Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions and our answers. If you have a question that was not answered, or that you feel should be included in this list, please feel free to email us at Thank you for helping us serve you better!

What is the difference between Taekwondo and Karate?

Taekwondo is from Korea, and is generally thought of as a lower-body martial art, with 60% of techniques being kicks and 40% being upper body. Karate, from Japan, is the reverse, with 60% of the techniques being upper body, 40% lower. Taekwondo tends more towards application, in the sport and real life, with streamlined, powerful techniques. Karate is generally flashier, with more flips, deeper stances, and other demonstration techniques. As an Olympic sport, Taekwondo is practiced in over 160 countries and is internationally certified. This means that no matter where you go in the world, you should be able to find a school to continue your training in. This is not necessarily true for Karate, as there is no recognized international system for certification. Overall, they are both martial arts, and if taught by gifted instructors they can change the lives of their students. The important thing is to find a school that matches your goals and values. You can find guidelines for choosing a martial arts studio in our “Shopping Around?” side bar.

Is it too late for me to start?

We get this question all the time. The best part about what we do is that it is an individual sport. You are judged on your personal growth and potential, not your fellow students’. This means you can start at any age and be successful. We have Black Belts who started with us when they were three and some who were fifty. Our own Master Sorenson didn’t start until her 30s! We even have a few who started young, took a break, and then came back to finish as adults. Our teens and adults are a ton of fun and we would love to have you be a part of our program!


When are your classes?

You can find our current class schedule here.

What time of year is a good time to start?

Starting just after Color Belt Testing (Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec) is convenient, but not required.  The main thing is to take the first step and begin your journey in the way that will most help you to maintain momentum, so you can realistically start any time that works for you. Sign up for a Free Intro and get started today!

How long does it take to get my Black Belt?

It depends on how old you are when you start and how consistently you test. If you start in our Introductory Taekwondo Program and test every time, it will take about 3½ years, though many students take longer than that. To be a true Black Belt, you must put in the work to develop muscle memory. That cannot happen when you miss out on the practice, so we do not allow our students to skip belts.

Do you have closure dates?

We generally follow the Alpine School District calendar for school holidays, in addition, we have two longer closures a year, one in the summer and one in December. These breaks are accounted for in the price of our tuition and in our curriculum schedule. Our curriculum schedule/close date calendar can be found here.


How much are classes?

We often get this question from people who are simply going through the listings and collecting data. While we would never want to frustrate you by withholding information, we run into the problem of people comparing apples to oranges. We strongly encourage you to look at all aspects of a martial arts studio (such as those listed in our “Shopping Around?” side bar) before making a decision, not just price. That being said, you can find a link to the full list of our prices at the bottom our Programs page. We invite you to browse our programs on your way there.


Do I have to sign a contract?

Yes, within reason. This is a long term program. To reach your Black Belt takes between 3-4 years, and many students have multiple levels of Black Belt and have been with us for over a decade. That being said, we do not believe in trapping students in our program. Our goal is to get you to Black Belt and Beyond because you see the value of our program and believe in it. At the same time, each new student greatly affects their class and takes time to settle into the flow of things. At first students are full of excitement because this is new and, granted, very cool, but then they realize that it takes work to be successful. That’s when they get discouraged. This is totally natural, and part of the process that builds self esteem (see our “Building Self Esteem” article). It will happen; everyone goes through ups and downs. The problem is that when we quit prematurely, the first time something gets hard, it is very damaging for our self esteem. That is why we require an initial 6 month commitment. This allows you to complete two testing cycles, to experience those ups and downs and push through them, and to know if this program is right for you. After that point your agreement will automatically shift to an ongoing, 30-day notice agreement.