Just like in any other city in the United States, you will find a good number of martial arts schools in Portland, Oregon with over 650,000 residents.
Googling the question right off presents you with twenty-two possible choices of Taekwondo schools.
What you want is to find out which Taekwondo community you can be part of. That’s because a Taekwondo school is not just your kid’s Taekwondo school or someplace you can get Taekwondo training. It’s more than that.
One characteristic nature of a martial art school is its tradition. You’re not just getting some physical training like you do when you go to a workout gym.
Joining in a martial arts school brings new culture and values. And the community is an important part of it.
A Close-Knit Taekwondo Community
Though there are a good number of Taekwondo schools around, there is a common Taekwondo community with a common culture among its members and supporters.
A common strain comes from the fact that Taekwondo is a martial art that has come from South Korea and most if not all of the schools here in Portland are directly influenced by our connections with our counterparts in Seoul.
Every year, the U.S. World Class Taekwondo Association based here in Oregon holds multiple community events inviting all Taekwondo schools around the city to participate. These events have become a way of building friendships and cooperation among schools.
Your first step is to find yourself a Taekwondo school.
Getting To Know A Community
You’d want to know which school suits your needs and preferences.
In general, all schools are acceptable. But if you want to be more discerning, there are a number of things you may consider to help you make your choice.
Proximity is an obvious consideration. You’d want to consider a Taekwondo school close to your house or along your daily commute. You may want to consider other factors in your daily routine when you choose a Taekwondo school.
Consider the Members
Seeing smiles among faces is a good sign that people like each other in the school.
You’d also want to hear out what they say about what they do. Every school follows certain practices within the school. Make sure to talk to as many people as you can when you check out a school. Don’t limit yourself to the teachers and the senior students. Even the white and yellow belts have something useful to say.
Consider the Quality of Practice
When it comes to quality, it’s about precision and emphasis.
It’s alright to see people struggling, awkward and fumbling. That’s what you’d expect in any place of learning – where people are working on refining their knowledge and their skills. But, when it comes to the value of instruction, you’d want to see students working on the details of their skills with seriousness, focus and always with respect.
You’d want to see that in the teacher, the senior students and, yes, even the beginners struggling on the simplest technique. You want to see it in the techniques, how it is explained and what is expected.
Don’t forget that precision must also show in the way members follow the protocol on the mat and throughout the school.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how Taekwondo can fit into your child’s life or your life, come visit us at:
Cedar Mill Taekwondo
5821, 13547 NW Cornell Rd
Portland, OR 97229