What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo the “Art of the Hand and Foot” utilizes attack and defense techniques against one or more opponents.  Following is a breakdown of what is taught at Augusta Taekwondo Center:

Fundamental movements – patterns, strikes, blocks, dodges and kicks

Sparring – step sparring (pre-arranged) and free sparring (with single and multiple opponents)

Cardio/flexibility training – stretching, pads, bags, (for accuracy and power)

Board breaking – technique, accuracy, conditioning, and courage!

Theory – learning the theory and philosophy of Taekwondo and its techniques

Why Train at Gilbert’s Korean Martial Arts?

We challenge our students and produce quality students with outstanding attitudes!

This class will motivate you in ways you didn’t know you’d love!  You’ll develop better coordination, self-confidence, flexibility, patience, improve your overall fitness and have a great time doing it.

You will also learn to:

  • Master Challenges
  • Reduce Stress
  • Develop Strong Character
  • Set and achieve goals and
  • Learn practical self-defense

What is the class schedule?

Tuesdays:  All Students – 5:30 p.m.

Thursdays: All Students – 5:30 p.m.

Saturdays:  Advanced classes: Times/locations vary (instructor will notify)

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $55/month per person.  Family rates (same household) are available, see Instructor for details.  Many school’s monthly training cost is double that price and they often require you to sign a multiple-month contract upon entering.  Contracts are not required at Gilbert’s Korean Martial Arts.

We want ALL students interested in martial arts to join.  Our low fee doesn’t mean we’re skimping on value – our instructors have decades of experience, knowledge of how the body works and can easily accommodate for different learning styles and physical abilities.

We keep our overhead low so that you and your family/friends can afford to do what we’ve been doing since 1987!

Should I be concerned about my age, fitness level, or coordination before considering Taekwondo?

Age – Taekwondo has students of all ages from pre-teen to 60s and beyond.  Some of our students started in their 40s and 50s.  Simply said, you’re never too old to start!  As with any fitness program, it would be wise to check with your doctor first.

Fitness Level – You do not need to “get in shape first” to start Taekwondo. Your fitness level will gradually increase whether you always worked out regularly or never had a regular exercise routine.

Coordination – Some people have better coordination than others, but learning (and retaining) new material often depends on how the individual is taught.

Taekwondo has basic repetitive moves upon which advanced movements are built.  Once a student grasps the basic concepts, more advanced material is added to it.

Is Taekwondo Dangerous? No it’s not dangerous, we recognize that most of us have day jobs!  Sparring and other contact activities are highly controlled to ensure our student’s safety.  Students participate in small groups with trained black belts, kick shields are used for full power techniques, and all students are required to wear protective gear. Each person works to his or her own ability and students can opt out or modify techniques as needed.

What is the difference between traditional and sports-style Taekwondo?

There are two general types of Taekwondo: traditional and sport. The term “traditional taekwondo” typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the 1950s and 1960s in South Korea. The two are not mutually exclusive, and the distinctions between them are often blurred. The following is a brief description of similarities and differences.

Sport Taekwondo’s focus is mainly in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition (as in Olympic or “point” sparring). Sports-oriented schools train their students primarily for tournament competition with less emphasis on practical self-defense. Olympic rules for sparring competition guide practice drills. Hands are often kept down by one’s waist and used minimally. The primary goal is to kick to score points. Once a point is recognized by the judges, sparring is temporarily discontinued, a decision is made as to who delivered the point, and the match starts again. Hand contact is not allowed to the head and since the only way to score a point is to strike a shocking blow or to rock the body (creating displacement) to your opponent, the hands are often not used. These practitioners do well in Olympic-style tournament situations.

Traditional Taekwondo practitioners learn the theory behind delivering power as well as implementing dodges, blocks, hand strikes and kicks. Hands are allowed in sparring to strike the opponents head and since the focus is more on personal self-defense and not “point” sparring, this changes how one approaches his or her sparring technique. Instead of training to score a point on the opponent, the traditional martial artist constantly thinks about how to defend him/herself from attack while simultaneously delivering hand and foot combinations to disable their attacker. Sparring is a continuous round which makes it more realistic to a real-life fighting situation. This is not to say there are not rules in place (and never do we practice barbaric fighting) however, we use striking and blocking in a controlled way to progressively develop our abilities as we learn. New beginner levels are not allowed contact except to block strikes and kicks. Contact among the practitioners increases incrementally with rank and skill level and contact never exceeds a moderate level which is monitored closely by a black belt instructor or ring referee.

We at Gilbert’s Korean Martial Arts teach a well-rounded curriculum which includes personal self-defense, forms, free-style (or continuous) sparring and point sparring for those who wish to participate in point tournaments. Our traditional training is intended to develop character, increase confidence and develop personal growth as is expressed in the tenets of Taekwondo; courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.

Most local tournaments in Maine do not use Olympic-style sparring rules and the head is an open target for hands; especially at black belt level. This means traditional-style classes provide excellent opportunity for a student to train with emphasis on self-defense, but also enables students to participate in tournament sparring if they so choose.

Traditional TKD offers training that sports-oriented styles don’t.  It’s time to get motivated – come on over and see what you will do!