Students teach Tae Kwon Do


Daniel Moreira

South student, Celina Willians, senior, receives kicks from one of her pupils during a belt test.

Evan Kauffman, Reporter

The students have become the teachers; at a Tae Kwon Do (TKD) studio, TKD students Jackson Mather, junior, Kathrynne Robideaux and Celina Williams, seniors, started teaching classes for younger kids at the studio.

Schedules for their teaching typically include alternating days, with Mather working Tuesdays and Thursdays while Robideaux would work Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Tae Kwon Do skill is measured by a belt system, like all forms of martial arts, and the colors range from white to black, with six belts and many tests in between.

To reach a recommended or basic black belt it can take anywhere from a year and a half to two years.

“I am a second degree black belt,“ Mather said.

TKD is a sport built to help all body types as well as teach students discipline and how to defend themselves.

“I think everyone should know how to defend themselves,” Robideaux said, “you see it all the time, someone being robbed or beaten up and they had no way of defending themselves; it’s a good skill to have.”

Although Robideaux isn’t actively teaching anymore, she still loves to attend TKD and has for almost 5 years.

“Initially they needed help, but it kind of grew on me,” Robideaux said.

Robideaux attended TKD primarily for the self-defense at first, but later the fascination grew further into a hobby.

“Being able to have control over people who are younger than you is a handy skill in life,” Robideaux said.

Mather has been teaching for almost four years, and has taken TKD classes for almost eight years.

He enjoys TKD because it helps improve overall health and has given him a bunch of funny memories.

“Once I was doing cartwheels around the room, and I went too close to the mirror and broke it,” Mather said, “it was really funny.”

Mather’s favorite things to do at TKD are learning new weapon techniques and creating his own weapon forms.

Every year, TKD studios from around the midwest come to Johnson County Community College to compete in various competitions.

“I love being able to see how far the kids have developed and learned,” Williams said.

To both Mather and Robideaux, teaching means a lot to them, and has had a positive effect on both of their lives.

“The relationships I have made between the kids and I are what made my time teaching so special,” Robideaux said.

Behind teaching TKD there is also the premise of the martial art.

Age doesn’t matter for the students, young and old people have found different ways to benefit from TKD besides just the self-defense aspect.

Some people use it as more of a way to get in shape physically and mentally, or simply to become more flexible.