We asked parents and students what they think about DENDA Academy (formerly Kim’s Academy)…here’s what some of them said:
HOW KIM’S ACADEMY OF TAE KWON DO HAS CHANGED MY LIFE
Many people see martial arts as something to send their kids to, like little league baseball, or AYSO soccer, something to fill their time, a way to burn all that childhood energy, or maybe even something to help them be more disciplined, confident, or better able to deal with a bully. While martial arts can do those things, stopping there is short sighted. Kim’s Academy offers more than a temporary time filler, or short-term good thing. If you let it, it will change your life.
Not all martial arts schools will do that. What sets Kim’s Academy apart is Master Jack Markman, Master Den Dutson, and an outstanding group of assistant instructors. Almost all of the assistant instructors are “home grown.”
They began as white belts. Their reasons for beginning varied. The reason they remained is the same. They have learned more than a martial art. They have learned their own value, and the value of others. They have learned to love the school, its teachers, its students, and themselves. In the process, many of them have seen their grades improve; their relationship with their parents becomes one of greater respect and appreciation, and their confidence in their abilities to do the difficult increase. Some have been able to leave behind behavioral problems and challenges that were taking them down the wrong path. A few, that some would call dis-abled, were en-abled, finding success and acceptance never before encountered outside of immediate family.
Kim’s Academy becomes part of the fabric of one’s life. It became a part of mine, and of my son’s.
It all began with the family seeing “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Our then eleven-year-old son was very excited. He told us repeatedly, “I want to do that. I want to do that.” When we told him he wouldn’t learn how to fly, he said, “I know. But I want to do that.”
I had studied another martial art years before, prior to and during my enlistment in the Marines. I knew something of what was involved. Two things were important to us as parents. Most important was the feeling in the school and the approach of the instructors. We needed a good fit for our son. The other was the terms. Some schools we visited insisted on a three-year contract. We had visions of our son going for a month and saying, “I don’t want to do this any more.”
Everything at Kim’s resonated as a good fit. There was discipline, positive discipline. Fear was not an instrument of instruction. Errors in technique, or behavior needing correction, were corrected promptly, firmly, and kindly, immediately followed by praise and positive reinforcement. Children were reminded at the end of each class that the one’s bringing them to the school were worthy of gratitude and respect.
Those with higher belts are expected to share their knowledge with the lower belts, and to set an example for them. Those with lower belts learn to look up to the higher belts, and to emulate them.
After about a year and a half on his journey to black belt, my son asked me to join him. I did so gladly. It gave me a front row seat to the change being wrought in him.
Before he started at Kim’s, our son was the quintessential victim. He was a kind, gentle soul who tried to cope with aggression by withdrawing. Bullies gravitate toward that, sensing those sending out the “victim” signal before they begin. They know there is “fun” to be had.
Along to the road to black belt, our son stopped transmitting the “victim” signal. He doesn’t need to trumpet the fact he’s a black belt. Bullies sense there is no “fun” to be had, and look elsewhere.
Only once has our son had to use his training to deal with a bully, a boy in our neighborhood who had picked on him for years. It happened at our son’s first scout camp, as we knew it would.
Before he went to scout camp, we talked to our son. He said he could not use Tae Kwon Do to hurt people. We agreed, but told him he had the right to defend himself. So did his scout master, and Master Markman. Master Markman reminded him he had learned the skills to protect himself for a reason, and had the right to use them appropriately.
At the scout camp, the bully waited until there was no adult supervision, and began his attack. Our son countered with a well-placed punch to the bully’s shoulder, hard enough to hurt, but not harm.
“OW!,” cried the bully. “That hurts!”
The physical harassment stopped that day. The bully learned the price for physically attacking our son was higher than he was willing to pay. But he did not give up completely.
The bully tried to verbally provoke our son into using his martial arts training inappropriately, thinking, “If I can’t physically victimize him, I’ll provoke him into attacking me and get him into trouble.” This form of bullying also failed. Our son had become confident and self assured. In addition to learning how to punch and kick with great skill and power, he had learned power over himself.
No amount of verbal taunting could provoke our son to act inappropriately. He reached a balance between Yin and Yang. He has the power to act, and the strength to refrain from acting. The lessons learned on his journey to black belt have carried over into every other aspect of his life.
Both of us reached black belt and became assistant instructors at Kim’s Academy. We have shared the joy of seeing the light in the face of a student who has mastered a one-step sparring, a form, or a breaking technique. We have seen that joy reflected in the faces of parents who attend testing for each belt rank advancement, as their child succeeds at a daunting task in an atmosphere of kindness, support, and respect.
