US TaeKwonDo Center
US Tae Kwon Do Center opened its first doors at 1192 Parker St. in 1991 and has been the longest running Tae Kwon Do School in the area. It is owned and operated by Grand Master Kyung Won Kim, Founder of the US Taekwondo Education Foundation. The school is part of a chain of centers which have become the recognized leader in Tae Kwon Do training throughout the United States. In 1980, Grand Master Sang Lee opened the first school in Binghamton, NY. He then moved to Colorado and began to open several schools out west. Today, there are ninety-five schools open to the public, with a total of about 30,000 students nationwide. Grand Master Kim is the founder of all eight local schools in the eastern region.
The US Taekwondo Centers are sanctioned by the WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) in Korea. The WTF oversees Tae Kwon Do schools in more than two hundred twenty-five countries around the globe, making Tae Kwon Do the most widely diversified sport in the world.
Our school in Wilbraham currently has about three hundred fifty active students, servicing over four thousand members since its inauguration. Men, women and children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities have participated in this ancient martial art. Grand Master Kim has graduated over two hundred black belts to the next level of their training. Many of his students go on to graduate college, serve in the military and become successful in a variety of different professions. Many of the families and friends of those who train at the USTC have also benefited from the positive atmosphere that the center fosters for all those who walk through the door.
The US Tae Kwon Do Center lays the foundation for the “human education”. We learn that we are part of something much greater than ourselves. Our training gives us the opportunity to change our mindset and begin a “new life” in which we can shape our own future. Tae Kwon Do is a way of life. It teaches us to commit ourselves to our goals and develop effective strategies to achieve them. Although physical training and the development of the flexibility in the body are positive aspects of Tae Kwon Do, it is discipline and mental training that one receives that is the most important. Students learn the difference between what is right and what is wrong. They learn how to focus on the task at hand and concentrate on what is going on in the world around them. They learn how to listen and how to react to any given situation. Our training allows us to become more confident in ourselves and develop a strong sense of self-esteem. Once we achieve balance between the mind and body, we are able to be our best in all situations.
Although Tae Kwon Do is a system of self-defense, it is more than a physical fighting skill. It represents a way of thinking and a pattern of life requiring strict discipline. It is a system of training both the mind and the body in which great emphasis is placed on the moral development of its students. Students receive instruction in principles such as respect, humility, perseverance, self-control and honesty. Students will learn work together as a team and develop a strong sense of community with in the group. Students will be taught to use their minds to avoid conflict when ever possible. They will learn to use their spirit, mind and body to punch, block and kick with effective precision. Each participant will be issued a dobach (uniform) and a white belt. They will learn a form, sabanchuk (kicking form), basic motion, counting from 1-10 in Korean & board breaking, along with several other self-defense techniques. Grand Master Kim will provide top quality instruction to each of his students. He believes that the most important aspect of Tae Kwon Do that he can convey to his pupils is his spirit. It is the spirit that will live on much longer than the mind or the body and is something that can be handed down through the generations. One’s spirit is something that can never cease to exist.
“We commit ourselves to mental and physical discipline, to be friends with one another and to develop strength with in our group. We shall never fight to achieve selfish goals, but to develop wisdom and character are our ultimate commitments. UNITE FOR RIGHT, SIR!"
Objectives of Taekwondo
- To develop an appreciation for Tae Kwon Do as a sport and as an art
- To achieve physical fitness through positive participation
- To improve mental discipline and emotional balance
- To learn self-defense skills
- To develop a sense of responsibility for one self and others