An instructor stands under two bright studio lights, watching the clock count down to the next virtual course. Students’ faces slowly fill the screen in front of the instructor, and warmup kicks begin.
This is now the norm for Flower Mound Taekwondo, where roughly two thirds of its students take part online. The other third finish up their class in person in the studio next door before running outside to parents waiting in their cars.
“As an instructor, I like having the kids here because there’s something about personal contact with the students that’s pretty cool,” owner Bill Mischke said. “But we’ve got a lot of students that are just not in a position to come in.”
The martial arts studio teaches anyone from ages 6 to adulthood, with ranging levels of skill in each class. Many students join as early as they can and continue with the program for years, while some join later in life.
Over the 16 years that Flower Mound Taekwondo has been in the area, Mischke has taught many of his students’ younger siblings and families, he said. He said he also gets a lot of students who are referred by a current or past student.
Flower Mound Taekwondo has expanded its courses in the last five years to include Krav Maga, a self-defense fighting style. That style of martial arts has gained traction in recent months, according to Mischke.
“I’ve had four calls so far today,” he said on a recent day in August.
Krav Maga is best for defending against attacks from behind as well as against possible muggings or knife attacks, according to Mischke. Beyond the martial arts benefits, the training also carries with it lessons that help students succeed in school and in life, Mischke said.
Teaching taekwondo and Krav Maga at the same studio requires instructors to be trained in each art. Mischke is the only instructor who teaches both courses; all other instructors focus on one or the other.
“It’s interesting, the differences in them, because ... the goal is different,” Mischke said. “For example, we’ll use a sidekick in taekwondo, and we’ll develop it and make it really perfect. In Krav Maga, it just has to be functional.”
Flower Mound Taekwondo
2240 Morriss Road, Ste. 120, Flower Mound
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 3:30-7:30 p.m., Fri. 4-6:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-noon, closed Sun.
Flower Mound Taekwondo teaches students one kick at a time
Bill Mischke has been the owner and lead instructor of Flower Mound Taekwondo for 16 years. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)