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Taekwondo Demonstrations At Exploris Drawing Young Fans

Posted June 16, 2001

— Exploris Children's Museum of Raleigh's mission is to introduce visitors to world cultures and arts. One of those arts, Taekwondo, has become very much a part of life in America, and is winning new fans.

"The word 'tae' means foot, the word 'kwon' means to punch with the fist, and the word 'do' means the path of discipline," says Rhondi Chang.

The sport is gaining in popularity, and demonstrations like the one this weekend at Exploris help draw new students.

"I like the martial arts, breaking boards. You get tired after class, I'll tell you that much," says one young student.

Seven-year-old Sarah Coleman has been studying Taekwondo for most of her life.

"(I've been studying) since I was two-and-half," says Coleman, who is a black belt.

"(Taekwondo) gives you confidence," she says.

And not just confidence to spar with her brothers. Master Oh Chang says the skills learned go hand-in-hand with success in life.

"When they go to school, they use focus, because we teach eye focus, body focus and mind focus," he says.

"In fact, that's originally why a lot of students come here in the first place, to get help with focus and attention span, so that they'll do well in school," says Rhondi Chang.

The spectacular aspects of Taekwondo capture kid's imaginations, and they might be tempted to try what they learn at home.

The Changs say their students know when to turn it on and when to turn it off.

"Self-control is a very big part of martial arts. Kicking and punching and yelling are some of the fun parts, but there's also a lot of discipline and respect and self-control," says Rhondi Chang.

Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy more special demonstrations of martial arts at the Exploris Children's Museum in Downtown Raleigh next to Moore Square.


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