At the American Tae Kwon Do Academy, our mission is to provide quality “Family Exercise with a Purpose”. Our program was developed with the individual, family and community in mind and our membership ages range from tots to grandparents. Our exercise program provides muscle and strength building; coordination and balance; agility and flexibility. In addition to enhancing self-confidence through self-defense skills, members learn teamwork and caring by working with and helping other members. Many of our classes are offered at YMCA facilities since our values align closely with the YMCA’s principles of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Members also experience the challenges and rewards of goal setting by progressing through the rank of beginner (White Belt) to advanced (Degrees of Black Belt).
While our Tot Kwon Do program caters to pre-school members ages 3 to 5½, our general program is open to individuals 6 and older. Our program is enhanced with a broad mix of children to seniors working together and learning the art of self-defense. Skill and ability are not bounded by age group, but rather by level of mastery of the martial arts discipline. Family members enjoy the opportunity to workout together while developing lasting friendships that extend beyond the class environment. Many as well enjoy the opportunity to give back to the larger community.
Most people are aware that martial arts provide solid self-defense skills. Many are not as familiar with the general health benefits and the fact that not all programs are akin to “Boxing clubs.” Through our rigorous and disciplined basics portion of the program members receive a solid cardiovascular workout ranging for about 30 minutes per class. Through our forms and, pre-arranged sequences of self-defense techniques, members improve their balance, speed, agility, and flexibility. Our Non-Contact Sparring provides a safe means to learn effective self-defense skills.
Through enhanced self-defense skills individuals gain confidence. By working with other members, they learn the importance of caution. Students learn how important it is to help each other acquire self-defense skills with the right level of care and respect for their own ability and that of their opponent to insure a safe and fun experience for all. One key component of the program is for upper belts to regularly work with lower belts to impart their knowledge, while at the same time broadening their own skills through the teaching experience. Children gain confidence by working with adults on the same skill level, and in some cases by instructing adults. This is indeed a unique opportunity for children to develop leadership and interpersonal skills.
-Frank R. Coppola III