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I have been part of Kim's Hapkido, Alhambra for almost 7 years not only as a parent but as a student as well. I had the honor of being instructed by Grandmaster Chong S Kim for a short time before his passing; he was the one that encouraged me to join after hours of watching my own children practice. I have to admit I was in my 30's, had bad knees and was very overweight, so I was quite hesitant. I am now in my early 40's and I am only a few belts away from Black Belt. Master Kim and the other instructors have never discouraged me from practicing despite my age, knees and now only "slightly" overweight body. It takes me longer for to remember techniques (I am not a teenager) so my instructors are very patient and understanding even though it was something I just learned only a few moments before! My family never joined Kim's Hapkido to win at competitions, get trophies or medals, or to have any of us become a Black Belt as fast as possible. Master Kim has always encouraged his students to take their time and test when they are ready not just physically but they must be mentally ready as well. There are those that believe since you've earned a Black Belt, your training is now done and you should move on to your next sport. At Kim's Hapkido that is not the case. Training continues not only for yourself, but Black Belts become instructors to pass on their knowledge to the younger students. Learning to instruct a large group of 6-8 year olds is training in itself! Every evening many of the older Black Belts come by to help train not only the younger students but also the younger black belts. My family has always felt welcome at Kim's Hapkido and my boys have never been shunned for pursuing other interests and then coming back. I am hoping my boys will continue training in Hapkido well into their adulthood. We joined to learn and understand Hapkido, to make it healthy lifestyle for ourselves and for our children. For our family Hapkido really is a way of life!
I love this place. I've attended three other studios, but this has been by far the best. Both the students and the instructors are welcoming and helpful. There is a real family feel to this studio. There are numerous picnics and parties throughout the year where everyone gets together. The instructors are great and will give you extra help if you need it. They are great with kids as well. I'm going to send my kids there as soon as they are old enough. You won't be disappointed if you join or your children join. I just wish I would have started sooner!
I have been bringing my daughter here for lessons for a year and a half now and after she had been attending class for 6 months she joined the "Black Belt Club". She loves her classes and she loves sparring. In fact she loves it so much that my husband and I have joined the studio now as well! It is such a friendly atmosphere--kind of second family after you've been going a while. My daughter's main instructor worked with her each day after class to prepare for the tournament-- she ended up getting 2 first place trophies (one in sparring in her division and one in the demonstration event)! The other parents, students and instructors are so encouraging and nice our whole family that it makes not just class fun but makes coming to the studio is something we all look forward to. Watching my daughter excel in her class has become the highlight of my day!