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Tae Kwon-Do in Tulsa: More Than a Swift Kick

While many of us grew up watching Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee or maybe Walker Texas Ranger throw some pretty amazing kicks at bad guys, the martial arts are much more complex than just taking down bullies with a hand chop or a foot punch.

Mister Kang, of Grandmaster Kang’s Tae Kwon-Do  explained that through the practice of martial arts, students gain “confidence, focus and discipline” that can defuse a potentially ugly situation. Kang, who is celebrating 40 years of martial arts instruction, said that instead of rising to the bait of a verbal or physical bully, children who learn martial arts know how to disengage and walk away from these situations.

Most parents and schools offer common strategies such as speaking with an adult or ignoring it. “Our students are assertive and confident, verbally,” Kang said, which can take the sting out of potential attack. He said this kind of self-confidence can deal with the problem and prevent future bullying.

But, Kang said that’s not the only reason students and parents alike take up Tae Kwon-Do or other martial arts. “Parents want discipline, better grades in school. Kids want to learn self-defense or self-discipline.” He said that martial arts helps in all of those areas. Additionally, according to Kang, martial arts “are great for improving a great deal of qualities for children,” across a variety of sports.

Children who play basketball, soccer, football or hockey can benefit, he said, from the way martial arts build character, confidence and leadership that may or may not be learned on those other playing fields. In the way that yoga may help football players increase flexibility and thereby reduce risk of injury, martial arts build muscles and reflexes that may not be trained in a team sport practice.

Ella Abrams asked her mom, Becky, if she could try Tang Soo Do because she was tired of tap and ballet classes, but wanted to be active. Becky said she was nervous about her 8-year-old child getting hurt, but quickly learned that “she was safe and, there is no greater pride than seeing your child succeed in an activity she loves.”

When Ella started last September, she got six free lessons and a uniform. “She never looked back at her tap shoes,” Becky said. Ella and will have tested for her orange belt by the beginning of April.

Becky confirmed Kang’s assertions about the power of martial arts. “Ella’s grades in school have gone up,” she said. “She is consistently on the straight A’s list,” and she receives recognition from the martial arts studio. Ella also has been more attentive to requests from her parents to help around the house.

“The strength and discipline a child can learn through martial arts is amazing,” Becky said.

 Children as young as 2 years old can take classes; although, the usual age for an introductory class is around age 4. Kang’s studio has all levels of classes, and the schedule can be seen on their website: http://kangtkd.net

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