Mom and her sons compete at TAGB World Championship


Headed to England!!

Instructor Karla Grove and her two boys, Tim and Matthew Grove (ages 18 and 16), are on their way to compete at the TAGB World Championship in Birmingham England as part of the US team.

These three have been enjoying competing together for several years now. Tim received the title of National Champion in 2016. Karla and Matthew both received that same title in 2017. Now they have the amazing opportunity to represent the US as a family. All three will be competing for individual titles, and Tim will also be competing in the team event.

To get the latest updates and photos from this tournament event, follow us on Facebook at

Go Team USA!!

To learn more about the tournament, visit their website here.

Championship Challenge Week Two

Week Two of the Championship Challenge is here!

Don't you know there are huge benefits of physical activity?!? That seems like such an obvious statement, yet why do so many of us choose to overlook it? We so easily "forget" or ignore it. Why? Don't you want these benefits? Not only for yourself, but for your children too!

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are 7 benefits of regular physical activity:

  1. Exercise controls weight
  2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
  3. Exercise improves mood
  4. Exercise boosts energy
  5. Exercise promotes better sleep
  6. Exercise puts the spark back into your life
  7. Exercise can be fun....and social!

Parent Magazine ran an article on the benefits of physical fitness, specific to children. Here are their top 10 benefits:

  1. It strengthens the heart.
  2. It helps keep arteries and veins clear.
  3. It strengthens the lungs.
  4. It reduces blood sugar levels.
  5. It controls weight.
  6. It strengthens bones.
  7. It helps prevent cancer.
  8. It regulates blood pressure.
  9. It improves energy levels.
  10. It enhances emotional well-being.

So why in the world would we choose to not exercise? No matter what your reasons are, it is never too late to start moving. Join us NOW!

Week Two of our Championship Challenge starts today. Check out the exercises here. Parents, get you and your youngster started on a path of physical fitness and health.

Championship Challenge starts now

We are so pleased to announce that we have six competitors who qualified to compete for CTF National Championship this year. These competitors are:

National Champ Fighters.jpg
  • Ian Rapp - 10-11 year old, Male heavyweight
  • Matthew Grove - 14-15 year old, Male lightweight
  • Dean Peltier - 14-15 year old, Male heavyweight
  • Lalit Pusapati - 14-15 year old, Male heavyweight
  • Tim Grove - 16-17 year old, Male heavyweight
  • Karla Grove - 45&up, Female Black Belt

Congratulations to these Black Belt competitors! The Nationals Championship Tournament is on November 11, 2017 in Southaven, Mississippi.

As a school, we are all in this together! A huge thank you to all of our students for helping in training and preparation. In order to improve our physical fitness, we are starting a brand new Championship Challenge. Here is how it works:


Each week you will receive a piece of paper with a list of exercises, the number of exercises and a chart for tallies. Depending on your rank, you need to do a certain number of sets each day, for 4 days.

  • White and Yellow belts do 1 set each day for 4 days
  • Green, Blue and Red belts do 2 sets each day for 4 days
  • Black Belts do 3 sets each day for 4 days

You may challenge yourself to do more, according to your current abilities. Place a tally in the appropriate box each time you do one set of exercises. Total each row up at the end of the week. Turn these in to your instructor at the beginning of each week. At this point, you will receive a new sheet.

The exercises will change each week, so be sure to get your new piece of paper in class each time.

Here is Championship Challenge Week One. Print it off and get started!! We are all doing it together! Physical fitness is important. Let's build positive habits in our kids. We will have a big party at the end to celebrate!


Physical Fitness Benefit of Taekwondo

Parents enroll their children in the martial arts for various reason. Focus, discipline, bullying-prevention, confidence and goal setting rank high among those reasons. According to Jason E. Thomas, PhD, in the September edition of MASuccess, physical fitness stood as the number one reason why parents place their children in a martial arts facility. These physical fitness benefits include flexibility, endurance, agility, and strengthening. Within them lies cardiovascular health, muscular health, and joint protection. A strong martial arts program offers an overall development plan for you and your child.

Let's start with flexibility. High target kicking is a huge trademark of this Korean martial art. White belts are taught from day one to kick as high as their own head. Children are often naturally quite flexible. They seem like they are made out of rubber. However, it is still quite important that they learn how to stretch. Proper stretching prevents muscle tears and other injuries. In addition, teaching them as children ensures that they have the knowledge as they age and grow. As we adults know firsthand, stretching becomes much more important as you get older.