I encourage you to see for yourselves the value offered by Kim’s Academy of Sandy. It’s not just another activity for your child. It’s more than a series of colored belts leading to a black belt. It’s a place of learning, discipline, compassion, character, and kindness, a gift that will provide part of the foundation your child will need to succeed in a challenging world as a happy, confident, and kind contributor. If you would like to expand that gift exponentially, take the journey with them.
Dear Master Markman and Master Dutson,
I would like to write to share with you what Kim’s Academy has meant for our family. You have such a wonderful organization with a truly uniquely positive and respectful environment. We are proud to be a part of the KATKD family.
When I first sought out a martial arts program in Sandy and Salt Lake City, I felt very discouraged. I visited several Karate studios and another Tae Kwan Do studio. I was very frustrated with the financial policies of these businesses and felt like a car buyer in a used car lot. The pressure was great to get me to sign over auto withdrawals from my account for 12 months per year even though we were only going to be able to attend 9 months a year. I called KATKD and Master Markman returned my call. His voice was so kind and considerate and, I was pleased to hear, no 12 month mandatory payments via auto debit.
One visit to the studio and the positive and respectful culture was very apparent. We signed my oldest son up that day. After 5 years with your Studio and lots of hard work, my son finally tested and received his black belt. That was such a grueling yet wonderful experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives. The patience, the tenacity, the professionalism, and mostly the kindness in how these children are taught such wonderful life skills is simply priceless and begins in class and continues through every testing.
My son was changed within his first two weeks of classes and has shown such a dramatic improvement in coordination and dedication. Master Markman referred to him as having Intestinal Fortitude during his Black Blelt Testing, but I’ve seen that in his school work, involvement in Cub Scouts, chores around the house, and so much more. He truly has learned far more than Tae Kwon Do skills.
Thank you so much for this amazing program and thank you for always keeping this such a positive experience for my son, Graydon, and for us. We are excited for our 5 year old to begin his journey at Kim’s Academy of Tae Kwon Do this April.
Kristin & John Russell
With pleasure I am passing along our family’s testimonial…
Our family has had at least one student at Kim’s Academy in Sandy for 8 years. Our daughter, who is currently 13, began her training at age 5. She is now a black belt working on her second recommended. Over the last few years, the rest of our family of five has enrolled and trained at Kim’s Academy, including both of us as parents. There are several reasons why we feel that this has been one of the best activities that we could have chosen, but all of these reasons are enhanced because of the specific school that we are privileged to attend.
Our experience at Kim’s Academy of Sandy has been exceptional. The quality of the instructors has made all of the difference for our family. The instructors are experts at the sport and are well-qualified in every way to train the next generation in the sport that they love. The instructors train and teach by example – they themselves, live what they teach. They teach with exactness and discipline – they train every student very hard – they expect a high level of respect – they know each student personally and they are able to teach that student to help the student to be their very best.
Our second child was diagnosed with brain cancer 4 1/2 years ago – following many, many set-backs; he was able to walk again and begin to regain his mobility. We brought him to Kim’s Academy Sandy for TKD training because of our long-standing relationship with the instructors. We knew that the training he would receive would be the best quality teaching that we would be able to find. He is currently being trained with both discipline and respect. It is an amazing school to have these qualities in each and every one of the instructors. Without exception, the instructors take a personal interest in every student, understanding their individual strengths and weaknesses, and bring them to the best that they can be. All three of my children work hard, train hard and also have fun because of the quality of the instructors.
Our family is a full supporter, in every way, of Kim’s Academy of Sandy. We feel that this school is more of an extended-family than a just a martial arts training school. They help support each other physically and mentally so that every class ends on a “high” – we leave better equipped to face the challenges in our everyday activities – whether they are work or school. Our children are better friends and students and we are better parents and friends because of our training at Kim’s Academy Sandy. We are grateful that this school is a part of our lives.
