KeDazzle Partner Series - APlus Taekwando
Meet KeDazzle’s Featured Partner, A-Plus Taekwondo studio from Germantown, MD.
“Taekwondo teaches kids many valuable lessons in life that go a long way in improving both physical and mental health”.
From an early age, Master Kim has had a passion for learning and training of the martial art of Taekwondo in South Korea and Maryland. He is a highly respected leader and teacher of Taekwondo in Germantown, MD community, opening two schools within 5 years. He has taught his unique style of Taekwondo with passion to children with hopes they will love it too and learn valuable life skills from it. We sat down with him to learn more about him and his school.
What type of classes do you provide? We provide Taekwondo classes for kids ages 4 and up (if the child is younger, we will determine if the child is ready for the training curriculum). We offer 4 classes each weekday and offer an afterschool program that currently serves local schools in Germantown Community (Great Seneca Creek, Spark Matsunaga, Ronald McNair and Christa McAuliffe Elementary Schools). Currently, we serve over 80 students per month and are growing.
Can you tell us briefly about when you started and why Taekwondo?
Master Kim: I started my Taekwondo journey back in elementary school, when I first discovered it and over the years continued to learn and subsequently received my 4th degree black belt, while teaching under the guidance of my master. One day I happened to chance upon a flyer about traveling & teaching Taekwondo around the world, and being a Taekwondo aficionado, I wanted to do my part in expanding its reach. So, I quit my military career and full fledged took upon the challenge of traveling to a new land, new culture and people to spread the message of Taekwondo. What drew me to Taekwondo was not only the physical strengthening aspect, but also the ability to meet new people and positively impact their lives.
Ms Yoon: My Taekwondo journey started off on an unconventional start, after the birth of my 2 kids, when I started learning under the guidance of Master Kim. Prior to that I was the office manager at APlus, but got drawn to this martial arts form very quickly! So over the years, I learn Taekwondo while managing our studio and after receiving my 3rd degree Black belt, I started teaching this year.
What are the various belt levels in Taekwondo?
There are 10 color belt levels (ranging from white to red, which is most senior) and students move up progressively based on their practice and skills. After the 10th level, students then move up to the black belt, within which there are further 9 levels referred to as 'Dan’. The 3rd degree 'Dan’ black belt can title you as an instructor and 4th degree 'Dan’ black belt will give you the honor to be called a master in Taekwondo. However, earning the highest Black Belt in Taekwondo is not about the belt itself – it is about the journey.
There is a very small percentage of martial artists in the world that can say they have earned the title of “Black Belt”. The students who have done it will tell you that the day they earned their Black Belts was one of the most challenging, memorable and important days in their lives. There is something about achieving a goal and pushing yourself to go beyond what you thought you were capable that changes you forever.
“Almost everyone can earn a Black Belt – but not everyone has what it takes to earn one.”
Why do you think Taekwondo is important and its benefits? Taekwondo in general and specifically our program improves focus, self discipline, self esteem, listening skills, coordination, physical conditioning, flexibility, balance and more, from learning how to deal with setbacks, learning how to compete and be your best to how to deal with bullies and conflict resolution. Our kids program teaches your child how to be his or her best each and every day, no matter what.
“Kids get frustrated while learning new moves and sometimes want to give up, we encourage them to keep going. At the end of the day, it’s a true proud moment for both of us when a child masters a technique they have been working on.”
What makes your classes unique and why do kids love it?
Kids love our program as we teach in a fun, playful environment where they learn to physically advance themselves while interacting with their classmates. Often you’ll find that a few mins prior to the start of a class, kids play with their friends on the mat and we like to play with them too! Martial arts does not have to be serious and boring!
Speaking of our teaching methodology, we emphasize on teamwork, as lessons are taught in pairs and students are taught to support their partners while sparring and holding targets while their partners kick. This also improves their coordination and timing of movements. This method of teaching is unique to our studio as it makes it more fun for students to learn from each other and from our past experience, we found that teaching and learning in pairs under the instruction of the master, teaches the value of teamwork, communication and coordination.
I think you have to keep some of the martial arts tradition and its history so each students can really appreciate the art form. But at the same time, we try to modernize our approach of teaching and have fun.
Why do kids love Taekwondo? Why do parents love this for them? The #1 gift a parent can give their child is confidence and that’s what our program instills in every one of our students. Our kids love coming to our school, they enjoy learning the power of the kick, while listening to music and warming up. We constantly evolve our teaching style with different props such as targets, balls, etc to motivate and encourage kids to learn and have fun.
What is the most important piece of advice you have for parents?
As a parent, you want to be motivational, encouraging and supportive. Appreciate the hard work your child puts in each class rather than making belt level a priority. We never want to cause our child discomfort to the point that they want to quit something that they love. Don’t forget that each child is unique, what works for one child may not work for another. Find a balance between being supportive and not being too overbearing and you and your child can grow together through their martial arts journey.
Master Kim had an inspiring journey to grow A-Plus Taekwondo studio in the last 5 years and now is excited to partner with KeDazzle to utilize our amazing activities management platform. We will help them to streamline their daily business through our platform to manage emails, scheduling, payments, communication, and so much more.
To learn more about A-Plus Taekwondo studio, please visit their website: