Southbury Taekwon-do SOUTHBURY​ TAEKWON-DO Taekwon-do International
(860) 880-0034 •

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Why Southbury Taekwon-do?

Southbury Taekwon-do teaches Taekwon-do, a Korean unarmed art of self-defense that is similar to Karate, which provides the student many physical benefits at an affordable price.

Participants learn sparring techniques, blocking and striking, age-appropriate self-defense, situational awareness, and much more. For kids, Taekwon-do helps them learn respect for themselves and for others, heightens concentration, and increases self-discipline and self-restraint. Adults gain improved health, better balance and flexibility, and personal protection. Southbury Taekwon-do offers different levels of classes to provide the most-appropriate lessons for every student: one class for beginner students, one for advanced students, and a special class for very young children.

Classes are offered though the Southbury Parks & Recreation department by award-winning black belts. As a town program, using the town's facilities and resources, students pay only $145 a semester for the first family member and $120 for each additional family member — about 1/3 of some private martial arts schools.

Getting Started

It is very easy to get started with the program.

First of all, register for the class use the town's online registration portal or in-person at the Parks & Recreation Office.

Next, order a uniform and protective gear. The equipment page offers a number of recommendations for where to get these. Everyone should get a uniform, mouthguard, gloves, and foot pads. If you are still waiting for these items to arrive by the time classes start, just come in loose, comfortable clothes, such as a t-shirt and sweats.

If you have a Facebook account, like our page so you can more-easily get notices and other helpful information.

Show up! At your first class, one of our instructors will give an introduction and walk through how classes take place.

Latest Happenings

Southbury Taekwon-do Resumes Operations
Southbury Taekwon-do Resumes Operations

Southbury Taekwon-do Formally Resumes Operations

We are delighted to announce that registration has formally opened for the summer semester of Taekwon-do classes. The summer semester starts July 7th and runs until September 22nd. Registration is available at

The decision to resume Taekwon-do classes was made after consultations with the administrators at the town’s Parks & Recreation Department. We feel that we can conduct classes safely if certain precautions are implemented. These include the following:

  • The Parks & Recreations Department requires everyone to wear a mask at all times while inside the building; This requirement applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status.
  • As much as possible, we will hold classes on the lawn outside the building to further limit exposure.
  • The Senior Center side of the building will be off limits. We may use the P&R lavatories located off the mat room.
  • Students must bring their own water to class since the water fountains in the building have been turned off.
  • Although students may drink water, they are not allowed to eat anything while in the building.
  • No one is allowed to participate in class or even enter the building if they exhibit any symptoms of any illness. This includes parents and other family members.
  • Students must sanitize their sparring equipment prior to use in class.
  • Sparring equipment no longer will be loaned out for the evening.
  • Class times have been rescheduled so that there is a 15-minute period between classes to help minimize the number of people in the building at any one time.
  • Until further notice, classes for students under the age of 7 have been cancelled.

We recommend that students bring with them a towel to help remove perspiration. Also, we ask that students use hand sanitizer on their hands and feet before the start of class. Parents are asked to minimize the number of non-participants that they bring with them and to wait outside the building or in the mat room, when possible.

Although some of these precautions are admittedly burdensome, they are needed. No vaccine is 100% effective and some people – such as the very young and those with certain medical conditions – may not have the option to vaccinate. Also consider that the most-effective vaccine is only about 95% effective, which means that 1 in 20 fully vaccinated people could contract and spread the virus.

While we whole-heartedly support these new safety protocols, we will re-evaluate them as conditions change. In the meantime, we expect everyone to adhere to these new policies.

TKD and the Law Article by Master De Carli
TKD and the Law Article by Master De Carli

Taekwon-do and the Law

At the invitation of Grandmaster Doug Cook, Master De Carli has written an article for HOONLYUN: The Journal of the United States Taekwondo Association. The article, "Taekwon-do and the Law: When You are a Deadly Weapon", discusses how martial artists could be treated differently than the typical civilian in the eyes of the law.

Umpire Certification Earned
Umpire Certification Earned

Official Certification Earned for Umpiring

Congratulations go out to Southbury Taekwon-do Chief Instructor James De Carli for earning his credentials as a Certified International Taekwon-do Umpire from the International Taekwon-do Federation.

'Motion Article Published in Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine
March Issue of Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine

In-Depth Article on Motion

The March 2021 issue of Totally TaekwonDo magazine includes another article from Sabum Jim De Carli. The article, "Slip Slidin' Away" is an in-depth examination of the various -- and specific -- terms used for different ways of moving in Taekwon-do.