The Felsted Family
Erik, Missy, Abi, Andrew and Grant
In an effort to help Kim’s Academy of Sandy be named the “Best in State 2011” I would like you to understand the impact Master Markman, Mr. Dutson and the instructors there have had on my grandson. When he originally started a little over a year ago he had some self esteem problems and in every sense of the word could possibly be a high risk child. He comes from a divorced family where the father has been absent for awhile (now trying to be active in his live) a mother who leads a non-traditional lifestyle and a boyfriend who believes and teaches things that are less than healthy for a child. Before reaching out to Master Markman we as grandparents thought we were the only hope our grandson had. Everyone at the school has embraced this little boy without knowing the full impact of what his everyday life is, but seeing a hint in him that he is worth salvaging. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping him build self esteem; no remarks are tolerated about his appearance, his weight, or his lack of energy. In fact, there is so much focus on him that he goes in with an attitude and comes out every time talking non-stop about how cool his school is and that people there care. There has been more than one time that he has missed several classes and Master Markman will call me and ask how things are going, when he has missed a lot someone in the school will spend a lot of one on one time to get him up to speed and will even make concessions so that he can test and stay with the other belts that he has been with. This school is truly the kindest and most compassionate school in Salt Lake. Their goal is to better children, make them love and appreciate their parents, grandparents, teachers, etc, but to learn and grow at a pace that makes them the best they can be. For the two nights that he goes to class I believe are classes that drive him to do well and know that there is a different way of life. There are rougher, tougher schools out there but I believe that teaches bullying as opposed to being a martial artist and knowing what your capabilities are without showing off. I vote Kim’s Academy the Best in State for Martial Arts and I hope through my letter and others they will be awarded this honor once again, they deserve it.
Dear Kim’s Academy Staff,
It is a privilege to be able to contribute feedback regarding the impact that Kim’s Academy has had on my children.
I have three boys. They are 12, 10, and 6. We started attending Kim’s Academy in about August 2010. They boys had been asking me for a long period of time to join a martial art. I went to several studios and observed sessions. When I went to Kim’s I was so impressed that I signed the boys up on the spot.
Kim’s is so well organized. They have an incredible black belt staff. They have 4-6 black belts on the mat running sessions all the time. They give incredible instruction and specifically address each child’s needs. On the very first session, the instructors and other students welcome the new students and learn their name. They are part of the Kim’s Academy family from that point on. They are all addressed by name and the instructors really know the kids.
My boys are very enthusiastic children with a lot of energy. Kim’s Academy helps them learn to focus that energy. They learn how to respect others, work together, and take pride in themselves and their studio. They are taught to give thank and respect to those who help them. There physical bodies are shaped and they learn agility, strength, control, endurance, discipline, and to pay attention to their body and environment. At the same time their bodies are shaped, their minds are developed. They are constantly learning to be aware of self and others. They learn how to be good citizens and good people.
Additionally, my oldest son suffers from bi-polar disorder depression, anxiety, and high functioning Asperger’s Syndrome. He inherently has difficulty with self esteem and his perception of self and his world. He has difficulty with executive function areas of prioritizing, ordering, judgment, impulse control, self regulation, and focus. Kim’s has worked with him to develop his body and physical control while helping his lagging neurological development.
My six year old has some developmental and learning delays. He has trouble with focus, attending, and speed of response and tasks. He has grown by leaps and bounds. He really is improving in all of his lagging areas. My ten year old in an extremely bright, talented and motivated child who finds a challenge and thrill at pushing himself, learning and growing.
One of the truly amazing things about Kim’s is that they are able to work with and challenge every child at their own level. The boys attend taekwondo four times a week and love it. They can’t wait to go and feel good about their accomplishments. They are all growing and developing at their own pace, and in their own way, but in the same direction, forward! I feel so blessed that my boys get to interact with such amazing roll models.
The structure of advancement and achievement is wonderful and really helps the kids stay motivated to go, be their best, and grow mentally and physically. They love getting a stripe on their belt that represents a principle or new move. They love preparing for belt testing and the feeling of accomplishment at breaking their board and passing to a new belt.
As a parent, there is just no way to say thank you for the impact Kim’s has had on my children. The impact will be seen far into the future and certainly every day in our interactions at home. Thanks a million!
Master Jack Markman / Master Den Dutson
As you are aware I am not only a parent of one of your students but I myself am a student at Kim’s Academy as well. I have had plans to write such a letter or testimonial for some time now. I settled on the idea of drafting a letter of appreciation to coincide with my son’s and my Black Belt Testing this summer. The Utah “Best of State” is upon us and it seems like an opportune time to write such a letter. I am confident you are hearing from many of the parents of students you are training and rightfully so.
