One of the Greatest Gifts you can give Yourself and Your Children is a Traditional Martial Art Education - MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN... COME JOIN US ON A HEALTHY PATH TO GREATNESS!

                to the Kang Do Won Martial Arts Institute &
                Website...Located in Wickliffe, Ohio since 1985 and
                Inducted into the International Karate & Kickboxing
                Hall of Fame in 1987. Grand Master Lewis has been
                teaching Traditional martial arts and a comprehensive
                system of self-defense since 1971.

                 Frequently Asked Questions


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Why should I consider martial arts training for my child, rather than a sport like baseball or gymnastics? Participation in sports is great for children, but those who have little or no athletic aptitude usually find themselves sitting on the bench and watching the more  athletically gifted kids play the game. This can be very damaging to a child's self-esteem and self-confidence. Martial arts training at the Kang Do Won not only nurtures physical development, but more importantly the development of each student's self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, discipline, determination and courage. Because the training is individualistic and personal, the competition is with oneself and therefore, no one sits on a bench. Traditional martial arts training at the Kang Do Won is comprehensive and is the best of both worlds. Students improve their physical attributes and at the same time, and more importantly, develop the inner strength of mind and spirit, which will have a much greater impact upon the potential for a successful future than athletic skills.
   One last thought... we live in a world that is threatened by ever escalating danger and violence, and it continues to get worse, but teaching our children how to defend themselves only against physical attack is not enough. Danger exists in our schools and in our communities, the worst of which our children face are the poisons of smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex and the unhealthy and dangerous influences of their peers. Self-defense training at the Kang Do Won is comprehensive and has proven to be a very powerful antidote for these poisons.
   Learning to defend oneself comprehensively has become as much of a necessity for children and adults living in this era as getting an academic education.

Can I (or my child) enroll without taking the Free Introductory Lesson? No. People are not accepted for enrollment without first participating in the Free Introductory Evaluation Lesson. See the Free Introductory Evaluation Lesson page for more information.

If my child has behavioral problems and/or personality weaknesses, should I just forget the Free Introductory Lesson because he/she probably won't be accepted anyway? There are no perfect children. They all have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The likelihood that your child's condition is so bad that he/she would not be accepted is minimal. Master Hotchkiss has 27 years of martial arts experience, 25 years of which as an educator. He is a gifted teacher with very unique skills and will know after one Free Introductory Evaluation Lesson whether or not enrollment is in the best interest of your child. That determination will be made based on your child's personality, attention span, maturity and comprehension ability, which are evaluated relative to his/her age.
   Children with no athletic aptitude, severely diminished self-esteem and self-confidence, A.D.H.D. and various behavioral and medical problems have been accepted as students at the Kang Do Won. Most problems a child may have can be overcome in the educational process at the Kang Do Won by the alliance of a quality teacher like Master Hotchkiss and a committed and dedicated parent. However, without the participation and commitment of the parent(s), the educational process becomes little more than an extracurricular activity with inconsistent and temporary benefits.
   In the event you make an appointment for your child to participate in the Free Introductory Evaluation Lesson and he/she is not accepted as a student, don't be disheartened, all is not lost. During the conference with Master Hotchkiss following the lesson, you will be given an explanation as to why your child was not accepted. In most cases, it will be due to maturity issues and he will make a recommendation to bring your child back in six or twelve months and try again.

Is the training at the Kang Do Won only for children and adults with personal problems? Absolutely not. If you already feel good about yourself, we can help you feel better. If you have good discipline, we can help you become more disciplined. If you are a good athlete, we can help you become a great athlete.
   Traditional martial arts philosophy teaches balance. Just as too much rain creates damaging floods, too little rain creates destructive droughts... too much or too little of anything is unhealthy. At the Kang Do Won, a passive student is made more aggressive and an aggressive student is made more passive. A student is always moved towards a healthy, balanced center in his/her training.
   The truth is that everyone has weaknesses, faults and personal problems that are the result of imbalance in their lives. It's just that for some people, they are denied, hidden and more difficult to see, like an insidious poison.
An education at the Kang Do Won Martial Arts Institute is a powerful antidote for that poison.

