Southbury Taekwon-do SOUTHBURY​ TAEKWON-DO Taekwon-do International
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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 $140 a semester for the first family member and $115 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

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

            "Do not correct a fool for he will hate youl correcr a wise man and he will appreciate you" - Bruce Lee

Southbury Parks & Recreation Department     (203) 262-0633