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Taekwondo Club teaches more than martial arts

T-R photo by Thomas Nelson — Mike Wickham, Taekwondo Master, has taught martial arts in Marshalltown since 2014. Students learn more than just kicking and punching in his class.

Mike Wickham, Taekwondo Master, has been studying martial arts since the 80s.

He has been Marshalltown’s Taekwondo instructor since Aug. 2014.

“To be a master you need to be a minimum certification Kukkiwon international body,” Wickham said. “I got my black belt back in 1992.”

His students follow the tenets of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit.

He gives some of his younger students homework to teach the tenets.

“Give a bow and hug to your mom and dad and tell them you love them,” Wickham said.

He’s had several different students move forward from black belts.

Oftentimes families join together with the parents sticking to the classes longer than the children.

“I’ve encouraged families to do it all along,” Wickham said.

He doesn’t just teach self defense, Wickham teaches respect.

“It goes beyond the kicking and punching,” he said. “It’s a sense of respect that I try to impart to everybody.”

Taekwondo classes are held Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Community Building in Riverview Park, 402 Woodland St. from 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Wickham suggests the class for seven-year-olds and old.

Classes will be moved to a new location once the Veterans Memorial Coliseum is finished. They were previously held in the Coliseum prior to the 2018 tornado.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the club and prevented members from testing in April. In June classes started up again with social distancing.

“The pandemic caused us to tap the breaks,” Wickham said. “We take every measure we can.”

His favorite part of teaching is when students start to “get it.”

“My biggest kick is watching a family do it together,” Wickham said.

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Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com

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