My son Michael, 9, greatly enjoys attending Kim’s Academy. He likes being challenged and the opportunity it gives him to show his physical abilities. He came to Kim’s Academy more than two years ago with the idea of making this art form his own (though I do not think he would use these words to express his ideal) and I believe he does feel a sense of ownership in all that he has learned and will learn at Kim’s Academy. This is a tribute to Kim’s Academy for it is a reflection of your teaching style. The instructors at Kim’s Academy seem to be keenly aware of each student’s abilities and cater to that ability; knowing when and how to push each student while giving each a sense of accomplishment. I am often amazed at the volume of patience that is demonstrated by their instructors; I could not do it. As a parent I love and appreciate the importance placed on the mental disciplines which emphasize, duty, respect, and appreciation to all that are involved in their lives; country, parents, family, those who instruct, friends and so on. I know my son shows a higher level of confidence then those in his age group whom he associates with outside of Kim’s Academy. His willingness to take, head on, most challenges makes me proud. I must thank Kim’s Academy for helping my wife and I in the work of raising our son; preparing him to be a wonderful adult. As you know shortly after my son started attending Kim’s Academy I too began to take lessons; several things were key in directing me to make this decision. First, this experience would provide great father / son memories. Second, I took some form of Martial-Arts in my youth and know how it had positively impacted my life but I felt a sense of it being incomplete as I had not achieved the rank of Black Belt. Lastly, the number one reason was, the fear of failure, this almost stopped me from starting.
In April 2000 I was in a terrible motorcycle accident; many say it should have taken my life. There was great concern that the quality of my life would suffer with the loss or limited use of my legs. It was years of painful recovery and when I arrived at the crossroad of Kim’s Academy I had not done anything up to that point that could or would have challenged me, that is, beyond rehab. With the encouragement of Master Jack Markman and Mr. Den Dutson I made that decision; I do not think either of them knew of the great fear I was overcoming and the pain I was putting myself through in those early days of class. As time passed much of the remaining scar tissue that riddled my body was torn out and removed. This was accomplished through increased efforts and range of motion found in Tae Kwon Do. I was slowly getting more flexible, faster and stronger; a loss of confidence was returning to me. What I remember most of those early days at Kim’s Academy is Master Markman telling me not to put so much power into my attempted kicks or hand strikes. As I look back it was my ego and the need to show I could be a powerful male as well as most of what I was being asked to do was somewhat painful. But true to form Master Markman was correct; I not only found my technique improved but a noticeable decrease in pain. I also recall when the time came for me to start attending the sparring classes. Master Markman sat with me on the floor and spoke at length about the class and what I should expect. I was flattered that he would take the time to show me how this would benefit me and so I moved forward with the classes, I still have much to overcome and even more to learn but I am confident I will be able to cross each of those bridges as I am helped, encouraged, even pushed over each crossing.
Kim’s Academy has had a wonderful impact on my life by helping my son and providing he and I with memories of working and achieving together, and by restoring me in so many ways. For me Kids Academy has been a place of renewal and I will always be grateful.
Thank you Master Jack Markman and Master Den Dutson
Dear Master Dutson,
I would like to add my recommendation for Kim’s Academy to be awarded Best Martial Arts School in Utah for 2011. I have had my son enrolled in this program for 2 years now and I have seen fantastic results. My son has been diagnosed with ADHD as well as Asburgers (high functioning autism). I was worried when we started him that he would not enjoy it because of the level of discipline required and because of his lack of focus and concentration. Right from the beginning, the instructors at KATKD treated him with respect and fairness. They expected nothing but his best regardless of his problems and still continue to do so. The instructors demand professionalism and respect once each student steps onto the mat.
Because of their optimistic, goal centered approach to achieving success, my son has been highly motivated to not only attend all classes but work hard and do his best while there. I have seen him increase his skills physically as well as develop a better sense of focus, determination, and pride in achieving his goals. His flexibility, control, strength & agility have all improved.
Every class is a win-win situation. I am so grateful for the opportunity my son has in associating with such high quality people at KATKD. I believe the teachers really do care about each, individual student and their needs. My son is doing much better in school, cooperates more at home, and has a better sense of accomplishment in himself because he has been instructed at Kim’s Academy.
I have been taking tae kwon do with my four children at Kim’s Academy for over 3 years now. We have all been delighted with the facility, the instructors and the lessons. At Kim’s Academy we feel like family. The intuitive instructors know us and our abilities well. They know when to push us and when to encourage us. Each of us has benefited in different ways from our tae kwon do experience. My oldest daughter has learned to be more assertive; my second daughter has learned humility; my oldest son has learned discipline and respect; and my youngest son has learned confidence.
It has been a privilege for my family to be associated with the caring professionals at Kim’s Academy of Tae Kwon Do.
To Whom It May Concern:
My son started attending Kim’s Academy 8 months ago. Within a week he began to show more respect to his family, teachers and peers. He only needs to be asked one time to do something at home.
Whether it is chores or homework he never complains. He has done very well in his school work and I truly believe it stems from the positive impact of Kim’s Academy. They teach their students to “do their best and try your hardest” and they will “get stronger together.” They deserve to be named the Best Martial Arts School in Utah. If they have the same positive influence and impact on other students and the community as they do my son, they deserve to be recognized for their hard work, continuing support and positive influence.
