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You've been protecting our country and community

People express gratitude in many ways. When it’s safe to reopen, River Valley Taekwondo will offer six free months of martial arts classes to anyone who has served on the front lines of the struggle against COVID-19 or behind the scenes in an essential organization.

There are no strings attached and no expectations. You’ve kept us safe and healthy though a challenging time, and this is how we choose to say thanks and give back. We hope the practice of Taekwondo will help you feel more aware, more balanced, and more capable in everything you do, whether during an emergency or when your days are peaceful.

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FAQs About Our Free Training

This is our way of saying THANKS to everyone who has kept us safe and healthy over the past several weeks of this long ordeal.

Lots of people are expressing their gratitude for health and hospital workers, employees at grocery stores and pharmacies, first responders, and everyone who is so visibly out on the front lines. We add our voices to this chorus of thanks, and we hope you’ll join us so we can share our knowledge and community with you.

We’re also grateful to people who are less visible:

  • the farmers who grow and distribute our food
  • infrastructure workers who keep our roads, utilities, and homes working while we’re on lockdown
  • Uber/Lyft, taxi, and bus drivers who risk their health by helping people without their own transportation get where they need to go
  • delivery drivers and postal workers who get us the things we need
  • local, state, and federal employees who guide us and make the rules to keep people safe

If you’re on the Massachusetts list of essential businesses, you’re in for sure! If you aren’t on the list, or aren’t sure, please get in touch with us anyway and make your case. We are not limiting our offer to people who meet some rigid criteria: if you’ve been doing your part to help us all get through the pandemic, we want to give back and hope to hear from you.

NOTE: everyone who trains at River Valley Taekwondo MUST provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. There will be no exceptions without a medical exemption from a licensed physician.

Once we decide it’s safe to resume classes, we will offer six months of unlimited training to qualified new students. Your only out of pocket expense will be the purchase of a dobok (training uniform) after your first month of classes. We sell doboks to our students at the actual wholesale cost, with prices starting around $25. If you decide Taekwondo isn’t for you, you don’t need to buy a dobok and there will be no cost to you or any further obligation whatsoever. After six months, if you’d like to become a regular student at our school, we’ll talk to you about paying regular membership dues. We’ll still be grateful after six months, but we’ll eventually need  your help to keep paying our rent, insurance, and other expenses!

Advancement in rank is different for everyone, but many students who train regularly (two or three times a week) will be eligible to test for promotion before the end of this six month offer. Our school never charges testing fees below the black belt level, so if you become eligible to test, that won’t cost you anything either.

The short answer is: because we’re grateful and because we can!

The longer answer is that martial arts practice, for most people anyway, usually starts with development of the self—but the longer people practice, the more their attention turns to using their strength, experience, and leadership to help others. Whether teaching classes to the next generation of students, or to various acts of service in the community, most of our advanced practitioners are committed to using our skills to improve the world around us. This evolution happens for different reasons, but one thing we all share at RVTKD is the guidance of the Five Tenets of Jidokwan:

  1. Loyalty to Country
  2. Respect the Elder
  3. Friendship among Peers
  4. Love Widely
  5. Practice Justice

You may notice that none of these guidelines are about cultivating the self. They’re all about how to relate to others and to improve the world around us. We see our free six month offer as a perfect way to follow these fundamental guidelines for what it means to practice our martial art.

Please look around our website for information about class schedules, the location of our dojang, membership dues that will apply if you keep training after six months, FAQs for newcomers, and other basics. You’ll also find a description of what Taekwondo training is like, the history of our Jidokwan style, and lots of background about what we do and how we do it. Reading our school blog will also give you a good sense of what our community values.

There are a lot of articles on our site, so here are some good ones to start with:

We’re not limiting enrollment to a rigidly defined list from the Governor’s office or any other specific source. This offer isn’t meant to offer free classes to absolutely anyone, we really do want it to be recognition and thanks for those who helped get us through the pandemic. If you’re not sure, you have nothing to lose by getting in touch, explaining why you think you should eligible, and we’ll let you know if it sounds good to us. As Wayne Gretsky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I don’t know much about hockey, but that sounds right.

UPDATE: We are shooting for a mid-July 2021 reopening. This may change, based on rates of new COVID cases, vaccination rates and coverage, and of course directives from the state government. The best way to stay informed is to a) sign up in the form below and b) sign up for our mailing list on the bottom of any page of this website.

We don’t know when our dojang will reopen. We will follow guidelines from the Governor, of course, but we will also consider other best practices, based on science and data, which may include national trends and non-governmental organizations. This may delay our reopening date beyond what is legally permitted if we think it’s necessary to keep everyone safe.

By getting this offer out there well before we reopen, we hope to build a list of beginners who can all start at the same time. There’s something wonderful about beginning with a group of people who are all at the same level. You can make fast friends and support each other during the exciting first few months of working out at our school. All of us have made some lifelong friends through our practice of Jidokwan Taekwondo, and it’s amazing to be able to look back, after a few years of training, and reminisce about what it was like when you and your friends were brand new students!

That said, we understand that certain jobs, schedules, family situations, and other factors may prevent some new students from joining us immediately whenever we reopen. We’ll take these special situations on a case-by-case basis. Please reach out to us so we can work out a plan to give you the best possible introduction to Taekwondo.

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Since there’s so much we can’t predict about our reopening date, we’re just gathering names and contact info right now. Please fill out this form so we know you’d like to try Taekwondo at our school. Once we know enough to make plans, we’ll fill you in on all the details.

We need your name and email address to get in touch, so those fields are required. All other fields are optional, but the more you tell us about yourself, the better we’ll be able to plan a special introductory session that fits the group’s needs.

Thanks again for all you’ve done to help our community and country in 2020. We look forward to meeting you and training together as soon as it’s safe!

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