What is Taekwondo America?
the national organization Hilliard Taekwondo Academy is associated with.
TA has member
schools across the United States. All TA schools, like Hilliard Taekwondo
Academy, are not owned by TA, are not "franchises" and will reflect each
school owner's unique personality and teaching style. While each school
is required to follow the standards set by TA as a minimum for Belt Rank
Testing (forms, one-steps, sparing and board breaking) and Instructor
promotions, each school may include additional requirements to their
Why does your sign say "KARATE"?
There are many
similarities between Karate and Taekwondo. Karate originated in Japan
and Taekwondo is the Korean form of this martial art.
Before Taekwondo became recognized as such an awesome sport that
helps kids, teens and adults develop confidence physically and
emotionally, few people knew what the word "Taekwondo" meant. Our
Taekwondo America schools often use the word "karate" in
signage because it was
immediately identifiable as martial arts.
Is Olympic style Taekwondo / Martial Arts better
than other styles?
isn't better or worse than any other style of Taekwondo. It's simply
the style of sparring the Olympics has decided to use. At Hilliard
Taekwondo Academy we do not use Olympic style sparring for a number
of reasons. Our goal is to help students feel better prepared if
they have to defend themselves in a fight. The "bad guy" isn't going
to keep stopping his/her attack to see who scored a hit and isn't
going to stop attacking you when a set number of points have been
reached. At Taekwondo America tournaments our organization uses
"continuous sparring" where judges use clickers to keep track of
points being scored without stopping the sparring. Also, students
who have transferred to our program for Olympic style sparring
schools historically have not had good blocking skills. This may be
due to padded chest protectors that some Olympic style schools use
during sparring. We focus on teaching students to move well and
block well in addition to developing effective striking and kicking
What if the
weather outside is frightful?
It's difficult to have one answer that covers
all situations but our goal is to do our best to try to have the
safest environment we can for all students, and sometimes that means
a student staying home so they can fully recover and so other
students in class can participate without risk of becoming ill or
injured as well.
Conditions requiring bandaging need more than just
a band-aid. Students perspire and band-aids slide off. In addition
to a band-aid a medical "sleeve" type item or medical wrapping
gauze/tape/etc are needed to ensure bandages stay in place. If just
one toe or one finger needs wrapped, the wrapping also needs to go
around the palm of the hand or the foot a couple of times to keep
the bandaging from sliding off.
We do reserve the right to ask for a medical release from
your doctor for you to participate.
What we think of as "typical" seasonal issues: mild
coughing, mild colds and allergies most likely will not require a
doctor's statement to return to class, but a student with a strong
persistent cough, a cold or allergies who has mucus running from
their nose and/or puffy eyes with tears running down their face
probably isn't going to have the best experience in class and should
probably be resting at home until they can participate a little more
Fever and/or flu-like symptoms: If a student
currently or within the past 24 hours has had an above normal
temperature, been vomiting, had diarrhea ... they need to stay home
to rest and recover.
If a student has an injury (typically from
activities away from our tkd school) we do want a doctor statement
indicating when they may participate. Students with casts, wraps,
etc can still participate in class.
Chicken pox, lice and other contagious issues ...
stay home until the full course of the illness or treatment has been
completed; if there is a rash on the skin we may require a doctor's
statement that it is fine for the student to return to class, and
any rash site must be covered throughout class.
Poison Ivy: As long as any bumps have been washed
thoroughly and the area is wrapped well, the student can
Warts: As long as the site has been cleaned and is
wrapped well, the student can participate. Warts thrive in warm
moist conditions like swimming pool bathrooms, gym locker rooms.
Because we workout in very cool temperatures at our school and use a
bleach solution to clean, the odds of warts being transferred from
one student to another in our school are pretty small, but we still
want kept covered/wrapped. It's also good to treat warts, whether
with an over-the-counter product that you've found to be successful
or something recommended by your doctor.
