Here are some frequently asked questions (and their answers!)...
Membership & General Questions
Tang Soo Do is the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters 唐手道 (Tang Shou Dao). Tang Soo Do literally means "China Hand Way" (the "Tang" refers to the Tang Dynasty). Similar characters are pronounced karate-dō in Japanese. The first character, 唐 (which initially referred to China), was later changed to 空 by Gichin Funakoshi to mean "empty" rather than "China" (空手道, or Kong Shou Dao; the Korean pronunciation of these characters is "Kong Soo Do"). Outside of the Far East, the term "Tang Soo Do" has primarily become synonymous with the Korean martial art promoted by grandmaster Hwang Kee.
We teach Tang Soo Do, a traditional Korean Martial Art. It is, however, only the foundation of what we teach. First and foremost, we use martial arts to build character and to create a set of skills our students can use throughout their lives in areas outside of the martial arts. In addition, we define ourselves as having traditional roots with modern applications and vision. Therefore we also incorporate what has been proven to be vital self defense skills from other martial arts. These include Ju Jitsu, Judo, Krav Maga, and Aikido. Our black belt program has a heavy focus on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kali and weapons work.
Our address is:
75 Railroad Street Putnam, CT 06260-1625
Telephone: (860) 928-9218
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We are located in the same building as Midtown Fitness, behind the Price Chopper shopping plaza:
Proper martial arts training teaches self defense skills such as : Courage, Self Control, Respect and Humility. While students learn the physical skills needed to defend themselves, they also learn conflict resolution and self control. We use the elements contained in training in the martial arts to create confident human beings who can rise to a challenge, defend themselves and others, and use their minds and voices to resolve conflict. We teach our students to be assertive, not aggressive.
We take students at age 4 and up. We have specialized programs and classes for all levels. Being a full time professional martial arts school allows us to offer many classes with specific focus points. Our schedule has separate classes for four to six year olds, children, teens and adults. We then subdivide based on experience.
Our program is design to get you into the shape! The classes are progressive and the first ones assume you have no experience. However, we do believe you process information differently than children and need a workout that is created for an adult body and mind as well as needing appropriate self defense skills. As a result, we think it is important that children and adults do the majority of their training in separate classes.
We enroll students all year long. As a result, we have created a trial offer to help introduce a student to the martial arts. It includes a uniform, two semi-private lessons, and a month of unlimited karate classes. We have at least four options a week for you to train as a beginner. We ask that you attend two classes a week as a basic requirement. You may attend more if you want! Your trial month also includes a school handbook, as well as access to our beginner online university for martial artists. Please see this page for more information.
Training: How long does it take to get a black belt, and how many times a week must a student train?
In general it takes three to four years of regular training for an adult to obtain the rank of first degree black belt. However, each person is unique in their abilities. It is perfectly fine to take longer. Children progress at a pace relative to their age. We do not give children adult black belts. We have a junior black belt which contains about 75% of the adult requirements.
The martial arts are a contact sport! However, we do not feel beginner students should be sparring until they have obtained basic skills, control of their bodies and some humility. No one in the school spars before a six month training period. When you do begin sparring, it is at a slow pace. We have an extensive set of sparring rules which must be signed by all students. It is our goal to provide the safest environment possible while still teaching realistic sparring and self defense skills. You will be asked after six months to purchase a set of sparring gear.
Yes, we offer private lessons in all aspects of the martial arts we teach. Weapons, Self Defense, Grappling or traditional Tang Soo Do are all offered by qualified instructors. Private instruction can help ease a hectic schedule, add depth to your training, help with problem areas, or just get your ready for that next belt or tournament. We can also help design a fitness plan that integrates the gym (cardio, flexibility and strength training) into your overall martial arts plan.
The Black Belt Club (BBC) is our advanced training program. For students who are children, it means that they have access to formal training in Tang Soo Do, similiar to the teen/adult curriculum. It signifies that you have a commitment to earning your Jr. Black Belt or Black Belt. These classes contain more detail and cover topics in addition to our basic program. We offer classes in just forms, self defense and sparring. We also have specialized training in weapons, street self defense, tournament training and leadership. We also have fun activities for the black belt club members: buddy pizza parties, movie nights, board breaking and field trips. Being in the black belt club gives you access to our tournament team, Leadership team and Demonstration team.
• Please speak to an instructor for more information on joining the BBC.
You must be a Black Belt Club Member or Master Club Member.
If you are, please email email@example.com and ask for access.
Yes we do! It is a fun-filled event where karate teachers will run your whole party. For more information click: karate birthday parties.
Three types of programs are offered:
1. The new -- or "trial" -- student
This is where everyone starts --and this is where we get to know each other --and where we figure out how best to serve you. A certain amount of the people who enroll here use the training for fitness, for entertainment, as something to do that's really engaging, interesting, and fun, and/or all of the above. I welcome and embrace this level of membership --as there are many things I have an interest in, but am not ready to commit our life too --if you know what I mean.
2. The student
The student, as we see it, is someone who takes the training seriously enough to commit the time energy it takes to make significant progress. The "student" is a different kind of member than someone who comes here to get fit or "learn self-defense. "This level, of course, isn't for everyone, but if it's the right time and place in a person's life, the school embraces this level of training. It's not up to me (the school) to decide when someone becomes a "student," it's up to the practitioner.
3. The life-long student
The 3rd level of membership is the serious, possibly life-long student of the martial arts. This is the level that's for people like, well...US, for example. This is where the student blurs the lines between the training and life. This kind of student is the one that is guided and taught by a master teacher that understands what this kind of training involves.
One level isn't "better" than another; I simply make these distinctions because it's the reality of the how we serve people in this school.
As for courses, the trial student comes in at our beginning rate of tuition. If a person goes from trial member to student, the tuition increases about $1 a day; reasonable, I think. The student who is involved with our highest level of training usually pays from $1 to $2 a day more for tuition.
Above and beyond normal membership fees, I often construct short or medium length "intensives" build around various subjects. By offering short and medium range intensive courses, I can offer a deeper level of immersion for a period of time that doesn't burn me --or the student --out. Subjects often include tournament competition, self-defense, leadership, weapons training, and fitness intensives. You'll see the classes on our calendar of events and announced, occasionally, in classes. These mini-courses range in price from $1 to $5 a day, or higher if it's a one-day event and I bring in a guest teacher. These events are not required for membership, but completely optional.