I believe Kim’s Academy of Sandy deserves to win Best of State for 2011. At the young ages of 8 and 5, we transferred our daughters to Kim’s Academy of Sandy, after experiencing some rather grim disappointment for several months at another Tae Kwon Do school in Sandy. My husband, an avid martial artist, was sure that there had to be a better option for the girls; more challenging, more grounded in the admirable teachings of the Korean and Asian cultures, somewhere that offered not only the physical benefits of martial arts, but also the mental benefits that shape and positively influence the mind and self-discipline. Well, much to our satisfaction, we found all of this and more, at Kim’s Academy of Sandy.
Over the years, our girls have performed literally thousands of kicks, punches, sit-ups, push-ups, hundreds of board breaks and countless sparring matches, all of which have transformed them into fit and healthy 16 and 13-year olds, who in the process, have achieved the level of 2nd Degree Black Belts. But while becoming a Black Belt was certainly a goal for my daughters from day one, perhaps more importantly, is the fact that they have benefited immensely from 7 years of being entrenched in the positive energy and core values that exudes from within the walls at Kim’s Academy of Sandy. As a mother, I must say that I am just as pleased, if not more so, with this pleasantly unexpected outcome, than I am with their high kicks and black belts (although those are very cool too!). They have had the great fortune of having been mentored by wonderful, caring adults who have both taught and demonstrated respect, courage, integrity, self-esteem and discipline.
As a parent, I do often think about the time commitment and the driving 3-4 times per week, every week for over 7 years to take my two daughters to Kim’s Academy. It is indeed a bit overwhelming even to me, when considering this equates to approximately 6,500 miles, 430 gallons of gas, and over 1,100 hours of driving time (whew!) — BUT, even so, when compared to the significant and numerous positive benefits that my two girls have gained from attending Kim’s Academy, the cost has been, well, truly “priceless”.
Over the years, we have seen very few students or employees leave Kim’s Academy – which, in the industry of teaching martial arts, speaks volumes toward credibility and dedication. The owners truly know their art and their business. Many of the same students and families have come day after day, year after year, to thrive and embrace the positive environment that the owners and instructors consistently bestow on their students. This, I feel, is the “secret ingredient” that sets Kim’s Academy of Sandy apart, and makes this great school one of the very best businesses in the state – and hands down, Utah’s very best business in the industry.
Dear Master Dutson,
I have been thinking for quite some time that I would like to write you and express my appreciation for the training and expertise you have given my grandchildren at Kim’s Academy of Sandy. I have 3 grandchildren who participate in martial arts there, and what you have taught them is invaluable to their development as human beings. I believe the training they receive has helped them beyond measure and is hard to summarize in just a few words. They have had some adversity in their young lives that they have had to overcome. Without going into a lot of detail, there were some difficulties within their family that were devastating to them.
You have helped them be able to come to grips with the problems they have had to deal with and to continue to live productive lives. Your instructors are second to none and give so much positive reinforcement; the kids come home from their lessons full of confidence! The kids understand from their instruction that there is adversity in life and they learn how to deal with it. It has been absolutely awe-inspiring to observe. As a grandparent who is very concerned about their welfare, I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for my grandchildren. You are helping us as a family to mold these children into productive members of society, and after all, that is every parent/grandparent’s goal. If every child was raised by your standards, we would have so many productive citizens, it would change the face of our society!
My husband and I thank you for your efforts in behalf of our grandchildren, and for your tireless work to improve all the children you teach. You go way beyond the mark of what you have to for our kids. We are so thankful our son found you and enrolled our grandchildren in your program. There is much more I could say but in the interest of time, I will let this suffice. Just know that we feel strongly that your program is a shining example of what a martial arts studio should be and for that we are deeply grateful.
Sandra Porter Dee
p.s. This may sound silly but every time I come into your studio, I am impressed with how clean and orderly everything is. You keep the studio so immaculate, and from a grandmother’s standpoint, well, you know how fussy we are about germs and all. It is important to us to keep the children healthy and the way you take care of the surroundings the children learn in means a lot to me. Thanks for that as well!
We’re very happy with Kim’s Academy of Taekwondo of Sandy, because we can see that teaching there is done on a professional level and it’s not just a place for kids to have fun. Our son has been going to the Academy for about 6 months now and we can see real progress in both his martial skills and personal development. He loves the training and is really proud of himself. Thanks for what you’re doing – we appreciate it very much!