Skin Rashes: Because rashes can be the result of so
many different things (external and internal) we require students
● keep all areas of the rash covered once the doctor has provided a
release to participate in class again
(we don't want germs from other students to get in any open
areas of the rash, which could lead to infection)
And if the rash includes any open blisters or sores we also require
● get checked out by their doctor
a medical release when the doctor feels it is safe for them to
participate in class
Can I sign up myself or my child without
trying the free class?
No. It's important to start with a trial class for a number of reasons. We
understand that you or your child may have been wanting to do martial
arts "forever" and just want to get started in our program right away.
Sometimes a child who has "always wanted to do martial arts" reacts much
differently when they walk through our front door or it's time to step
out onto the workout floor for their first class.
Because we are teaching martial arts, it's important for us to run
classes as safely as possible and participants who are not able to focus
well or not able to follow directions quickly & accurately or not able
to communicate clearly & well with our instructors can pose a safety
risk to themselves as well as other students in the class.
It's not unusual for a student to require a small amount of one-on-one
attention to learn a new and challenging skill, but our program is not
designed for a student who may need almost constant one-on-one
assistance to be able to participate in class safely.
As much as we would love to be able to accept every visitor into our
program (and probably about 99% of our visitors are able to start right
after trying their free class), it's important for us to recognize that
every martial arts school is not designed for everyone.
We feel it's more important to be honest with our visitors if we feel
our program is not a good fit than it is to accept their money when we
believe they will not get exceptional value from our program at this
In those very rare cases where we might choose to allow someone to
purchase a membership as a surprise Christmas present for example, we
treat their first class in the same way we do the free trial class and
if we feel the student cannot participate safely in our program we reserve the right to cancel the membership.
Does this mean that everyone who visits can try a free class no
No it doesn't. A visitor may not be the correct age for the class, they
may not be wearing appropriate clothing to try the class or their
behavior before or during class indicates that they are not ready to
participate in class safely. If class has already started we may remove
a child from the workout floor and bring them back out to you in the
lobby if what they are wearing or their behavior becomes a safety issue
and we may suggest trying class another day. It may also be that
siblings in the lobby or the parents or other guests of the students are not behaving appropriately and because of the
distraction and potential safety issue, we may need to remove the child
from class so you can take all of them home.
Why don't you show the prices for your program
after the introductory special?
That's a great
question, and there are a number of reasons we don't include our
pricing on our website.
We're probably not the cheapest or the most expensive program around
and we don't want you to make a decision based solely on price. Have
you ever bought the cheapest of something (or even the most
expensive thinking you were getting the best there was) and wished you hadn't?
It can be difficult to imagine the value of something you haven't
had the opportunity to experience yet.
For example, imagine if a shoe salesperson asked you what is the
absolute most you would be willing to pay for a pair of shoes. Okay,
now what if the shoes they offered were such a great design they
could be worn with casual as well as really dressy outfits; were so
well made they would last 10 years no matter how tough you or your
child were on them; were so comfortable they somehow helped you feel
more relaxed and gave you more energy so you could focus better
which helped you perform better on the job, at home or at school?
Would you pay more for them than you first thought you would? Most people would because those shoes
provide greater value than any shoes they've previously had
experience with. However if the shoe salesperson had simply told you
the price of the shoes without letting you experience the shoes
first it's probable you wouldn't have even tried on those awesome
shoes and would have missed out on the best pair of shoes ever that
ended up being the best value.
We've had the gamut of "you were less expensive/more expensive" responses
"Wow! You are a whole lot less expensive than ____ activity (or even
the other taekwondo program) my child has participated in!"
"You were a little more expensive than I expected at first, but I
was so impressed with the positive changes in my child after such a
short time in your program that it has been well worth the money!"
"Considering the number of sports my child has tried and quit right
after I bought a bunch of equipment, you are a lot less expensive
and I'm amazed that months (years) later my child still LOVES coming
to class here!"
"Wow! I thought it was going to be just a physical sport, but my
child has become more respectful at home and is doing so much better
in school this year that you are worth any amount of money ... but
please don't raise your prices because I said that!"