Endurance is extremely necessary in Taekwondo. Drill work, target striking and sparring teach children to push themselves past their perceived limitations. The benefit to their cardiovascular fitness is huge! Because the children are having fun, they often don't even realize how hard they are working. One of my greatest rewards as a Taekwondo instructor is seeing the sweaty little heads as they remove their sparring helmets after a hard workout. I know the benefits that child has just received, and it makes me feel extremely good about what I do.

Taekwondo greatly enhances a student's agility. Taekwondo focuses on teaching students how to move around in a fluid way. They become more aware of their own center of gravity and learn how to maneuver it to their advantage. Through the development of sparring skills, students learn how to move around quickly and deliver techniques while maintaining their balance. This greatly enhances their agility. In the long run, this agility protects their own joints from injuries and misuse. I have witnessed many young children go through awkward growth spurts. Their body becomes clumsy, and they don't seem to know how to run it anymore. I thoroughly enjoy watching a young teenager survive this awkward stage of growing and develop fluidity and agility.

Strengthening is another aspect of the physical fitness of a martial arts program. As children grow and their muscles develop, Taekwondo provides a wonderful and safe place for them to explore their own strength. They strike targets on a regular basis and learn how to maximize their power. Board breaking is a part of their training as well and is an excellent way to combine that power with focus. Students are taught strengthening exercises and encouraged to make this a part of their daily life. Strengthening the muscles that support their various joints protects those joints from injuries, as well as over-exertion.

With all the physical fitness benefits that Taekwondo offers, this martial arts training program provides a phenomenal overall development plan. It compliments any other sport in which the student may choose to participate. All of these aspects of physical fitness are necessary for any other sport, such as football, basketball, baseball, swimming, dance, gymnastics, and so on. Taekwondo training is flexible and continuous. These two traits make it a fantastic tool to support the activities that a child has selected. Make it a part of your overall development plan for your child.

Self-Control: Finding it Through Taekwondo Training

Self-control is one thing that most parents desire in their children. Many parents bring their children to our school for this reason alone. Taekwondo training definitely helps.

There seems to be a bit of confusion as to what self-control actually is though. Many parents seem to think it means that the child never acts silly and ALWAYS follows their commands. They think that it means that the child’s emotions are always contained and never an inconvenience. Unfortunately in an attempt to teach self-control, many parents inadvertently teach their children that emotions and impulses are bad and must be repressed. Whether you mean to communicate this or not, the complications that follow are a nightmare.

I believe that self-control is about finding the correct time to express our emotions and impulses. It is to be able to intercept our thoughts, feelings and impulses and quickly determine if NOW is an appropriate time to act upon them or not. In others words, the ability to NOT act based on our thoughts, feelings and emotions AT THE TIME if deemed inappropriate. This doesn’t mean that there is never an appropriate time, and that is the piece we need to make sure that we all understand.

When our oldest boy started kindergarten, I was concerned about his ability to sit still and focus in the classroom. His energy level was rather high, and sitting still was certainly not his favorite past time. After about a month of school, we had the parent/teacher conference. I went into the conference thinking, “Here it comes. This teacher is going to tell me what I already know. My son is unable to sit still.” I was shocked when the teacher said nothing of the sort. She told me that he was extremely attentive at school and able to stay on the tasks at hand. “My son??” I replied. “Are you talking about my son?” The one who is constant motion, running here and there all day long. Jumping over furniture, climbing the I beam, crawling under tables, up and down the steps, in and out of the house. I went to bed every night exhausted just from watching him.

So I decided I had to ask him about it. “Son, how is that you are able to sit still at school?”

Oh,” he said, “that’s easy. I put my energy in my energy box.”

“Your energy box?” I responded. I had never heard of this.

“Yes, everyone has an energy box inside them. If I put my energy in there and close the lid, it will stay for awhile. But eventually, I have to let it out. So when I get home, I open it up!” And off he ran, exploding with energy, turning the house once again into his personal obstacle course.

My 5-year old son had instinctively figured out self-control. To control yourself under the necessary circumstances, but then find the right time to go crazy!

