OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYang Masters United Taekwondo Center (UTC) of Paola opened for business in May, 2012 under the leadership of Grand Master Pok Sun Yang.  Grand Master Yang has established a total of four Taekwondo schools in the Greater Kansas City area over the last eight years.   One in Olathe, KS, one in North Kansas City, MO, now owned by Head Instructor Thomas, one in Paola, KS and one in Springhill, KS.  On August 1st 2013 Grand Master Yang sold the Paola School location to Instructor Robert Johnson who has been teaching classes at the Paola location since it opened.

Taekwondo is both an ancient Korean Martial Art and modern international Olympic sport that has many individual benefits and appeals to a wide age range and ability levels. The five basic tenants of Taekwondo are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. These tenants are incorporated into the daily instruction and consistently demonstrated by all of the instructors and students.

1376379_10201510877548186_996431549_nFor children involved in martial arts, research shows a positive correlation between participation in this sport and increased motivation to achieve success; socially, academically, and athletically. Some of the factors in this success are the emphasis on self-esteem, concentration, mental and physical discipline, along with praise and reinforcement from instructors for academic success.

Taekwondo encourages each person to have a positive attitude towards themselves and others. Respect for all is an expectation that is consistently reinforced. This creates a safe environment for everyone to learn the skills they need, at their own pace, to achieve their highest level of success in Taekwondo. The positive attitude and self-confidence that is gained through participation in classes carries over into other areas of a person’s life, including school, work and personal relationships.

Charity Keitel / charity.keitel@npgco.com 131127_life_taekwondo 002 Hapkido is a Korean discipline sometimes used in conjunction with the taekwondo style of martial arts. It focuses on disarming and disabling armed opponents. Student Steve Pepoon (left) and instructor Robert Johnson demonstrate one its techniques.

Finally, Taekwondo is an excellent workout and promotes greater overall physical health, as well as increased stamina, strength and coordination. Although having the confidence to defend oneself, if the need should arise, is an important component of the program, the goal is to never to have to use the skills learned in class to hurt someone else. Rather, the emphasis is on constantly practicing the five tenants and only using physical strategies for self-defense as a last resort.

Yang Masters UTC of Paola welcomes students of all ages; there are students as young as 3 and as old as 60+, you are never to young or old to enjoy the benefits of Taekwondo.  Yang Masters UTC of Paola welcomes students of all ability levels, including those who have special needs. Since the school opened, there have been students with disabilities who have been very successful with the classes and have enjoyed being included in such a positive and encouraging environment, which focuses on individual abilities and allows students to progress at their own pace.

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