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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just For Kicks - Taekwondo Academy at All About Kids

If you're looking to improve you or your child's character, self-control, self-esteem, confidence, or fitness level, you may want to look into Just for Kicks Taekwondo Academy at All About Kids Sports Center (2531 Blankenbaker Parkway Louisville, Ky 40299). A friend of mine had recommended TaeKwonDo for my son, because of his ADHD tendencies - difficulty focusing, sitting still, and listening. My friend's son has autism, and she felt TaeKwonDo had helped him in all those areas. At Just for Kicks, they are focused on more than just your sparring skills and belt color, they are focused on your character, and being the best you can be in every way.

PhotobucketJust for Kicks organizes their classes by age and/or belt level. There are also family classes, women's self-defense classes (ages 13 and up), and a Cardio Kickmaster class for fitness (ages 13 and up). There are 2 gyms located on the second floor overlooking the large gymnasium. Each has a springy floor, a mirrored wall, inspirational messages, the belt order, an American flag, and a Korean flag. At class time, each student enters the gym, bows to the flag, and then takes a seat on their spot on the mat. Class begins with the students greeting their teacher and reciting the pledge of allegiance. Then each class runs through various exercises, drills, activities and sparring depending on their class level. By age 4, students already begin to learn their katas, or detailed choreographed patterns of movements required for each belt level. As they get older and progress through the belt system, they learn more and more katas.

The 3-year-old class, SUPER KIDS, is 30 minutes, one time a week. This was where my son began. The purpose of the class is to develop confidence, coordination, self-control, focus, and direction following. They talk about character qualities like generosity, respect and self-control. They discuss these qualities in class, and give out a sheet of "homework" at every class that is to be colored and turned in at the next class. It's wonderful to have your child hear these qualities from their adored instructors.

The next class is the MIGHTY KIDS I class for ages 4 and 5. In this class, they begin to learn the Katas, improve their coordination, and balance. They also begin to learn the art of sparring...which they are only allowed to do as a reward for being good in class. This is a 45 minute class, once a week. MIGHTY KIDS II (ages 6 & 7) is a 45 minute class, twice a week where the students learn more of the art and science of TaeKwonDo, and more of the core curriculum.

TAEKWONDO RANGERS (ages 8-12) is a 45 minute class, twice a week. This more focused on sparring and the classes are very high energy. TAEKWONDO WARRIORS is for ages 13 to adult. It meets for a 55 minute class, twice a week. This class incorporates everything TaeKwonDo from self-defense to cardio work outs. They also work on skills to develop into future black belt instructors, life skills and leadership skills. The FAMILY TAEKWONDO CLASS is for Moms and/or Dads to take a class with their child or children who are at least 6 years old. This class is meant to be parred up with another class during the week for the child's age, or the parent's belt level.

PhotobucketMichael and Lisa Twyman are the master instructors for Just For Kicks, and are Certified Dan Black Belt Master Instructors through the U.S. Chung Do Kwan Association (USCDKA). There are a few other instructors at Just for Kicks, and all of them seem outstanding. They are knowledgeable, good teachers, and are not afraid to provide discipline during class (my son had to sit out a turn on the obstacle course and sparring when he acted out in class a few times). Just for Kicks participates in local, regional and national Taekwondo tournaments. At the end of the year, students have the opportunity to compete in National Championships in other states.

Your child can take a free drop in class to determine if they are interested in enrolling in one of the TaeKwonDo classes. However, once they are signed up, they do need to buy a uniform, 2 patches, and sparring gear on top of the class fee. The classes at All About Kids are on a term basis, and priced based on class length. There are 5 terms per year. All About Kids also has an annual fee, and there is a fee for each belt test (which are by invitation only). Check for special pricing for families with more than one student attending.

By guest contributor: Caryn

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