Sparring is an integral part of Taekwondo, and we cultivate students’ sparring abilities in this class. Classes consist of guided drills where students are taught important techniques for sparring such as steps, blocking, evasive maneuvers, and effective attack and defense sequences, and freestyle sparring, where students are paired up with several partners and given time to spar under the supervision and guidance of the class instructors.
Students are encouraged to both use the techniques taught at the beginning of the class, and improvise to their advantage. By sparring multiple partners during the course of the class, students experience and prepare for competition fighting.
The principals of West Side Taekwondo believe firmly that excellence in competitive Taekwondo is just a step in the larger quest of personal achievement and success in all aspects of life. Through their own educational and professional achievement, each of the principals of West Side Taekwondo has set an example applying the principles of martial arts toward achievement outside the Dojang, and have encouraged the development of our elite athletes as more than just Taekwondoin who excel in the sport, but as complete human beings who embody the ideals of Taekwondo. An overview of West Side Taekwondo’s elite athletes thoughout the years illustrates this point:
- Chinedum Osuji, Ph. D. Dr. Osuji represented Trinidad & Tobago as Welterweight at the 2004 Athens Olympics, having secured a berth for his nation with a Silver Medal at the Pan American Olympic Qualifiers. Master Whang Jr. coached Dr. Osuji at both the competitions. In addition, Dr. Osuji represented Trinidad & Tobago at almost every other elite international Taekwondo competition including the World Championships (2001 Korea, 2003 Germany, 2005 Spain), the Pan Am Games and the Caribbean Games (2006). Dr. Osuji completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 3 years, and received his MA and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and conducted his Post-Doctoral fellowship at Harvard University.
- Jennifer Huang, M.D. Dr. Huang represented the US as Featherweight at the 1995 World University Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was a long-time ranked female Taekwondo athlete. Dr. Huang received her BA from Cornell University, and MD from the Touro College of Medicine in San Francisco. She completed her residency at the prestigious University of San Francisco Emergency Response center, and has commenced her residency there.
- Christina Park. Ms. Park is a 5-time US National Collegiate Team Middleweight champion and captain (2001 Korea, 2004 Greece, 2005 Turkey, 2006 Spain, 2007 Thailand), 2005 and 2006 US National Middleweight champion, and represented the US at the 2005 and 2006 Pan Am Championships. She received her SB (undergraduate) and SM (Masters) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Tom Lynn, Jr. Mr. Lynn represented the US as Lightweight at the 1998 World University Taekwondo Championships and at the 2001 World Cup, whereupon he was ranked 8th among Lightweights in the world. Mr. Lynn received his BA from Wichita State University, and his PA (physician’s assistant) degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.
- William Palmieri. Mr. Palmieri represented the US as Middleweight at the 1998 World University Taekwondo Championships and at the 2001 World Championships after winning the 2001 US Team Trials. Mr. Palmieri graduated from Rutgers University.
- James Cadogan, Jr., Esq.. Mr. Cadogan represented the US as Middleweight at the 2004 World University Taekwondo Championships in Patras, Greece, and at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, and is an associate at the New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
- Dorian Alexander is a long-time member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Taekwondo Team. He has competed in numerous international competitions representing his country, most recently at the 2008 Pan American Taekwondo Championships in Puerto Rico. He is currently finishing his medical studies.
- Lenn Hypolite is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Taekwondo Team, and moved to New York and began training at West Side Taekwondo in 2008. In October 2008, Mr. Hypolite won a Silver Medal at the prestigious Pan American Taekwondo Championships in Puerto Rico.
Masters Whang have also devoted considerable time and effort to coaching elite athletes at the national and international levels. Master Whang Sr. has served on the coaching staff for both the US National Team and the US National Collegiate Team. Master Whang Jr. coached at two consecutive World Championships, in Korea in 2001 and in Germany in 2003. One of the highlights of West Side TKD’s history, and of Masters Whang’s coaching career, was Master Whang Jr.’s participation in the 2004 Athens Olympics as Olympic coach for Trinidad & Tobago, where he coached long-time student and athlete Chinedum Osuji.
While competition fighting is not required for West Side students, it is a large part of modern Taekwondo. Students practice their sparring techniques in class, and are encouraged to enter into tournaments. There are a number of annual tournaments held in the New York City area, affording our students the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of our internationally recognized elite Taekwondo athletes!
More in this section
- Pee Pods (ages 3-4)
- Pee wee (ages 4-5)
- Children’s Program (6-11) Beginners
- Children’s Program (6-11) Intermediate and Advanced
- Teens and Adults
- Black Belt
- New Classes
- Birthday Parties and Events
- Summer Camps