Taekwondo Club: Kickin’ it on campus

By Andrew Allen

Swift, striking hand motions and furious high-spinning kicks define the martial art of Taekwondo.

Many students may not be aware that UK has a club Taekwando team.

Taekwando is the traditional Korean national sport and is also highly practiced throughout the world. Translated to English, Taekwondo means “the art of kicking and punching.”

The sport has multiple forms and ways of practice, one of the most common being known as sparring. Sparring is a one-on-one, open-floor fighting event and one of the principle ways of practicing Taekwondo.

Darvin Ngo, president of the Taekwondo club here at UK, has been practicing the sport since middle school and has achieved the level of black belt.

“I’ve gained a passion for this martial art, especially sparring,” Ngo said.

Tiger Kim, a Taekwondo Grand Master, began the club at UK in 1990 when he was enrolled in graduate school.

Kim graduated from UK with a Ph.D. in Political Science in 1995. Kim also has taught Political Science classes at UK and remains the head coach of the club.

“Kim has helped instruct the club for many years here at UK. He has taught me and many members of the club the art and discipline of Taekwondo,” Ngo said.

Recently, Kim opened his own Taekwondo Academy in the Palomar Center in Lexington.

Although Kim’s studio is relatively new, Lexington Family Magazine recently named it the best martial arts school for 2010.

Ngo encourages all newcomers to experience the sport.

“I believe someone new should check out the sport if they want to gain flexibility and also be able to throw kicks and practice self-defense,” Ngo said. “Since we have few members, it is always great to have new people come and check out the sport.”

The club hosts open practice every Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Alumni Gym.