Which type of martial art should I have my child(ren) study? What is the difference between the various martial arts and which one is best? The simple answer is that you should not be concerned about the type of martial art, but instead and more importantly, with the quality and skills of the individual teaching it. No matter how great a particular martial art may be, ultimately it is only going to be as good as the teacher. After thoroughly interviewing the teacher and determining that he/she is the right choice, then inquire about the physical characteristics of the martial art taught and determine if it is a good match for yourself and/or your child(ren). If not, look for another capable teacher of an art that fits your needs. Search for a teacher first and the art second.

I had a bad experience at a previous martial arts school. Should I try another? Absolutely... and the Kang Do Won is the right choice. All schools and teachers are not alike. Don't deny yourself or your children one of the greatest gifts of a lifetime, a traditional martial arts education at the Kang Do Won Martial Arts Institute, merely because of a bad previous choice.

Can a child really be a Black Belt? Yes. At the Kang Do Won, the achievement of a Black Belt is based upon an individual's personal growth, knowledge gained and physical skills, relative to his/her age, personal state of being and athletic potential.
   Two different classifications of Black Belt can be achieved at the Kang Do Won. The first is a Personal Black Belt (PBB) and the second is a Traditional Black Belt (TBB). The TBB can only be achieved at a minimum age of 18 years and is identified by a very thin gold stripe that runs through the length of the belt.
The minimum age requirement for a Black Belt at the Kang Do Won is 7 years of age. Black Belts awarded to students 15 years of age and younger are called Poom (junior) and those awarded to students 16 years of age and older are called Dan (adult). Poom Black Belts are temporary and expire on the holder's 16th birthday. In order to achieve a permanent Dan Black Belt, Pooms must take a re-certification test shortly after their 16th birthday. Failure to do so, or to pass the re-certification test, results in loss of their Black Belt. PBB's, TBB's, Dans and Pooms are all equal to each other in status within the same degree of Black Belt, but Pooms are subservient to Dans in authority.
   The internal (mental, emotional & spiritual) requirements to achieve both classifications of Black Belt are the same. However, the high level of physical proficiency and artistry that is required for TBB, is not required for PBB. Age, medical problems and physical disability would limit the physical potential for a PBB. Grand Master Lewis created these two classifications of Black Belt because he believes... 1) a person should not be penalized for circumstances beyond his/her physical/medical control and 2) the true quality and power of a person is not found in physicality, but instead in mind and spirit.
   The question always arises about whether or not a child can effectively defend him or herself against an adult. Without a doubt, the adult is bigger and stronger and has the ability to muscle the child in a physical confrontation. However, combat is less about the physical and more about the mind and spirit. Kang Do Won students are taught that their greatest weapon is their mind. One of the most important skills children learn at the Kang Do Won is awareness, which enables them to identify potentially dangerous situations and thus avoid them before they find themselves at risk. Unfortunately, awareness does not always guarantee safety. When self-defense is necessary, knowledge, courage, patience, skill and will are formidable weapons that can make it possible for a child to survive an assault by a larger adversary.
   As gruesome as it may sound, exploiting an opportunity and poking out an eye has nothing to do with the physical size of the defending child, just the size of his/her heart. The rules of engagement (self-defense) taught at the Kang Do Won Martial Arts Institute are :
                  1) Avoidance         2) Talk         3) Walk         4) Run         5) Defend
If the child (or adult) has exhausted all of the first four rules, the only remaining choice is rule number five, which is to defend his/her well being. Loving and responsible parents would never be opposed to their child doing everything and anything in his/her power to survive a life threatening assault. The odds of a child surviving an attack by an adult (or child) are certainly better if that child has achieved the kind of Black Belt that is earned at the Kang Do Won, in contrast to the child who chooses, or is directed to participate only in sports, dance class or piano playing. This is not to infer that these endeavors are not beneficial to a child, but the cold, hard facts are that we live in a very dangerous, violent and unpredictable world and anything that we can provide for our children to make them safer and successful is the obligation and duty of loving, caring and responsible parents.
   See the
Meet the Kang Do Won Black Belts page and meet the confident and valiant Junior Black Belt Instructors of the Kang Do Won.

How long does it take for a student to achieve Black Belt? Avoid any person who answers this question with a specific time frame. The answer to this question lies within each student. Every student is unique with different strengths and weaknesses, which makes the educational process unpredictable. The achievement of Black Belt can range anywhere from one and one half years for a confident, highly intelligent adult student with a high aptitude for athletics, who consistently trains five to six days per week... to ten years for a timid child of average intelligence, with little or no athleticism, who on average attends class two days each week. The only person who can answer this question is the student... and time.  

