Tae Kwon Do

Your First Martial Arts Class - What to Expect

March 26, 2024
Justin Buchli

Welcome to Axon Martial Arts Academy, the only martial arts studio in Loveland, CO, that is intentionally kept small so we get to know each person as an individual and offer personalized guidance for each student's unique martial arts journey.

At Axon, you won't get lost in huge classes. You won't just be a name. Your training won't be handed off to someone with less experience. Axon's owner, Yat-Yee Chong, founded her Tae Kwon Do school so she can make an impact on individuals, and she looks forward to meeting you.

This blog post aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide to what you can expect during your fist lesson at Axon.

Getting ready

Dress in comfortable clothing that allows for unrestricted movement, such as t-shirts, athletic pants, or even sweat bottoms. We train barefoot so you don't have to worry about what shoes to wear. If you have health issues with your feet and cannot go barefoot, do let us know, and we will find a way to make that work.

Arrival and Greetings

GPS isn't always dependable and that is why we will have sent you detailed driving directions. Give yourself a few extra minutes early to get settled.

You'll be met by Ms. Chong, who will give you a brief tour of the school and point out features that create a welcoming environment for families. These include a comfy book nook stocked with books for children and parents; a gallery wall of artwork from students; and a seating area for family member.

Your initial session will be a private lesson. Ms. Chong will start by listening to your decision to check out martial arts training. Some parents seek a routine of physical activities for their kids whose lives are filled with screens of various sorts. Others want a wholistic after-school program for their children. Yet others would like their children to acquire more confidence or self-discipline.

As for adults, their reasons are just as varied. Some just want to get off the couch. Others want a judgement-free zone to begin their exercise journey. There are also those who find that having a community helps them stay motivated.

Intro lesson

You will then have a short private lesson in which you will learn some basic TKD moves, such as blocks, punches, and kicks. During the lesson, you will see first hand how our training can help with focus and confidence. You will also get a sense of how Ms. Chong teaches, how she interacts, and a general idea of how classes will be.

After the lesson, Ms. Chong will address your concerns and suggests a study plan. She will explain how the program will help achieve your goals.

Please feel free to ask questions and bring up concerns. We want you to get a good picture of what we offer so you can make an informed decision.

Attending class for the first time

It's your first day as an official Axon student. You are dressed in your brand new dobok that you received at the end of your initial lesson. Your white belt is tied on your waist. You are ready to join your class.

Starting in a class may be intimidating but be assured that the Axon community is friendly and welcoming.

Smiling and friendly Tae kwon Do students in class.

Our culture is one of collaboration instead of comparison or competition. Respect is our foundation.

We understand that everyone is unique and has lots to offer as well as to learn.

We accept that everyone comes with different abilities and progress at our own pace. Instead of judgment or teasing, you will be greeted with friendly hellos and big smiles.

After all, everyone in class started as a white belt at one time and remember how they felt on their first day.

Class structure

Every class begins by everyone lining up on the mat facing the flags. Ms. Chong will direct you to your spot. When everyone is in place, the official bow-in begins. Here is how that goes:

  • you will hear a Korean command, "Charyeot", which means to stand at attention.
  • At the second command, "Keongnay", everyone bows to the flags
  • After that, everyone recites an oath* together. Don't worry, you will know the words shortly.
  • One more "Charyeot" and "Keongnay", after which everyone calls out "ATA"! ATA stands for the American Taekwondo Association.

After we finish bowing in, the class begins with warm-ups. These include familiar exercises such as jumping jacks and running in place, as well as TKD-specified actions such as kicking and punching the air. There will also be dynamic stretching, which warms up our muscles and connective tissues, increases blood flow, and prevents injuries.

Once warmed up, we move on to the following segments, not always in the same order:

  • Tae Kwon Do technique
  • Forms: learning a specific set of moves that have been pre-designed. Each of these forms has a name and you'll be told which form you are practicing.
  • Sparring: beginners will start with sparring drills before becoming ready to don the sparring safety gear to spar with one another
  • Self-defense drills: we practice simple things that are age-appropriate
  • Fitness: either stamina, strength, mobility, balance, etc.

After all these, your muscles will be warm, ready for stretching that will improve your flexibility and mobility.

We end class the same way we begin class: by lining up, bowing, and reciting an oath.

That is the end of the class. Students will bow once more at the edge of the mat before getting ready to leave.

The first thing kids at Axon Academy do after their class ends, is to thank their parents.

Class Etiquette

Resect is our foundational value. Everything we do is based on our respect for one another and for the practice of martial arts.

That's the reason we bow to the flags at the edge of the mat before we even begin class. We are demonstrating our respect. We remind ourselves that once we step onto the mat, we are moving away from what we had been doing before: playing, talking to friends, watching a video, and focusing our minds on practicing Tae Kwon Do.

Tae Kwon Do students bowing at the beginning of class

When an instructor stands in front of a class and bows to the students as the students bow to them, it is a show of respect to one another. The instructor is not to treat students with disrespect, just as the students don't treat the instructor or one another with disrespect.

There are other ways we show respect during class:

  • Listen without talking while the instructor is talking.
  • When someone else is talking, listen
  • After the instructor asks you to do something, you answer "Yes, Ma'am!" and do it immediately.
  • If you have questions, please stand up, raise your right hand that is supported at the elbow by the left hand, and wait to be called.
  • When you are asked to line up for an exciting activity, don't try to be the first person in line.
  • While waiting in turn, focus on the person who is doing the drill. Do not use this time to chit chat or play with your friend.