I am not surprised that Kim’s Academy has been nominated for Best Martial Arts School in Utah. We are pretty new to the school (since October of last year), which probably is considered new, since many of the students there has been there for long terms. That fact itself speaks highly about the school. As a newcomer our daughter fitted in right away and it was amazing to see how quickly the teachers knew her name and personality. All the teachers are great; they show appreciation, knowledge, enthusiasm and support towards the kids and the families. I think Kim’s Academy is very good in “picking and training” their teachers.
I had no idea how beneficial Kim’s Academy would be for our child. She had been asking to start taking lessons for a few months and our daughter doesn’t have problems in school, at home or in her social life, so we were not hoping for or expecting improvement in these fields, just to find a new way to exercise, learning how to defend herself correctly, having fun and staying disciplined. However, in addition to that, we have also seen wonderful improvement in her life; from accepting her small choirs to being very respectful towards her peers. It is great to hear that you are getting recognized even from others than just students and parents!
My son Kobe has been attending Kim’s Academy of Taekwondo for almost a year now. During this time I have seen an immense change in his attitude and self confidence. Kobe is the smallest boy in his class and was picked on, on a regular basis before starting the program at Kim’s. Now, he is confident and disciplined. Kobe is not scared; he does not back down when he is picked on and the kids have backed off of him. He knows he can defend himself and that really shows. He was asked to take a survey in his kindergarten class a week ago which was basically him rating himself as a person, about whether or not he feels he has enough friends and if he is able to interact with them. He rated himself highest in every aspect of the survey. I truly believe the self confidence and discipline he has learned from Kim’s Academy is the root of this.
Kobe’s attitude at home has also changed. He does his chores without complaining, in a hurry and correctly. At Kim’s the instructors are positive, motivating, fun, enthusiastic, and teach the kids to have self discipline. I absolutely love watching the classes and how the instructors interact with all of the children. You can see the joy and confidence on every child in the room. I would recommend Kim’s Academy of Taekwondo to anyone and everyone. They do a wonderful job.
We have 2 boys at KATKD (8 and 4). Our 8 year old has matured both physically and mentally since beginning classes 3 years ago. He has also gained a greater amount of confidence in himself.. He has learned to show respect to his peers and is much more helpful around the house and with his siblings.
Our 4 year old is our free-spirit, wild-child, but since starting classes several months ago, we’ve noticed an enormous amount of maturity and growth, which we never imagined would happen with him. He looks forward to going to class every week and we’ve been amazed how quickly he’s picked up on techniques. The instructors at KATKD are very interested in each student and their specific needs. We can’t wait until our 2 year old is able to start classes.
Tae Kwon Do doesn’t just teach self-defense. It also teaches respect, discipline, physical fitness, confidence, and good morals in general. Kim’s Academy of Sandy represents all of these attributes better than any other place that I know.
I started Tae Kwon Do 8 years ago at age 8 at a different martial arts school. I thought Tae Kwon Do was interesting but I wasn’t having much fun at that school. Eventually after a few months, my sister and I switched to Kim’s Academy. It was already so much better by just the first class there. I was having so much fun but also learning a lot. I have stuck with Kim’s Academy ever since. Now as an instructor, I want my students to have the same great experience that I had reaching my black belt. In my time at Kim’s Academy I have seen an obvious change in students from when they were white belts to when they have reached black belts or are on the path to reaching their black belt. Some kids started out very shy at first but after a few months have become more outgoing and confident. I have also seen students that were so energetic and just didn’t know how to handle it turn into kids who were very respectful. As instructors, we try to motivate and encourage the students to do their best. We love seeing out students succeed, which many have. Part of the reason we see our students succeed is because we are all so dedicated to teaching them and to Kim’s Academy. We are almost like family we have all known each other so long. Hardly any of the the instructors have left since I have started coming which shows that Kim’s Academy is a very strong school dedicated to seeing every person who enrolls succeed and reach their goals. This is why Kim’s Academy of Sandy should win Best of State 2011.
Thank you so much,
Hi Mr. Dutson,
I just wanted to get this to you, to tell you why I think Kim’s Academy of Sandy should get the Best of State award again this year.
I would like to vote for Kim’s Academy of Sandy for the Best of State recognition. Having spent more than half of my life training regularly at the Academy, I have experienced first hand the high levels of respect, discipline, leadership, and skill the Academy provides to its students. Personally I have achieved many of my goals in Tae Kwon Do through the instruction and direction of its leaders. I have found my experience at Kim’s Academy to be consistently positive and friendly.
Dear Master Markman and Master Dutson,
Thank you for your dedication to the students at Kim’s Academy Tae Kwon Do in Sandy.
Ryan has confidence and a love of Tae Kwon Do, thanks to your efforts and the genuine commitment of all the instructors at Kim’s.
