practice?
In our studio meditation is used to clear the mind and enable the student to become more focused and aware. It has no religious significance. We do not encourage or discourage any religious practice.
Why is it important to become a Kukkiwon certified Black Belt?
There are enough self proclaimed “masters” out there that never got past an intermediate level in any martial art style.Nevertheless they are taking bits and pieces of many martial arts and calling it their “own style”. “Ninth degree masters” of their self created unproven art of self defense with fake certifications. This produces consecutive generations of black belt students and teachers that cannot hold up to the technical standards of what a black belt level martial artist should be known for. The WTF and the Kuk Ki Won provide for international standardization of techniques and rank.
My instructor from a different martial arts style stated that Taekwondo is merely a sport that involves a lot of conditioning and does not teach you to defend yourself in real life. Is that true?
Taekwondo does involve a lot of conditioning of body and mind. But that is also one of the reasons it is considered a superior art of self defense. Only when your mind and body are well conditioned and in harmony will you have the confidence to defeat an assailant. Speed, accuracy and power in your techniques will not come to you in a two day seminar on self defense. And if you are training at a school where the instructor is very overweight, out of shape, and gives you little conditioning…..well, I’d ask for my money back. At our school we combine the effectiveness of Taekwondo’s long range techniques with the short range techniques of other styles such as Hapkido, Kali, Jiu jitsu, etc. for all self defense applications.
Competition Questions & Answers
A friend of mine told me he trains at a school on Maui that has Taekwondo World Champions, is that possible?
Although a few athletes from Oahu qualified for World Championships in the past, there has never been a Taekwondo World Champion from Hawaii, let alone Maui. There are several fake “World Championship” tournaments held annually in the US with no qualification requirements and most have no other countries competing. The real Taekwondo World Championship is held every two years and has only been held in the USA two times, 1977 in Chicago and 1993 in New York. Only the National team member of each country in each weight category is eligible to compete at the real Taekwondo World Championship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Taekwondo_Championships.
What is USAT?
USAT is the official National Governing Body for Taekwondo in the USA as recognized by the Unites States Olympic Committee
What is AAU Taekwondo?
AAU is the Amateur Athletic Union. USAT top level competitors often attend AAU national tournaments in order to earn trips to tournaments supported by AAU. AAU is doing a great job by having US Taekwondo practitioners from various organizations such as ITF, ATA, WTF etc. compete at the same events.
Does Hawaii Have A State Taekwondo Championship?
Yes. Every year, around March or April, the official USAT National Qualifier/Hawaii Taekwondo Championship is held on Oahu. This event is sponsored by Oahu Taekwondo Center.