The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) has over 1,000,000 members world wide. Like any martial art properly taught and properly practiced, Taekwondo is a non-agressive and ethical system of self-defense. The word Taekwondo itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means "the way." Loosely (if not literally), it can be thought of as "The Way of the Hand and Foot." The style of Taekwondo supported by the ATA is known as Songahm Taekwondo, a style specifically developed over 20 years' time by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee to make it accessible to anyone willing to learn, and to truly reflect Taekwondo and the strength and beauty of its kicking techniques. For more information about the ATA and the History of Taekwondo, visit http://ataonline.com/about/history.asp
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Class and Student Courtesy
In order to be comfortable and knowledgeable with the courtesies expected at Excel Family Martial Arts, student and parents should review the following list:
Students and instructors will bow to the flags each time they enter and/or leave the classroom area, even if the area is not being used for workout. (The "bow" is the Oriental-handshake used in showing respect toward the flags, fellow students, and instructors.) A proper bow is executed with feet together and hands to the side.
If a student is unavoidably tardy for class, the should bow at the edge of the workout floor and wait to be recognized by the instructor. They may then ask permission to join the class.
Students should use the restroom before coming to class. If necessary, it is acceptable during class to ask permission to be excused.
Students will respond "Yes/No, Sir"or "Yes/No, Ma'am", as appropriate, in all conversations with instructors.
Students will stand respectfully and bow whenever greeting an instructor, in or out of the classroom.
Students will address instructors by the last name and the proper title (Mr., Mrs., Miss), regardless of any personal or family relationship.
Students are encouraged to participate in class enthusiastically. However, students should avoid unnecessary conversation and should speak only at the proper times. If a student does not understand a directive, he is allowed to raise his/her hand and ask that the instruction be repeated. A student is expected, however, to pay careful attention so the class may proceed without interruption.
No student, regardless of rank, may instruct or correct another student without the direct and specific permission and supervision of the instructor.
A student's personal appearance in class is a reflection of their pride. Cleanliness of person and uniform is imperative.
If a student is in the room when the "Songahm Spirit of Taekwondo" pledge is recited, he/she must stand at attention and recite the pledge with the group, whether or not he is in uniform or a participant in the group session.
Hair should be short or pulled back. No headbands or sweat bands are to be worn other than ATA approved headbands.
There is to be no smoking or use of tobacco products in the school at any time.
Use of tobacco products or consumption of alcohol are prohibited any time while in uniform.
There will be no use of profanity on the school premises or at a ATA class, or activity.
Permission of the student's instructor is required before a student may attend another ATA school or another martial arts school.
High ranking visitors to the class should be greeted with appropriate respect. If class is in session, it should immediately be interrupted for this salutation.
Students will turn away from the instructor or opponent when adjusting uniform or belt.
Students will not wear shoes on the workout floor.
Men should only wear their ATA uniform. No T-shirts are to be worn under the uniform.
Women students must wear a white T-shirt under their ATA uniform.
No jewelry shall be worn with the uniform. (A few instructors allow a wedding ring).
At the instructor's discretion, t-shirts may be periodically allowed. During these times, ONLY Taekwondo T-shirts are to be worn.
Students, parents, and guests will not converse with any person involved in a class session without the permission of the instructor.
Masters (Intermediate, All Ages)
This is the next step in the students blackbelt journey. Classes become more detailed with longer forms, more detailed self-defense, and sparring is introduced to help increase the student's physical strength. Life skills are continued to be focused on to help sharpen the students core values.
Leadership (Advanced class, All Ages)
The Leadership program is specially designed to teach life skills to the student to prepare them for life. These classes use a combination of martial arts and a leaders guide to help the student prepare to be a leader. Students are assigned chapters to review and apply during the class session. These students are the role models for the school and help teach lower ranking students. These students go on to be leaders in the schools, community, and in the job market. This class is by invitation from instructors only upon completing the Basic program.
All classes include self-defense, forms and weapons training. Intermediate and advanced classes include sparring and board breaking activities.
Tigers (Kids 4 - 6)
The ATA Tigers program is specifically designed for younger students to foster self-discipline, increase self-esteem, improve listening skills, encourage non-violent conflict resolution, and promote physical activity. For more details for parents and online activities for kids visit http://www.ataonline.com/tigers/index.html
Basic (Beginner, All Ages)
Each rank in Songahm Taekwondo has basic moves (also known as techniques) that the practitioner must learn and demonstrate competence in before they may move on to their next rank. These techniques have been carefully developed to help the student maximize their potential at their current level of knowledge, as well as preparing them for the techniques they must learn in their next rank. In Songahm Taekwondo, everything builds on what has come before.
I will practice in the Spirit of Taekwondo, with courtesy for fellow students, loyalty for my instructor, and respect for my juniors and seniors.
I shall live with perseverance in the Spirit of Taekwondo, having honor for others, integrity within myself, and self-control in my actions.