Are You A Taekwon-Do Professional? | ITF Taekwon-Do

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Are You A Taekwon-Do Professional? | ITF Taekwon-Do
Way is right in front of you.
Way is right in front of you.

Are You A Taekwon-Do Professional?

I have a very simple definition of a Taekwon-Do Professional.  A Taekwon-do Professional is anyone who charges money for teaching classes.

Now that we’ve answered that question… If you are a Taekwon-Do Professional, are you a good one?  Or, put another way, do you think and act like one?

I could go into a long list of what being a professional looks like, but rather than telling you what you should or shouldn’t be doing, I want to create the context of being professional with you.  Once you are conscious of, and operating inside of the context of being professional, it will shape your feelings, your thoughts and your actions.

Right now, think of all the people you consider to be “professional”.  There are professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, race car drivers, actors, musicians and the list could go on and on.

I want you to notice 3 things here about all of the people who are professionals in these fields:
1. They are extensively trained in their fields
2. They are great at what they do
3. They make no bones about making a lot of money doing it.

Why do we, as a community of ITF Taekwon-Do instructors stop after the first two?

For most of you, the number of years you’ve trained dwarfs that of a doctor or a lawyer.  So why not make as much as a doctor or a lawyer?

You are extensively trained in your field.  You are great at what you do.  Now it’s time to start acting like it and get paid for what you do.

I know that you know true ITF Taekwon-Do training is priceless, and you want it for everyone.  The problem is, no one else outside of your Taekwon-Do circle knows that.

So when the public looks in your direction, at you and your school, what do they see?

Do they see value, structure, discipline, organization and professionalism or do they see cheap, part-time, tough guy, struggling hobbyist?

Most of the time, as an instructor you rarely, if ever, take the time to look at your school through the eyes of a new student or new prospect walking in to your school for the first time.  I invite you this week is to put on what I call your “white belt goggles” and walk through your school.  Look at your waiting room, your front counter, look at your marketing, look at your sign up process, look at how you run your classes…  look at everything.

As you are looking, ask yourself, “Does this convey professionalism to a new student?

Make a list of anything that doesn’t.  You may have a long list or a short one, but either way, get to work on it.  Don’t do it all at once, maybe knock off one or two items a week and continue to develop the environment and mindset of a Taekwon-Do Professional!



About the Author:

John HeadshotJohn Karstadt

Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do

Mr. Karstadt has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline and leadership skills of Taekwon-Do to Phoenix families since 1998 at Karstadt Taekwon-Do.  He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do.  He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy.  Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children.  Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at

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