What if I or my child have a disability or medical condition? Those who have no disabilities or medical conditions follow the normal path of training and for those who do, the training at the Kang Do Won is adjusted to the state of being of each student. However, maximum effort is expected and extracted from every Kang Do Won student, relative to his or her potential. No student gets a free pass. Nothing is given, everything is earned. No one is pushed inappropriately or unjustifiably, and no one is held back. Every student moves along at his/her own pace, based on personal circumstances. The potential to benefit from a martial arts education is not limited by the body, but instead, only by the mind and spirit. The personal benefits of training at the Kang Do Won are just as great for an overweight or underweight student with asthma, bad knees and arthritis, as it is for a totally healthy student. In fact, the benefits for the disabled are probably even greater, because the healthy student will never feel the sense of achievement and exhilaration that comes from the reduction or eradication of painful and depressing ailments.

Is martial arts training dangerous? Will I or my child get hurt? No... the training is not dangerous at the Kang Do Won. Classes are structured and students are very closely supervised by trained and qualified instructors. The likelihood of injury for students at the Kang Do Won is no greater than it would be for any other physical activity and in many cases, much less. This is because students are not expected, or directed to perform in any way for which they have not been adequately trained or that is not healthy for them, due to age or disability.
   Can you be guaranteed that you or your child will not be injured? Of course not... you can sustain an injury getting in or out of your car, or by tripping over your own feet as you walk through your home. The fact is that the potential for injury exists in everything we do and everywhere we go. Professional martial arts training, as found at the Kang Do Won, rather than promoting injury, can actually prevent injury because it enables students to be more aware of their surroundings, to be in greater touch with their bodies and to improve their physical characteristics and attributes. Kang Do Won students are taught the correct physical procedures and techniques for manipulation and movement of the body and its parts. There is the healthy way to challenge and improve your body and then there is the dangerous and damaging way found in the many unprofessional schools. At the Kang Do Won, you are not just thrown into a class and directed to exert yourself until something on your body breaks... you're taught how to do it safely and how to do it right.
   In most cases, the worst enemy you will face in your life will be yourself, but in the event the danger and violence that is very prevalent in our world confronts you or your child, the ability to survive will far outweigh the risks associated with the training that enabled you or your child to do so.

What do I do if I (or my child) am fearful or have low self-esteem and self-confidence? All the more reason for you and/or your child to begin training. Most normal and healthy people encounter fear. It isn't that you experience fear that makes you weak, but what you do with it or what you allow it to do to you. Kang Do Won students are trained and educated to face fear rather than running from it, and to focus on effort rather than results. The hard work and personal challenge of martial arts training and resulting accomplishments and achievements, no matter how small or large, produce an improved sense of self-esteem in all Kang Do Won students, which results in the enrichment and strengthening of their self-confidence.
   There are martial training facilities that teach how to suppress and/or neutralize fear, harden minds and bodies into combat condition and predominantly teach maiming and killing tactics and techniques. For those who desire or require this type of training, it may be appropriate, but for dad, mom and the kids living in suburbia, it is not.
     Everyone, young and old, should learn how to defend themselves. One of the greatest threats that we face is our own weakness. There is an adage... "the worst monsters we face in life are most often created by ourselves". A weak mind and spirit (inner strength) will produce a weak reality and a limited, conditional and bleak future. Another adage states... "you only get one chance to make a first impression". Our presence (aura) is our first line of defense and primary weapon. The initial impression a person formulates about you will have much to do with how he or she treats you. If that impression is one of weakness, you have increased the likelihood of becoming a victim. But remember that there are ways to be victimized other than by physical assault. You can also be victimized by your own weakness. Your weakness can cost you an employment opportunity, a position on a sports team, or something as simple and fundamental as friendships and social confidence. A poor first impression because of your weak presence can spell failure.
   Self-defense starts with self-confidence. The development and/or improvement of self-confidence and personal presence is our primary educational focus. You do not have to be strong physically, mentally and/or spiritually to begin training, but you will be after you find the courage to try.

Do you offer discounts for families? Yes. The more family members enrolled, the less expensive it becomes per person. Contact Master Hotchkiss for more detailed information.


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