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 the Academic Taekwondo ô  Program

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Taekwondo as graded subject

in Elementary and Middle School Levels




Type: Educator
Name: S. Jason Kapnick, M.D. F.A.C.S. 

Assistant Consulting Professor,

Duke University Medical School

State: Florida
Date: 10 June 2000

Comments:  RE: The Academic Taekwondo Program at Weiss School

To Whom It May Concern:

 I am honored to have had three of my children experience the Tae Kwon Do program via the Weiss School (exclusively) involving a total number of student years of -sixteen. Also importantly, my children have had a varied interest in the subject per se with one child being extremely motivated and interested and-in fact-achieving a third degree black belt solely through this program which is rare nationally and then another child expressing only modest interest and the third child expressing an intermediate level of interest at this time. Therefore I have observed the developments in the program for a total of sixteen academic years (quantitatively adding up the experience of all three children and also have seen the program from the perspective of children highly motivated and interested moderately or interested only in the average sense. Therefore I feel that I have an enormous experience as a parent and as an educator (former Full Time Faculty Harvard Medical School and currently Assistant Consulting Professor of Oncology, Duke University Medical School). The number of total school years that I have been involved as a parent with this program with my three children may be near the most extensive in terms of quantitative child years total in the school so far.

 There is no question in my mind as a parent and as an educator that the Tae Kwon Do program at Weiss School as headed up by Master Powell is an extraordinary academic experience in the classical Humanistic sense as well as the more recent "Applied Intellectual" sense. This is because the way this program is run at this school fulfills every requirement outlined as far back as the, historically speaking, Spartan ideal of a strong mind and a strong body and the Platonic discussion especially in the Republic, of the interactions between the physical and mental. The reason is that this Tae Kwon Do program, academically speaking, presents a stunning interface and exists at exactly the junction between the much later Cartesian split between the mental and the physical which of course has created a chaos in western educational philosophy for the 350 years since it was introduced. This Tae Kwon Do program, without question as far as I am concerned, is a perfect bridge which bring us back to the actually ancient Humanist concern with avoiding the false separation of the mental and the physical and coordinates same in a fashion I have not observed in any other academic discipline which this Tae Kwon Do program at this school clearly is.       

  This is proven and here we address the second modern, more "Applied" sense of Educational Theory than the older Humanist notion, occurs because of the achievement in this program of the strict relationship both by the nature of the content and how it is presented between the mental and physical such that they blend, in that the rigorous choreographic training feeds directly into the need for spatial and sequential and syllogistic- or logical - mental processes, and vice versa, in terms of the ideals taught and the values taught as well as the technical aspects.  Also, in the aspect of this clearly successful Academic side of the programís success, the working together and sense of community within the individual discipline again present in the content and the way it is presented at Weiss School, is in itself a very meaningful experience in what we used to call Civics. There is just the right balance of individual focus and team or community, which goes far beyond most other approaches, and I think perhaps uniquely, fulfills classical Humanist and modern "Applied LearningĒ Theory.

 I feel very fortunate that my children have had this many total student years of exposure to the program. This is, not only from the Academic experience of mind - body relationships (addressed significantly in modern medicine and proven to be an absolute legitimate object of academic concern by Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and many of his disciples in hundreds of peer reviewed publications which address not only learning but also health and personal growth) but also in the area of social interaction and Civics: my conclusion is that, as an Academic Course, this Tae Kwon Do program at this institution is very special and may be without peer. 

 Respectfully submitted,

 S. Jason Kapnick, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Assistant Consulting Professor, Duke University Medical School



Type: Educator Physical Education & Spanish, Nancy, France & Barcelona, Spain
Name: Monika Kapnick, M.S.
State: Florida
Date: 10 June 2000


Comments:   RE:    Tae Kwon Do Programs at Weiss School as a Physical Education Experience.

 I have eighteen years experience teaching Physical Education in the Boston, Massachusetts area (and this was eighteen years of continuous experience in Physical Education) as well as languages, also in the greater Boston area.

 My children had the good fortune to experience the Tae Kwon Do program at Weiss School for many, many total student years at varying levels of interest on the studentís part, but without question the result was that in its physical education aspect, the Tae Kwon Do program fulfills all criteria that could possibly be proposed as a complete physical education experience of the highest order. In my eighteen years of teaching physical education in the greater Boston area, whether it be gymnastics, regular physical education in itís varied curricula or any other approach, I have seen none that are superior to the Tae Kwon Do program at Weiss School as a complete physical education experience from all aspects. This program unquestionably qualifies as a physical education experience of the highest order as well as I think possibly uniquely has significant, demonstrable academic value in its own right.

Monika Kapnick, M.S. 

(Phys.Ed & Spanish, Nancy, France, Barcelona, Spain)

Founder Womenís Gymnastics Program, Chelmsford School System, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

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Type: Parent
Name: Kevin and Cookie Dearden
State: Florida
Date: 04 Aug 2001


Comments: An outstanding addition to young peoples primary education. Now, if we can only get them to enjoy their other subjects as much as they do TKD!


Type: Parent
Name: Mitsuki Greene
State: Florida
Date: 03 May 2000


Comments:    Taekwondo is an amazing martial art that my son enjoys a lot. Taekwondo has taught him mental discipline and perseverance. He is doing extremely well academically as well as physically. I believe that Taekwondo has made him a better person.

