1. How old does my child have to be to start martial arts classes? We begin training students at the age of 3. They would be in our Little Ninjas Class. It is our philosophy that it is always the "right time" to start benefiting from martial arts.
2. Do I need to be in great physical shape to start training in martial arts? "No" - in fact, a large percentage of our adult students begin classes at Seung-ni just for that reason, to improve their health. The benefits of martial arts training include: improved cardiovascular conditioning, increased functional strength, better flexibility, stress release, weight loss and muscle toning.
3. Will my child start to kick and punch siblings, friends and school classmates as a result of martial arts training? No, this will not occur. First, every young Seung-ni student from age three and up is instilled with the strict “Rules of Kicking & Punching” right along with the technical knowledge of how to perform the movements. As such, Seung-ni Students learn that they may never use their techniques on anyone for fun, out of anger / frustration or as a bully. Second, when children are taught how to kick and punch properly it becomes a tool for a very specific purpose (to build their bodies and to protect themselves and their family in self-defense only) and not an instinctive response when merely angered or upset.
4. What does “Seung-ni” mean and how is it pronounced? “Seung-ni” is the Korean word for “victory” and it is phonetically pronounced “sung-knee.”
5. How long does it take to earn a black belt? With focused, consistent training a dedicated martial arts student can earn a black belt in 3 to 4 years. All Seung-ni student receive their official black belt certification through the World Taekwondo Federation (the “W.T.F”), Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The WTF is the world’s largest and most respected Taekwondo organization and runs the Taekwondo competition in the Olympics and has its United States office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
6. How far can I or my child go with martial arts training? In Taekwondo you can earn up to ten degrees of black belt. On the sport side, Seung-ni students have successfully competed in forms and sparring at various local, state and national level tournaments. Note, that although some tournament experience is encouraged at the Academy, it is not required. Seung-ni has even had a student selected to an elite national team that represented the United States in international competition. And, some students when they progress elect to become assistant instructors and help teach the newer martial artists.
7. What is the best way to get my child or I started in martial arts classes at Seung-ni? New students are introduced successfully to the Seung-ni Academy in one of two ways. First, a prospective student often learns about the Academy from a relative, friend, co-worker, neighbor or classmate. In this case, the prospective student is invited to come join his or her friend or relative and train in their class. They would get a uniform to wear for the day and experience first-hand the fun and exciting world of martial arts. Second, for those interested students (of any age) who are somewhat anxious about new environments, we suggest scheduling an introductory one-on-one lesson with a black belt instructor. In this intro lesson, the student will receive a uniform, a tour of the facility and a private lesson covering the basics from etiquette (how to tie a belt to proper bowing) to techniques (how to execute a basic kick, punch and block) and what they could expect in a group class. This is a great opportunity for those prospective students – in a low pressure setting -- to get comfortable with the Academy, build confidence, learn about the program, meet the instructors and see if it is the right school for them and their family. In either case, the private or group class, there is no charge for the introductory lesson.
8. Do I have to wait for a particular time to start? No, we have on-going enrollment with new students joining all the time.
9. When I start, will I or my child be thrown into a class with black belts or other advanced students? No, we have separate classes for high ranking belts for both the children and adult levels. As such, new students train with other beginning students so that they feel comfortable and not intimidated.
10. Am I too old to start training in martial arts? Our most senior student is 74 years old and she has been training for several years and is now only one step away from earning her black belt.
11. If there a sign-up or enrollment fee and do I have to pay for the uniform when I start? No, we have no hidden sign-up charges and everyone’s first Taekwondo uniform is free. (Note, those students enrolling in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu program are required to purchase their own gi.)
12. Are the classes structured and organized so I know what will be expected from me? Every student from Little Ninjas at age 3 and up will receive a detailed student handbook that has every step of their martial arts journey neatly and easily outlined.
13. Does the Academy offer private instruction? Yes, we have many students that schedule private lessons with the Seung-ni black belt instructors.