We would like to welcome you and your family to ours at U.S. Tae Kwon Do & Hapkido Academy. We pride ourselves in our family atmosphere. We and our instructors have the same goal and that is for you and/or your child to grow and flourish in the World of Martial Arts. Our aim is to build self-esteem, self-confidence and self-discipline while at the same time accomplishing the skills and techniques required to become a true Martial Artist.
As you may or may not know there are many styles of Martial Arts taught through out the world today. As many great Masters from many of these styles say "We are all climbing the same mountain but have simply chosen different paths to reach the top". You have chosen to begin your journey up the mountain via the path of "Tae Kwon Do" and or "HapKiDo", which are Korean Martial Arts styles.
Tae Kwon Do uses a combination of foot and hand techniques to defend or attack an opponent. HapKiDo uses joint locks, pressure points and throws to escape, control or subdue an opponent.
We at U.S. Tae Kwon Do Academy take pride in our family oriented studio. Our goal is to instruct each student and in the process building their self-esteem and confidence.
We are members of the United States Korean Martial Arts Federation (USKMAF) which is based in Jackson, MS. The head of the organization is Grand Master J. R. West, an 9th Dan (9th Degree Black Belt) who has been teaching Hapkido since 1967.
The USKMAF roots go back to the late 1970's when several American Instructors in the Southeastern United States joined forces in order to increase the amount of knowledge available to their students. By conducting clinics, seminars and testing's at central locations, these instructors set a new higher standard for the average student to attain. During the late 1980's under the leadership of GM J.R. West, interest in the organization went well beyond it's original regional boundaries and became the USKMAF that exists today. The requirements for membership are rather simple and straightforward. Members are required to operate a school or class within the USA, teach a "recognized" system of Korean Martial Arts, this includes using Korean terminology, instructors and students wearing a traditional Korean uniform, teaching Korean philosophy and Korean style techniques.
Each stripe represents achievement in a particular area for that belt color and indicates that you may soon be ready to qualify for your next belt rank. Examples of these achievements would include but not be limited to learning certain Basics, acquiring a new Form, Honor Roll Report Card, Sparring, Weapons, Self-Defense, and last but not least a stripe that indicates eligibility to Test. Instructors may at any time add a stripe to your belt. After monitoring your progress your instructor will let you know when you are ready to test. Testing normally takes place at a special ceremony where your friends and relatives are invited and may attend. During the test you will be asked questions from the U.S. Tae Kwon Do Handbook. You will be asked to demonstrate skills and techniques that you have learned in the classroom. There is an additional fee for the belt test, but no fees for stripe tests.
All Testing Fees Must Be Paid Prior To Testing.
All promotions and advancements are based on personal merit and achievement, not in comparison with any other student and are always at the discretion of the Master Instructor's.
Tae Kwon Do History
Tae Kwon Do is an ancient martial art tracing its origin to the tae kwon, an art dating back to 50 BC. The art was officially banned in Korea when Japan invaded and occupied the peninsula from 1910 to 1945. Although banned, most fathers continued to train their sons in their beloved art. After the ban on the sport was lifted, Tae Kwon Do began to evolve and catch on outside the Korean peninsula. Tae Kwon Do is now the most widespread martial art in the world and is an official Olympic sport.
A loose translation of Tae Kwon Do is "the way of kicking and punching". It combines speed, flexibility and power to enhance the student's fitness level and ability to defend himself. At U.S. Tae Kwon Do Academy, Tae Kwon Do is intermingled with Hapkido to give the student optimum level of martial arts knowledge, training and ability. Master John Oakley and Master Tammy Sands encourages each of their students to progress at his/her own pace while still motivating them to strive beyond their perceived limitations to reach heights never before believed possible. This lesson is useful not only in martial arts training, but also in everyday life.
The positive learning environment at U.S. Tae Kwon Do Academy combined with the Master's innate ability to bring out the best in each of their students, reaching each student on an individual basis, make Tae Kwon Do truly a martial art for everyone. The tenets of Tae Kwon Do: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit are characteristics of the martial arts. Students are encouraged not only to memorize these five tenets, but also to incorporate them into their lives.
South Korean Flag
The South Korean flag is called Taguek-Gi by the Korean people. The central theme of the flag is although there is constant movement with in the sphere of infinity, there is also balance and harmony. King Gojong declared Taguek the official flag of South Korea on March 6, 1883.
Center Symbol - Um-Yang - origin of all things in the Universe. Symbolizes equals and opposites like good and evil, fire and water. The blue is the Um and represents the negative and the red is the Yang and represents the positive. The white back ground represents the purity of the Korean people known as the "White Clad People".
American Flag / United States of America
The American Flag was born on June 14, 1777 in Philadelphia, PA. My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country. I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow. Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand:
"One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.
The Blue square or Canton holds 50 stars which represent the 50 states.
The Blue represents Loyalty, Devotion, Friendship and Truth.
My 7 red stripes proclaim Courage, Enthusiasm, and Passion.
My 6 white stripes stand for Purity and Integrity
The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies:
Korean Key Words and Phrases
Each Student should have the following equipment added to as they progress in rank;
White Belts: Mouth Piece
Yellow Belt: Gear Bag, Forearm gear and Shin and instep gear. Boys need a groin protector and girls are encouraged to have one as well.
Orange Belt: Chest Gear
Green Belt: Head gear
We offer Weapons classes and if you/your child is illegible for the weapon being taught then he or she must own that weapon to participate in the class. No Weapons will be provided.
What is Hapkido? According to Dr. He-Young Kimm, it is "the way of strength and harmony" or sometimes referred to as "the way of coordinated power". Dr. Kimm has also traced the beginning of the art as far back as 2233 B.C. through paintings on temple and tomb walls in Korea.
Grand Master Choi, young-Sul (last name usually comes first in Korean culture) is considered the founder of the art we know as Hapkido. However, Grand Master Ji, Han-Jae is credited with giving the art the name of Hapkido. In addition, he has helped in the promotion of Hapkido around the world. You will be getting to know who Dr. Kimm is as you train.
What is the difference between Hapkido and Aikido, which in Korean and Japanese are written the same way? Grand Master Choi and Grand Master Morihei Ueshiba trained together under the same instructor during 10940's in Japan. Choi returned to Korea after the war and founded Hapkido. Ueshiba remained in Japan and founded Aikido. The main difference between the two is the philosophical difference between the two countries. Ask your instructor for an example of this regarding the Hapkido Master and the Aikido Master and the grass hopper.
The theory of Hapkido movement and techniques as per Dr. Kimm involves three theories, Yu (flowing water), Won (circle) and Wha (harmony). These are outlined in Dr. Kimms' Hapkido 2 book. Very briefly, water is powerful and never changing but at the same time can take any shape and adapt to its environment. The circle, is a part of life. We begin as dust and return to dust. We start as white belts and once we reach black belt learn we are starting over. Harmony, while the lumberjack story better explains it (see Dr. Kimm book) if something is done repeatedly enough, it become part of you, it takes no thought, it is a reaction.
Grand Master West, now a 9th Dan in Hapkido also holds a masters level in TKD. He started his training in Qui Nhon, Vietnam while deployed there. He was one of several American Special Forces soldiers assigned to the Tiger Division of the Korean Army during the Viet Nam War.
As a radio operator he would train in the day in the art of Hapkido and then go out at night on missions. When he started he had no martial arts training and did not speak Korean. He received his Black Belt on May 4, 1967 while in Viet Nam. His instructors, Kim, Jung-Soo and Baek, Nam-Guk where killed there in 1971. In honor of their memory we wear black uniforms (Doboks).You will however see Black Belts wearing the traditional White top trimmed in black as well as white top with black diamond's stitch. This is was a traditional style for Hwarang worriers of Korea from the 1300. In addition, you will see some lack Belts who have a white stripe down the leg of their paints. This signifies that they are 4th Dan (master instructor or master) or higher.
Grand Master West founded the USKMAF, United States Korean Martial Arts Federation. It is headquartered out of Jackson, Mississippi where he is based. It is a federation of all Korean Martial Arts and is very well respected even in Korea. GM West also sits on the board of the Korea Ki Do Association which is the governing Korean board for Hapkido as the Kukkiwon is for TKS. He is the first and only American to hold such a position.
The black belt in charge of Tennessee for the federation is Master Don Holcomb, 5th Dan in Hapkido. He lives in Jackson, TN and frequents La Vergne as well as the other TN schools.
You current instructor John Oakley, 3nd Dan.
Many ask how long does it take on average to get a black belt in Hapkido? The answer is no average person gets a black belt, in type of martial arts, especially Hapkido. However, if one is dedicated to coming and practice, one may receive a black belt in Hapkido in approx. 4 years. Our current belt system is as follows;