When I took my first Taekwon-do class at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln back in 1995, I had no idea that it would become a major part of my life. John and I met just shortly after I began that first martial arts class. He already had his black belt and encouraged me to continue learning.
About six years later after our daughter, Lydian was born, we started our first Taekwon-do school in Bird City, Kansas. We had spent some time moving around before this and made a hobby out of taking martial arts classes in various disciplines including Shaolin Kung-Fu, Kenpo Karate, Ninjitsu, and Aikido. Lydian took kids’ classes at many of these schools as well. Through our experiences taking and teaching classes we developed some strong opinions about martial arts. One of our most important observations was that students who practiced at home excelled and moved ahead quickly.
Our online classes pay homage to the fact that students who practice at home do well at martial arts. While we attended classes in other martial arts styles, we also read books and practiced new skills that we read about. We watched videos online and basically used our resources to become more knowledgeable about martial arts in general. We found out that learning in this way was entirely legitimate and more productive. Having a basis in Taekwon-do helped us learn other martial arts styles from books more effectively, but we’ve sought to bridge this gap through our online curriculum that couples tutorials and workout videos with actual interaction with a martial arts instructor. The idea was to make it possible for students to legitimately learn martial arts at any time and from anywhere in the world.
Though many people like to romanticize the martial arts and hail them as infallible self-defense methods, our view of taekwondo is no nonsense. Though skills in martial arts can definitely tip the scales in a street self-defense situation, they are by no means a guarantee that you’ll be the winner when the dust settles. A realistic view of oneself and one’s actual skills can be lifesaving in a street fight. Our goal has always been to help students recognize their personal strengths and weaknesses so that they can exploit both in the most profitable way.
For nine years, we’ve been teaching martial arts to students in rural areas in Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. Often we would commute for over an hour a night to teach classes away from home. We recognized a need for martial arts training in non-urban areas, but we also quickly realized that it was hard to create a schedule that worked for every student who was interested in taking classes. An online format solves this problem so that students can take classes when and where it works for them.