Self-control doesn’t mean don’t be silly. Rather it means learn to decide when it is appropriate to be silly and when it is not. Self-control doesn’t mean stand still, but to decide when you should stand still and when it isn’t necessary. Self-control doesn’t mean don’t talk. It means be aware of your surroundings and determine when talking is appropriate. When should you open your box?

The benefits of self-control are huge. Each one of these benefits assists a child in handling bullying, an unfortunate reality in their world. Check out this list of benefits from Changing Minds -  

  • Healthier interpersonal relationships

  • Greater popularity

  • Better mental health

  • More effective coping skills

  • Reduced aggression

  • Superior academic performance

  • Less susceptibility to drug and alcohol abuse, criminality, and eating disorders

  • Greater wealth

So how does Taekwondo help teach self-control? Many elements of Taekwondo are centered around self-control. It is one of the five tenets upon which Taekwondo was built. Each of our white belt students receives a rock that says “Self-Control.” This rock is a tangible reminder to them of the importance of self-control. They are asked to keep the rock somewhere that they will see it every single day. They receive a new rock with a new character word at each belt level.

Taekwondo teaches students body awareness. This applies to many areas of their training. It begins on day one when we start working on the ability to stand still for a reasonable period of time, a skill that challenges many youngsters. Body awareness is also a part of every technique the students learn to execute. For example, they will work on punching. When they first start punching, we focus on extending the arm and rotating the fist the correct way. As they get better at this, we work on more details, such as the position of the thumb, the timing of the rotation, and the actual point of contact. This same approach is taken with every kick, every hand strike and every block that they do. The constantly growing body awareness and body control leads to a never-ending improvement in self-control.

Taekwondo teaches students to follow a set pattern, placing steps in the correct order with the proper techniques. The patterns are about discipline and awareness. Students have to be aware of which stance and technique they are making as well as where each technique is to be directed. They are then asked to perform the pattern with purpose, demonstrating their ability to control their mind in order to stay engaged with each technique.

Taekwondo teaches students to control their power. Yes students are taught to kick and punch, but these are things they already instinctively know how to do. In Taekwondo, they will learn to do them correctly in order to avoid injury, but they will also learn to control them. In free sparring, they will discover how much power is acceptable and how much is excessive. They will learn to kick and punch without hurting the other person. While in board breaking, they learn to turn that power up and yet to control it so that it doesn’t overwhelm them and take them off target.

Taekwondo teaches students to become more aware of their mind, to listen and watch with their mind not their body. One’s mind is the most powerful computer they will ever know. We are far from understanding its full potential. In Taekwondo, students are encouraged to engage with their minds and to stay focused in the present moment. Distractions lead to you getting kicked unexpectedly. Focus is a necessity.

I encourage all parents to pursue a martial arts training program for their children. Whether the art is karate, taekwondo, kung fu or any other is not the question. All the arts are valuable. All have good teachers and bad ones. Find a teacher that understands the value of self-control and is willing to do what it takes to teach it to the students. Only teaching self-control is not enough. Teaching the value of self-control creates a desire in each student to be the best they can be in life.

Are electronics harming our kids?

Electronic devices are harming our kids! This is an appeal to parents!

It doesn't take much effort to find research and studies that show the negative effects electronic devices are having on us, including our children. Here is just a sampling of what I found.

According to CBS news -

“Screen devices wreak havoc with the brain's frontal lobe. Diagnosis of ADHD in our children has taken a steep rise since the proliferation of screen devices.

We didn't know this when we first brought these shiny new toys into homes. But, now, we do know. Still, adults aren't doing anything about it. Why? Because we're addicted. Addiction hampers judgment.”

It goes on to say - “Yet, art, music, sports, play, healthy meals and green space -- things we know help the developing brain -- are on the chopping block of school districts' budgets annually.”


An article from TNW shares -

The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that American children spend a whopping seven hours a day in front of electronic media.

The ability to focus, to concentrate, to lend attention, to sense other people’s attitudes and communicate with them, to build a large vocabulary – all those abilities are harmed.”

The articles uses the following example - Unlike a mother reading a story to a child, for example, a smartphone-told story spoon feeds images, word and pictures all at once to a young reader. Rather than having to take the time to process a mother’s voice into words, visualize complete pictures and exert a mental effort to follow a storyline, kids who follow stories on their smartphones get to be lazy. The smartphone does the thinking for them, and as a result, their own cognitive muscles remain weak. When a child gets too used to an immediate stimuli response, he will learn to always prefer a smartphone-style interaction (immediate gratification and response) over a real-world one.

