Fort ATA Martial Arts

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Rules and Expectations


In order to be comfortable and knowledgeable with the courtesies expected, the student may review the following list:

  1. When entering and leaving the classroom area, you will bow toward the flags. This shows respect for the facility in which we train and for the privilege of training itself. It also helps you remember that you are transitioning from the outside world to a student of the martial arts. You may leave any concerns and worries you carry with you during your day at the edge of the workout floor, which leaves your mind and energy available for your training.
  2. When encountering your instructor or anyone of higher rank, you will bow. The junior person (rank or age) will be the first to bow. The senior person will be the first to offer his hand: Shake their hand only if they put their hand out first to do so. In handshaking, your right forearm is supported by the left hand. These acts of public courtesy come from proper South Korean public behavior and are traditional in the South Korean martial arts such as taekwondo. These behaviors show respect for the person and the rank and position they have achieved. You may also show respect towards older people or seniors by passing objects with both hands. Bowing is done at the beginning and end of a meeting. This should be intentionally done by students to their instructor when you arrive for class and when you leave, if possible. Lastly, as a matter of respect to the country from which taekwondo was brought to us, you should stand at attention if the Korean national anthem is played in a public place, such as tournaments.
  3. When answering your instructor or anyone of higher rank, you will use “Yes, Sir” or “Ma’am” and “No, Sir” or “Ma’am”. Again, a show of respect. But be careful, this will likely become a habit that you will use outside of the classroom!
  4. Students will address instructors and black belts by their proper title (Miss, Mrs., and Mr.) and their last name. This shows respect toward the level they have achieved.
  5. Be prepared for classes before you even arrive. Make sure uniform parts are clean and nice in appearance. Make sure your body is clean, and your toe nails and finger nails are trimmed, too. This is respectful to those with whom you will train.
  6. Jewelry is not allowed to be worn in uniform and in class. This includes all earrings, watches, arm bands, etc. The only exception to this is a plain wedding band worn by married adults. This is for the protection of you and your jewelry AND of those with whom you will train!
  7. Before your class is called to line up, make sure you are in full and proper uniform. This means you have on your t-shirt, kick pants and belt, with your shirt tucked in. Any student who is not wearing the entire, correct practice uniform will line up at the end of the line at the beginning and end of class, regardless of rank. Shoes, socks and jewelry are removed, and long hair is pulled back before your class is called to line up. You should also have already taken care of any bathroom needs before you are called for class.
  8. When class begins, you will line up “like a black belt.”  This means that you will move quickly but in an orderly manner to the front of the class. You will line up in order of rank, with the highest-ranked student at the front right corner of the class, facing the flags. You will stand with your feet together without talking to or touching each other. Your hands are by your sides as you wait for further instructions.
  9. In lining up, the first student in line is the senior student. This is determined first by rank. If there is more than one of the same rank, it is the one who has had the rank the longest. Adults line up before juniors and students with instructor collars line up before those without. If all is equal, the senior student position may be rotated among them.
  10. If, while you are lined up, you are called to the front of the class, you will take one step back, turn, and go around the end of your line. This is respectful to the others in the class, rather than cutting through the line in front of you.
  11. Class begins with a formal “bow in” and ends with a formal “bow out”.The senior student will
  12. clap twice to begin. You will learn the words for each event as a white belt. Knowing the words is very important to your becoming a black belt!
  13. If a student is in the room when the “Songham Spirit of Taekwondo” oath is recited, the student must stand at attention and recite the pledge with the group, whether or not he is in uniform or a participant in the current class.
  14. Be on time! If you are late for class, you will do five push-ups and then stand with your right hand raised, supported by your left hand, and wait for permission to enter class. This is a matter of utmost respect for your instructor and the other students in the class! If you are habitually late, without having discussed it with the instructor, there will be a meeting with the instructor and, if applicable, the parent(s).
  15. If you need to leave the class for any reason, you will ask permission from the instructor first. This is very important so that she knows where all of the students are at any time.
  16. When an instruction is given to go to a different part of the class, if it requires you to take more than two steps, you will run. This sets and maintains an energy in the class that is high and more fun. It shows a respect and enthusiasm for the instruction given. And it eliminates the waste of any time between activities so that the time in class can be utilized in the most efficient manner.
