10 August 2016

April 2020

I've never gone this long without Taekwondo before! If you want to practice your form but need a brush-up, most of the forms are under the tab "Practice Your Form." TIP: click "watch on YouTube." Next, click on the settings (gear) icon, and select playback speed. 

My workout at home: a little yoga, ten minute run on the treadmill, more yoga, more running later, hand weights. I look for ways to get alternate work-outs like riding my bike or gardening. Gardening can be pretty intense, involving aerobics and animal movement (me crawling around on the ground like a monkey, planting strawberries).

Photo: Feb. 2019 Tournament_______________________________________

This is Simon Scher, who has many excellent tutorials on YouTube! One of my personal favorites is his hook kick tutorial. Note: his roundhouse kick video differs from our style but only in the fact that he is not pulling his toes back like we do. Many styles use the top of the foot; we pull the toes back and use the ball of the foot as the weapon.

04 May 2012

News, September 2018

Master Instruction at Affordable Prices

  • Focus, fitness, self-control 
  • Set and reach goals with new friends: all shapes and sizes welcome! 
The five tenets of Taekwondo— courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit—teach students to follow a path that will lead to developing those qualities that help us reach our best potential.

If you stick with it, if you push through, face your fears, test your limits, you will find that Taekwondo has the power to change your life. It changed mine, and I see it change the lives of our students.

If you have an injury or another obstacle that has set you back, try talking with your instructors. They can offer guidance. Whatever goals you have set for yourself, don’t give up!

Martial Arts:  Trio of Life Skills

According to the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, martial arts offer the "trio of life skills": through the study of formal martial arts, students can be healthier physically, mentally, and socially. Body, Mind, Spirit. Read more: HERE

Two demonstrations by grand champions: Note that demonstration sparring is not the same as tournament sparring.

Did you Know? By watching advanced martial artists, you can improve your own skill. Below: Aaron Gassor (Ginger Ninja Trickster), a very talented martial artist whose videos can be found on YouTube. GIF: http://thunder-blade.tumblr.com/post/3192671730/sidekick-aaron-gassorSidekick. Aaron Gassor
Want more out of life? Read about the social and mental benefits of martial arts: "Why kids [and adults] should study the martial arts."  You'd be surprised at how many advantages you get from formal martial arts, with expert instructors like ours. 
In February, McMinnville Community Center. Map: HERE.
In March, Boise, ID.        HERE is a link to the Portland Kim's Taekwondo site where you can find the flyer (left side of page)

In May: this year in Tigard (get map from your instructor) and November: Gresham National Guard Armory. Map: HERE.    
In July, Renton, WA. Map: HERE.


Updated: the article on the art of falling, HERE. Why learn to fall? Because everyone will fall at one time or another. Knowing how can make the difference between a broken bone, and landing unhurt.

McMinnville; its parent school, Forest Grove; and sister school Beaverton

Great Grandmaster Kim swears in the new black belts. Front row: new fourth degrees. From left: Sam Thornton, Mandy Matsuda, and Nate Knife.


One young man explains what he got from Taekwondo

Second Dan Anthony Veith received a full scholarship to West Point: Congratulations, Anthony! He is an excellent example of how hard work and dedication can pay off, and how important it is to set your sites high. Start with small goals and work your way up. Here is his letter, telling how Taekwondo helped him reach his potential:

I am currently a recruit attending Marion Military Institute. Here I will complete one year of preparatory instruction before beginning my studies at the United States Military Academy, West Point. I would like to take the opportunity to briefly offer my appraisal of our Taekwondo school and to explain the lasting effects that its training has had on me.

I was eleven years old when I started with Kim’s Tae Kwon Do. I was relatively timid, had mediocre physical fitness, and lacked any serious ambition or goal setting ability. Seven years later, and nine months away from an appointment to West Point, I am far from perfect, but have undoubtedly overcome the above listed faults. I owe my past successes, and those I will achieve in the future, to my instructors and the training I underwent as a student of Tae Kwon Do.