In the two plus years that Ryan has been attending your school, we have come to realize that as he continues his black belt journey, your guidance will be an important part of his life in and out of Tae Kwon Do. You both have a gift of getting students to work hard to reach their potential, and then celebrate with them as they continue to succeed. He has many great role models in all the instructors.
We look forward to many more years with Kim’s Academy of Sandy.
Dave and Sally Humeniuk
Dear Ms. Williams,
I am the mother of three Waterford School children (Wapner). I wanted to let you know about the “Verbal Judo” program being offered by Kim’s Academy of Tae Kwon Do. This program teaches children and adults how to redirect verbal aggression before it turns into violence. It helps them recognize several clear stages bullying/confrontation go through before total loss of control. Most important, it gives them specific tools that enable them to stop themselves from bullying others, and from being a victim of bullying/verbal abuse.
This program was created by a gentleman who started out in law enforcement and went on to do post doctoral work at Princeton University in the field of Persuasive Rhetoric. He has worked with law enforcement personnel, military personnel, and hospital personnel, to name a few. This program has been very successful in training people how to interact and intervene when in potentially explosive , stressful situations. This program has been adapted for children and Kim’s Academy of TKD is the first martial arts school in the state licensed to introduce the Verbal Judo program. They are setting up a schedule to visit local schools and just visited Park Lane Elementary.
My two oldest children, Samantha and John, have been taking Tae Kwon Do with Mr. Jack Markman for almost five years. They are both 1st degree black belts and are about halfway to their 2nd degree belts. I credit Mr. Markman and his excellent staff ( it is a family run business, Mr. Markman’s wife has a PhD in Neurobiology I believe) with helping my son, John, and our family, navigate an extremely difficult year in his life mentally and emotionally. Kim’s Academy of TKD has been named Best Of State two years in a row in the martial arts school category and there are so many Waterford families in classes at the Sandy studio that we jokingly call it Kim’s Academy of Waterford Tae Kwon Do.
I hope you will consider giving Mr. Markman the privilege of visiting Waterford. A few weeks ago I was picking up my ED kindergartener and noticed a boy who was maybe 8 or 9 years old, laying face down in the snowy southwest playground field. He wasn’t moving and he had his coat pulled up over his head. I rolled down the car window and asked him if he was OK. He briefly looked at me and said “yes”, and went back under his coat. I asked my son about it later and learned that this boy was considered “not cool” and was rejected the few times he mustered up the courage to ask the other boys if he could join recess basketball. He came to mind when I learned about the Verbal Judo program. I believe Mr. Markman will be trying to contact you in the near future.
Thank you for your time,
Our experience with KATKD has been fun, encouraging, and character building. I have referred several friends to this academy for their positive teaching styles, and individualized encouragement of personal growth in every age group. The instructors are supportive of both parents & students, and truly care about the success of each student. This is what sets them apart!
Kim’s Academy of Sandy is a wonderful school. The teachers truly care about the students. My son had to miss for awhile and when he came back, he was greeted so warmly by the junior teachers that it made a great impression on him. I saw my son learn discipline and respect as well as coordination, strength and stamina. These skills and life lessons have also helped him in school and in other sports. I am so grateful for this school, masters and teachers and their influence on my son and family. Please think of Kim’s Academy as the best Martial arts school in Utah.
Thank you for your time.
Sue Ellen Nakamura
Congrats on the award! Here is a quick and to the point testimonial. One of the things Kim’s Academy of Sandy does a great job of doing is teaching children how to apply themselves to succeed at a goal. My daughter never thought she would be able to break a board with her bare hands. Now getting close to her black belt, she breaks boards with all kinds of moves. It is not so much the capability to break a board that is important (although who knows, she may need to physically defend herself some day), but learning to practice and persevere in order to reach a goal.
Kim’s Academy of Sandy is a fantastic school. The instructors really care and the atmosphere is very positive. I am grateful for the good school and the caring teachers! My boys have really enjoyed it and grown in amazing ways!
Kim’s Academy is great! Great enough that I make the commute from Salt Lake to Sandy a couple of times a week when work isn’t busy…as you can tell, I’m an adult student, not a parent for a kid taking classes there. My decision to go to Kim’s was based off reviews I read online and also from my former instructors down in Orem* that I’ve always liked, telling me that Kim’s was the only school they recommend to anyone to attend in the SLC area.
