I have been a student at the Academy of Hwa Rang Do in Madison, WI now for over a year. I first found the school and their Tae Soo Do program while looking for a martial arts program that could help me finally get in better shape. I would always quickly become bored of any health club or gym and stop going within a few weeks. With something new to learn at every class boredom is no longer an issue and my improved health is now more of a welcome side effect than a focus of my training. Everyone I have met that is associated with Hwa Rang Do is very considerate and fun to be around. I have made more friends in the last year than I think I have in all my time since moving to Madison, WI in 2002. All of the instructors are extremely knowledgeable in their practice of this traditional and well-rounded martial art. Not only do they pass along the various techniques with a focus on detail, but they also build confidence in their students and place a great deal of emphasis on personal character. Being relatively new to the parent scene (my oldest is 4) I am always impressed by the way the young students respond with respect, take responsibility for their actions, and grow in their leadership roles as they advance through their curriculum. My wife joined me in class about 6 months ago and though she admits it is challenging she is having a great time as well. I feel that being able to work out together in the Tae Soo Do classes has helped us develop an even greater trust for each other and it is a great place for us both to relieve the stress of the workday or from parenting that at times seams to be overwhelming. We expect to start our son in classes sometime after he has started kindergarten, I can not wait to have my whole family involved and on the road to self-improvement in the fun, respectful and caring place that is the Academy of Hwa Rang Do in Madison.
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Overall, I'd give the business a 4/5. I purchased a living social deal for the hour long massage from Jay. I was very pleased and relaxed after the massage, as he focuses on your specific "problem areas." There were a few instances that I felt the business could improve. First, the receptionist was a bit rude and short with me. Me being a new client and all, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Second, as Jay was finishing up with his client scheduled before me he looked over and said, "I thought I cancelled all appointments for today because there is construction going on above me." I never recieved a phone call and was offered to reschedule but with my busy schedule I was unable. Third, most businesses whose clients purchase a living social or groupon deal offer an incentive to return, whether it's a dollar amount or percentage off your next visit. I was not offered any incentive and as a business owner with a lot of competition you'd think this would have been done. Again, I had a wonderful massage and I felt amazing afterward. He asked me through out the massage if the pressure was ok and if I was doing ok and I liked that. I have only had two massages prior to meeting Jay and so far he is my favorite. Would I return? Most likely because he does offer some of the best prices in the area. Hope this helps!
My kids were introduced to this martial art at an introductory class at a local community center. I had always been intersted, but never took the leap. This has been a great experience for my entire family. The facilities are good, the instruction is second to none - the instructors are highly qualfied, and there is an emphasis on maintaing the quality and "purity" of the art itself. Most of all, they take great pride in what they do and care about the art itself. This isn't a belt mill designed to collect revenue. The international organization tightly controls their standards, who can claim to be practitioners, and who can teach. It is a complete martial art - countless striking, kicking, defense, weapons, joint-locks and grappling techniques. There will never be a need to seek out any other martial arts to broaden one's horizons. My only regret is that I waited so long into my life to take this up. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in martial arts.