I've been going to Eagle Taekwondo for a little over five years. I had enrolled my daughter in the school a year earlier and was impressed by the owner, instructors and the curriculum. After 25 years of living stressed out in a cube farm I had never considered martial arts (mostly due to my weight… 325 lbs, arthritis and general health… uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, poor lung capacity, etc.). I had learned over the years that diets did not work (at least for me), and that the various spas, gyms, etc. that catered to the beautiful, 20 something, body building crowd was not for me. I am always early to everything and sat in on a number of my daughter’s classes, observing the school and the people in it. After a couple of visits I decided that this was something that even I could do. My doctor had been telling me that I probably wouldn’t live another year or so unless I decided to do something. So I gave it a try. During the next couple of years I dropped over 100 lbs and found that my health improved to the point to where I am now taking minimal medications and hope soon to not need them. My arthritis improved to the point to where I can now work in the yard/house/garage/basement/attic/etc. and my strength and flexibility are now better than they were when I was in College (many years ago). More importantly, I found a place where I felt at ease exercising and somewhere where the curriculum was constantly challenging me as I advanced from no belt to second Dan and soon third Dan (something important to me due to the number of people in my family with early onset Alzheimer’s). I have immensely enjoyed the nunchaku, knife, cane, self defense training, various weapons seminars, bamboo sword training, and have even added to my training by joining the Korean Sword classes offered by Eagle Taekwondo. When I began I had never imagined I would find something that could I could physically do into my 80s and 90s while learning something new every day.
My 6 year old daughter has been taking martial arts with Hard Target for 9 months now, and is still excited about coming to class each and every time. Hard Target teaches martial arts skills, discipline, respect for self and others and much much more in a safe and fun way. The instructors have a natural ability to communicate with and teach children, and the studio is welcoming and CLEAN! I have watched my daughter's confidence, physical skills and self image blossom. This is by far the best activity we have been involved with, and cannot imagine a better environment for learning such important lessons and skills that will stay with her forever. Hard Target has been such a positive influence in my daughter's life, not just physically - but mentally and emotionally as well.
I am a professional in Charlotte (I teach and coach people to do software development in teams). And a father. What Kevin Wilbourne has done with Charlotte Hapkido is very impressive. I have been coming for several years now. He treats each person according to their needs and abilities, always asking them to stretch a bit, but not too much. He is good with both kids and adults. I am not the expert on martial arts and Hapkido, but I have seen and heard about many other instructors. To me, he is the best I can imagine. He clearly understands and has an intuitive feel for how the human body works. And this enables him to teach better. And also a great person and a fun person to work with. I highly recommend these guys. Joe Little