The Old Man in the Black Suit

When a prospective student decides to try Tae Kwon Do there is usually no idea what to expect. This will be an effort to help new students through this transition.

You will come in the Dojang, which is the Korean word for the work out area, and notice other students in their uniforms, a dobalk, each with a different color belt. And then you will notice some other people standing in their uniforms, the Black Belts.

Someone will call out “Form Class” and everyone will scurry to what seems like a predetermined position in the Dojang, and you wonder, what in the world is going on. Students will bow, get down on their knees, bow again, stand, all to Korean commands. It is natural to be a little confused; everyone is when they first start.

Then the old man in the black suit will start talking in a foreign language and everyone looks like they understand what is going on. Not to worry, the old man will come back to you, show you where to line up and explain what the commands are…in English.

As a new student you are asked to line up in the back of class. This allows you to see the ranking belts in front of you which will let you see what is going on and at the same time no one, except the instructor, can watch you.

Tae Kwon Do is like learning to walk all over again, we have all done it, as you will as well. We start with the “basics” and build upon them as we study Tae Kwon Do.

Everyone in the Dojang started in the same place, even the instructors, in the back of class wondering what was going on. If you decide to continue you will realize that you have become a member of an amazing family that will help you, encourage you, and support you on this your new journey.

Tae Kwon Do is a wonderful Martial Art and I am always humbled by the courage it takes to embark on this journey.

Consider this a welcome to this journey and know that we will all be there to help you along this new path. The Old Man in the Black Suit, (Dobalk), will show you the way.

Master John W. Rankin