Hamlet's - American Taekwondo Academy


"Building strong minds
and strong bodies


HOW TO TIE THE BELT VIDEO  <<<click link

Hello, and again thanks for joining us at the American Taekwondo Academy.  It is a journey we travel together.

Now that you are taking classes, you are sure to see and hear many different things on how to do this, or how to do that etc.  There is a lot to learn and it sometimes it may seem a little overwhelming; don't worry, take your time and never hesitate to ask the instructors any questions.

Following is a list I have started with the most common questions that new students encounter.  This list will grow with your help.  Remember, it's been over 30 years since I first started martial arts, so my memory on those first days and months is a little cloudy.
With your help, we can make this a list to help all of our new students today, and students of tomorrow.  If you have a question that you don't see listed below, then please go to the "contact us" link at the top of the page, and email us with the question. I'll not only answer it, but most likely include it here on this page for the future. Thank you.

Q:  What am I supposed to do when I show up early and another class is in session?
A:  Early is good.  If a class is in session, then feel free to walk along the back wall quitely and change clothes if needed, use the bathroom etc,.  Once ready for class, please sit inside the workout room along the glass wall and wait quietly.  If no class is in session when you arrive, then feel free to go on the floor and warm up.

Q:  What are students saying when bowing at the beginning and end of class?
A:  Students say "pilsung"  which means victory and pertains to our school's personal victory ideology.

Q:  How do I know when my child is ready to test for the next belt.?
A:  In the children's classes, there is a stripe system to let both the parents and the kids know when they may sign up to test.  One red stripe needed for demonstrating their form. Another red stripe for demonstration their one-steps with a partner. One blue stripe for reciting the Way Of Taekwondo.  When all three stripes are present on the belt, then the student may test for the next rank. 

Q:  When are the red stripe testings in class?
A:  The stripe testings are not scheduled.  The instructors know to include the opportunity to test for the stripes several times throughout the week.  Many times the student feels ready and wants to try for the stripe the next class.  If that class doesn't test that day, don't worry, future classes will.  Students are not allowed to ask the instructor to test since the instructor has a class planner and testing requests will interrupt the day's plans.  Be patient, it will happen.  Saturdays are another story.  With open workout happening, students can ask on this day for stripe testing.

Q:  How do I tie that belt!?
A:  Ahhh,  the belt question.  That needs a visual.  Ask any instructor when they are free to help and we will be more than happy to show.  (Parents, you need to learn this if you have a young child, it is too much for young kids to learn the first time.)

Q:  How do the attendance cards work?
A:  At the beginning of each class, look for your card under your last name.  Students who are on a two week trail program will not have a card until they enroll in a on going program.  Once the card is found, place it in the other box and that's it. (Exception; children students that are white belts hang on to their card and give it to the instructor at the beginning of class when asked for.)

Q:  What happens if I am late for class?
A:  First of all, please try to be on time.  When a student is late, it is disrespectful to the instructor and other students.  However with that is mind, should the occasion occur when you are running late due to unforeseen circumstances, then do the following.  If you are going to be more than 5 minutes late, call it a day and don't bother, no one is allowed if more than 5 minutes.  If  only a few minutes late, then the student should enter the classroom and wait at attention, just inside the door.  Once the instructor has the chance to recognize the student, the student needs to ask permission to join class.

Q:  What side do the stripes on the belt hang on?
A:  If your belt has a black stripe, it hangs on the right side.  In the Children's class, there are also red and blue stripes that should hang on the left side.

Q:  How often do belt testings occur?
A:  Every nine weeks students have the opportunity to advance if they feel they are ready.  If the testing is going to fall on a holiday weekend, then usually the testing date will be pushed out an extra week.

Q:  How do students address the instructors, and black belts?
A:  All black belts should be addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'm", or by their last name.  Instructors may also be called Sabunim, which is the title for instructor.

Q:  When and where do students bow?
A:  Bowing is used as a way of saying hello, good-bye, thank you, and showing respect.  Except for those times that the instructor signals for the class to bow, students should show respect by bowing when entering and leaving the practice area, and when saying hello or good bye to the instructors and fellow students.

Q:  When adult students are not yet in good shape, is it okay to stop during the exercises?
A:  It is important to know your limits.  It is okay for new students to stop during the class if they feel they are at their limit.  However; as one progresses, it is important to work on your perseverance and not give up.