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Martial Arts

Tae Kwon Do

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that focuses on kicks. It is very popular in the southeast. There are two organizations presently representing the art, WTF and ITF. Our focus predates these two organizations, and is called Moo Duk Kwan and Tang Soo Do.

Martial arts for kids with special needs


Georgiana M. Gaines, 3RD dan black belt, founded Special Kicks Taekwondo on June 21, 2014, after her daughter Kathryn was born with Down Syndrome. The program is for specialized martial arts instruction, with inclusive participation with siblings, tournaments, nationals, and Junior Olympics under AAU. Each student is evaluated into three separate levels: 1, 2, and 3. Each of the students has their own curriculum. No two students will have the same belt level or advancement plan. Focus is on occupational, physical, and speech therapy, in order to assist each student with their individual growth. The main goal of Special Kicks Taekwondo is to create a positive atmosphere for the student to discover all that they can accomplish.




To create a nurturing and positive atmosphere for families of children with special needs where they may learn martial arts and build a support network with others.


AAU Membership


Each year AAU membership is required for those who wish to participate in tournaments, National Championships and Junior Olympics.


Belt Levels

White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, and black.




Each student will test for advancement based on factors of time passed and skills learned. As in a traditional martial arts program, each student will demonstrate understanding of effective techniques, attitude, and growth. Forms, sparring, board breaking, weapons sparring, and self defense all may be included in the test.




Special Kicks Taekwondo participates in three district qualifiers each year. Georgia (Dakula, GA), Southeastern (Lebanon, TN.), and Ozark (Missouri) tournaments. In order to participate, the student’s school grades must be satisfactory. The criteria for this will be determined with the child’s parents.


National Championship/ Junior Olympics


The National Championship is held every year in Florida during the first week of July. The Junior Olympics is held the first week of August, the location varies by decision of the AAU TKD committee.


This program is designed to provide an educational path for each student to reach his or her fullest potential. All students can do enormous things in life if given the chance. SKTKD gives those with any special needs an opportunity to be nurtured, grow and excel in life. SKTKD has a vast range of special needs: Downs Syndrome, autism, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, ADHD, Asperger’s, and delayed intellectual development.


SKTKD will come in once per month for a two-hour class, for special needs kids aged 8 and up. Most kids will then also be able to integrate into the Center Hill Martial Arts family style class, with an advancement plan unique to their needs. 

Shorin Ryu

Shorin Ryu Karate is a style of Okinawan Karate (Shuri-te) descending from Soken “Bushi” Matsumura.  Shorin Ryu Karate is recognizable by its dodging (change body) from oncoming strikes, and direct counter attacks using punching and kicking
techniques from higher (more mobile) stances than many other styles.  Shorin Ryu  is a martial art (method of combat), which employs a variety of techniques, including punches, kicks, blocks, vital point strikes, throws, chokes, joint locks, and bonebreaking.   Karate practice is divided into three aspects: Kihon (basics), Kata (forms), and Kumite (fighting).

The word Karate is a combination of two kanji characters: “KARA”, meaning empty, and “TE”, meaning hand. So the literal modern translation of the word Karate means “empty
hand.”  Much earlier the kanji character “KARA”  was frequently translated as Chinese, and karate was known as “Chinese Hand” in reference to karate’s heavy influence from Chinese Kempo and Chinese Boxing. Adding the suffix “-Do” (pronounced “doe”), meaning “way,” differentiates the meremastery of physical techniques (“Karate”) and puts the emphasis on the acquisition of
spiritual insight and development. “Karate-Do,” implies Karate as a total way of life that goes well beyond the fighting applications. 


In traditional Karate-Do, we always keep in
mind that the true opponent is oneself and the ultimate goals are to seek perfection of one’s character and to touch the lives of others in a positive way. Shorin Ryu Karate emphasizes correct posture, correct joint alignment, and basic technique above all else. The Shorin Ryu expert is expected to perform using strictly
defined basic techniques even under harsh conditions.  Basic techniques are refined tothe minutest detail, and performing them with absolute perfection is given the highest priority.  The intrinsic mastery of one’s body dynamics to generate fantastic amounts of
speed and power is really what sets Shorin Ryu Karate apart from so many other styles. Even in today’s new world of science the “Old Okinawan Training Methods” still produce one of the most powerful Martial Arts in Human history…. SHORIN RYU KARATE!


The Shorin Ryu philosophy is that purity of raw technique is most important. The idea behind this is that one elegant technique mastered so completely that it is as natural as flipping a light switch will finish off the opponent quickly and efficiently. In situations where there are multiple opponents, such an ability is believed essential because there may not be time to throw more than one or two techniques per opponent, and grappling or getting tangled up with your adversary, when two others are also trying to harm you is probably unwise. Therefore, each Karate technique is maximized at the expense of learning more complicated defenses.  In combat, less is usually more! Simple techniques win (physical, mental and emotional) engagements.


The Shorin Ryu belief is that nothing is more important than strong basic technique. When attacked, the Shorin Ryu expert will usually dodge at an angle to one side or the other to avoid the oncoming attack and then drive directly forward through the adversary from the same angle, flanking the attacker, with straight punches and kicks while sweeping at the ankles, and legs, to unbalance the retreating opponent. Shorin Ryu experts are familiar with other types of more complex techniques, but they generally avoid them, as I previously mentioned that in combat the simpler the technique the better…it leaves less room for error. While Shorin Ryu may be seen as “simple,” as it does not appear to employ a wide variety of motions, the techniques are designed to be mastered to such a high degree of precision and ease of use that they “truly” become extremely effective weapons.


Ai, harmony. ki, spirit or energy. do, the path or the way. Aikido is the way of harmonizing the spirit. Aikido developed in the 1920s and 1930s as a synthesis of jujitsu, sword-, and spear-fighting. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), combined the joint locks and throws of jujitsu with the body movements of sword- and spear-fighting. He ultimately settled on the name Aikido in 1942 to stress the deeper spirital foundation of the discipline. Ueshiba was a follower of new Japanese religion called Omotokyo, which mixes neo-Shintoism with socio-political idealism to create a harmonious "heavenly kingdom on earth." While this specific religious aspect does not influence Aikido as practiced by most Aikidoka, there at least two fundemental tenents: (1) a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible and (2) a commitment to self-improvement through aikido training.

The techniques of Aikido are circular in nature, and are not designed to stop attacks or to conflict with them. Instead, aggressive motions are converted into circular movements that render attackers helpless. Aikido techniques allow the attacker's movements to continue and complete themselves naturally, so that the attack is diverted and redirected harmlessly. The Aikidoist is trained not to cripple, but to apply various wrist and joint locks, pins, and unbalancing throws to neutralize aggressors without serious injury to either the aggressor or the Aikidoist. The movements are like the motions of a sphere which rolls effortlessly along, joining mind and body.

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