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Tae Kwon Do...

I grew up loving Bruce Lee movies on saturday afternoon local TV stations (WTOG 44 Tampa - Home of Dr. Paul Bearer) and I always wanted to learn how to move with purpose, grace and power. We did not have a lot of money, and classes cost money, so even after a trial class (which honestly, at the time, scared the bejeebus out of me) my grandmother didn't enroll me in classes.

Fast forward 25 years, and my wife and I couldn't help but notice my oldest son's love of martial arts. Power Rangers, Jedi, Xiaolin Showdown, Avatar, you name it, we love Martial Arts media. We also noticed that we could use some family activity together that was more than typical outside play. We decided that it was time (he was about 5) to enroll him in this activity.

We started looking around at the local martial arts academies, and my wife made phone calls to enquire about each of the programs. Lucky for us, the only person to call her back was Master Gary Nistler, of ITA - TaeKwonDo-Plus Academy of Irmo, here in Columbia, SC.

Now we are all involved, even our youngest son Jack! My wife and I both have achieved 1st Degree Black Belt, and our oldest son is testing for his Black belt September 15, 2007.

If you are not involved in Martial Arts, you generally have the impression that to be a Black Belt is the highest status and the apex of the activity. Actually, it is just the beginning. You don't really start learning how to be effective until you reach this status.

Our chosen style and school of TaeKwonDo is called Ho-Am (Tiger-Rock) and embodies a set of tenets and a discipline of self that can enrich your life, your community, and your abilities. Our tenets are Honor, Courtesy, Integrity, Self-Control, Courage, and Community.