Learning the intricate ‘ins and outs’ of TaeKwon-do

Popular form of self-defense extends back to ancient times

There are a myriad of benefits to delving into TaeKwon-Do, as Stettler residents can find out by dropping by Dual Dragons TaeKwon-Do on Main Street.

“I’ve been involved with TaeKwon-do since 1990, and teaching since 1991,” explained Dave Hargreaves, chief international instructor/owner of Dual Dragons TaeKwon-Do along with his wife Cindy Jensen.

Students at Dual Dragons attended the 2019 Unified TaeKwon-Do International Championships earlier this spring in Saskatoon.

“Unified Taekwon-Do International is our governing body, and they have the national tournament there,” he said, adding that many local students from across the region did very well at the event.

As to the local studio, Hargreaves said it was purchased from the Town about 10 years ago. It was then completely renovated into the spacious facility that it is today.

As for his own start with the studio, Hargreaves recalled that he felt that launching TaeKwon-Do programs would prove an excellent way to help expand physical activity options locally.

“I thought this would be a good supplement for my children as well, so I got them involved with it,” he said. He also personally took up TaeKwon-Do at the time as well.

He had studied both karate and Judo earlier in life, but nothing quite fit as well as TaeKwon-Do.

“There are many different types of TaeKwon-Do – ours is a ‘hard linear’ style of the martial arts.”

This means that it uses strong, quick techniques such as blocks, punches and kicks to disable an opponent.

Meanwhile, according to the web site, Dual Dragons TaeKwon-Do Schools offer programs for kids, teens and adults.

They all work toward developing greater discipline, concentration and self-respect.

“TaeKwon-Do is the modernized way of an old Korean art of self-defense or un-armed combat. It was first developed 1,300 years ago in Korea. TaeKwon-Do is the name of a Korean free-fighting, self-defense art that employs the bare hands (and feet) to repel an enemy.

“TaeKwon-Do, as well as being a martial art, is also recognized as one of the most effective methods for improving health, physical fitness, flexibility, balance and poise.”

Ultimately, Hargreaves has thoroughly enjoyed both introducing and guiding students along the path to understanding the intricacies of the ancient form of self-defence.

“The discipline in it is not what you might think it is. It’s more about self-discipline and learning how to govern yourself. It’s about self-control.

“That is neat for me to see. And what else really got me hooked on it was seeing the changes in the children who would come in. You get the rowdy ones that settle down, or you get the introverted ones who open up a little bit. It’s really a fascinating thing to watch the transformation, and to be a part of that,” he added.

Anyone can benefit from giving it a try.

“The hardest class is the very first one,” he said. “Just to walk through the door. Every class after that is just about a little more learning.

“And if you can have somebody – and it doesn’t matter what age – achieve something that they thought was impossible, it’s such a boost for their self-confidence.”

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