Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Taekwondo, Social Distancing and Moving Forward

It is already more than three months since the pandemic shut down taekwondo classes at the Stevens point YMCA, after nearly 40 years of year round class sessions.  This sad cessation of training will continue for a while, but eventually, formal classes will resume.

In the interim, Master Henkel and Master Hilde are live streaming short workouts each Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7 pm.  If you are not a member of the facebook page, and would like to continue training at home, ask to be a member so that you can join the workouts.

We are also considering different ways of helping students gain and move forward  I f you are working out and trying to continue, we will work out a way to test you, but we need to hear from students  Email us at if you are interested.  This is for all levels of students, so contact us, whether a yellow belt or a black belt wanting to advance.

We miss the class and all the students, and will work something out to help you proceed if you get in contact.

Meantime, stay well and enjoy our great summer weather.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Family of Black Belts

A father and daughter tested together to earn new and higher black belts at Stevens Taekwondo:  A New Way of Life recently, meaning all four of the family have achieved taekwondo black belt level.

Daniel Murray Jr. successfully earned his fourth degree black belt and the title of junior master of taekwondo.  In addition to advanced kick combinations and sparring, he broke three boards with combination technique using front kick, side kick, crescent kick and spinning side kick.  He demonstrated the pyongwon form, a bo staff form and how to teach proper blocking.

Ten-year-old Elisabeth Murray followed her father, brother Gavin and mother Carrie into the black belt ranks as she earned her deputy black belt with her demonstration of five taebek forms.  She smashed her board with an inside crescent to back spinning side kick.

Master Karen Johnson judged the special testing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

February 2020

A dozen Stevens Taekwondo Academy students tested successfully for new belt ranks at the Stevens Point YMCA


The All Purpose Room was full of energy and pride as students of all levels and ages demonstrated blocks, kicks, forms and sparring.  Every student broke a board, showing both skill and determination.

Testing Group
Akiva Lyon was awarded the trophy for testing excellence as he earned his yellow belt.  Lyon, ten years old, snapped a full-sized board with a switching axe kick on his first attempt.

The testing was judged by master instructors Mark and Hilde Henkel. Master Kim Buehler directed the testing with assistance from black belts Ben Hultman and Malek Alkasrawi

Thursday, December 12, 2019

December 2019: New Black Belts and 2020 Schedule

Martial artists from two local schools tested successfully recently, earning new belt ranks, including seven for black belt levels.  The event was greatly enhanced by the presence of Dr. Dwight Stevens, the founder and long-time instructor of Stevens Taekwondo Academy.

Carolyn Doerr, Kaleb Bicknase, Corinne Milovanovic and Isaac Bacon all earned their first degree black belts in rigorous testing, including the performance of advanced kick combinations, koryo and four taegeuk forms and advanced sparring skills.  The four then answered wide-ranging questions from head instructor Mark Henkel on the history, tenets and practice of taekwondo.  They each broke their boards with working step back spinning side kicks and were awarded their new belts on the spot.

Jeffrey Ross, Marcus Studinski and Joseph Tomaszewski earned the rank of deputy black belt (also known as bo dan) as they demonstrated advanced kicking  and sparring skills and five taegeuk forms.  Ross used an inside crescent, back spinning side kick to smash his board.  Studinski and Tomaszewski broke with back spinning side kicks.

From the color belts, Jennifer Hanlon won the trophy for testing excellence in her first testing as she slashed through her board on the first try.  The students train at Stevens Taekwondo Academy YMCA and Stevens Taekwondo A New Way of Life.  Master Mark Henkel headed the testing panel, assisted by masters Hilde Henkel, Karen Johnson and Carol Landrath.

2020 YMCA Class Schedule


Thursday, October 17, 2019

October Taekwondo News

Local martial artists earned new belt ranks and trophies in a recent tournament and rank testings.

Second dan black belt Joanna Gebeau took home two trophies from the 39th  Annual Mid-Wisconsin Taekwondo Championships  held in Wisconsin Rapids.  Gebeau, in her first tournament competition, placed second in the cadet black belt division for forms, performing the difficult keumgang form.  Gebeau also took second in sparring for the division, fighting hard against a very experienced opponent.  The tournament, presented by the Park Institute and Master John Chrystal, drew more than 250 competitors and spectators.

Carolyn Doerr earned her deputy black belt in a special testing held at the YMCA.  She performed five taegeuk forms and demonstrated advanced kick combinations and sparring before smashing a board with a very precise spinning side kick.

New high green belt Genevieve Hinker won the trophy for excellence in the color belt testing, which masters Mark Henkel, Hilde Henkel and Karen Johnson judged. Eight student earned higher rank belts there.

Congratulations to all the students who tested successfully--nice job!

Scheduling Note 

Please note the slightly different class schedule below for the fall II session.  The holiday break is a bit longer this year also, due to how the dates fell, but classes resume January 7 2020.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August Taekwondo News

Testing Results

Taekwondo students persevering in summer training led to belt promotion and two new black belts in testing held recently at the YMCA and Stevens Taekwondo A New Way of Life.

Zach Ulrich and Samara Poirier earned first degree black belts demonstrated multiple kick combinations and advanced sparring skills during their testing.  Both performed four taegeuk and the koryo forms and then answered questions from Master Mark Henkel on the tenets and history of taekwondo.  Ulrich shattered a board with a flying sidekick over a yard high obstacle and Poirier broke her board with a back spinning side kick.  Poirier is the third generation black belt in the Stevens Taekwondo program: her grandfather Richard Klapoetke, uncle Kevin Klapoetke, mother karen Poirier and father Mark Poirier all earned advanced black belt ranks.

From the color belts tested, Hannah Quisler earned both a yellow belt and the trophy for excellence.  The testings were judged by Master Mark Henkel assisted by masters Karen Johnson and Hilde Henkel.  The Henkel couple runs the YMCA program and Johnson the Stevens Taekwondo a New Way of Life.

Other News

The YMCA classes will be temporarily relocating for the last two weeks of this session.  Classes August 20, 22, 27 and 29th will be held in the gym while the All Purpose Room floor is completely refinished. 

The Fall I session will begin September 10 back in the APR.  Invite a friend:  the first night is always open for people to try it out before enrolling.