Prospective students ask us everyday, "What style of martial arts do you teach?" The short answer is that we teach Traditional Tae Kwon Do.
TaeKwonDo is from Korea and was named such on April 11, 1955 by General Choi Hong Hi, also known as "the Father of Tae Kwon Do." Martial Arts Masters collectively chose this name in order to combine the 5 Kwans (schools) of Martial Arts following the end of the Japanese Occupation of Korea post World War II.
The style that the Johnson's learned is Chung Do Kwan and the Chang Hon Forms named after General Choi. Joon Rhee (credited with bringing TaeKwonDo to the United States, and is known as the Father of American TaeKwonDo) was a student of the Chung Do Kwan.
Today, we teach our students a progressive style of TaeKwonDo that is traditional in nature known as Ho-Am TaeKwonDo. Our students will practice the original Chang-Hun Style Forms as a tribute to our beginnings and our time-honored history. However, our students practice a wide range of skills like free sparring, board breaking, they learn theory, and practice real world application.
TaeKwonDo was greatly influenced by Karate, and our TaeKwonDo ancestors had to practice martial arts in secret during the Japanese occupation of Korea as all martial arts practice was forbidden during that period. General Choi trained in Karate and achieved 2nd Dan (degree) black belt.
In fact, Choi named TaeKwonDo combining Karate and Taek Kyon (the ancient art of foot fighting).
This is why you basically see two different styles of TaeKwonDo. Those that claim Choi in their lineage (Johnson's Martial Arts) perform many more traditional hand techniques and strikes than you will typically see in a program that teaches "Sport" TaeKwonDo. The majority of programs in the Raleigh area teach Sport TaeKwonDo.
The focus of our school is not strictly on competition. We compete throughout the year, and our students
have done very well in tournaments over the last decade. However, the focus of our dojang (Korean word for school; Dojo is Japanese) is first and foremost to learn Traditional Martial Arts with an emphasis on teaching self-protection or self-defense. Think about this for a moment. Imagine attending a school for years on end and not knowing how to defend yourself. Our goal for each of our students is to teach the art of TaeKwonDo while ensuring that every movement is done in a manner that could incapacitate an opponent.