  17. At any time, when an instructor gives the command, “Set”, you will stop what you are doing immediately, stand at attention with your feet together and your hands at your sides, and give your full attention to the instructions that follow. This is for the purpose of safety at times, but also for efficiency and discipline.
  18. If you need to adjust your belt or uniform, you will turn away from the instructor and/or training partner. This is a matter of respect.
  19. You will participate in all of the activities during class. If there is a reason that you cannot, it should be discussed with the instructor before class begins.
  20. Your eyes should be on your instructors when they are giving instruction. Paying attention and concentrating will not only ensure you know what you are to do, it will go a long way in the area of safety!
  21. Be a good example, in and out of class. Adults are expected to show the juniors by example proper ways to behave, and high ranks are to be good examples to lower ranks.
  22. No student, regardless of rank, may instruct or correct another student without permission  from the instructor. This avoids unnecessary talking and movement in class, and also prevents a student from being shown improper technique or sequence by another student. Mr. Fortenberry plans appropriate teaching techniques for his students, with specific timing. Please wait for his instruction concerning this.
  23. Your belt will be tied so that the ends hang evenly. One side represents your mind and the other, your body. You don't want to be short on either one!
  24. There will be no participation in sparring without complete and proper gear and without permission from and supervision by the instructor.Sparring begins for a student at the camouflage belt rank. At that point, a student will have learned the basics needed and developed the knowledge and ability to follow the school’s rules.
  25. There will be no use of profanity on the school premises at any time.The hope is that it will never be used by any ATA student.
  26. There is to be no smoking or use of tobacco products in the school at any time. Use of tobacco products and consumption of alcohol are prohibited any time while in uniform. You are representing not only yourself, but also Mr. Fortenberry and the Webster Taekwondo program.
  27. Permission of the student’s instructor is required before a student may attend another ATA school or martial arts function. This is to allow for proper protocol and good communication between the instructors of different ATA schools.
  28. High ranking visitors to the class should be greeted with appropriate respect. Any time such a visitor enters the school, the highest-ranking person in the room will call for everyone to stop what they are doing immediately, face the person and bow.
  29. Students, parents and guests will not converse with any person involved in a class session without permission from the instructor. This allows for fewer distractions for everyone and keeps the class more orderly.
  30. No food, drink or gum will be allowed on the workout floor. It is preferable that any items be consumed before coming to the training area.
  31. Place clothes and other belongings in the specified area for these items. Shoes, jackets, bags and other items should be well out of the way of training and walking areas. As much as possible, these things should be placed in the back of the room, under the windows. This shows respect not only for the instructor but for the facility where we train. On the evening of testings, you will remove your shoes and put them in the foyer before entering the training area. This leaves the testing atmosphere a little nicer, especially for our guests. The school owner/instructor will not be responsible for lost or stolen articles.
  32. There will be no arguing at any time with the instructor. If you disagree or have an issue to discuss, it will wait until after the class is over and be discussed off of the training floor.
  33. Behavioral problems and infractions of rules in class will result in a warning to the student(s) involved. If there is another incident, the student will be asked to leave the workout floor and have a seat. He/she may or may not be invited to rejoin the class, depending upon the severity of the infraction and/or the time remaining in class. The student must, however, remain until the end of class to bow out. This is out of respect for the instructor and the other students.
  34. If seated, you will stand up when asking or answering a question in class. When you have finished speaking, you may sit down unless directed otherwise.
  35. A week before each testing, you will ask your instructor for permission to test. Permission will be granted or denied based not only on class attendance and mastery of the rank material, but also on the student's behavior and attitude during the entire testing cycle. Juniors must have the character sheet signed by the parent or guardian. You must be in uniform in order to ask permission.
  36. No one should be in the workout space without permission. This means that if it is not your class, you should stay off of the workout floor.
  37. When wearing your formal, white uniform (dobok), men may choose not to wear a shirt underneath. All ladies, and men who choose to do so, must wear a solid white shirt underneath. No design or other color should show. When wearing shoes with this uniform, they should be mostly white and look nice.
  38. Any questions or complaints about these rules and protocol should be immediately directed to Mr. Fortenberry. Please refrain from discussing any concerns or complaints in front of the students and with each other. The instructor would like the opportunity to address and correct these things in a fashion that is fair and acceptable to all.