We've also had students come to us after spending time in less
expensive programs (and sometimes way more expensive programs!) We
used to automatically keep students at whatever rank they earned in
that other taekwondo program. However, we've been surprised to find
that typically those students do not have the skill level to
participate safely at that same rank in our program. We now evaluate
the skills of potential new students coming from other taekwondo
programs to determine what rank they would fit safely
into our program. Imagine if you or your student were playing on an
elementary school football team and suddenly found yourselves facing
a varsity high school team. How unsafe and scary would that be? Or imagine if you or your child were in
5th grade and a first grader was moved into the classroom, requiring
the teacher to spend valuable time teaching to the first grader to
try to bring them up to the same level as the rest of the class.
Imagine how bored and frustrated you would be.
We don't pressure you to sign up ... either for the introductory
special or the longer term memberships after that. We understand
that families live within a budget and also that not all cars or
shoes or food brands (how many off-brand items did you think you
were saving money when you bought them but ended up throwing away
because no one would eat it?) or houses ... or taekwondo programs
... are identical.
How old does a child need to be to
At Hilliard Taekwondo
Academy a child must be at least 3 years old to try a class in our
youngest program and 7 years old to try our Juniors Beginner class. Teen-only
class are for ages 11-15
and Teen/Adult classes are for ages 13 and up, but some 12-year-olds are
tall enough and mature enough for that program. A potential student may
be old enough to try a class and still not be ready to participate in
our program yet. Many
the maturity to pay
attention during a 45-minute class and follow instructions well. On the
hand, some older children behave in such a way that shows they do
have the same maturity and are not ready for a 45-minute program 2-3 times
a week. It has less to do with physical ability or how
bright or "big for their age" your child is
does with willingness to try hard, be respectful and focus for a full
class. That's one of the reasons we
have potential new students try a free class first. We expect all students to:
. be able to focus and understand simple instructions
. follow instructions, independently, immediately and with minimal reminders
. treat all instructors, staff and other students with respect and courtesy
- be able to communicate clearly to instructors, helpers, staff
. treat the school (including the lobby) 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
- wear the proper uniform and keep it clean
- have clean feet, hands, face and body
- keep toenails and fingernails trimmed
- keep hair pulled back so it will not be in the eyes
- do not wear jewelry
post earrings can pop out and injure
someone if they step on it
dangly earrings, necklaces, bracelets can
catch on a target partner's finger or toe and injure both students
watches and rings can scratch partners
holding targets or doing grabs, releases and take-downs
We also expect family members and other visitors in our lobby to:
- refrain from talking to students who are on the workout floor
- keep children away from the lobby windows (they can suddenly shriek
or drop something on the workout floor)
- treat our lobby with respect: cleaning up all crumbs and spills;
straightening up books and chairs
- keep children from playing with the drinking fountains, running
and being loud in the lobby
How many times a week should my child or I come to class?
Except for our Saturday-morning-only program for 4-
and 5-year-olds, students in our Juniors Program may participate in up to 3 taekwondo classes a
week, with at least twice a week being recommended. Students in our
Teen/Adult Program (ages 13 and older) may come to class as often as
they want to and be able to train safely. Setting a schedule and being
consistent is important. If you ask them every day if they want to
go to taekwondo today, even if they only come to class two times a
week, they will start to feel like they are coming to class all the
time because you are asking them every day. Students who do not come to class
consistently often feel out of place, like everyone else knows more
than they do and then do not want to come to
class. The student who just loved coming to class will start calling
it "boring and dumb" because they don't want to tell you that they
feel like it's now to hard or that everyone has passed them by. However, students who do come on a consistent basis feel
better and actually look forward to coming to class.
Students in the Junior program (ages 6-12 program) may choose one exercise class a week in addition to their
2-3 weekly taekwondo classes. The exercise class they choose must be
one that is appropriate for their age or rank based on the
description on the class schedule.