Perhaps the first skill any student learns as a martial artist is perseverance. Having never practiced precise kinesthetic control, having never been forced to focus and remain disciplined for extended periods, and having never been critiqued over very minute mistakes, going to class every week was difficult at first. As a beginning student, there were nights when I had to be forced to get off of my couch and go push myself.

The most basic ability any student gains when he or she first starts Tae Kwon Do is the ability to voluntarily do something physically and mentally difficult, while fully aware that it will be so. Many of us shy away from that which will certainly be challenging. The most fundamental requisite attribute of any martial artist is the willingness to confront a challenge and to persevere when quitting would be much more comfortable. I cannot overstate how grateful I am to have learned that willingness during my years of training.

Confidence, or a sense that one can face the situation ahead and deal with it effectively, is essential for any successful person. Goal setting ability and ambition are similarly important. To reach our goals, we must be able to define the necessary action, have sufficient motivation to take that action, and be self-assured enough to carry through with it rather than succumbing to self-doubt.

Every time a student promotes, challenges him/herself in class, or competes in a tournament, that student is conditioned to exhibit all of those traits. To successfully promote, one has to set the goal of achieving a higher rank, identify the improvements necessary for that promotion, must push him/herself in order to make any improvements, must have the confidence to step in front of an analyzing group of superiors, and complete all the established tests properly. Because every student in Kim’s Tae Kwon Do is encouraged to promote when eligible, they are all frequently exposed to perfect training for those who wish to achieve self-betterment.

It takes dedication to get something out of a martial art, but incredible results can be achieved by those who are willing to work for them.

26 May 2011


We moved on June 1st, 2011, to 830 SE 1st Street, in order to have more space. Come see our great facility, just south of the post office, on the East side of 99W.

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15 September 2010

Gae Baek Hyung

Second Dan hyung Gae Baek performed by Fifth Dan Master April Carothers


Sine Wave

One day I noticed a comment on one of our videos which asked, “Where’s the sine wave?” I had no idea what the person was talking about. Recently, I stumbled across a video of General Choi demonstrating the sine wave technique, and my question was partially answered. I felt it would be beneficial for our students to know what this movement is, what its driving philosophy is, and why we don’t practice it.

According to a few different sources, in the 1980’s General Choi introduced the sine wave movement, a slight up-down-up motion as one steps or throws a technique. The official ITF site, www.tkd-itf.org, states that the sine wave can be executed in two phases:
  • Phase 1:
    Relaxing arms, legs, and shoulders to recover your energy after the previous movement.
  • Phase 2:
    Increase both external and internal energy with the hip motion (gain mass) and the acceleration from the top of the wave, in combination with exhaling at the impact of the movement.
Grandmaster Hong Sik Kim, who trained at one time with General Choi, made a conscious and studied decision not to use the sine wave. Subsequently, our style emphasizes keeping the head level throughout a form (unless you’re jumping, obviously) and utilizing the hips to generate more power in techniques. We also do not exhale audibly as each technique is thrown, as phase 2 suggests above. We do, however, emphasize keeping the body relaxed until the instant that a technique “lands,” which is similar to what phase 1 suggests.

The disadvantage to our style may be that teaching students to use the hips is difficult, and perhaps teaching the sine wave movement is one way to push them toward more powerful techniques. In our style, however, we believe that the up and down motion actually wastes energy, and to be honest, we like the way our forms look without the bobbing. That does not mean we are right; this is simply our philosophy.

There is an upside and a downside to everything in life, and in martial arts styles and practices as well. What is more irritating than anything else is to hear someone brag that their style is superior to all others, and that their way of doing things is the only right way. It’s human nature I’m sure: it affects religion, politics, social cliques. It’s also common for those new to an art to feel that their art is leagues above and beyond any other. This may be a factor in building commitment and loyalty to the group one is becoming a part of.

