Taekwondo for adults is more than self defense

Published 2:09 pm Thursday, May 5, 2022

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Docarmo’s Taekwondo center in Greenville teaches a student more than just martial arts. It teaches them the five tenets or rules of Taekwondo.  These tenets are said aloud at the beginning of every class. They are: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit, which means the spirit that cannot be broken or conquered.

Besides learning these tenets and how they affect a student’s life outside of class, they learn the various moves associated with the art. The moves most recognized are the kicks. These kicks include the front-back, the front-forward, the side-back, the side-forward, the round-back and the round-forward. “When the movie ‘Karate Kid’ came out, there was an upsurge in interest in the martial arts,” Anne Docarmo said.

Docarmo brought her teaching to the Greenville area seven years ago. “I feel so fortunate when what you do affects the quality of somebody’s life,” she said. She is a World Taekwondo Federation seventh degree black belt. This summer, she will be traveling to Washington D.C. to attain her next level belt.

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There are several belts associated with Taekwondo. There is one white, one yellow and one orange. There are two green belts, two blue, a purple, two red and two brown. The black belts are achieved through different degrees; first through ninth.

“When you get your first black belt in Taekwondo, you have to wait one year to advance to the second level. Once you have your second degree black belt, you have to wait two years before you can advance to your third degree. There are various things that go along with advancing in the black belt range,” Docarmo said.

Docarmo has been teaching Taekwondo for 50 years now, and is amazed how much it has changed over that time. She is glad to get her students back into the DoJang, also known as a Taekwondo Center, after the easing of restrictions because of COVID-19. It resembles the lifting of a brain fog, she said. The cloud is slowly creeping away and the student’s attention can again focus on their training. “The center encourages an atmosphere of listening,” she added.

There are two classes for teens and adults. The Eagles are for ages 10 through 14. Older teens and adults have a mixed class.

“When the kids are older, their parents drop them off here and pick them up after class. I’m proud that they trust us with their kids,” Docarmo said.

Both of these groups have advanced through the beginner stages of Taekwondo and now study more advanced moves and lessons. The older classes have already studied the bow staff and some are beginning to train with a sword. The sword is made of wood for safety, but when a student becomes proficient with the techniques of their training a metal sword will be used.

The various movements with these weapons can be fast or slow. “It adds to the performance,” Docarmo said.

Testing for the advancement of belts takes place four times a year. “The curriculum is slightly different for each belt,” she said.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 9 a.m. is the next testing event here in Greenville.

The building here in Greenville is the perfect size for the classes.

“Archie Woodruff has been nothing but a God-send for us. Honestly, he’s been wonderful,” Docarmo said. They recently signed another five-year lease on the building located at 607 E. Commerce Street.

“We want to be here. We want to be a part of Greenville,” Docarmo added.

Anyone interested in taking a class can contact Docarmo’s Taekwondo Center at their Commerce Street location, by phone at (334) 220-5835 or visit www.trytkdfree.com. They can also be found on Facebook.