We Play Sports, We Study Taekwondo . . .


I have always said that Taekwondo has the ability to change lives. Whether your kid is too bossy, too shy, or perhaps just a little hyper, the martial arts can help your child learn many important life lessons. Many martial artist study their art to enhance another sport they play, or to simply to enhance their lives in general. However, at soccer, you play a sport . . . at taekwondo, you study an art. The benefits of the martial arts are far beyond what a sport can offer. Below are some of the reasons I believe that every child will benefit from martial arts . . .

They (and You) Will Get More Active.
Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but not every kid is an athlete and many schools no longer offer P.E. The martial arts offer many benefits, but when it comes to fitness, becoming a true martial artist means becoming a supremely fit person. Martial arts can help your child get fit and healthy.


They’ll Learn to Find Focus and Stillness.
Of the many challenges that parents face today, one is that we are constantly plugged in. While there are a great many benefits to the Internet, there are many more benefits in stillness and silence. Unfortunately stillness and silence seem to be rare to find. At some juncture in life, every one of us comes to learn that the greatest obstacle we face in this lifetime is ourselves. That battle is fought in the stillness of our hearts and the willingness to confront ourselves. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged, and focused.

They’ll Learn to Take Hits.
In the martial arts, your child will learn what it is to take a hit, whether that hit is a literal blow or a disappointment like failing a test. Part of life is learning that we all take hits. The key is in learning how best to take that hit and get back up. Unfortunately, this lesson seems to be lost on many in our every-kid-gets-a-trophy culture. In the martial arts, your kid will learn to fail – a lot. Half of martial arts is hitting, but half is also getting hit.

They’ll Gain Self Confidence and Self Respect.
Martial arts teaches your child that there are no tough guys. Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence and respect for others comes from a deep sense of self-knowledge.

They’ll Connect Their Mind and Body.
A martial artist is taught to see, feel, and listen – both internally and externally. Tapping into intuition, fear, and courage are examples of being able to put the physical together with the mental. How often have we heard the phrase “being paralyzed with fear”? Being able to combat such a thing is what you learn in the martial arts.

They’ll Learn Conflict Resolution.
One of the first lessons Eternal Grand Master taught us in SongAhm Taekwondo was that words were never grounds for a fight. That advice right there has saved me many times. In the martial arts, you learn that there is no such thing as “fighting” words. Instead, you learn to respond without reacting in the martial arts.

They’ll Learn to Breathe.
Of the many things I have learned in the martial arts and boxing, breathing is near the top. Eternal Grand Master told me that he could tell how someone competes just by observing how he or she breathes. Indeed, nothing is more essential to the success of how we move our body than tapping into the life force of our essence – our breath. Ask a professional athlete, or an actor, dancer, or signer, and they will tell you that to succeed in any physical craft is to access your breath correctly.

How to Choose Where to Study . . .
After 40 years of training and teaching, the bottom line is that almost any child can and will benefit from participation in the martial arts. The key in choosing a teacher or school is to do your due diligence when it comes to evaluating the integrity of the program. As a starting place, I would choose a prospective instructor or coach who talks more about the needs of your child than his or her program.


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The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) is the premier North American organization dedicated to the martial arts discipline of taekwondo, and is the founding organization of other international affiliates that include the World Traditional Taekwondo Union (WTTU) and the Songahm Taekwondo Federation (STF).  Counting both the U.S. and worldwide, our organizations have over 1,500 independently owned and operated licensed schools and clubs, and have registered over one million students since the ATA’s inception in 1969.

Since the first class was taught many years ago, the focus of Songahm Taekwondo has remained the same: to provide students the highest quality martial arts instruction available in a safe and positive learning environment that people of all ages can enjoy. The instructors combine excellent student instructor ratios with state of the art training facilities. This has helped establish licensed schools and clubs as the leaders in the martial arts industry. Each instructor is a graduate of an instructor program that represents more than thirty years of research and development. He or she will be with you every step of the way to help you reach your individual goals (and maybe even reach some new goals you never before thought possible)

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Like any martial art properly taught and properly practiced, Taekwondo is a non-agressive and ethical system of self-defense.

Taekwondo developed from humble beginnings over 1,000 years ago and has since spread internationally to become one of the world’s most successful and popular martial arts. Its practitioners enjoy physical and mental discipline, as well as excellent fitness and the ability to defend themselves if necessary. Taekwondo is not only a combat sport, but is also a way of life for enthusiasts around the globe.

The word Taekwondo itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means “the way.” Loosely (if not literally), it can be thought of as “The Way of the Hand and Foot.”

While famous for its wide range of kicks, Taekwondo also emphasizes breaking power, such as splitting wood and bricks using only the bare hands and feet. Training involves a variety of techniques, to include punching, kicking, dodging, jumping, parrying and blocking. Taekwondo also focuses on sparring and learning formal patterns of movement called forms.

The style of Taekwondo supported by the ATA is known as Songahm Taekwondo, a style specifically developed over 20 years’ time by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee to make it accessible to anyone willing to learn, and to truly reflect Taekwondo and the strength and beauty of its kicking techniques.

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school of the year


You must treat every repetition as if it were the most important repetition of your life – and you must have utmost disdain for the less than awesome repetition. When counting repetitions, for every bad repetition I do, that erases ten good ones from my count… this way I can erase the bad repetition from my muscle memory and make sure that this form of punishment keeps my body and mind focused on each repetition. All it takes if for you to get lazy with one repetition… before you know it, every repetition gets lazy. Remember the old expression, “Practice Makes Perfect”… well, it is NOT true… it’s PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Think about that and what it means…  For instance, if you want to drill your pumse, I would recommend you start with the weakest segment first The more energy you have, the easier it is to focus on your technique.

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