Taekwondo club seeks new members

Founded in the spring of 1999 by Master Susie Jang, the Northern Kentucky University Taekwondo Club has quickly become a success, earning 100 medals in competitions.

The club, which is built around the principles of mental discipline, improved physical condition and confidence is open to any student interested in learning the skill of self defense.

Classes are now taught by Head Instructor Chris Jang. Jang obtained his black belt certification in Seoul, Korea.

“While the club does charge dues of $22.00 a semester for full membership, interested students can show up a number of times for free to try out the club and see if they like it,” Cole said.

A typical practice starts with around five minutes of aerobic warm-ups followed by stretching and some basic kicks. The class then shifts to more advanced kicking drills and self-defense techniques. The practice ends with some light sparring, which is controlled fighting when members practice the learned kicks and blocks.

Techniques are taught to prepare students for their belt tests, with the class schedule customized to the interests of the students present.

“The club does not require that people go to tournaments, nor does it require that people spar,” Cole said. “If a member wants to compete they will need to practice at least once a week with the group.”

The club has a participates in tournaments year-round. In these tournaments, the club competes in full-contact Olympic-style sparring and forms. The Olympic-style sparring is similar to boxing, except competitors can kick each other, but do not punch each other in the face.

“Once a student learns the techniques, and if they want to, they can compete with the club in the Amateur Athletic Union’s (AAU) competitions and in independent tournaments throughout the country,” Cole said.

NKU will be hosting an AAU Taekwondo competition April 22 in the Albright Health Center Gymnasium for anyone interested in seeing what a competition looks like.

But, Cole wants students to know that you need not be interested in tournaments to join the club, all you need to do is show up to a practice.

Practices are Sundays at 4:30. Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at 4:30 p.m. in NKU’s Campus Recreation Center, either on the Racquetball Courts or in the Multipurpose Room.

All a student needs to do to join is show up at a practice in sweats and a T-shirt with a willingness to learn.

“We encourage anyone even remotely interested in the martial arts to come out and give the club a try,” Cole said.

For more information, including club history and tournament schedules, visit the club’s Web page at http://studenthome.nku.edu/~taekwondo/.