Once we have matured as martial artists, however, we should begin to view other styles with curiosity and an open mind, to notice what is beautiful and powerful, so that we can keep learning and growing. I don’t mean keep changing how you do things; I mean be aware that others do things differently and have equally logical reasoning for this difference.

Which brings me to “Why stick to just one style?” Because the basic philosophy behind all martial arts is the building of reflex through repetition. We work constantly toward perfecting any given movement, then repeating it over and over in order for it to become reflex. If you stop practicing the movement, the reflex will fade and eventually disappear. Unfortunately, we aren’t robots that only need programmed once. If you keep switching styles, you simply keep building and losing different reflexes without ever reaching mastery. That isn’t to say that cross training isn’t beneficial—if you have time for it!

Any art is effective if you stick with it and work hard at it. And there is nothing wrong with being satisfied with the style you practice, warts and all.

Still curious about the sine wave? HERE is an excellent explanation of what and why. And HERE is a video of Po-Eun being performed by a 5th dan using the sine wave.

13 September 2010

General Choi Hong Hi (9 November 1918 – 15 June 2002)

A tribute on youtube to General Choi Hong Hi, the man who is credited with developing Taekwondo and the forms we practice: a glimpse into the history of our martial art. General Choi came to stay at one time with Grandmaster Kim here in the U.S. Master Kim got up before dawn to begin working out before General Choi woke, only to find the General already well into his own work-out.

19 August 2010

Class Times

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 6- 7:30 pm.
Saturday: 10 am to 11 am.  

Tuesday and Thursday nights: This class will usually run at the pace of the slowest student and is led by the Masters. Monday and Saturday classes are open to any student who has had 2 weeks of main class with the Masters. Please note that lately no one has been coming to Saturday class, so if you really want a Saturday class, let us know!

11 July 2010

Tying Your Belt

Click HERE for an excellent video on how to tie your belt. The only thing I would add is that when you place the belt against your belly, your rank should be on the end of the belt to your left, so that when tied, your rank is on the right side of the belt.

07 July 2010

Monday, Monday: New Class Night

We are having trouble getting instructors for classes on Monday nights, six to 7:30 pm. If you would like to attend class on that night, let us know, and we will try to accommodate you.

11 June 2010

What is a Black Belt?

People who have never studied martial arts often ask what a student does after s/he achieves a black belt? Getting a black belt is the ultimate martial arts achievement... isn't it?

Since we recently had two students promote to black belt, which takes a minimum three years of hard work and dedication, this would be a good time to share General Choi Hong Hi's words in regard to what it means to have achieved first degree black belt:

Significance of first degree

First degree—expert or novice?

One of the greatest misconceptions within the martial arts is the notion that all black belt holders are experts. It is understandable that those unacquainted with the martial arts might make this equation. However, students should certainly recognize that this is not always the case. Too often, novice black belt holders advertise themselves as experts and eventually even convince themselves.

The first degree black belt holder has usually learned enough technique to defend himself against a single opponent. He can be compared to a fledgling who has acquired enough feathers to leave the nest and fend for himself. The first degree is a starting point. The student has merely built a foundation. The job of building the house lies ahead.

The novice black belt will now really begin to learn technique. Now that he has mastered the alphabet, he can now begin to read. Years of study await him before he can even begin to consider himself an instructor and expert.

A perceptive student will, at this stage, suddenly realize how little he knows.

The black belt holder also enters a new era of responsibility. Though a freshman, he has entered a strong honorable fraternity of the black belt holders of the entire world; and his actions inside and outside the training hall will be carefully scrutinized. His conduct will reflect on all black belt holders and he must constantly strive to set an example for all grade holders.

Some will certainly advance into the expert stages. However, far too many will believe the misconception and will remain in novice, mentally and technically.

General Choi Hong Hi, Enclyclopedia of Taekwondo Vol. I, pg. 91-92. LINK