In Calvert County there are several facilities that hold Tae Kwon Do (TKD) classes. Black Belt Academy is in Dunkirk on Route 4, near the M&T Bank. Another is in the Fox Run Shopping Center on Route 4 in Prince Frederick. Although they share a name, they are not affiliated with each other. However, the two locations do partner up for competitions and sparring team events.
My son started taking TKD at the Dunkirk location (Jerry Low’s Black Belt Academy) with Master Low and Master Meyer when he was 5 years old. Since then, they have welcomed a new instructor from Korea, Master Young. Each weeknight, the Master’s lead hour long TKD trainings. On a typical weeknight, there are three separate classes, beginning immediately after school until 8PM.
Each session involves 30 minutes for the opening ceremony, meditation and terminology review, followed by a warm up and cardio drills. Then board breaking techniques take place, allowing each participant the opportunity to practice their foot and hand techniques and build confidence. Board price and thickness are based on the student’s age. The second half of class focuses on techniques, sparring, and forms related to current belt level.
TKD serves as a way to improve the health, flexibility, agility, and posture of those who practice the techniques and forms.The partnership of graceful movements and powerful techniques are helpful for balanced physical development. An important feature of TKD is the free-fighting combat, which means bare hands and feet are used to repel opponents.
The Masters at Dunkirk Black Belt Academy focus their training on first using your words to quell a conflict, but knowing when a situation requires self -defense techniques.Their philosophy is rooted in self-awareness and inner strength to avoid resorting to unnecessary violence. Parents who provide these lessons to their children, are fostering a courageous atmosphere in the formative years.
The facility offers many specialty programs for the students, such as before/after school Martial Arts, which runs during the school year and provides transportation from selected Calvert County schools to the facility.
They also have a summer camp program from June through August. Aside from daily games and training, the camp also takes field trips to locations such as the local beaches, Cove Point Park, and Cove Point Pool.
The Masters occasionally host a “Movie Night” program on Friday’s, allowing parents to drop off their child from 7:30p.m. to 10:30p.m. The kids participate in a brief martial arts training, and maneuver through obstacle courses until movie time, where they get to enjoy a drink and popcorn.
The facility also hosts birthday parties on Saturdays where your child is the “Black Belt and Instructor” for two hours.The party package includes exercise drills, various games, limbo rock, twister, break the piñata, choo-choo train, balloon games, weapons instruction, board-breaking. The birthday cake and gift ceremony round out the celebration. The parties are usually scheduled from noon until 2p.m.
Master Low offers an affordable trial package, so you do not have to commit right away. My son is not an aggressive child, which is part of the reason he takes these classes. I have seen an increase is his self-confidence since beginning TKD. The Masters at Dunkirk’s Black Belt Academy take a genuine interest in their students and are firm, but supportive.
Jerry Low’s Black Belt Academy