ENTERPRISE YMCA Taekwondo School

What exactly is Taekwondo? Is it like Karate?

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that uses the legs/feet to attack and the hands/arms to block whereas Karate is a Japanese (actually Okinawan) martial art that uses the legs/feet to propel the body close to an opponent and uses the hands/arms to attack. Taekwondo is the largest martial art in the world in terms of practitioners and is only one of two martial arts in the Olympics (the other being the Japanese grappling art of Judo). The words Tae (stomp), Kwon (fist) Do (way of) are loosely translated as ?the way of the hand and the foot.?

How much does it cost to take Taekwondo at the Y?

The novice classes last two or three sessions and are free; they serve as an introduction to the sport of TKD. Once you graduate to the Beginner Class, you will pay according to your YMCA membership status. Deluxe members pay nothing for the classes; Regular Members currently pay $25 per month; non-Members currently pay $60 per month. Please check with the current YMCA circular for price changes.

How often to you test for a new belt?

When you test depends on several factors;
  • Attendance: you must attend 75% of the available classes (twice each week) and learn your forms and defense techniques.
  • Recommendation: you must receive the recommendation of at least one of the certified black belt instructors.
  • Approval: you must be approved for testing by the majority of the certified black belt instructors.
Until you reach the level of black belt you can test once every two months ... once you become a black belt your testing intervals depend on your age, your rank and how long you have held you rank but usually between 8-12 months per test.

How long does it take to earn a black belt?

There are 9 colored belts (called KUP ranks) before becoming a Black Belt (Recommended)
  • Beginner Belts ... White; Yellow; Orange
  • Intermediate Belts ... Light Green; Dark Green; Blue; Purple
  • Advanced Belts ... Red (Junior and Senior); Brown (Junior and Senior)
After Sr. Brown, you may test for 1st Degree Recommended:
  • 1st Recommended (white stripe)
  • 1st Recommended (green stripe)
  • 1st Recommended (red stripe)
If successful, you can test for 1st Degree Decided (1 DAN). The minimum time between testings is 2 months - the minimum time from beginning to 1 DAN is 28 months.

How are the classes structured?

Novice Class (Fridays) is where you get an introduction to the sport. You will learn basic commands, stances, punches and kicks along with the first few steps of your White belt form (Ki Bon). It allows you to attend two or three classes for free to decide if TKD is for you.

Beginner Class (White, Yellow, Orange) usually starts with some stretching exercises followed by some punching and kicking drills. The remainder of the class is spent on practicing forms and one-steps with an instructor.

Intermediate (Jr. and Sr. Green, Blue, Purple) and Advanced (Jr. and Sr. Red, Jr. and Sr. Brown) Class also start with stretching and drills but concentrate on sparring on Tuesdays and Board Breaking on Thursdays (along with form and defense techniques on both days).

Black Belt Class (Wednesdays) concentrates on advanced sparring and weapons techniques, along with the art of teaching junior belts.

Students must practice their forms and defense techniques at home - class time is devoted to honing skills. Before tournaments and before testing, instructors are available after class on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays to work with those who wish additional help.

What other costs are associated with TKD at the Y?

Every student needs a uniform (gi top and bottom with patches) that costs $50. Once they become Jr. Green belts (after 6 months) they will need sparring gear (helmet, gloves, shin guards, foot pads) that will cost $125. Testing prices vary but the average cost $50 per test (every two months). Students who do not pass do not have to pay for the re-test.

How old must a child be to enroll?

Our regular Beginner and Intermediate Classes have students from 6 to 60!

My child has a black belt from another, non-ATF school ... will he or she be allowed to wear his or her black belt?

There are many styles of Taekwondo. The ones accepted by most national/international governing bodies of the sport are ATA(American Taekwondo Association), ITF (International Taekwondo Federation), WTF (World Taekwondo Federation), and TSD (Tang Soo Do). Our school belongs to the American Taekwondo Foundation (ATF) and we practice the traditional ITF forms.

In order to be a member of the ATF and to be allowed to compete at ATF tournaments, participants must hold ATF rank. Your child will be evaluated by our certified instructors to determine if he or she meets the ATF standards in terms of executing forms, point sparring, and board breaking. Most students begin with us as Red Belts and can progress to 1st Degree (Recommended) within 8 months, learning our beginner and advanced forms along the way.

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