The following text consists of extracts from a brochure written by Dr. Jack Emmel, MD.
It is generally believed that techniques similar to what we now call "martial arts" were developed in the Far East many centuries ago. There has been much differentiation over time and any current martial art is simply the most recent version of its predecessor. The term "martial" refers to the practical utility of techniques in combat. During peaceful times, practice for personal development, self-knowledge, and mind-body unity result in the "art". A given martial art may be "hard" (powerful, strong, fast) or "soft" (smooth, flowing, dance-like). Also, it may use weapons or not. Finally, in free-style sparring, painful offensive blows may be delivered ("contact" sparring) or withheld just short of the target ("non-contact" sparring). It is possible to develop the martial aspect and ignore the art aspect. This tends to occur in schools where self-defense and free-style fighting, particularly contact fighting, are emphasized. Research indicates that such training tends to increase aggressiveness and physical acting out of negative emotions. Schools emphasizing traditional teaching add basic exercises, forms, philosophy, and social appropriateness as important components of training to develop the "art". Research has demonstrated that when the art is also emphasized, students become less aggressive and less anxious and feel more self-confident, more self-disciplined, and more empowered to deal effectively with other aspects of their lives.
TAE KWON DO
Tae Kwon Do is the modern derivation of older Korean martial arts. It means "the study of kicks and punches". As such, no weapons are used. Being partially based on the tiger, it is strong, fast, and powerful - a "hard" martial art. Taught traditionally, it utilizes non-contact sparring to underscore safety and non-violence. All components of training are used to work through the "martial" and on to the "art".
Tae Kwon Do is a modern term first coined by Grandmaster Duk Sung Son, 9th degree black belt, and founder of the World Tae Kwon Do Association.
JOINING A CLASS
In our classes, traditional training and non-contact sparring allow an inclusive approach. Our students include youngsters, teenagers, and men and women of all ages; indeed, many couples and entire families are amongst our members. Whether underweight, overweight, coordinated, uncoordinated, in shape, out of shape, shy or assertive, all are encouraged to join. The training itself will develop or improve coordination, help adjust weight, promote fitness, and develop self-confidence and assertiveness. Our classes include doctors, lawyers, construction workers, real estate agents, professors, teachers, students, learning disabled children, people with back pain and knee problems, legislators, etc. Classes are accepting new students of all types all the time.
Training includes stretching, mild running, basic movements, forms (preset sequences of moves), 3-step practice sparring, free-style non-contact sparring, self-defense techniques, and special applications. The training is designed to develop the five basic components required of an accomplished martial artist: balance, accuracy, speed, power, and focus.
Beginners are white belts. Subsequent progression is through yellow, green, purple, brown and 1st degree black, taking 2-3 years (longer for children) of hard practice to achieve. Traditionally, more and more training and experience colored the original white belt darker and darker. Higher degrees of black belt require much longer and harder practice, which affords greater personal rewards in return. It is our aim to emphasize the process of training and attitude rather than the achievement of belt rank. With proper attention to personal development and social responsibility, advancement in belt rank takes care of itself.
All are black belts personally tested by Grandmaster Son or the four masters and approved to teach; they continue to receive instruction themselves.
Men and women aged 5 to 70 who have used Tae Kwon Do to get in shape; develop self-discipline and self-confidence; improve coordination and flexibility; control weight; learn self-defense; relieve stress; etc.
Stretching, running, basics, forms, three-step sparring, free-style NON-CONTACT sparring, self-defense techniques.
Safety always comes first!