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Welcome to South Miami Taekwondo. We study a variety of martial arts including Taekwondo, Karate, Aikido, Tai Chi and Jiu Jitsu. We are renowned for our self defense programs. Most importantly, however, is that we train for the betterment of the individual - hence our moto "Master Your Life." I used to hear it all the time: "Martial arts will change your life for the better. There's nothing else like it." It's hard to believe, but it is indeed the truth. I began my martial arts training as a young child in 1970 - and - it changed my life. I have never stopped since. As an instructor, I've been watching martial arts give men, women and children discipline, self-confidence, and a strong sense of courtesy and respect for the last 20 years. I invite you to give our Taekwondo academy a chance. All you have to do is stick with it, and you will see wonderful things happening to yourself and your family. I guarantee it. That is my personal commitment to you.
Master Jeff Wade, 6th dan instructor
(See Master Jeff's 8 Block Break).
More Detailed Information:
What is Taekwondo? A Korean form of martial arts which utilizes kicking and punching along with jumping, spinning and skipping to improve the spirit. Taekwondo was heavily influenced by Shotokan Karate during the Japanese occupation of Korea which began in 1910 and ended in 1945. In fact, the Pyoungan forms, the very first set of Taekwondo forms, are an exact clone of the Shotokan Karate Heian forms.Taek Kyon was an ancient Korean martial art that also heavily influenced Taekwondo. This martial art is not, however, the same martial art as Taekwondo.
In the last decade or so, there has been a tendency to leave Karate out of Taekwondo’s history. At South Miami Taekwondo, we practice the oldest form of Taekwondo, more along the lines of Tang Soo Do, another predecessor of Taekwondo and a style very similar to Shotokan Karate.
What are martial arts? Essentially, it is the art of combat. Martial arts have been around since before recorded history. Most styles try to claim they were the first martial art, tracing their histories back millennia. In most cases, like with Taekwondo, tracing the style of martial arts back more than a few decades requires making a leap completely off the track of the style onto the history of another, like Taek Kyon.
Just like with anything else, evolution changes and shapes all styles of martial arts into something that, decades later, looks completely different from how it started out. One common explanation for the genesis of martial arts is the abuse of the class system in the ancient orient. Soldiers of the current ruling faction, armed with mechanical weapons, blades and horses would raid and pilage the peasant community for their crops and whatever else they could take. Young boys and farmers, in order to defend themselves, learned to perform miraculous feats of creativity and training. Examples include the use of farm implements, like nunchauku, as weapons. They also learned to jump and kick, theoretically to knock soldiers from their horses. Kata developed, according to this train of thought, as a way to train large groups of beginners all at once. As the need for martial arts as a means of survival begin to dissipate as society became more peaceful and weapons, especially the gun, became more available, martial arts still survived. The reason for this is pretty much unanimously agreed upon by most experts:
The intense training honed the spirits of these young warriors into something beautiful. Survival depended on training. Good training required respect, discipline, focus, concentration, benevolence and indomitable spirit. Today, one doesn’t really need martial arts for survival. To study for this reason alone would make about as much sense as getting one’s pilot’s license in case they were caught in a runaway aircraft. The character development of martial arts, however, when taught properly, makes it almost a must for anyone. Indomitable spirit is still the #1 tenet of Taekwondo today. This is also the #1 focus at South Miami Martial Arts.
What about Self Defense? At South Miami Taekwondo, we do not believe in so called “street fighting.” Unless one’s life is seriously threatened, our policy is to turn the other cheek. The use of martial arts for violence is and in our opinion always has been a misuse. Martial arts are for making yourself a better person. However, there are times when combat is truly unavoidable, like in the case of a home invasion, for example. Another example of unavoidable combat is armed, forcible rape. These situations involve violent criminals who’s intent is ultimately to seriously damage or kill our physical bodies. Arm bars, jumping kicks and other fancy Hollywood martial arts tricks are risky at best in these situations. They are difficult to actually pull off under an extreme adrenal state and worse, they tangle the victim in a contest with the attacker rather than focus on escape, which is our number one goal of self defense at South Miami Taekwondo. More reasonable, simple to use weapons involve little or no training at all: Yell for help. Bite. Gouge the eyes. Improvised weapons are also must in real self-defense combat. We train improvised blunt weapons (bat, stick, book, tire iron), sharp weapons (broken glass shard with towel, tin can lid with towel, pencil) and environmental / defensive weapons (book, tree, roll under a car, walls, table, chair). When should you fight? Good question. We ask our students several questions: In the situation you have in mind, what would you have your grandmother do? This is what you should do too. Also, if you WANT to fight, this is probably a conflict in which you should not be involved. If you do NOT want to fight, you’re probably going to HAVE to fight.
At South Miami Taekwondo, Martial Arts are not about fighting. They are about developing a warrior’s heart, about overcoming our own self-imposed limitations so that we can handle ourselves in any of life’s conflicts, whether that be a home invasion, shark attack or pop quiz at school.
Who are the instructors of South Miami Taekwondo? In order to be assigned a permanent teaching time slot at South Miami Taekwondo, one must become a certified instructor. This process includes a thorough background check, firearm proficiency and the passing of a rigorous exam. Master Jeff teaches on a permanent basis only on Monday and Wednesday Aikido (8:00 p.m.). Otherwise, he "class hops" to all the various time slots. Following is the list of certified instructors as of June 2012:
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Master Jeff Wade
6th dan black Belt
3rd dan, Black Belt
2nd dan, Black Belt
1st dan, Black Belt
1st dan, Black Belt