Q - What is Tang Soo Do?
A - Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art that traces its roots back approximately 2,000 years. It is comprised of elements of Korean and Chinese styles. Tang Soo Do literally translates into: The Way Of The China Hand.
Q - Is my child old enough for martial arts?
A - Generally, six years old is a good starting age. Most children by this age have developed enough both physically and mentally to take and benefit from instruction.
For children ages 3-5, AMAC offers the Little Ninja Program. The focus of this program is on developing balance, coordination and positive self-esteem through fun, movement-based activities. The children benefit from the physical activities that promote their cognitive abilities, and through these activities learn basic karate techniques and self-defense.
Program director Master Paula Saucier, has been in martial arts for 30 years. She has also been a special education teacher for 37 years. As a teacher of students with disabilities, she has studied under occupational therapists and physical therapists. Master Saucier has the knowledge and experience to understand your child’s mental and physical growth and development.
Q - Will my child become unruly or aggressive?
A - Just the opposite. Discipline and respect for others are cornerstones of any good Martial Arts program. Students are taught the consequences of their bad behavior - be it at AMAC or in their lives away from us - up to and including dismissal from AMAC if it is determined that they have misused what they have learned.
Q - Will I or my child get injured doing martial arts?
A - Any physical activity can lead to injury, however great care is taken by our instructors to ensure our students' safety. This includes strict no-head contact rules in sparring, both at AMAC and within the entire Cheezic Federation.
Q - My child has a medical condition; would be safe to try martial arts?
A - As long as your child's doctor gives approval, we have no problem; it can only help.
Q - What Is the Women Only class?
A - The AMAC Women’s class is a community of women opened to ages 12 and up. The program promotes self-confidence and improves strength, flexibility and coordination in a supportive environment. Women will develop mental and physical skills in order to defend themselves regardless of their fitness level. The comradery that develops among women while gaining the knowledge to defend themselves imbues them not only with self-confidence but also with a great sense of accomplishment.
Classes are led by Master Paula Saucier, who has been a Martial Arts instructor for over 27 years. Having once been in a toxic relationship, Master Saucier knew she had to make changes in her life not just for herself but for her children as well. Martial Arts gave her the focus, determination and confidence to make those changes. It is her goal to impart other women with that same focus, determination and confidence. The women she met in her initial year of Martial Arts training made a lifelong impact. Being empowered means knowledge. Knowledge gives you the confidence to do anything they need or want to do. Martial Arts will change your life for the better!
Q - Am I too old for martial arts?
A - Never! Some students in the Cheezic Federation have started as old as 50, and some practitioners are well into their 70s.
Q - What is the Cheezic Federation?
A - The Cheezic Federation is a federation of Tang Soo Do Schools, first started by Grandmaster Robert Cheezic. Grandmaster Cheezic was one of the first people to bring Tang Soo Do to America, having studied it and earned his 1st Degree Blackbelt in South Korea in 1960. Based in Connecticut, there are now over 60 schools and programs worldwide in the federation.
Q - I have several children who are interested in martial arts; can I afford AMAC?
A - Yes. AMAC rates are extremely competitive, and are on a simple month to month basis; we do not use long term contracts. Our individual membership fee is $65.00 per month, and we also offer a family plan (for immediate family members) as follows:
First Member $65.00
Second Member $35.00
Third Member $25.00
Each Additional $15.00
Q - Why should I choose AMAC over another school?
A - We offer the highest quality of training, from Masters with decades of experience, in a friendly, family-like atmosphere. There are no cliques and no abuse of our students. All students are treated with equal respect and are expected to reciprocate that respect. You are more than welcome to stop by, observe our classes, and decide for yourself.
Q - Do Martial Arts really work in the real world?
A - If by "work" you mean give you the ability to fight like Jet Li in the movies...then no, not unless you are committed to spending years training 6-8 hours a day (and can afford a good director, producer and choreographer.) However if by "work" you mean give you the knowledge and ability to defend yourself and escape from a bad situation, then yes. While the core of AMAC is traditional Tang Soo Do, we also teach specific self-defense techniques against common "street attacks" e.g. a choke attack from behind, being assaulted with a weapon, etc. It does not matter if a technique is taken from another style of martial arts or even military combat training. What is important is that the technique works if properly executed. We also stress the importance of being able to perceive and react to potentially dangerous situations, and better still, how to avoid them in the first place.
Q - How long have you been teaching / has the school been around?
A - Master Ken Saucier began teaching in 1986. AMAC has been in Foster, RI since 1994.
Q - When do students get promoted to a higher belt? How long does it take me to get a Black Belt? How does all of that work?
A - There is a set of curricula to achieve each belt level. In addition to the minimum waiting period between each rank, students must show proficiency in both the new and all previously learned curricula. AMAC generally has three Gup (under Black Belt) grading ceremonies each year. Gup gradings are open to students' families. Black Belt gradings are performed at the Federation level, and are closed to all except existing Black Belts and the Black Belt candidates themselves.
Q - We have a pretty hectic schedule; how often do I need to come to class?
A - What you put in is what you get out. Generally a minimum of twice a week plus some additional training on your own at home will achieve the best results. Of course, life for everybody is indeed hectic, and we understand that sometimes you or your child will need to miss class.
Q - I noticed when I observed your classes that there is a lot of tumbling. Do I need to be able to do gymnastics and acrobatics?
A - While being able to perform such feats will certainly enhance your abilities and experience in martial arts, God made us all with our unique set of abilitites and limitations. We will teach you how to perform basic rolls and how to break a fall, both to prevent injury in class and if ever need be, assist you in a real-world self defense situation.
Q - Do you have tournaments? If so, what are they like? Is participation required to advance at AMAC?
A - The Cheezic Federation does sponsor four yearly inter-club (Federation schools only) tournaments, as well as the yearly Connecticut Yankee National Tournament which is open to all styles. There are also tournaments that other Federations and styles sponsor that some of our students choose to attend. Participation is encouraged, but not required. Tournaments provide students, espscially children, a way to gauge their achievements and abilities, as well as a way to meet and make new friends; they are fun!
Q - How do I begin training at AMAC?
A - Just come by, see one of the Master belts, and sign up. There are no special start dates.