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Tae Kwon Do people - please help answer some questions ..


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DS has done Tae Kwon Do with a popular local studio for 4 years. I realized recently that the studio is not Kukkiwon certified and was teaching TKD (ATF style) with other styles like Judo, Karate and Juijitsu thrown in. I was that parent who dropped off her child and used that time to catch up on email and exercise. I never paid much attention to what was being taught.

I am told that the studio is "club based" and nor Kukkiwon based. This means that their black belt is not certified from any accredited martial arts associations and certainly not transferable to another studio. My son wants to pursue TKD to higher belt levels and compete in the future. I feel that I messed up by going with a popular studio rather than looking for a studio that taught the original style of TKD. I have decided to change schools in the summer and have started looking for other options.

Any tips for me on what to look for in the new school? I want to research the options well before I sign my son up.


Edited by mathnerd
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Ours is associated with ITF.  There is a very high level of competition.  Dd competed in Spain in the World Championships two years ago.  We've been very happy about the level of instruction, the competition opportunities, and the focus on preparing the athlete.  In all of the dojangs we've been in, the kids have been encouraged to attend as many classes as possible and haven't been charged extra to do so.  They love seeing kids excited about learning.  There have been lots of opportunities to attend seminars on a variety of aspects of TKD - like sparring, patterns, umpiring, etc.  


I would look for a studio that values the student rather than one that charges for every little thing.  Watch a few classes and see what's going on.  

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I also suggest looking for a school that does not operate as a daycare/after schooling drop off. At least in my state, there is a loophole in the child care laws that allows these "after school" venues to be outside of the regulations for daycares, even though they pretty much are one in the same. So we have some shady martial arts places, particularly TKD, because it's an easy money maker. The bus picks the kids up and they take a class or do their homework until mom or dad pick them up a couple of hours later. Although it was technically TKD, it wasn't the same as I would consider a serious TKD place. 


We switched to Kuk Sool Won because of this. Even though we had some good TKD instructors, I wanted a more professional atmosphere- not kids bused in straight from school because their parents needed somewhere to stick them until they got off of work. We wanted a place where the kids had a vested interest in the program, rather than simply some place to be- it makes a world of difference with the attitudes. Our Kuk Sool program doesn't allow drop offs. You can sit in your car and watch through the window, but the parents are all involved and the school don't pick anyone up from school. It has made a world of difference in my opinion. 

Edited by texasmom33
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