Park's Tae Kwon Do
So, Park's Martial Arts is your typical family dojang but better. The facilities are great. The floorspace is more than adaquate. There is a second smaller room for private instruction or grappling. Also, the equipment used is not brand new, and some target pads are visibly worn and old, but the majority is relativley new and in like new condition.
The assistant instructor who teaches BJJ is quite talented in TKD and BJJ, however I am the only one utilizing this service. So, I get outstanding one on one training at no additional cost. The other instructors are very happy I do this, as it shuts him up since he has a 'rasslin buddy now.
The aliveness varies from student to student. For the advanced adults, aliveness is a 6-7 for younger students and inexperienced adults it's more of a 1-2. For myself in the BJJ workshops, I'm looking at an 8. So, I give the school a 4 overall.
There are a number of assistant instructors all with their own areas of specilazation. Class sizes can be rather large, but are broken down into small groups with much closer instruction. During late night classes, you will get mainly higher ranking students at much smaller numbers, thus the 8 pm class is my favorite.
This dojang does have mcdojo qualities to it. It can be a bit expensive, there is a long term contract. You will see younger kids with red and black belts, and there are 3 belts in the ranking system I think could be dropped. However, the sales pitch is very soft, a potential student is given a more than reasonable offer to test the dojang out before the soft sale comes. You pay 25 dollars down, that gives you 2 weeks of training and a uniform. After 5 or 6 classes you will be approached by Master Park and asked if you are having fun/ getting what you are looking for. If the answer is yes, he will then pull out his presentation binder and give a very basic pitch of pricing and monthly payment options. There are some kids in the school who are ADD/ADHD or simply lacking discipline. Their parents are obviously just trying to give them a fun after school activity/sport. But, the children do behave well, discipline is enforced, the fun is preserved and the parents are happy. The kids may be getting belts faster than I would like, but they are also getting a very solid TKD foundation for later in life.
The general attitude in the school is very positive. Everyone is supportive of eachother's goals and accomplishments. Most of the people are there for recreation, but those of us that do take this a a serious endevor are not a seperate group. We are a visible clique, but we mesh well with the others.
In summery, if you are in the west county area of greater St. Louis, check out Park's Martial Arts for quality traditional TKD instruction. It isn't a perfect dojang, but you get out what you put in. Beware of the long term contract and be ready to pay first and last month down along with a registration/equipment fee of $75. That fee gets you sparring gear, a second uniform, some patches and an intro to TKD booklet with all the academic info. you will need for testing. This dojang isn't for everybody. Full contact competitive fighters should look elsewhere, but families and the KMA enthusiests will feel right at home.
Last edited by omoplatypus; 10/08/2009 10:44pm at .
correction, my rating for striking at the this school should be a 5. most of the students there would only be comfortable around the 4-5 rating. there are a few that do more comprehensive work, but the average student will get about a 5 in striking.
i hate to necro post, especially with my own thread. but i feel obligated to put it out, that this school would now have a 1 or 2 for grappling. the bjj instructor is now in the us army and no longer working at the school.
the grappling that one can expect are basic take downs with wrist and arm locks. some chokes, and choke escapes are part of the curriculum. and finally, a basic set of hip and shoulder throws are taught. a person with 6 months of BJJ or judo would probably be bored in the grappling portion of any class.
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