That doesn't mean a student should never take any time off. Just
like you need to play hooky from work once in awhile or take a much
needed family vacation, students need to take a day off from
taekwondo once in awhile, especially when the weather is perfect
outside. And being away from class for a family vacation
won't hurt the training of a student who has been coming to class
It's also a good idea once in awhile to change up which classes they
attend. Different instructors are here on different days and
different students come on different days. Coming in on a different
day can give a student a whole new perspective on their training.
Do you accept students with behavioral or
We do not accept or decline students based on any behavioral
or developmental diagnoses. For example we have students who are on the
autism spectrum, are diagnosed OCD, are diagnosed with ADD, etc. And we've
chosen to not accept students in our program who do not have any
such diagnoses, but based on the trial class felt they were not
mature enough or focused enough to be able to participate safely at
the time of the trial class.
We make our decisions based on being able to provide value (we do
not want you to spend money with us if we truly do not believe you or your child
will be able to focus and participate well enough to learn and progress in our
program right now) as well as safety (if you or your child are not able to
follow directions well, are not able to focus, are not able to communicate well─all
without frequent or constant one-on-one supervision─that
can be a safety risk for you or your child as well as the other students in
class). While we wish we could accept every potential student who comes through
our doors, we do recognize that not every martial arts school can meet the
training needs for every person.
What are the uniform requirements?
martial arts student is issued a uniform (white pants and white
upon enrollment and currently we are also providing a t-shirt at no
additional cost to the student. All martial arts students are required to wear
either their full white uniform or they may wear their white uniform pants or our
color workout pants with an HTA
or Taekwondo America T-shirt and their belt. (Anyone may wear
red or blue workout pants, but only Black Belts may wear black
workout pants. Color pants are never worn with the uniform
T-shirts other than HTA
or TA may not be worn in class. T-shirts must be tucked into
the pants waist.
When in full uniform, females must
wear a plain white T-shirt under their uniform jacket and males do
not wear any t-shirt under their uniform jacket. Anyone with hair
below their ears must pull their hair back. Jewelry, including
earrings, necklaces, watches and bracelets are not to be worn during
or tournaments because they can injure you or your workout partners.
How do I tie
the belt? Here is a video that does a great job of demonstrating the
proper belt tying technique.
Do you have really cool weapons classes I can
sign up to take?
Nope. Taekwondo is what we have years of training to
teach. Differing versions of the history of Taekwondo seem to disagree on
whether Taekwondo is a weaponless art designed specifically for
unarmed conflict or if early Taekwondo martial artists did use
weapons. Although our instructors have had the opportunity to
participate in a few classes over the years using nun-chucks, bo
staffs and escrima sticks those few hours of experience don't even
come close to comparing to the minimum of 3 years of training we
require before even considering a student for entrance into our
Taekwondo instructor training program. Our chief instructors each
have over 15 years of experience teaching Taekwondo. We wouldn't
feel right charging an additional fee for you to participate in a
class that we didn't have the years of training to teach with
Why do I have to buy your co-branded sparring
gear? Can't I buy something cheaper?
Every Taekwondo America student (if you are a
Hilliard Taekwondo Academy student, you are a Taekwondo America
student) must have the same level of protection to reduce the
probability of injury during sparring. If gear does not have the
Taekwondo America co-branding on it we can't be sure what it's made
of or how it was manufactured. Students with different qualities of
sparring gear feel contact differently and will punch/kick other
students lighter or harder depending on how their own gear absorbs
impact. If we allowed everyone to purchase any gear they wanted,
some parents would buy the thickest most expensive gear available
and some parents would purchase the cheapest lowest quality gear
they could find in order to save money and the student with the much
thicker higher quality gear is going to punch and kick harder
because their gear absorbs impact better so they think it's okay to
hit harder. The national organization has worked hard to find a
moderately priced type of sparring gear that offers value and
ensures every student has the same level of protection from their
Can I make taekwondo items with Hilliard
Taekwondo Academy's name, logo, images, etc?
No. We realize that it seems like a cool idea to
create personalize, customized items with our logo, images, etc on
them, but they are the property of Hilliard Taekwondo Academy. We do
sell t-shirts, gear bags, etc with our logo on them if you are
looking for gifts for an HTA student.
