Taekwondo is a Korean martial famous for its long low stances, its high kicks, jump kicks, and flying kicks. It is the world's most popular martial art in terms of the number of practitioners. It combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, meditation and philosophy.
In Korean, Tae means "to strike or break with foot"; Kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and Do means "way" or "art"; so Taekwondo is loosely translated as "The way or art of the foot and fist". The style of Taekwondo we teach is called American Chang Moo Kwan.
The original Chang Moo Kwan system of Korea was found to be incompatible with the desires of its primary students; parents and children. Sa Bum Nim Thomas Zoppi, 6th Degree Black Belt, accomplished a modernization of the requirements of the system with the council of his instructor, Sa Bum Nim Dan Di Vito. The new, modern system was subsequently named American Chang Moo Kwan.
American Chang Moo Kwan de-emphasized some of the traditional kicking of Taekwondo. Instead of an 80% kicks to 20% hands ratio in sparring, the ratio was made closer to 50-50%. American Chang Moo Kwan teaches modern fighting combinations, takedowns, ground fighting, and self-defense releases. Movements that are practical in real self-defense situations and valued for their workability.
American Chang Moo Kwan became more accessible to youths by adding various programs designed especially for the younger age groups. Written curriculum exists with an emphasis on teaching life skills such as respect, confidence, leadership, and indomitable spirit. Although Thomas Zoppi passed away, the American Chang Moo Kwan system continues to evolve and be refined under its Leadership Council: David Barrett, Skyler Zoppi, Leah Zoppi, Jennifer Berg, Laurel Zoppi and Jon Cory.