"When trying to learn a pattern, it is common to look to the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-do for guidance. At a minimum, a reading of what the official instructions are for that pattern can be very helpful. Unfortunately, the encyclopedia can seem a bit unclear at times – especially when it comes to the motion of the feet. In some instructions, we are told to slip while at others we are expected to slide or shift. But what do these terms mean beyond “move?” General Choi was very exacting when he wrote the encyclopedia, so if he used a particular term or phrase then there was a good reason."

Okan Uludag Promoted to Blue Belt
Okan Uludag Promoted to Blue Belt

Okan Uludag Promoted to Blue Belt

Congratulations go out to Mr. Okan Uludag for his promotion to Blue Belt.

Mr. Uludag has been a noteworthy example of perseverance by continuing his training throughout the pandemic. For almost every Saturday this past year, Mr. Uludag could be found training outside at Settler's Park. He trained outside during the summer heat as well as outside during the coldest days of winter.

Well done, sir!

'Sine Wave Article Published in Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine
February Issue of Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine

Sine Wave Article Published

Included in the February 2021 issue of Totally TaekwonDo magazine is the latest article by Southbury Taekwon-Do's Chief instructor, Jim De Carli. In this featured article, Dr. De Carli discussed some misconceptions about the physics used to describe the Sine Wave.

Certificate Of Completion: Sexual Abuse Awareness Training
Certificate of Completion

All Instructors Receive Abuse Awareness Training

We are proud to announce that all of the instructors at Southbury Taekwon-do have completed Sexual Abuse Awareness Training for youth sports programs and have passed the certification examination for the training.

Although there has never been an issue of abuse with the Taekwon-do program, all of the instructors agreed that participating in the training and earning certification was important to the safety and wellbeing of our students.

'OODA Loop' Article Published in Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine
Lt. Colonel John Boyd

'OODA Loop' Article Published

The November 2020 issue of Totally TaekwonDo magazine includes an article from Chief Instructor Jim De Carli titled "Using the 'OODA Loop' to Fight Like a Fighter Pilot."

The article discusses the pioneering research conducted by Ace figher pilot, Lt. Colonel Boyd, who revolutionize modern military strategy around the world with the concept of the 'OODA Loop'. In addition to military applications, Boyd's thinking has been applied to a wide range of subjects that deal with competition or conflict, geo-politics, economics, business, finance, and sports. Master De Carli describes this research, which is based upon the four-step process the human mind goes through when making decisions, and then applies this research to Taekwon-do. One Taekwon-do Master who reviewed this article wrote "If you only read one article this year, this is the article to read."

Certificate Of Completion: COVID Safe Martial Arts Instructor
Certificate of Completion

COVID Safe Martial Arts Instructor Training

Recognizing that the COVID pandemic may not pass for some time, we are pleased to announce that Chief Instructor Jim De Carli has completed "COVID Safe Martial Arts Instructor Training". This training is part of a program that was developed and administered by the Martial Arts Industry Association.

The certification program helps ensures that instructors, practitioners and parents are aware of the most up to date information on the cause of the spread or infection of the COVID 19 virus. It identifies and empowers those enlightened and certified to take the appropriate safety measures when conducting or practicing their respective training in their classes.

Safety & Self-Defense Seminar Raises Money For Shelter
Safety & Self-Defense

Self-Defense Seminar Raises Money For Shelter

On Saturday, January 11, 2020, Southbury Taekwon-do Chief Instructor James De Carli, with the assistance from Peggy Bovaird and Rob De Carli, conducted a seminar on 'Safety and Self-Defense.' In attendance were over twenty people, ranging in age from mid-teens to mid-seventies.

The seminar did more than teach approaches for avoiding violent encounters and some basic techniques for defending yourself, it also raised funds for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, Inc. Safe Haven is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter and free comprehensive support services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The registration fee for each student taking the seminar is enough to pay for dinner for 8 women and 7 children at the emergency shelter or a birthday party for a shelter child.

Safe Haven relies heavily on support from our community. While 65% of their funding comes from state and federal sources, 35% is raised through contributions from United Ways, foundation grants, donations, and fundraising events such as this seminar. If anyone would like to make a donation, please make Checks payable to:

Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury
P.O. Box 1503
Waterbury, CT 06721

You can make donations online using Safe Haven's website,

The Winter 2020 Brochure from Southbury Parks and Rec
Winter 2020 Brochure

Registration for Winter Semester Open

Registration is now open for the Winter semester of Taekwon-do. The new semester begins January 6 and runs through March 25th. You may register using the town's online registration portal or in-person at the Parks & Recreation Office.

The Winter promotion test is tentatively scheduled for March 18th.

Promotion of James De Carli to 4th Dan
James De Carli promoted to 4th Dan

Master-Level Promotions

On Saturday, December 14, 2019, Southbury Taekwon-do Chief Instructor James De Carli was promoted to 4th Dan (4th degree black belt) within Taekwon-do International.