Since I'm the
"paying customer" shouldn't I be in charge of my child's training
if they should practice at home, what they wear to class, how my
other children behave in the lobby, etc?
As politely as we can respond, the answer is "No ...
and remember why you brought them here in the first place." Yes,
this is how we pay our bills and yet it's not your money that
motivates how we run our program. We will not compromise our program or our Mission
Statement to satisfy a parent or student who wants to try to bully
us to get their way. That diminishes our program for all the other
students. Helping each student become more motivated, respectful,
self-confident and skilled in martial arts is more important to us
than appeasing parents by letting them hold their status as a
"paying customer" over our heads. Does that mean we act like harsh,
mean tyrants and yell at parents? Of course not!
Martial arts is about respect and discipline, though, and that
applies to parents and siblings and other visitors as well as the
student in our program. After all, shouldn't you model the same
behavior expected of your children and let them see that
consequences don't apply only to children and that even adults can
graciously acknowledge when they have erred?
We understand that in many arenas of life (school, sports, with
friends) parents feel the need to aggressively be an advocate for
their child so their child isn't ignored and overlooked. We
understand that many sports programs can tend to be solely about
the the physical skills of the sport. At Hilliard Taekwondo Academy
our martial arts program is about becoming a more respectful,
disciplined, focused person of integrity in addition to developing
awesome taekwondo skills. That's one of the reasons we start class
immediately on the minute of the scheduled class time and end
classes no later than the posted time (if we are testing for stripes
after class has been dismissed and your schedule requires you to
take your child at the posted end time for class, simply tell the
person at the counter and we will send your child off the floor to
you). It's also one of the reasons we expect children in the lobby,
as well as parents and other visitors, to behave with respect.
Ignoring our recommendations for your child to test or not, to
practice at home or not, or repeatedly questioning information we
have given you is disrespectful to us and models for your child that
it is okay to not listen, to
ignore what we are teaching them which includes: sign up to test
when you get your red stripe, only certified HTA instructors may
teach a student (parents, siblings, other students are not to try to
teach at home), asking if a student passed testing before results
are given, pay attention when we talk so you don't need to question
or ask for the same information repeatedly, etc. Again, we
understand that many children's program are run by volunteer coaches
who allow or overlook parents telling them how they want their
children coached, played, etc. Just because we do not agree with you
about your child's progress, when they should test, etc, or if we
tell you that you are stepping on our toes with your
questions/suggestions it does not mean we are being disrespectful to
you ... we are trying to let you know that you are bordering on
being disrespectful to us. Our priority is the student and ensuring
that they have the best opportunities to challenge themselves while
at the same time not putting them in a situation where they will
feel entirely overwhelmed.
One of the most common areas of misunderstanding with parents is if
you call out to your child while they are on the workout floor or if
you wave at them, give them thumbs up, etc (or talk loudly on the
phone or to other parents while you are at the lobby windows or even
sitting back in the lobby). You can put them or the other students
in an unsafe situation when you ignore our rules about this. If your
child is holding a target for someone and they keep turning to look
at you for affirmation (or because they hear your voice talking on
the phone or to other parents), they may get kicked or punched
because they have moved the target while looking at you. If everyone
in class is running and your child keeps looking at you, they can
run into other students and cause an injury. So, when we tell you to
stop talking to or motioning to your child during class or to move
away from the lobby windows if you are talking loudly to other
parents or on your cell phone, we aren't trying to embarrass you.
We're trying to maintain a safer environment for your child and the
other students in class. Could we come out to the lobby and call you
aside and have a quiet little chat with you instead of calling out
to you from the floor? Yes, yes we could ... except that during the
would be making our way to the lobby so your feelings aren't
hurt, a child could be injured because they are continuing to look
at you, and we wouldn't be focusing on the students on the floor.
You and our staff want the same thing ... for you and/or your child
to become a more accomplished martial artist and a more
self-confident, focused, disciplined person of integrity. Let's work
together to make that happen.
