What is West Coast Taekwondo?
West Coast Taekwondo is a member of a national organization with member schools across the United States. All the schools adhere to the same principles, standards, and procedures which guide the way the schools teach, promote students in rank, and project their image and reputation within the community. Click HERE for more information.
How old does a child need to be to start Taekwondo?
It depends on the child. Many five-year-olds demonstrate the maturity to pay attention during a 35-minute class and follow instructions well. On the other hand, some kids who are much older behave in such a way that shows they do not have the same maturity. It has less to do with physical ability and age than it does with willingness to try hard. That's one of the reasons we encourage everyone to try a free class first. And it's also why we added the Little Dragons program for ages 4-5.
We expect all students to:
• be able to focus and understand simple Instructions
• follow instructions immediately and with minimal reminders
• treat all instructors and other students with respect and courtesy
• treat the school and equipment with respect
• obey safety rules
• behave according to the Tenets of Taekwondo
• handle bathroom needs without Instructor assistance
• Try hard and participate in all class activities with enthusiasm
How many classes should I attend each week?
Students are allowed to attend any/all classes for their age and belt each week, but we recommend a mimimum of 2-3 classes each week for the best results. Setting a schedule and being consistent is important. It is better to attend 2 classes every week than it is to miss a week or two and try to make it up with 6 classes in one week.
Can I just pick class times that work for me?
Our class schedule is designed to be flexible. Every student will have a class they can attend four days a week. That way, as your schedule changes, we will still be available to you. We don't pick which days you come - you do!
Should students practice at home?
There's a difference between a student practicing their form and/or one-steps at home in a safe space and trying to spar, punch and kick family members, friends and the furniture. Students should never spar outside the school or perform martial arts techniques that could hurt themselves or others (or your furniture).
And there's a difference between a student deciding on their own to practice their form and parents forcing kids to do their form over and over, or worse, trying to teach their kids based on what they've seen from the lobby. Parents, we know how tempting it can be to watch class, take notes and then try to "help" your child at home, especially If you feel they're not learning as quickly as other students. But that Is one of the fastest ways to kill your child's desire to learn martial arts. As long as students are attending 2-3 classes a week consistently, at the beginner level, there is no need for additional practice at home.
At the higher ranks, especially Black Belt level, students are highly encouraged to practice their form (and old forms to work toward earning their instructor collar) at home In addition to participating in class at least 3 times a week. We do not want students to injure themselves or a friend in an attempt to demonstrate kicks and punches they have learned in class. Breaking wood is never to be done outside of the school until the student is a senior blue belt and both the student and parent/guardians have been taught proper technique.
And, just in case you think it would be a great idea to have our instructors babysit or hang out with your child, so they can help them with their form outside of the school, that's one of the fastest ways for our instructors to lose their teaching collar.
How long does it take to become a Black Belt?
It is mathematically possible to become a Black Belt in about 2 1/2 to 3 years. However, it takes most people longer to attain that rank. But remember, Black Belt is just the beginning, not the end, of serious training. Black Belt indicates that the wearer is a master of the basics and is now a serious student of the art. The "average" person will never get a Black Belt... a Black Belt is not "average," but someone who has learned perseverance, dedication, and indomitable spirit to go the extra mile when others would quit.
What is testing?
Testing is a process where we evaluate the skills of the student to determine whether they are ready to progress to the next level of training. What is expected of students depends on the rank, age and physical ability of the student. What is required to pass testing increases dramatically as a student increases In rank. Little Dragons and White through 2nd Degree Senior every 2 months for testing.
Once a student has attained their black belt, they have a Qualification Testing every 2 months. Upon reaching the minimum required waiting time, the student can then test for the next rank.
If a student does not pass testing, you do not pay again to have them retest for the same rank.
What are the uniform requirements?
Each martial arts student is issued an official West Coast Taekwondo Uniform upon enrollment. Our official uniform consists of dobok (uniform) top and bottom, a small Taekwondo United patch that goes over the heart, a large Taekwondo United patch that goes on the back, and a small school patch that goes opposite the other small patch.
On Saturday only, all martial arts students have a choice to wear either their full uniform or their uniform pants with a West Coast Taekwondo T-shirt (or any other martial arts T-Shirt) and their belt.
Jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, watches and bracelets are not to be worn during class, testings or tournaments because they can injure you or your workout partners.
What do the instructors expect from the students?
We expect our students to give their best effort. Technique at the early stages of training Is not as important as a positive attitude. If a student tries hard, is respectful and has a good attitude, they will develop better technique over time because they are listening and learning.
How do the students earn colored "stripes" in class?
Each stripe is earned in class for achieving a short term goal that breaks up the requirements for advancement from one belt to the next. At the higher ranks it may take longer to earn certain stripes because the form and other skills are more challenging.
What is sparring gear and why do I need it?
Sparring gear allows us to practice the techniques we have learned in our class in a safe environment. By putting on this gear, we can practice speed, power, timing, and distance without hurting other people. Only red, TU branded sparring gear is allowed.
Our sparring gear consists of:
1. Head Gear
2. Hand Pads
3. Feet Pads
4. Elbow/Forearm Pads
5. Shin Pads
6. Mouth Piece
7. Cup (for male students)
Will my child become violent?
No! Your child will learn self-defense and fighting skills, but more importantly, your child will learn confidence, respect, and self-control. Our students learn how to avoid fighting.