Frequently Asked Questions
Students should attend a minimum of 2 classes a week (3 is best). It is better to do 2 classes every week than missing a week and then trying to make it up the next week. Additionally, students that do not come to class consistently often feel out of place and then do not want to come to class. Students that do come on a consistent basis feel better and actually look forward to coming to class.
We focus on the same material all week long, so you will not miss out if you don’t come to class on one particular day.
Each student is issued an official Taekwondo America Uniform upon enrollment. All students are required to wear either their full uniform or their uniform pants, a souvenir Taekwondo America T-shirt from an event or a Plano TKD T-shirt and belt. Female students should wear a plain white T-shirt under their uniform jacket when in full uniform. Uniforms should be clean, free of holes, and long enough to cover the student’s ankles.
All students begin at the rank of white belt. From there, our traditional program uses the following belts: yellow, orange, senior orange, green, senior green, purple, senior purple, blue, senior blue, brown, senior brown, red, senior red, and then probationary black belt. There are two provisional levels of black belt – probationary (black with a white stripe) and recommended (black with a red stripe). If a student quits training at either of these levels, he or she will eventually regress to a senior red belt. First Degree Decided is the level at which students first receive their name embroidered on the belt and it is permanent. There are numerous levels within black belt as well, but we will save those for a later day.
No. The Taekwondo America curriculum is designed so that all students, regardless of age, perform the same achievements in order to earn their rank; therefore, the ranks are the same. Of course, we do have different expectations for students based on their age and individual ability levels.
Practicing at home is not required provided that students attend 2 or more classes per week. However, if students wish to practice at home, it should be done in an approved area with plenty of space. Board breaking should not be done until the student is taught how to do it in class. Parents can help by holding a target, watching forms, and asking questions, but please, don’t try to teach. That will actually create confusion.
Every week, we send out an update email with important dates, upcoming events, and all of the school happenings. With the wonders of technology, we also have this wonderful web site and a Facebook page, all of which we use to keep you updated.
Tell Ms. Sullivan IMMEDIATELY. While I understand that students can be a little over anxious to share and show off, this can be dangerous. Please inform me, or one of our instructors, as soon as possible so that we can take steps to correct the situation.
All of the instructors and I 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 and has a good attitude, they will develop better technique over time because they are listening and learning.
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. There are five or six stripes per belt, one for each skill that they learn.
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. Testing is held every 8 weeks and as long as a student attends class consistently (2-3 times per week), he or she should be ready for testing.
It is mathematically possible to become a Black Belt in just under 2.5 to 3 years. However, it takes most people longer to attain that rank. But remember, Black Belt is the beginning – not the end – of serious training. Black Belt indicates that the wearer is a serious student of the art and a master of the basics.
The different colored collars signify the certification level the instructor has attained. The thin red collar indicates that the instructor has passed the physical test to enter our instructor training program as a level 1 instructor. They know all the material and are now learning how to teach it. The thick red collar indicates that the instructor has graduated through teaching and training to be a level 2 instructor, has passed a written and oral exam, and can teach slightly more autonomously. The thin black collar indicates a level 3 instructor and means that the student has passed a second strict physical exam and has attended various national training seminars and can teach autonomously. The thick black collar indicates that the instructor is a level 4 instructor. A level 4 instructor is the highest instructor level short of Master and indicates that the instructor has passed all national certification requirements and has attended several national training conferences. Level 4 Instructors are capable of and may now open a school of their own if they wish. Lastly, there is Master Instructor. I don’t think I need to explain that one. Masters are at least 6th Degree Black Belts given a black stripe down the arm of the uniform. The stripe down the leg of the uniform indicates that the students is a 4th Degree Black Belt or above.
You shouldn’t do either! The hardest thing for parents to do in martial arts is to give up control and let us handle it. All you need to do is get them in class (which is the hardest part). Then just trust our judgment.
For routine matters, the web site is full of information and for particular matters Ms. Sullivan can help you. Please do not call out onto the mats for any reason, even if you need help at the counter. That kind of distraction really takes away from our primary focus, helping the students learn.
Because students let the chest protector do the job of blocking and don’t learn good defense. The very thing that frustrates the kids most, getting hit, is what they need most. Every time we get hit, it motivates us to focus on defense and learning to block.
Yes or we would not have taken him/her as a student. I promise that it won’t be easy, but if they have the desire, the commitment and a positive attitude, they will become black belts and hopefully more.