Aside from respect, we want to show kindness and generosity to others. We are a community, we support one another. Here are some practical ways to practice kindness and generosity:

  • If someone can't understand something, even a simple thing, be patient.
  • If someone is having trouble, ask if they need help and help them if they ask you to.
  • If someone looks left out, include them
  • If someone has a hard time learning a kick during a drill and you have had a few chances, you may offer your turn to them to practice one more time
  • If you want to say something negative about someone, even if it is funny to you, don't.

Humility is another guide to how you behave in class and how you interact with others.

Humility doesn't mean you should think less of yourself. It simply means you realize you still have lots of learn and you can learn from anyone, even someone younger or lower rank than you.

Another way to practice humility is not to brag about an achievement. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy the feeling of success or downplay your effort. It does mean that you don't need to tell everyone about it.

Some of these actions may not be natural yet for you or others. But that's okay. We are all learning together to be encouraging, inclusive, and a supportive community.

Physical Expectations

It's natural to have some apprehensions about your physical abilities when starting something new, but rest assured that martial arts is accessible to practitioners of all ages, fitness levels, and body types. Our classes are designed to accommodate beginners and seasoned practitioners alike, with exercises and drills tailored to individual needs.

a young child beginning martial arts smiling

During your first class, you may find yourself challenged in unexpected ways as you adapt to new movements and techniques. It's okay to take breaks when needed and listen to your body's cues. Over time, with consistent practice and dedication, you'll notice improvements in your strength, flexibility, and overall fitness level.

Remember that progress in martial arts is measured not by comparison to others but by your own personal growth and development. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and embrace the journey of self-discovery that lies ahead.

* the oaths are as follows:

For Tigers, age 4-7:

"Ma'am/Sir (depending on the instructor), I promise to be a good person, with knowledge in my head, honesty in my heart, strength in my body, and to make good friends. I will work hard so one day, I can be a Black Belt, Ma'am/Sir!"

For Martial Arts Kids, age 7-12:

"Each day I will live by honoring my parents and instructors, practicing to the best of my abilities, and by having courtesy and respect for everyone I meet, Ma'am/Sir!"

For Adults and at official ATA events, beginning:

"Ma'am/Sir. I will practice in the spirit of Tae Kwon Dom with courtesy to my fellow students, loyalty to my instructors, and respect for my juniors and seniors, Ma'am/Sir!"

For Adults and at official ATA events, ending:

"Ma'am/Sir. I shall live in perseverance in the spirit of Tae Kwon Do, having honor with others, integrity with myself, and self-control in my actions, Ma'am/Sir!"


As you prepare for your first martial arts class at Axon Tae Kwon Do Studio, you may have some questions about what to expect. Here are answers to some common inquiries that newcomers often have:

  • Do I need any prior experience to join?

Not at all! Our classes are open to students of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Whether you're stepping onto the mat for the first time or looking to refine your existing skills, our instructors will guide you through each step of your martial arts journey.

  • What if I'm not in great shape?

Martial arts is a journey, and everyone starts somewhere. Our classes are designed to challenge you at your own pace, regardless of your current fitness level. Through consistent practice and dedication, you'll gradually build strength, stamina, and flexibility over time.

  • Will I need any special equipment?

For your first class, all you need is yourself and a water bottle. As you progress in your training, you may choose to invest in a uniform (gi) and other training gear such as hand wraps, sparring gear, or a mouth guard. However, these items are not required for beginners, and we provide all the necessary equipment for introductory classes.

  • What age groups do you cater to?

We welcome students of all ages, from children to adults. Our classes are tailored to accommodate different age groups and skill levels, ensuring that everyone receives personalized instruction and support. Whether you're looking to enroll your child in our youth program or explore martial arts as an adult, we have classes suitable for all ages and interests.

  • How often should I attend classes?

The frequency of your training will depend on your personal goals and schedule. Some students choose to attend classes multiple times per week to accelerate their progress, while others prefer a more relaxed approach. Our flexible class schedule allows you to find a training routine that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle, whether you're a busy professional, a student, or a parent juggling multiple responsibilities.

  • What style of martial arts do you teach?

At Axon, we specialize in Tae Kwon Do, a dynamic and versatile martial art known for its powerful kicks, striking techniques, and emphasis on discipline and self-control. Tae Kwon Do is suitable for practitioners of all ages and fitness levels, offering a balanced blend of physical conditioning, self-defense skills, and mental focus. Whether you're interested in improving your fitness, learning self-defense techniques, or simply exploring a new hobby, Tae Kwon Do has something to offer for everyone.

These are just a few of the many questions that newcomers often have about martial arts training. If you have any additional inquiries or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to our friendly staff. We're here to help you every step of the way as you embark on your martial arts journey at Axon Tae Kwon Do Studio.


Your first martial arts class at Axon is more than just a physical workout—it's the beginning of a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and empowerment. As you step onto the mat for the first time, know that you're joining a supportive community of like-minded individuals who are here to help you succeed.

Embrace the challenges, celebrate your victories, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Whether you're here to improve your fitness, learn self-defense techniques, or simply find a new passion, we're honored to be a part of your martial arts journey.

So come on in, take a deep breath, and get ready to unleash your inner warrior. The adventure begins now! Ready to take the first step on your martial arts journey? Contact us today to schedule your first class at Axon Tae Kwon Do Studio. We can't wait to welcome you into our community and help you achieve your goals!

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