For black belt martial arts instructor Carol Chapman, running Fort Bend Taekwondo has plenty of perks.
“I get to be a kid,” Chapman said. “I get to run around and have fun with the kids, and it’s just what I love to do. It’s not really a job for me.”
Under the National Taekwondo America Association, Chapman opened Fort Bend Taekwondo in 2010. She moved from her previous 2,500-square-foot space to the 4,500-square-foot facility she works out of today two years ago and is the only NTAA-affiliated school in the area.
“We teach traditional-style taekwondo, but I like to say that we teach it with a modern approach,” Chapman said.
Fort Bend Taekwondo offers classes for students age 4 and older. The association provides her with a national curriculum that guides the classes, which focus on a variety of traditional taekwondo methods.
Chapman said any new student she takes on must be ready to commit to the sport.
“One of our tenants is perseverance, and so it takes a lot of perseverance to get to that black belt,” she said. “The minimum time requirement to earn a black belt would be 26 months.”
Currently, 165 students are enrolled at the school, a number Chapman said that allows for an average of 20 students in the bigger classes.
“I know of schools that have 50 kids in a class, and I don’t want to be that school,” Chapman said.
Chapman said she sees herself staying at her existing facility until she retires and then hopes a student or association member will take over.
“The best part is just knowing that I am helping make my kids—with their parents—the best versions of themselves,” she said.
Fort Bend Taekwondo
19830 FM 1093, Ste. 2101, Richmond
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 4:15-8:30 p.m.