Our experience with Seattle Tae Kwon Do (formerly Richards' Tae Kwon Do) began two years ago when we signed our kids up for a three-month series of classes as an inexpensive summer activity. Since then, the whole family has become students and we love it.
Full-time instructors include:
Master Richards, a 6th Degree Black Belt;
Master Lee, a 6th Degree Black Belt and two-time World Sparring Champion;
Instructor Kim, a 4th Degree Black Belt;
In addition, there are a number of what I think of as Graduate Teaching Assistants: high-rank students who assist in teaching the younger or less advanced students. This programs gives the older students, often high school students, a chance to develop their leadership skills.
Classes are offered in afternoons, evenings and Saturdays and separated by age and skill level.
Students can earn their Black Belt on a "pay-as-you-go" basis, or can purchase the full course in advance for a substantial savings. This gives parents of young children the flexibility to let their kids try it out, or make the commitment to earning a Black Belt, or even earn their Black Belt in steps without making the financial commitment of a contract.
There are kids. Lots of kids. And the instructors are very good at working with them. They are very supportive without being wishy-washy. And it's not just the instructors. The students are very supportive of one another, as well. There is a wonderful sense of community and interdependence like you might find in a good congregation or small volunteer group.
I went into Richards' expecting a lot of hard work and soreness. I got those. But I also found a lot of friendship and support.