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About Han's Tae Kwon Do

Grandmaster Han Min Kyo in a side kick HTA logo

Tae Kwon Do is a true martial art with its roots in ancient Korea. Translated from Korean, Tae Kwon Do means "foot hand way". Its beginnings date back at least to 540 AD to the Hwarang-Do warrior society charged with protecting their country. In fighting, the members of the Hwarang-Do inspired their followers' confidence by punching barehanded through their opponents' wooden armor. They could spin-kick with such height and power that their feet were like swords. But Hwarang-Do was more: members pledged to live an ethical life that recognized the importance of loyalty to country, parents, and the brotherhood of man, and to promote the cause of justice. This is reflected in the modern tenets and student's oath.

Grandmaster Han leaing a class
Grandmaster Han leading a class

Grand Master Han Min Kyo, ninth-degree Black Belt, comes to the United States from a family distinguished as a leader in the development of Tae Kwon Do into a modern martial art. He brings the wisdom and experience of the ancient ways to bear on the problems of living in today's fast-paced world. Grand Master Han is the president of the Han Tae Kwon Do Alliance. For many years, Grandmaster Han operated a dojang in Danville, Illinois.

Grand Master Han Cha Kyo was Master Han's elder brother and a pioneer of Tae Kwon Do. He was made a Master by General Choi and reached the rank of ninth degree Black Belt. Han Cha Kyo passed away in 1996.

Yung Han is the son of Han Min Kyo and is a Fourth Degree Black Belt who has been very successful in Tae Kwon Do competitions worldwide.

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Frequently-Asked Questions

What are the benefits?

Beside the obvious feel of security from knowing practical methods of self-defense, the student will find that his level of stress begins to fall as self-mastery leads to less need to act upon feelings of anger and aggression.

The entire body is involved in the study of Tae Kwon-Do, making it an effective calorie burner. Thirty minutes burns about 400 calories. Thus, Tae Kwon Do can play a role in weight loss and physical fitness. However, there is much more to Tae Kwon Do than mere exercise.

Another especially noteworthy benefit is the exercise of the long bones which is important in the retention of calcium in the bones, essential for the health of women in later years.

Balance is very important in Tae Kwon Do; as a result, with the regular practice of Tae Kwon Do techniques, balance will naturally tend to improve.

Who can benefit?

Lucille Thompson
Lucille Thompson

Tae Kwon-Do is for people of all ages, 5 to 90 and over. Each student progresses at his or her own rate, according to personal effort and time spent in class. The student competes only against him or her self. People of various ages may experience somewhat different benefits; for example, children will gain a sense of discipline and respect along with their Tae Kwon Do techniques.

Is there risk involved?

Master Han teaches using non-contact methods that emphasize self-control. There is little danger of serious injury if the Master's instructions are followed.

Emilio Quezada
Emilio Quezada

How often must I attend?

Classes are offered 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. For maximum benefit, the student should attend as often as possible; the cost is the same whether one attends just one day per week or all five days. However, attending only once per week does not give the body sufficient practice with the various techniques, nor does it have enough of an impact on physical fitness. Generally, at least three days per week is highly recommended.

How is progress measured?

As the student progresses, he or she tests before a panel of senior Black Belts, Master Han, and sometimes visiting Masters from other schools. (Master Han's brother, Grand Master Han Cha Kyo, 9th degree Black Belt and founder of the UTF, attended tests in Danville from time to time.) This public demonstration of a certain level of mastery gives the student positive knowledge of his achievement and brings self-confidence.

Each stage toward Black Belt is associated with a particular pattern of movements to learn, and with a colored belt.

How are classes taught?

Typically, class starts with a warm-up period and stretching, followed by a review and reinforcement of the basics. Then the Hyeong (patterns) are performed under the watchful eye of the Master. Instruction follows in various aspects of Tae Kwon-Do using traditional techniques that enable the student to focus on weak areas that need improvemement. Also stressed are self-defense techniques that can be called upon in real-life situations. Non-contact free sparring enables the student to tie all the techniques together until they become instinctive. Senior belts sometimes help the junior belts, benefiting both in a relationship that reinforces respect toward rank and humility in teaching.

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