As an adult, what might I gain from martial arts training?
Fitness. A fit body is more able to defend you, as well as more able to get you through the day with energy, resilience, and enthusiasm. Martial arts are an unusually good way to get fit. Even within one martial art, there is a lifetime of techniques and skills to master. It's easy to stay interested and motivated. There is a place for everyone, regardless of their level of fitness. The more vigorous martial arts provide the quickest results in terms of increasing your fitness. The gentler arts, such as Yoga and Tai Ch'i, also provide a good workout and are ideal for people who have been sedentary for a while. At the more advanced levels, they can be quite demanding.
Strength. Martial arts are unparalleled for helping your body get stronger. Most arts include exercises and warm-ups designed to work the large muscle groups, such as triceps or quadriceps. Martial arts fall into the category of weight-bearing exercises; in other words, they make your bones stronger and help forestall and reduce the effects of osteoporosis.
Coordination. The intricacy of many martial arts challenges body awareness and helps you learn about how your body moves. Many people experience a marked increase in overall coordination that carries over to other sports and activities.
Fortitude. Training in a martial art is demanding, no doubt about it. Knowing you have prevailed in a strenuous and difficult activity can give you the emotional strength to accept other challenges in your life. Moreover, many martial arts include some degree of physical contact; learning to deal with this contact can help you stay calm in an attack situation.
Focus. Martial arts training requires a high degree of concentration. Students must pay attention to their body at the same time they are paying attention to the teacher, their partner, and their own attitude. After a while, the ordinary demands of work seem easier.
Cross-cultural awareness. Most martial arts are the products of non-European cultures. Studying the traditions and conventions of a martial art can give you a window of understanding into the culture from which it comes.
Good times. Martial arts are usually a group activity. You're sure to meet people who share at least one of your interests. The shared demands of training can build friendship and camaraderie. Most schools also have social events and special training events. There are also a number of organizations and activities designed specifically to bring martial artists together in a fun atmosphere of collaboration and mutual learning.
Why should I enroll in Tae Kwon Do?
A lot of people feel that the only way to get real self-defense training is to invest years in taking a martial art. They realize the awesome strength, speed, precision, and power of the experienced martial artist, and contend that in order to feel really confident in an attack situation, one needs to painstakingly acquire the skills that have been time-tested over centuries.
The truth is that you can learn effective self-defense skills in a relatively short time without traditional training. Training in a traditional martial art has many benefits aside from self-defense skills. The question really is not "Do I need martial arts to keep myself safe?" but "What are the benefits of martial arts training?"
Peaceful Mind, Body, and Spirit Health and Fitness Self-Confidence in Career and Personal Life Social Interaction Fun and New Friends A Mental Vacation from Everyday Life
Am I the right kind of person to train in martial arts?
If martial arts sounds attractive to you, you may be asking yourself whether you are the right kind of person to train in martial arts.
The answer is that there is no right or wrong person. People of all backgrounds, athletic abilities, and ages have successfully begun—and continued—training in a myriad of different arts. It's important, however, to spend some time and effort finding a style and a school that's right for you.
The mind-body connection is known to many in sports, but is possibly strongest in the martial arts. Think of the focus and concentration needed to execute a difficult board break, for example, or to perform a form in front of a tournament audience and a panel of judges. Executing a technique with power and finesse requires a great awareness of your physical abilities and the mental concentration to control them.
The martial arts require a different sort of commitment than taking up some other pastimes. The martial arts start to permeate the rest of your life. Martial artists often find that their increased body awareness, balance, and coordination changes their lives outside the school. Martial arts also encompass philosophical and spiritual dimensions in addition to physical exertion. To many, the moving meditation afforded by martial arts study enhances clarity of thought, improves mental focus, and promotes a sense of inner peace.
How do I choose a martial arts school?
Each martial art style offers many different benefits to the student, which may be gained through hard work and dedication to training. Your choice of martial arts is virtually unlimited, and it pays to shop around and sample the wares before making a firm commitment. The school should let you—in fact, it should encourage you—to observe a class.
Take special notice of the atmosphere: attitudes, not decor. Look for healthy and unhealthy attitudes. Ideally, the student is encouraged to compete with himself or herself, not with other students.
Students should behave respectfully and attentively at all times, and should continue their respectful behavior when class is finished. There should never be any roughhousing or dangerous play, or displays of temper on anyone's part.
Females in the class should be treated the same as male students, not given concessions to their supposed fragility or singled out in any way. If there aren't any female students, it may be a good idea to ask why.
Are the students friendly and respectful toward one another? After a sparring match, do they smile and shake hands or grit their teeth and show disdain?
Are there an unreasonable number of injuries in class caused by a lack of control? Are students encouraged to demonstrate safety and caring when training together?
Financial Arrangements. Buy on your own terms. Make the decision to join at your own pace and comfort level. As terrible as it may sound, some martial arts schools use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to sign up. For example, some schools offer a package deal, requiring you to prepay all of your dues for training up to black belt level. Granted, this may provide exceptional savings over paying month-by-month; however, you probably aren't sure you'll want to stay with this school—or martial arts for that matter—for the next few years. You might move out of the area or your instructor might move on, too. It's better to ease into the commitment first. When you decide to commit to long-term training in the martial arts, as many of us have, then you may want to consider other arrangements.
Trial lessons. Try out the class. If the instructor asks you to pay before you try, then negotiate. Offer to pay a prorated fee for just one or two lessons. Remember that any class you try gives an indication of the classes to come; however, it does not lend a complete picture of teaching style. You must participate in the class to understand what you will be doing. Participating will let you feel what the lessons will do for you.
The Students. Do you relate to the other people in the class? If not, think twice before enrolling. You're going to be trusting them to punch and kick at you on a regular basis. If you think some students are excessively aggressive to other participants, you should leave. Your top priority is not vicious training, it is finding nice people to work out with every week.
Ask questions. Monthly rate; methods of payment accepted? Any additional organizational membership fees? Any additional testing fees? Any extra activities required that require travel or have charges attached, such as tournaments or seminars? Rank certification fees for every rank? Equipment types required and fees for those if provided?
How should I choose a martial arts Instructor?
What's the instructor's teaching style? Does he or she berate students or coach them along with encouragement? Do the students appear to fear the instructor or are they comfortable with him or her? Does the instructor have a huge ego, or does he or she seem more humble than the students?
The instructors should be unfailingly polite, respectful, and cheerful to all students. The key to recognizing a good school is to watch how they treat students without natural athletic ability. Do instructors focus only on the stars, leaving those who struggle to muddle along as best they can? Do they point out struggling students for ridicule? Do they appear irritated at questions or requests for help? All of these are trouble signs.
To see what Sharon's students have to say about Tae Kwon Do training, click here.
Will I get hurt?
Our martial arts classes are not at all violent. We learn and practice control and safety in all of our self-defense techniques. Injuries are extremely rare. There may be minor strains or bruises that could occur with any exercise or physical activity. There is a famous saying: "We train in the art of war, so that we can live in peace."
How do I get started in Tae Kwon Do?
(1) Simply find a class on our schedule that is convenient for you, and show up 10-15 minutes before class begins to experience your FREE TRIAL CLASS. No need to make an appointment or call ahead, as we are always happy to meet new friends!
(2) We will ask you to fill out an enrollment form before class begins, which is found at the front desk. Don't worry, this form does not obligate you to ANYTHING. We have NO CONTRACTS at Lyndell Institute.
(3) Please wear comfortable clothing that you can move freely in (shorts, sweats, t-shirt). No need to have a uniform when you first begin training. Most people begin training in their street clothes. For safety, please remove shoes, socks, and jewelry.
(4) Meet the Instructor and join us for class! Parents and friends: we have an open-viewing policy, which means you can sit and watch your child or friend take class. We want you to be comfortable with the material we are teaching your loved one!
Yes, I said NO CONTRACTS. Why? We at Lyndell Institute want our students to be here because they WANT to be here, not because they were pressured to sign a piece of paper! If you find that Tae Kwon Do training is not for you or for your child, you may discontinue your training without financial penalty.
After the FREE TRIAL CLASS, we offer two options to continue: a 3 week trial of unlimited classes for $29, or a Beginner's Special, which includes a full month of unlimited attendance (including evening fitness classes!) enrollment, and a free uniform for only $129 per person. You are never limited to certain days a week; we have a class for you 6 days a week, up to 3 times a day if you want! In a month, you will know for sure if you or your child would like to continue training. Then, we ask for monthly tuition, which also entitles you to unlimited attendance to our Tae Kwon Do and evening Fitness Classes! Checks, credit and debit cards, and cash accepted!