Looking for some advice...



Greetings, all,

I have a request for some advice from you with regards to the direction of my martial arts career. I will preface this by saying that I am still trying to make up my mind about what to do, and that I will, as always, take any and all advice with a grain of salt.

So, the conundrum:

I've been doing Tae Kwon Do for years. I happen to love the style, and I think it's one of, if not the, best styles for ME personally (not a knock on other styles, I'm just saying that, from what I've seen, it fits me the best of all the ones I've examined).

I've studied in three cities, and under different instructors. One style I studied in was in Plano, Texas (near Dallas), for six years under one Master Craig Hamann. Another is in Washington, D.C. under Master Lee (still can't remember his full name... *shrug* oh well). A final one is in Kingston, Ontario, under the guidance of Master Kenneth Shean and the American Kang Duk Won Association (of which one or two other members of this forum are members).

My problem, then, is this: While currently studying in Kingston, where I go to Queen's University, I have found that I am increasingly dissatisfied with the AKDW dojang that I train in. The primary reason for this is that, as a brown belt in their organization, I am being called on to instruct increasingly, to the detriment of my own training. The reason for this is that the style tries to get brown belts ready to become instructors at the black belt level, and thus the browns tend to end up as assistant instructors, general go-fors, etc. I would have less of a problem with this if I had more time to train on my own or to attend classes besides the basic ones they teach here. However, there are no advanced classes in the area, except in Watertown, NY, which would require a 3-hour trip there and back. As a university student, and especially as a Queen's student, I don't have time for this if I'm to maintain my grades and my studies. I also have some issues with this particular's schools techniques and curriculum.

I already hold a 2nd degree black belt from my old style in Texas, but my family has moved from the area. I cannot easily return there, or to Washington due to family issues, and therefore it is highly unlikely that either area presents a viable alternative for training here in Kingston. There are few other TKD dojangs in the area, but I am starting to look around for them.

It seems that, at present, I have three options:

1) to continue with AKDW, and request some changes, which are unlikely to occur. The style is relatively... er... satisfied with the way things are. To put it politely and honestly. So it's unlikely they're going to change up anytime soon, especially for a single disgruntled brown belt.
2) Join another group or style (I'm still open to this latter option, if somewhat reluctant) here on Campus, or in town.
3) Train on my own.

I like the people in my current school, if not the style, and I am having a very hard time figuring out what to do... and what I am asking for here is less a solution, as advice and personal opinions on what might be my best option. I will make my choice, as I always do, but I would like some friendly advice, if possible.

Thanks everyone!
I really appreciate any and all responses to my concerns... as long as they're constructive... :p

Thanks again,


Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Apr 24, 2002
Reaction score
um...try just telling your teacher that you don't want to instruct. dunno if that'll work.