Should students practice at home?
There's a difference between a
student choosing to practice their own form and/or one-steps at home in a safe
space (which is okay) versus parents deciding that their child needs
to practice at home, the student trying to spar, do bully defense
techniques, teach friends of family members, punch & kick people and
the furniture (which is NOT okay). Students should never spar outside the school or
perform martial arts techniques that could hurt themselves or others
(or your furniture).
There is a difference between a
student deciding on their own to practice their form (which is okay) and parents
making the decision the student should practice, or worse, trying to
teach their kids based on what they've seen from the lobby or video
taped on their phone (which is
NOT okay ... the video taping or the attempt to teach).
There is a great Facebook post going around that says:
"Your child's success or lack of success in sports does not indicate
what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete who is coachable,
respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries
their best IS a direct reflection of your parenting."
Research indicates that the #1 reason kids
quit activities is because their parents take the fun out of it.
Parents try to "help" by giving constant advice, tips, sideline
coaching, turning it into homework, etc.
Parents, we know how tempting it can
be to watch class, take notes or use your phone to video their form
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. Something they started as a fun activity has now become a
chore. And we know from the lobby it can look like teaching should be
easy. But parents who start taking class with us are surprised at
how difficult it actually is to learn (let alone to do well) what look like the most
basic taekwondo moves.
Yes, it looks easy when we do it because
we've been doing taekwondo for so many years and we've been trained
to teach it and we've been teaching for so many years. We understand
that little Bobby and little Susie have different learning styles.
And we've decided that we need to focus on the direction little
Marcia is moving her feet and not worry about what her arms are
doing right now. When you try to "help" at home, you may undo all
the work we've put into moving them toward learning their form ...
and building their self-confidence. As long as
students are attending 2-3 classes a week consistently there is no
need for additional practice at home. You may want them to look
awesome right now, but we see the long term potential in your child
if we can keep it fun for them and keep them wanting to come back to
class. If you really want to help your
child succeed in our program:
- bring them to class 2-3 times a week, consistently
- make sure they have the proper uniform for class and are on time
- make sure they are rested and have had a healthy snack and water
before coming to class
- have transition time between one activity (playing with friends,
watching TV, playing video games) and coming to class
- after each class tell them how proud you are of how hard they
work in class
If every class ends with you telling them how
they could have done better, they will equate coming to class with
getting "yelled at" by you, even if you think you
are just offering helpful advice; and if we've disciplined them in
ask them what happened and how they can keep it
from happening again (and yes, support us), but if you punish them
after they've been disciplined in class they
won't want to come back
At the higher ranks, especially Black Belt level, students are
encouraged to practice their form (and old forms to work
toward earning their instructor collar) at home in addition to
participating in class 3 times a week. Again, this needs to
be the student's decision, though.
We do not want students to
injure themselves or a friend in an attempt to demonstrate kicks,
punches or bully defense techniques they have learned in class. Breaking
boards is never to be done
outside of the school until the student is a senior blue belt belt and both the
student and parent/guardians have been taught proper technique by a
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.
Our instructors are certified to teach under the supervision of a
Chief Instructor in our school, but not independently outside of our
If I feel like I (or my child) need help on with
sparring or kicks or my form, can I go directly to a specific instructor
and ask for extra help outside of class or private lessons?
The quick and short answer is "no." If you have
concerns, please talk with Ms. Thompson or Mr. Thompson. All of our
instructors, both staff and volunteer instructors, are certified to
teach under our guidance and they are not permitted to set up
private lessons unless approved through one of us in advance. They
are not allowed to meet privately with students outside of the
school or to teach inside the school without another adult,
preferably another certified adult instructor, inside the school
during that time.
Typically, when students have approached our instructors asking for
private lessons, Ms. Thompson and/or Mr. Thompson have already
answered their request for a private lesson with "you just need to
come to class more consistently" or "your skill level is right where
we expect it to be at your rank and you just need to be patient."
