What We Teach
Quality: Our classes are capped so that each student gets the attention they need. Master Sera Prokopiw leads every single class and is actively involved with each student’s progress. Advancement happens on an individual basis as opposed to the whole group being scheduled to test at once; this allows each student to learn at their own pace and fully grasp the material at each level before they are assessed.
Modern training methods: We teach traditional martial arts techniques while acknowledging the many advances in training methodology and injury prevention. Our program builds a solid physical foundation for each student. We focus on building strength and mobility to avoid common acute and overtraining injuries. We prioritize physical literacy and full body conditioning for every student.
Inclusivity: Archon is a diverse, inclusive community. We are committed to being a safe space for people of all races, sexual orientations, gender identities, and body types. Two core elements of our philosophy at Archon are accessibility to fitness and a supportive, welcoming environment.
Taekwondo is the primary focus of our curriculum. Taekwondo is a Korean striking martial art that emphasizes kicks but also includes hand techniques. There are a number of components to the curriculum - everyone has their favourite!
Self-defense: Our self-defense curriculum is based on a mix of taekwondo techniques, hapkido techniques (wrist and joint locks), and modern self-defense systems. We emphasize quick reaction times and ability to react to a variety of situations with basic techniques very early on. Our philosophy is that martial arts, while being a lifelong pursuit, should also be immediately useful to its practitioners. Our beginner classes focus on very quickly gaining practical skills, and our advanced classes build on this to increase speed and reaction time as well as increasing the students’ repertoire of techniques.
Forms: Forms, or poomse in Korean, are set patterns of techniques that are memorized at each level. These are important for learning footwork, for improving stances, strikes, and blocks through repetition, and as type of active meditation. Forms are one of best ways to internalize the movement patterns of taekwondo and we practise them often with this in mind.
Targets: Striking practice makes up a lot of the curriculum, and is included in every class. We practise the foot and hand techniques of taekwondo, as well as footwork for a variety of circumstances. Students learn at least one new kick at each level, and gain proficiency at chaining those kicks together in combinations. Speed, timing, and accuracy are challenged more the further a student advances. At each belt testing, the student is challenged to break a board with the technique they have been focusing on.
Sparring: We practice Olympic style sparring as part of our curriculum. Recreational sparring against opponents in class is a useful way to build timing, accuracy, and footwork. We stress a controlled, safe environment for practice. Students who want to train more seriously in this aspect of taekwondo can join the competitive sparring team.
Strength and Conditioning: Strength and conditioning is an integral part of our program, particularly for adults. Our balanced program builds the strength, stability, and cardiovascular requirements specific to taekwondo and focuses above all on injury prevention.
Students move through the taekwondo belt system, gaining stripes on their belts at each level to indicate proficiency with the components described above. In addition to physical skills, children also gain stripes based on their attitude in class and at home. When a student has all their stripes, they are tested on all the material they learned and advanced to the next belt.
There are ten levels of colour belt in taekwondo and nine degrees of black belt. A student that trains consistently can usually attain a first degree black belt in four to five years. Upon reaching their first degree black belt, students begin training in the black belt class to master advanced techniques.