The school is very organized and extremely structured to measure your progress and the owners are extremely organized with their business. The instructors care and remember about all of their students, young and old. The instructors are passionate about teaching TKD. A skiing injury/torn ACL put me out of TKD for about a year and the instructors and my classmates at TKD still kept in touch with me. When I finally went back to TKD this year, I didn’t feel like I was gone for a year, it felt like I was just in class last week where I left off. I had done hours of physical therapy but my leg still had some muscle atrophy but when I went back to TKD it made a huge improvement with my leg getting stronger. As to how Kim’s benefit families and the community around them, I see lots of children benefitting from lessons at Kim’s. They are great with kids. People at Kim’s come out of there learning how to progress within TKD in a positive way, are healthier, and more confident. I would definitely like to see Kim’s Academy win Best of State for this year again.
We had the chance to have two of our boys at KATKD and loved it! We are on a leave of absence for only a short time because of a move, but our plan is to come back no matter what!!! We absolutely loved each of the teachers and would not think of going anywhere else! Everyone was so nice and very knowledgeable. My boys miss it and are anxiously waiting for us to come back. We could not think of a better place to enroll our boys for a better experience!
We as a family love Kims Academy of Sandy. My children love the teachers and have shown great improvement in their sense of self worth and in their ability to work together with others. My little 4 year old was a little unsure of the class at first but through encouragement from Master Markmen, Mr. Dutson and the other teachers she has come to love it. She is learning to concentrate and focus. She is also learning to respect her teachers and peers. I know she will keep improving as she goes to Kim’s Academy. My 7 year old has gained confidence in her abilities. She has also learned to show respect and kindness to others. She has gained a better understanding that making mistakes is a way to grow and learn. I constantly hear from the teachers that they are never in trouble for mistakes because that is how they learn and that is what makes us stronger. I know that as they get older they will learn more than just a Martial art that could help them protect themselves if the need ever arises, they are going to gain life long lessons of honesty, respect, kindness, loyalty, and love. They will be confident and strong leaders for their generation. They are the future as it has always been said and because of their great teachers they will be great leaders.
My 7 year old son started at Kim’s Academy in the early fall of 2010 and I joined in with him shortly after. It is wonderful to have an activity we can do together with the family classes. Kim’s Academy has surpassed my expectations and has given our family support we didn’t even realize we needed.
As a single mom I was looking for strong male influences in his life when joining. I love watching the instructors teach him respect and discipline. My son responds so well to the firm guidance and structure. They emphasis behavior outside of the classroom as well as in the classroom. My son can now be caught holding the door for me and saying “ladies first” as he’s learned in class. I was having discipline problems with him at the time we joined. Now a reminder to him that he is to respect me and have Black Belt Spirit corrects many issues. I’ve even get “yes ma’am” responses from time to time. The change in our home life with this teaching of respect for woman and parents is very noticeable. Master Markman, Mr. Dutson , and all the instructors, and wonderful with not only kids, but also adults. When I go to class I feel welcome and know I’ll have a great time. They all seem to truly care about the school and students.
Dear Master Markman and Master Dutson,
Our daughter, Allissa, was suicidal, incapable of attending school because of depression and bullying, and healthcare professionals recommended she be admitted to a psych unit. My first thought was, “No way.” I recalled a conversation with a gentleman from church who was an instructor at a local TaeKwonDo studio. I felt impressed that my daughter didn’t need hospitalization, but rather self confidence and coping skills.
I asked my wife to check out the studio. She was impressed at the professionalism and sincerity of the owners and instructors. I accompanied my daughter to class. The impact of the instruction was immediate. Where there was darkness and despair in my daughter, it was replaced with genuine smiles. Within weeks, my daughter went to a therapy session with her therapist. The therapist asked my daughter how she felt. She was answered with a KATKD mantra, “Outstanding, Ma’ am.” After a few more questions, the therapist turned to my wife and asked why Ally had such a turnaround. Ally answered, ” I’m taking TaeKwonDo lessons.”
It wasn’t just the benefits from martial-arts training. The instructors are very sensitive to challenging the students to be better and feel accomplishment. They artfully put my daughter in situations where she has opportunities to stand out, to be a leader, and to push herself to higher levels of accomplishment. During one belt testing, Master Markman introduced Ally as a student who had excelled in her efforts, and was worthy to perform her movements alone in front of Grandmaster Kim. That gave my daughter a self esteem that no medical protocol can ever deliver.
The instruction at Kim’s Academy goes beyond TaeKwonDo. There is an obvious effort to build and influence students as individuals, as citizens, and as empowered people. I am an educator by profession. I know thoughtful instruction when I see it. Instruction at Kim’s Academy is more than thoughtful, it is insightful. It has been my daughter’s return from despair and hopelessness, and we are extremely grateful that we found it.