Southbury Taekwon-do SOUTHBURY​ TAEKWON-DO Taekwon-do International
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About Taekwon-do

Taekwon-do is a Korean unarmed art of self-defense that is similar to Karate. Taekwon-do is more than just kicking and punching. The core principles of Taekwondo stress self-discipline and a high code of personal conduct. While there is a sport/competition aspect to Taekwon-do, this makes up only part of the entire curriculum.

Although its roots reach back over 2,000 years, what we know today as Taekwon-do was developed only after World War II. Using their understanding of biomechanics and physics, the founders of Taekwon-do analyzed the best parts of an ancient Korean martial art called Tae kyon, Japanese karate, and other well-known martial arts to assemble an effective system of self-defense.

For example, Taekwon-do emphasizes kicking since the leg is the longest and strongest tool the martial artist has readily available. To facilitate fast, turning kicks, Taekwon-do uses stances that are, generally, more narrow and longer than the broader, wide stances used by martial arts such as karate.

Southbury Taekwon-do

About Southbury Taekwon-do

Southbury Taekwon-do is the martial arts program offered though the Southbury Parks & Recreation department. Started in 1988, it is the longest-running program in the department and has taught generations of Southbury residents the value of sportsmanship, discipline, and physical fitness.

All classes are held at the Parks and Recreation Building located at 561 Main Street South, Southbury, CT on Mondays and Wednesdays:

  • 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm Beginners (Ages 7 through Adult)
  • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Advanced (Ages 7 through Adult)

Semesters run January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December. Usually, there is a week or so break between semesters and no classes on holidays.

For Southbury residents, tuition is only $145 for the first family member and $120 for each additional family member. Non-residents pay an additional $20 per semester. By offering classes through the town, using the town's facilities and resources, students pay only about a third of what they might at private martial arts schools in the area.

You can enroll using the town's website or in person at the Parks and Recreation Building.

James De Carli, Ph.D.

James De Carli is an example that it is never too late to start martial arts. He began training in Taekwon-do at the age of 42 and earned a black belt four years later, in 2011. He achieved second-degree status two years later and then began training under Master Brian Douglas in Brookfield, Connecticut where, in 2016, Mr. De Carli achieved his third-degree honors. In 2019, James De Carli was promoted to 4th Dan by Grandmaster Suk Jun Kim, President and Founder of Taekwon-do International and who trained directly under General Choi Hong-Hi, the founder of Taekwon-do.

Master De Carli has been active in several regional and international martial arts leagues. He has earned National Champion in 2011 for sparring, in 2012 for traditional forms, and 2013 for traditional forms within the KRANE International martial arts league. Since 2016, he has repeatedly earned a Top 10 World Ranking from the North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA). In May 2018, James De Carli was inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame and, in a May 2023 ceremony to take place in Orlando, Florida, Mr. De Carli will be presented with the Korean Martial Arts Journeyman Award from the "World Head of Family Sokeship Council" (WHFSC) Hall of Fame.

James De Carli has a long history in teaching and education. In 2015, he began teaching at Southbury Taekwon-do and became Chief Instructor at the school in 2019. Prior to teaching Taekwon-do, he taught at Fairfield University’s School of Engineering as an Associate Professor and lectured at several other northeastern universities, including the University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, Columbia University, and the University of Massachusetts. In 2019, Mr. De Carli was conferred Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Asian Martial Arts Studies.

He has written extensively including three published books and numerous magazine articles, including articles in Totally TaeKwonDo Magazine and HOONLYUN: The Journal of the United States Taekwondo Association. In 2023, Mr. De Carli was inducted into Action Martial Arts Magazine’s Hall of Honors for “Excellence in Publishing in the Martial Arts.”

Mr. De Carli has offered over 20 years of community service at several non-profit organizations dedicated to health and education. He regularly conducts semi-annual Self-Defense seminars to raise funds for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, a non-profit organization that operates an emergency shelter and provides support services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

James De Carli

Robert and Daniel De Carli

Brothers, Rob and Dan De Carli started training in Taekwon-do when they were in grade school. They received their black belts in 2012 and were earned 2nd degree black belt honors in 2014. For a number of years, both have contributed to the school as Assistant Instructors and, in 2019, were promoted to full Instructor status.

      "The struggles you are facing today is developing in you the strength you will need for tomorrow." - Robert Tew

Southbury Parks & Recreation Department     (203) 262-0633