In a few rare instances we have felt a student did need a little
extra help to catch up because of an injury they received in another
sport or a prolonged illness. Ignoring our advice and going directly to the instructors is a sign
of disrespect. If students are coming to class consistently 2-3
times a week (and yes, we expect you to take vacations and a day off
now and then), and focusing and trying hard while they are in class,
they will develop the necessary skills at the appropriate times for
their rank. Parents are often concerned if they compare their child
to other students in class and feel their child isn't performing at
the same level. While we do have minimum standards that students
must meet within our program, every student in our program is different with different athletic
ability, differing abilities to focus as well as varying levels of
being able to learn and retain new information. We don't compare one
student to another, but rather focus on how each student is
progressing since their previous belt rank testing (or, if they are
a white belt student, since they were accepted into our program) based on their individual ability.
How do I find out what is happening at Hilliard
announcements after every class and update the website regularly
and post events and changes on facebook. The
calendar and news page on the website are updated regularly with
information about upcoming events and changes, including the testing
schedule. There are also often posters for the next event
posted around the school, and we announce any changes and
information about the next several events after each class. You can
link to our facebook page from our homepage.
What if my child misuses Taekwondo at home or at school?
Talk with Ms. Thompson
or Mr. Thompson IMMEDIATELY. While
we understand that students can be
a little over-anxious to share and show off, this can be dangerous since
they can accidentally injure someone. Please
inform us as soon as possible so we can take steps to correct the
What constitutes "misuse" of taekwondo? Karate chopping or kicking
at people, pets and things just for fun or to show off; trying to
teach anyone what they've learned in class; responding to a possible
bullying situation with more force than necessary ... these are all
examples of misusing taekwondo.
Respectfully practicing their form or one-steps (assuming THEY have
decided to do this rather than a parent making them practice) in a
safe space in your house is not misusing taekwondo.
If a bully picks on them, hits them or in some way attacks them,
using taekwondo blocking or other self-defense skills in an
appropriate way is not misusing what they've learned. "Appropriate
way" means if someone is calling them names the student uses their
voice to respond rather than hitting/kicking; the first time a bully
uses physical force the student should try to move out of the way
and/or block; if the physical force from the bully continues or
escalates and the student cannot get away or get an adult to help
immediate and they risk getting injured then a controlled strike may
be needed to stop the altercation.
Parents, you do need to talk with your kids about what level of
appropriate response you are okay with since any physical response, even if it's
the only way to keep the bully from hurting them, will probably
result in a suspension if this happens at school.
What do the instructors expect from the students?
We expect our students to give their best effort
as well as to be focused and respectful. Technique at the early
stages of training is not as important as a positive attitude and
responding quickly and safely to instructions. If a
student tries hard, is respectful and focused and has a good attitude, they will develop better
technique over time because they are listening, trying hard 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. To better understand what the
stripes are for and how to earn them use the link at the bottom
of the What We Teach page.
What is testing?
Belt Rank Testing is a
formal event in which students have the opportunity to demonstrate 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. White through Recommended Black Belts test every 2 months
(if they have earned the necessary skill tape
stripes on their belt). Once you reach the rank of 1st Decided Black Belt,
testing cycles are longer ― 4 months, 6
months, 8 months. If a student does not pass testing, you do
not pay for testing again to have them retest for the same rank.
We hold Belt Rank Testing every February, April, June, August,
October and December, typically during the first week of those
months. Any student, including Black Belts up to 2nd Decided Black
Belt, who do not pass testing or are unable to participate in
testing may test at the very next testing in two months. Black Belts
do not need to meet the time-in-rank requirement again. There is more information on our News
page on this site explaining why it is important for each
student to participate in testing.
If a Black Belt takes a break from our program, the chief
instructors will determine when they have regained the skill level
to be prepared to test even if they met the time-in-rank requirement
before taking a break.