Type: Parent
Name: Erica Martina 
State: Florida
Date: 17 May 2000

Comments:   As a parent of 2 children who receive taekwondo as part of their curriculum at the Weiss School, I consider my children and myself very fortunate. My children were able to study this martial art at a very early age and are 100% committed to becoming the best Black belt they can be.

Taekwondo qualifies extremely well to be taught as part of a curriculum in elementary as well as middle school because it addresses a physical aspect as well as a mental aspect. The physical aspect of taekwondo strengthens each childís body, improves their endurance and helps them with their coordination. On a mental level the child learns to concentrate and focus. The child is taught respect for others and becomes very confident over the years and also learns leadership qualities.

There are so many advantages in my opinion to having taekwondo in school, both for the parent as well as for the child.

To name a few: I, as a parent do not lose time to bring my child to another studio. I have to be at the school daily so it is easy to stay in touch with the Master and to stay involved in what they are learning in Taekwondo.

Children cannot quit whenever they have a setback or feel slightly discouraged which could very easily happen when you learn something new. They learn perseverance and they are so proud of themselves when they see that their training starts to pay of. I have seen my son's self-confidence growing over the years and I am very proud of who he is and what he has accomplished. Another aspect of having it in school is that the children keep the same instructor over the years and because most people stay they form a very tight group where everybody is concerned with each others well-being and accomplishments in the art as well as their overall school performance. The school reinforces the Taekwondo code/spirit and Taekwondo instills respect, discipline, self-control, perseverance and indomitable spirit in regards to schoolwork, attitude and teachers.

Children are in a learning mode when they are in school and are willing to study a foreign language, in this case Korean without any problem. And they love going to school because of Taekwondo.

I love the team spirit of the children and it shows how proud they are of what they can and what they stand for when they give Taekwondo demonstrations for other schools or events.

The children support each other through the years and they are a wonderful   example for Academic Taekwondo under supervision of Master Marika Powell who does an incredible job and who deserves so much credit for making this available to our children in the school program. I thank you for that, sincerely......Erica Martina.   

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Type: Student
Name: Joseph LaRochelle
State: Florida
Date: 04 May 2000

Comments:   Taekwondo is very important as part of the school curriculum. Taekwondo provides a variety of useful skills. Such skills would include the mentality of concentration. Taekwondo takes a lot of focus and concentration and Taekwondo emphasizes on this a lot. Once you have learned how to control your concentration, you can now apply it in everyday life and you will become more involved in your work and will work more efficiently. Taekwondo also involves a LOT of physical exercise as well but that is just the mere exterior of Taekwondo. Most importantly Taekwondo provides you with a high morale with an incentive to reach a high goal. It makes you to want to excel and to the next level, and this in my opinion is what is most important, because it is the key to success. Overall Taekwondo is awesome and I support it as being part of the school curriculum as it benefits you in numerous ways.


Type: Black Belt
Name: Joseph Greene
State: Florida
Date: 01 June 2000


Comments:   My Taekwondo involvement was not actually my choice. Most people go to a do-jang for Taekwondo training, but my case is different. You see, I attend the Weiss School, the first school in the U.S. with Taekwondo as a required school subject. At first, over six years ago, I was an annoying student running around or rolling on the floor, and ending up with a low grade in Taekwondo. Then I learned self-disciple and got my first color belt. Taekwondo has taught me respect, perseverance, self-discipline, and confidence. Taekwondo has given me the drive to succeed in life and in school. Without Taekwondo, I probably would be an unattractive couch potato.
I am a straight A student thanks to the self-discipline Taekwondo taught me. I believe that taekwondo is the best thing that ever happened to me. Now I am a 1st degree black belt going for my 2nd, in the very near future, and I want to be the best Black Belt our school has ever produced.

Type: Student Former student
Name: Michael Wedge
State: Florida
Date: 06 June 1999

Comments:   Master Powell,

      You probably won't remember me. My name is Michael Wedge, and I was a student of yours many years ago, when you came to the Weiss School to teach the students there. (This was seven or eight years ago) I'm about to become a student of Wah Lum Tam Tui Kung Fu, (the first time I'll be in the martial arts since I left your tutelage) and it's had me thinking about the past, and my previous master. I don't think I ever got a chance, when I left the school, to tell you how much I got from your teaching. I really feel that many of the things you taught us have stayed with me through my life, and helped make me the person I am today. I still use the relaxation techniques I learned from your class, and try to uphold the principles of good sportsmanship and non-agression you taught us. I managed to find your e-mail address through the web, in RefereeMail listing, and wanted to take this time to thank you, before I start learning a new art tonight.

     Thank you, Master Powell. I honestly don't think I'd be the man I am today without your class.

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Type: Student
Name: Alyson Oliver
State: Florida
Date: 30 June 2000


Comments:   Master Powell, 

I've been in taekwondo for almost three years now. I feel that what you taught me will always stay with me. When I graduate this coming year I'll continue to stay active in Taekwondo by attending in your after-school program. Taekwondo just wasn't an easy class for me, it was a class that I was very serious about. It taught me various things like hand and kicking technique, vocabulary, and much more. From when I first started taekwondo I felt you always believed in me from the beginning which meant a lot to me. Thank you so much for being a great teacher. You always try to make taekwondo class fun and interesting for the whole school. You also know when you should become very serious in our training. I can't express how much I thank you for always being there for me and being a great teacher. Thank you so much. 
Aly Oliver

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