Kwon,Jae-Hwa Tae Kwon-Do
I first began my commited training in martial arts in a Shotokan Karate school, based in my local community center. The instructor was slow, the classes were dull, it was done in a basketball court with no pads or equipment, and all over it was just dumb. I quit after my 3rd year (i was a orange belt by then and realized no changes were going to be made) so i decided to call off martial arts.
About 2 years later, my girlfriend informs me of her training in a taekwondo school near by, and my friend always talked about training in taekwondo as well. i was never informed it was the same school as my girlfriend, after learning it was i decided to give it a try.
The school offers 2 days free trial, and then a month for almost nothing, so i said what the heck. After the first 2 days i signed up and i could never be happier. The head instructor is very leniant and understanding with prices, and offers deals to anyone who cant pay the requirement for an extended time. The trial classes were intense, the instructor doesnt go easy on you just because your new, he understands we're there to learn to kick some ass, and get strong physically and mentally while learning. The style itself was easy to adapt for I had past experiances and most of the moves were almost the same, although the rules were different and some of the executions of the kicks were a bit different.
There are 4 black belts at the sunrise school, and occasionaly black belts from 2 other locations will join in on our training.
As of yesterday (June 7, 2007) the instructor announced a possibility of opening a open tournament team for our school now that more of us teenage-adult competitors have begun fighting.
Overall the dojo is very friendly, and the instructors are amazing, i've seen complete noobs turn into pretty well rounded martial artists in just a couple weeks at the school.
Just wanna put my two cents here. I dunno about this specific dojang, but I trained for a day in a dojang in the bronx of the same Kwon, Jae Hwa branch. Now I gotta say, they know how to work you out over there. That was some of the most tiring training I've been through in a long time. But the thing is, I really didn't like the technique I was exposed to over there. Now I come from a traditional Japanese karate backround and yeah it's pretty different. But what I saw was white belts doing black belt movements, and their patterns were focused entirely on speed. It struck me like aiming your strikes was not even important at that point. I also do not like their half-faced stance that they do, very easy to roundhouse, and they stand way too tall, knees not bent enough, very easy too sweep. Now I dunno much about TKD, once again I'm a Shotokan guy. But I couldn't help but sense there was some absence of simplicity, and technique is not exactly up to par. But I'll tell you, great place to go if you are trying to lose weight.
and yeah my typing kinda sucks, but i try to type fast haha, sorry bout that.