Moo Duk Kwan Mind & Body Gym
This is a small, non-profit dojang that emphasises practical self defence applications, as well as training the traditional aspects of the art. There is a yearly registration fee of $50 to cover insurance and after that you can just pay $8 to any session you show up to. There are also prepaid discounts and you can do that as far in advance as you like, there are no contracts.
It has limited space, with low roofs, but has all the equipment one would need for training there (bags, mats, training knives, etc).
The atmosphere is friendly/inviting, while still disciplined and contains the ettiquette to be expected of any training hall. Class sizes are also quite small, averaging a maximum of 12, often closer to 8.
The instructors embrace teaching any effective self defence techniques from any style and incorporate them into training. The chief instructor is also a boxer, so hand techniques are not ignored and are not sloppy. He also instructs almost every training session, so it isn't a case of the chief instructor sitting back and letting the lower grades teach.
The self defence taught invovles simply, practical techniques, nothing flashy or impressive, and are trained against opponents who are encourage to resist and make it difficult.
Sparring is full contact with no attacks to the head, and is practiced often.
There is no training in weapons use but there is some knife defence training. Just simple parrys, counters and take-downs against a knife-wielding assailant. These are practiced without knowing what attack will come and the knife-wielder is encourage to resist techniques.
The sparring needs to include attacks to the head - it's a very common target and should not be overlooked.
The majority of students are teenagers and so training is often tailored to that (i.e. hgih-intensity training isn't maintained for very long, some techniques are frowned upon because they can injure the opponent more than is desired in training).
Sessions are a little short, lasting only an hour including warm up/stretching/cool down. There are also only 3 training sessions per week (except on the lead up to dan gradings where the instructor opens the dojang out of normal hours, giving 1-on-1 instruction).
The only grappling instruction is one method of defence when pinned to the ground.
Overall, it is a good dojang to learn a form of taekwondo that hasn't been destroyed by McDojang-ism, to improve one's confidence, to learn to protect oneself, and to enjoy oneself.
Last edited by munkus; 4/18/2008 5:29am at .