US News reports that increased screen time is associated with higher rates of childhood obesity, behavior problems, ADHD, poor sleep quality, poor physical activity and poor school performance.


Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation posted an article on this in 2004 - 

“Early television exposure in children ages 1-3 is associated with attention problems at age 7, according to a study from Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle published in the April issue of PEDIATRICS.

The study revealed that each hour of television watched per day at ages 1-3 increases the risk of attention problems, such as ADHD, by almost 10 percent at age 7.”


An article by AZ Central discusses the issue of isolation as associated with electronic devices. By interacting with friends, family members and instructors over electronic devices instead of in person, the child may be isolated and fail to develop normal social skills, like conversation abilities and etiquette. The same study pointed out that children may avoid social interaction or extracurricular activities to have more time to spend on the computer or a game console.


This topic appeared in the Huffington Post in 2015. It states-

“It’s no surprise that kids of all ages can get addicted to their electronic toys. That’s because every text that a kid sends or receives, every Facebook “like,” and every point scored during a video game creates a little hit of the feel-good chemical dopamine. This is the same rush that a drug addict gets from a hit of cocaine — and the same rush you get from having sex or eating a chocolate doughnut.

Heavy exposure to TV or other rapid-paced media may rewire kids’ brains to crave constant stimulation. So over time, it can get harder and harder for them to enjoy slower-paced activities like reading. For many kids, real life is a bore while virtual life is a high.”


Addiction programs now exist for technology addiction, and these include programs for extremely young children. Dr Richard Graham launched the UK’s first technology addiction programme in 2010, and only 3 years later he found himself treating a 4 year old with Ipad addiction problems.

As the article states, Dr Graham said that young technology addicts experienced the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholics or heroin addicts, when the devices were taken away.

He warned that the condition prevented young people from forming normal social relationships, leaving them drained by the constant interaction.


So what do we do now? We might recognize that there is a problem, but still feel stuck because we don’t know what to do about it. First realize that it is never too late to make changes. Then commit to making some changes. These changes will greatly effect your life too. But the quality of your future depends on the quality of your now. Any sacrifices are investments in your own life and the lives of your children.


Ideas to get you started-

Check your own addiction.

Your children want to emulate your behavior. They don’t have the ability at their young age to decide if that behavior is best for them or not. When we, as parents, are glued to our devices the children become fascinated by them. They learn that these devices are more interesting than any of the world around them.


Model the lifestyle you are trying to encourage.

Model a lifestyle that has a healthy balance of quality family time, work, hobbies, exercise, relaxation, exposure to nature and community, and spiritual growth. This will take time and effort. But you must set the good example - no matter how badly you want to get on social media or play your favorite game. Resist! You are, after all, the adult.

Without giving thought at this point to your child’s habits, check your own. It’s a great place to start.

Some practical things to do -

Remove the TV from the bedroom.

Everyone’s bedroom, even yours.


Ban electronics from the dinner table.

Make mealtime an electronics-free zone – no TV, no smartphone, no tablet on the table. Remember, these rules apply to you too.


Put limitations on screen time.

Fight the boredom by making a list of things to do to keep people occupied.


Set aside play time.

Show your child he or she is more important than the screen, and do things the old-fashioned way. Play with your kids, and let their imaginations run wild. Take them to the park, a museum or help them build a fort in the living room.


Get interactive with your children.

There are times when screens are OK, but if you're going to use electronics, use them together as a family in an interactive way.


Help everyone find special places to enjoy nature.

Find a ditch among the trees, a hiding place under the trees, a rock that can function as a fortress or a sitting spot, a favorite walking path


Spend some time outside everyday

As you do, your kids will join you. Notice nature, pay attention to the birds, clouds, wildlife. Encourage your children to do the same.


Have equipment for outdoor fun visible and accessible

Keep frisbies, balls, tools for building forts, empty boxes, and anything else you can think of visible and handy. Easy access is sometimes all it takes for a little creativity to explode.


Invest time in a long-term endeavor

One of the pitfalls of the electronic world we live in is the desire for immediate gratification. Kids in general struggle with this anyways, but now we are living in a world that is making it much more pronounced. Especially when the parents are struggling with it now too. Find a hobby that requires long-term commitment and commit to it. What the endeavor is does not matter as much as the commitment to it.