The event was held at Glen Ridge Taekwon-do in Montclair, New Jersey and was hosted by Master John Meany and Master Laura Giletti, owners of Glen Ridge Taekwon-do. Judging the test were Master Anna Gong of S.J. Kim Taekwon-do, Master Yvonne Kwok of Gotham Taekwon-do, Master Chris Malarkey of Complete Taekwon-do, and Grandmaster S.J. Kim, Founder and President of Taekwon-do International.

At this test, Dr. De Carli was one of five black belts promoted to 4th Dan. While promotions to 1st Dan are not uncommon, each successive Dan level is progressively less common and promotions to 4th Dan are rare. Such an achievement is a recognition of many years of training and an acknowledgemnt of Master-level competency within Taekwon-do International.

In addition to Dr. De Carli achieving Master status, Master Laura Giletti was promoted to 7th Dan, making her the highest-ranking woman in Taekwon-do Interntional.

Taylan Uludag Takes Bronze Medal
Taylan Uludag Takes Bronze

Uludag Takes Bronze

Congratulations go out to Taylan Uludag for earning a bronze medal at the 4th Annual Founder's Classic with his outstanding performance of Hwa-Rang.

Held at the OYO Hotel in East Hanover, New Jersey, Taylan joined Taekwon-do students from as far away as Wisconsin and Ohio. Host by World Chun Kuhn Taekwon Do Federation, the tournament offers competition in Open Forms, Open Team Forms, Open Weapons Forms, Board Breaking, and Sparring.

Well done, Taylan! You dedication to Taekwon-do shows!

The Fall 2019 Brochure from Southbury Parks and Rec
Fall 2019 Brochure

Registration for Fall Semester Open

Registration is now open for the Fall semester of Taekwon-do. The new semester begins October 7 and runs through December 18th. You may register using the town's online registration portal or in-person at the Parks & Recreation Office.

The Fall promotion test is tentatively scheduled for December 11th.

Doctor of Philosophy Conferred

Southbury Taekwon-do is pleased to announce that on July 15, 2019, the University of Asian Martial Arts Studies conferred a Doctor of Philosophy to Chief Instructor Jim De Carli.

Congratulations to New Ranks!

Congratulations go out to all of our students earning promotions from our Spring testing. Their hard work and dedication has been paying off!

'The Silla Knife Pattern' in Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine
June 2019 Issue of Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine

Article Published in Taekwon-do magazine

The June 2019 issue of Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine has featured an artcile written by Southbury Taekwon-do instructor, Jim De Carli. The article, "Understanding Bladed Weapons in The Silla Knife Pattern" discusses how some versions of Taekwon-do utilize weapons and the terminology you'll need to understand the Silla Knife pattern.

'Thank You' Letter from Really Good Stuff
'Thank You' Letter from Really Good Stuff

Self-Defense Seminar held at Really Good Stuff

On September 9th, Southbury Taekwon-do instructor Jim De Carli gave a free seminar on 'Safety and Self-Defense' for employees of Really Good Stuff, LLC. at their offices in Shelton, Connecticut. In this hands-on seminar, a dozen employees learned approaches for avoiding violent encounters and some basic techniques for defending yourself. Topics included:

  • Understanding the attacker's 'Game Plan'
  • Recognizing and avoiding potentially dangerous situations
  • Knowing what we can do, what we should do, and when we should not fight
  • Effectiveness of different types of resistance
  • Using pepper sprays, personal alarms, and other personal defense devices
  • Legal concerns, such as 'Stand Your Ground' laws
  • Easy ways to get out of grabs and holds
  • What to do after a violent encounter
June 28th Promotions
Some of the students from our beginner's class who received promotions on September 20th.

Congratulations on Promotions

Southbury Taekwon-do would like to congratulate all who tested for promotion. We are very proud of our students' success and how much work they put into their training.

The evening of the test, school was honored to have representatives from The Waterbury Republican-American and Voices newspapers who interviewed our instructors. Keep an eye out for articles to be released from each of these publications.

Jim De Carli Inducted to Hall of Fame

On Saturday, May 19, 2018, martial artists from Asia and the Americas gathered outside Los Angeles in Culver City, California for the 2018 induction ceremony of the USA. Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Inducted that evening was Southbury Taekwon-do instructor, James De Carli.

The USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame recognized contributions of individuals to the martial arts community regardless of the style of their martial art, their rank, or their politics. Originated in 1976, the USA Martial Arts "Hall of Fame" is the longest-running organization of its kind. The USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame, along with The USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame Museum, is led by Grandmaster James Thomas, Ph.D. More information can be found at

            "Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing." - Hunter S. Thompson

Southbury Parks & Recreation Department     (203) 262-0633