Frequently Asked Questions

We often get common questions about our school, our practices, and martial arts in general. Before sending us a question, please take a look at our most frequently asked questions

Discipline is a learned trait. One learns discipline from practicing certain pattern of behavior.  Taekwondo taught at Shinn's in Lansing area as well as other traditional martial arts (Karate, Hapkido for example) is very effective method to learn discipline. First, environment of respect, self-respect and respect for others, help foster pattern of self-discipline.  Short term goal of learning new skills or improving techniques requires repetition which builds discipline in a person.  Medium term goal of earning a new belt drives motivated student to practice, practice and practice which strengthens discipline even further.  Long term goal of Black Belt help a student persevere through rigorous training which might be tough to handle if one is not disciplined.  This process is done in gradually increased difficulty to train the body and mind to be able to accomplish conditioning and feats that may have seemed impossible at first.  All of this process is made easier by seeing and feeling progress and enjoying the art.

For children, they learn respectful attitude by being immersed in our class.  Respect "rubs" off of others.  Taekwondo class is fun, energetic environment where everyone is expected to work hard every class.  Children gets used to working hard and this translates to noticeable and tangible accomplishments which increases self confidence and satisfaction.  This increased self esteem and experience of success brings about an attitude that anything is possible with hard work and disciplined approach.  In another word, a child has confidence to tackle any goal and discipline to accomplish it.  That child will have success in his future.

For most children the ability to stay focused takes practice.  It's a learned skill, not a natural instinct. In taekwondo, learning new forms and combinations takes concentration.  This action reinforces working memory.  Working memory is the part of the brain that takes in all the sensory information, sorts it through and deliver it to frontal lobe of the brain, which is like a priority list for brain or body to make it happen.

No two classes are exactly the same.  However all classes start with short warm up, as short as 5 minutes, as long as 15 minutes which include conditioning drills, depending on the objective of that particular class.  Then little bit of stretching and basic hand techniques and stretch kicks.  During the basics, instructor encourages and monitors students for good stances and proper forms without dwelling on it.  Next, students usually partner up for target kick training of basic kicks and combinations or in groups for forms training depending on the day. The last part is usually dynamic combinations or sparring or individual work on perfecting techniques in forms, sparring or self defense moves.

In junior classes, more emphasis is on learning moves and forms to facilitate better brain development, especially in beginners class.  In Teen and adult classes, more emphasis is on kicks and technical combinations for more physical workout.  Usually everyone will leave class sweating and safisfied. 

Karate was the first martial arts introduced in the United States and became well known.  Thus people began calling all martial arts "karate", just like some people call all tissues Kleenex or all soft drinks Coke.  So "karate" is a generic term that people use to refer to any type of striking martial arts such as taekwondo, kungfu, or karate.

Karate originated in Okinawa and Japan while Taekwondo was formed in Korea.  Technically, karate uses more hand techniques such as reverse punch in their training versus taekwondo which uses more kicking techniques.  Ratio of hand techniques to kicking techniques might be around 70/30, that is 70% hand techniques and 30 % kicking techniques.  Taekwondo is usually 70% kicking techniques and 30% hand techniques.  Taekwondo is known for its dynamic kicking techniques and has grown to become both martial art and Olympic Sport. 

Olympic sport competiton has greatly improved the effectiveness of taekwondo techniques.  Due to its techniques and organization, taekwondo has become the most popular martial art in the U.S. and in the world. Estimation is that 60 million people worldwide practice taekwondo. So if your cousin in Florida tells you that he is practicing "karate", chances are that he may actually be practicing taekwondo!  Some grandparents call our taekwondo school the "best karate school in Lansing".