To get you started in selecting one, here are some possible ideas - painting, rock collecting, bird watching, ice skating, martial arts, tennis, cooking, photography, etc.

Make some changes today. Don’t wait! The rest of your life starts right now. The investment is not only in your own life, but also in the lives of your children.


USTL International Tournament Results

Franklin Tennessee was well-represented in an International event last weekend. Choong Sil Taekwondo Federation and United Taekwondo Alliance hosted the United States Taekwondo League Tournament in Southaven, Mississippi. This 2-day International Taekwondo Invitational Tournament took place on Oct. 22-23, 2016. It featured honored guest Grand Master Chang Keun Choi, Original Pioneer of Traditional Taekwondo and First World Champion in Taekwondo.

Franklin Family Taekwondo sent six competitors to this event.

  • Evan Rapp - Yellow belt with Black stripe
  • Black Belts from left to right:
  • Matthew Grove - 2nd Degree Black Belt
  • Timothy Grove - 2nd Degree Black Belt, member of the US International Team
  • Thomas Ghee - 2nd Degree Black Belt Recommended
  • Brian Mejia - 1st degree Black Belt
  • Ian Rapp - 1st degree Black Belt


  • Evan Rapp - 2nd in forms and 2nd in drills
  • Ian Rapp - 3rd in forms and 3rd in sparring
  • Brian Mejia - 3rd in sparring
  • Thomas Ghee - 3rd in continuous sparring and 3rd in point sparring
  • Matthew Grove - 2nd in forms and 3rd in sparring
  • Timothy Grove - 4th in forms, 1st in continuous sparring and 1st in point sparring

All five of these Black Belts will be competing for National Champion at the Nationals Tournament in Dickson, TN on November 19, 2016. Their head instructor is Mr. Jack Smithson, 4th degree Black Belt and former owner of Franklin Taekwondo Academy. These competitors train under Mr. Smithson and Mrs. Karla Grove, 3rd degree Black Belt, at Franklin Family Taekwondo in Franklin, TN.



U.S. Olympic Taekwondo Team

US Olympic Team 2016

Taekwondo competition in the Olympics begins on Wednesday, August 17th. To keep up with the schedule and results, check out this site from Rio2016.

Meet the US Taekwondo team

These four Martial Arts competitors all started their training at a young age. Just like our own students in Franklin, Tennessee, they all began their journey as white belts. We all start there together and grow together. These four U.S. members go to represent all of us, from the highest ranked Black belt to the brand new white belt. 

Steven Lopez

At the age of 37, Steven Lopez is the most decorated athlete in Taekwondo history. His Taekwondo training began at the young age of five. He has won 5 world championships, 2 Olympic gold and 1 Olympic bronze. In 2008, Steven, his brother and his sister made history when they all 3 won a spot on the US Olympic team. His other brother joined them as their long-time coach. U.S. has won a total of 8 Olympic medals. A member of the Lopez family has won all but three of these.

Shortly before the last Olympics, in 2012, he broke his ankle While he still competed, he did not come home with a medal that time.

Lopez currently stands in 10th place in WTF rankings, and returns this year for his 5th Olympic games. He has been in the Olympics as long as the sport has been a part of the Olympics. He will be competing in the Men’s welterweight division on Friday, August 19th.

Check out his bio on NBC Olympics here.

Making her Olympic debut at the age of 20 years old, Jackie Galloway is currently ranked number 3 in WTF standings. Her martial arts training began when she was 7 years old. At the age of 14, she was the youngest athlete ever to make the Mexico national taekwondo team. She is in her sophomore year at Southern Methodist University studying mechanical engineering.

Her Taekwondo competition is on Saturday, the 20th

Check out her bio on NBC Olympics.

At 25 years old, McPherson is currently ranked 7th in WTF standings. She began her Taekwondo training at the age of 6. She won Bronze in the Olympics in 2012. Her competition begins on Friday, August 19th.

Check out this news report on her by NBC Newscenter.

At the age of 28, Stephen Lopez is making his Olympic debut. His Taekwondo training began when he was 6 years old. At 220 pounds, he is in the heavyweight division, which competes on Saturday, August 20th.

Check out his bio by Team USA.

Go USA! May they hear our cheers all the way from Franklin, Tennessee.