By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Are you looking for a new way to get in shape? Are you bored with your usual work-out regime or looking for a new challenge? Want to get your kids off the couch, away from their electronics and to learn discipline? If the answers are yes, then Tae Kwon Do might be something to consider.
US Tae Kwon Do is conveniently located at 370 Boston Turnpike in Shrewsbury. Classes are offered for anyone including small children three years of age and up. Anyone can learn. There is no age limit. Beginners are welcome!
Uniquely Korean, Tae Kwon Do is based on Japanese and Chinese martial arts disciplines as well as traditional Korean martial arts such as Taekkyeon and Subak. It is recognized as one of the oldest forms of martial arts in the world, dating back over 2,000 years.
The name, however, is relatively new – “Tae” means foot, “Kwon” means hand and “Do” means art (way of life.) It was introduced in the United States in the 1950s and gained popularity when it was introduced in a demonstration at the 1988 Olympics held in Seoul, Korea. It became an official sport at the Sydney Olympic Games, in 2000.
Grandmaster Jae H. Jeong, originally from Korea, has been in the United States since 1991. He opened his first facility (Dojang) in Worcester in 1994 and established his Dojang in Shrewsbury in 2002, which is Olympic Sanctioned (certified).
He is not only Korea’s five times National Champion; he is also an 8th Degree Black Belt. Jeong is also the president of the New England Tae Kwon Do Association and has been a part of the U.S. Open Championships.
“When students come into our studio they have no experience so they don’t think about competing, they have no idea. More than 90 percent come to learn self-defense,” noted Jeong. “The second reason is parents seeking discipline for their children.”
Classes begin with a thorough stretching routine on matted flooring, and the use of protective safety equipment are all part of their safety practices.
Jeong said that they focus on three basic principles- technical, physical and mental. They teach how to kick and how to punch properly as well as proper defense techniques but the most important part is mental. Without strong brain power those techniques are nothing, he said.
Jeong’s son Alexander, who is also an instructor at the studio, added that as well as being a Korean martial art, Tae Kwon Do is now an Olympic sport. As such, there are many competitive opportunities that US Tae Kwon Do offers, such as teams in Demonstration, Poomsae (a series of movements for offense and defense techniques) and Sparring.
Jeong is especially proud of two of his students – Aabia Hasan and Anika Sukthankar. Aabia is well on her way to becoming a Master, and is a 2018 National High School Poomsae Gold Medalist, for which she received an All American Award Status.
Anika, also on her way to becoming a Master, won Gold at the 2018 President’s Cup and will represent the United States at the upcoming 2019 Pan Am Cadet and Junior championships this coming summer.
US Tae Kwon Do enjoys a five star rating with Yelp. Here’s what one reviewer had to say, “…A great family run business that locals should be proud to support. All instructors and the master are excellent with the children. No matter how many kids are in class they always try to give each kid individual time to increase their abilities of not only Tae Kwon Do but self-esteem and integrity as well.”
For more information about US Tae Kwon Do, visit www.jeongsustc.com or call 508-792-5534.