We offer the finest martial arts instruction from beginner to advanced black belt levels. TKA teaches a Korean empty handed fighting system known as Tang Soo Do (Way of the Chinese Hand) as well as Jujitsu (Gentle Art), a grappling system. The two are stylistically quite different but blend well to give students a solid foundation in principles upon which all martial arts are based.
Dale Tompkins, founder and ranking member, started TKA in 1965 with the concept of teaching traditional martial arts using modern learning theory and teaching techniques. Students are encouraged to develop creativity while honing basic skills. This method has produced many outstanding martial artists. Our instructors are dedicated to teaching martial arts in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Our classes are structured to accommodate any level of physical fitness and capability, and we are committed to helping our students set and attain goals.
Upwards of two thousand TKA members attend approximately 80 classes each week. Through the organization, students can obtain black belt ranks in Tang Soo Do and Jujitsu, enjoy tournament competition at both intramural and national levels, receive instruction in traditional weapons, attend seminars in other martial arts, instruct underbelt students and improve their physical condition.
TKA offers four sessions each year beginning in September, January, April and late June. Each session is approximately 10 to 15 weeks in length. The registration fee covers group instruction for each session (please note that uniforms are not included in the registration fee). TKA Events such as tournaments and seminars are posted on the website.
A uniform or “gi” is not required until you take your first exam but you are encouraged to get your gi before the end of the first session. Your instructor can help you choose the proper gi size and can give you information on how you may purchase one. A white gi may be worn by any student at any time. No other color of gi may be worn by students who are below the level of black belt. From May through September, any plain T-shirt or TKA T-shirt may be worn in class instead of a gi top. Gis, optional sparring equipment and other martial arts items such as patches, manuals, T-shirts, etc. may be ordered through your instructor or purchased at our store (check under the Contact Us page for directions and hours). DVD videos and handbooks are also available for purchase.
Underbelt (below black belt) promotional exams require an extra fee for administration and belt certification and are offered in November, March, and June at local studios and in July or August at our summer camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains. New students should complete a minimum of one session before taking their first exam. More experienced students should plan on preparing for every other or every third or fourth exam. This is especially true for higher underbelt levels. Approval from your instructor is required before you take an exam. Approval is based on student’s attitude, effort during class and quality of skills. Steady progression through the ranks will be accomplished by regular practice of class material, especially forms, throughout the week.
We make every effort to complete all classes in each session. However, snow days, school functions, holidays and facility problems beyond our control occasionally interfere. When class interruptions are foreseeable, we plan around them; otherwise, we will provide make-up classes at nearby TKA classes that meet on other nights. Since we offer classes Monday through Thursday, you will have several options. Make-ups at the facility that was interrupted will be offered only when they do not disrupt the preset yearly schedule. It is not possible to offer refunds for missed classes. We do not guarantee that make-up classes will be available in all situations. By registering for TKA classes, you are agreeing to the above policies.
- In order to hear announcements about events, schedule changes, session starting and ending dates, please try to be present at the beginning and end of class
- If you are unable to stay or come in at the beginning of class, please be sure your student confirms that class is running as usual before you leave. Please do not drop off students more than 5 minutes before class starts, and please return at least 5 minutes before the end of the class to pick up your student (and hear announcements). TKA, schools, and the recreation departments are not responsible for children dropped off before class starts or who are not picked up after class ends.
- We encourage you to stay and watch the class because this allows you to see your student’s progress which will allow you to help him/her practice at home. (Please do not interrupt the class once it has started. See the instructor afterwards with questions.)
- Students benefit the most if they practice what they learn in class at home before the next meeting. If they practice even 5 minutes every day, they progress faster. See your instructor for tips on how to help your student practice.
All students and parents
- Please be on time for classes (let the instructor know if there is a particular situation that may cause you or your student to be late)
- Students should use the bathroom before class starts or after class ends
- Students should finish eating meals at least one hour before class. Eating a meal close to class time can lead to an upset stomach during class.
- If another group is using our class space before our class, please do not enter that space until that class has let out and your instructor says it is clear to enter
We have events which occur at set times each year. See your instructor for details:
- Exams: November, February, and June. Students do not take each exam, but will take the exam closest to when the instructor deems them prepared. As the belt rank increases, so does the time between exams. Instructor permission is required for a student to test.
- Tournaments: we have 3 competitions each year. In December and March, we have a competition limited to TKA students only. Students must enter one of these intramurals before testing for green belt and two before testing for blue belt. They must enter at least one of our April national tournaments in order to test for brown belt.
- Camps and clinics: we run intensive clinics for youth (6-12 yrs.) during the December winter break and in June. We have a week-long camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains in August.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact us with any questions at (301) 840-9262
Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Friday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm (closed Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday).
P.O. Box 8611
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8611
Find us on Facebook at "TKA Karate" and search for us on YouTube at "tkasudo".