I started taking TaeKwonDo lessons in July 1996. My daughter joined me in September 1996, and my son joined us in January 1997. Unfortunately, we had to stop early in 2002, and haven't been able to get back into it.
I received my initial black belt in March 1999 and confirmed it on September 18, 1999. My daughter passed her initial testing for her black belt on September 18 as well, and confirmed it in April 2000. We feel we made quite an accomplishment!! In the fall of 2000, the two of us also began studying KungFu (San Shou Gong Fu, technically). This is a rather more complicated style, but lots of fun.
The school (or dojong) we belonged to is Universal Martial Arts. All three of us really enjoyed this school, and we feel that it is one of the better schools in the area. Whenever we have a testing, Master Richard always brings in guest masters to help out. They always comment on the fact that ours are the toughest testings they ever witness, which proves how good we are as students. And that, of course, reflects back on how good our instructor is! So, that said . . .
Universal Martial Arts is owned and run by Master Instructor Richard Hoehn and his wife, Sheila Hoehn. This is a martial arts school that puts it emphasis on variety. Through this school you can learn TaeKwonDo, a Korean martial art; Kung Fu, a Chinese martial art; kick boxing; self defense; yoga; and Tai Chih.
UMA also offers an after school and summer program for younger children.
Richard seems fairly low-key, while at the same time being very dedicated (and very good). He explains things well, is able to break the moves down into bite-sized portions, and if someone is having trouble with a move he will work with that person until they get it. He is able to work with young children and adults equally well without seeming patronizing or superior.
The class sizes vary, and are changing as the school grows. Everyone generally has a lot of fun no matter how many are there!
Richard believes in a well rounded curriculum - he augments the traditional TaeKwonDo with some teaching from other disciplines. Richard also teaches several weapons and has a very strong emphasis on self-defense. He wants his students to be able to get out of, or defend themselves from, any type of confrontation or attack. A local news station filmed one of our self-defense classes as part of a special segment on Women's self-defense.
For more information on the school, its programs or its instructor, please call or go by to check them out! They are in the Pulbix plaza, on Aloma between Hall Rd. and Howell Branch, in Winter Park, FL. Phone number:(407) 657-1212.
Another Kung Fu testing (November 10, 2001)
Richard's Testing for 4th Dan
Pictures of an In-School Tournament.
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