Black Belts who have earned the rank of 2nd Degree Senior Black Belt
and are testing for the rank of 3rd Degree and higher have age
requirements as well as time-in-rank requirements and are only able
to test at a Taekwondo America national event (typically the
September National, the January National and the Summer Black Belt
Conference. Age and time-in-rank requirements for national testings
are considered met if they fall no later than 30 days after the
national event. For example, a student who must be 13 and have been
a 2nd Degree Senior Black Belt for at least 10 months to be eligible
to test could test at the September National if their 10 month
time-in rank would be met in early October and if their 13th
birthday fell in early October, both after the testing event, but
within 30 days of the event.
How long does it take to become a Black Belt?
It is possible to become a Black Belt in
about 2 1/2 - 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.
Most people are surprised to learn that there are more forms to
learn within the Black Belts than there were to reach Black Belt.
From White - Senior Red Belt there are 8 forms to learn. There are
12 Black Belt forms and 17 Black Belt ranks: 4 levels of 1st Degree,
2 levels of 2nd Degree, 3 levels of 3rd Degree, 2 levels of 4th
Degree and then one level each for 5th-9th Degree Black Belt. So,
while it takes a minimum of 2 1/2 years to get TO
Black Belt it would take a minimum of 36 years of training
AFTER BECOMING a Black Belt to achieve the level of 9th
Degree Black Belt if a student passed every single testing!
Who are the staff members and
Ms. Thompson, 5th degree Black Belt,
is the school owner and a Chief Instructor at Hilliard Taekwondo
Mr. Brad Thompson, Ms. Thompson's son, a 5th degree Black Belt is also Chief Instructor at Hilliard Taekwondo Academy.
Ms. Sara Faust (Ms. Thompson's daughter and who earned her Black
Belt) is the office manager and works the counter Saturday mornings.
Mrs. Jennifer Wilson (a 2nd degree black belt and volunteer
instructor) works at the front counter Monday - Friday evenings.
We also have other staff who work at the counter and staff
instructors who help us run classes.
And we have adult, teen and junior Black Belts (which means they
have been in our program for a minimum of 3 years)
who have tested and earned
their instructor certification to be able to instruct under the
supervision of the chief instructors ... and only during classes at
Hilliard Taekwondo Academy.
We also have many excellent teen and junior students in our
leadership program assisting with classes.
Please do not ask staff, volunteer instructors or helpers (or other
students) to teach you or your child outside of the classes in our school.
What is Ms. Thompson's first name?
"Really?!" Well, no. But you should never call a school owner
or any instructor anything
other than Ms., Miss, Mrs. or Mr. and their last name. You will
often hear school owners introduce themselves with their first and
last name ― for example Mr. Lacy, Taekwondo
America's founder and highest ranked martial artist (he's an 8th
degree Black Belt) often introduces himself as Robby Lacy. I (and
every other Black Belt in TA) would NEVER be so disrespectful of his
rank as to call him "Robby" though.
What if the weather
outside is frightful?
The weather may impact our class schedule, but if we
decide to open for classes even if the weather outside is snowy,
icy, stormy, we want you to make the decision about
participating or not participating in class that day based on what
you feel is safest for your family.
We typically go out and drive around an hour or so before the first
class to see what the road conditions are. We realize that some of
you have big trucks with monster tires that can navigate any
weather, but we need to take into account our staff and teen
instructors as well as our many families with young children and
more traditional vehicles. Main roads may be treated but the side
roads to get there may not be safe.
And, if we open for classes but the weather changes significantly we
may need to close at the end of the current class. In those cases,
we remove the OPEN sign from our window and update facebook and our
outgoing message. We cannot turn out the lights while the current
class is finishing up, so please look for the open sign in our
window and come inside to double check (we may just be reaching for
that open sign to to change to CLOSED) ... please do not just drop
students off at the curb.
If we close for classes and then the weather clears up quickly, we
do not suddenly open. We've already sent our instructors home (or
told them not to come in).
It isn't just snow and ice storms that may impact our class schedule
... a summer thunderstorm can knock out the power. Even during
daylight hours, without power there will be no lights for the
restrooms, no A/C or heat.
Our preference is to always open as scheduled, but every once in
awhile the weather wins. In those cases think of it as extra family
time to relax and hang out together.