Arch Taekwondo

Arch Taekwondo

We offer various training programs, with monthly fee payment options and no requirement for signing long-term payment contracts.

At Arch Taekwondo we teach a martial art rooted in ancient Korean self defense traditions, other Asian fighting arts, and modern sports and exercise techniques. Arch Taekwondo is open to adults, teens and children, who are seeking a serious yet fun place where they can learn and practice Kukkiwon/Olympic Taekwondo for mental and physical fitness, self defense abilities and competitive sport.

Operating as usual


We are great fans and friends of the International Academic Conference for Taekwondo. Prof. Ron Dziwenka, the author of the shared article is a good friend of the dojang. Mst. Thimangu and our long-time members Prof. Tobias Winright and Mr. E. Michael Pruett have participated in iACT's conferences.

In the late 1980s, Dr. Jin Bang YANG was in charge of the World Taekwondo Research Society. He organized 3 conferences on TKD, the last in 1990. Dr. Young Sun KIM and I met in the evenings in the months prior to that conference to translate the submissions from Korean to English for The Journal of Taekwondo Research. Vol. 2, 1990 (see photo). I was the only non-Korean to present at that conference. I during that time, I had a chance meeting in our neighborhood bathhouse with into the famous Philosopher Young-Oak KIM (a provocateur, iconoclastic critic of Korean society, and prolific writer) and told him about the upcoming TKD conference. He told me to contact Dr. Yang and Kim to meet the next day, which we did by hiking on Dobong Mountain Park north of Seoul. During a hike (see the photos) that included Philosopher Kim, Dr. Yang, Dr. Kim, me (Ron Dziwenka), Philosopher Kim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the upcoming 1990 TKD conference about 6 weeks away. However, things he said in newspaper interviews about the event only a week prior to the conference led to him being dis-invited (TKD society’s infamous “Kim Young-Oak incident”). Nonetheless, the following year, Philosopher Kim wrote and published his groundbreaking and iconoclastic book that critiqued the history and philosophy of TKD that had been disseminated for decades, and he provided a re-interpretation of the past and new direction for the future of TKD. His book (in Korean, see the photo) is translated as Principles Governing the Philosophy of Taekwondo, and its contents caused waves within the worldwide (Korean-speaking) TKD community, and eventually contributed to the hastening of the public exposure of the up-to-then mythicizing of Taekwondo history and philosophy.
Foundations of Taekwondo: History, Theory, Academics Arts - Revised First Edition (2022), iACT Publishing, by Dr. Daeshik Kim and Dr. Allan Bäck, edited by Dr. John Johnson (364 pages) available on

Martial Meditation: Philosophy and the Essence of the Martial Arts - Revised First Edition (2023), iACT Publishing, by Dr. Daeshik Kim and Dr. Allan Bäck, edited by Dr. John A. Johnson (355 pages) available on

iACT website:


Wishing all our members, friends and supporters a peaceful Martin Luther King Jr., Day tomorrow. We we will be closed and resume our regular schedule on Tuesday. This was part of our Saturday adult class a week ago. For any of you looking for a serious Kukki taekwondo dojang for adults in the St. Louis Metro area pay us a visit.

Home | International Academic Conference for Taekwondo (iACT) 12/25/2023

Martial Meditation: Philosophy and the Essence of the Martial Arts

Martial Meditation is a serious 355-page study of philosophical issues in the Eastern martial arts and explores such issues as the relation of the martial arts to sport and art, the goals of the martial arts, the development of moral character in the martial arts, and the influence of Zen Buddhism in the martial arts. It provides a solid foundation for understanding theoretical as well as practical issues in the martial arts, specifically how the cultural and philosophical aspects of spiritual as well as physical training have been transferred and shared among Eastern and Western cultures. This is done through a detailed and rigorous analysis of the issues involved in practice, and an investigation of the insights that could be gained.

Hardcover - $39.99 USD Paperback - $24.99 USD Kindle - $19.99 USD

Foundations of Taekwondo - History, Theory, Academics
Foundations of Taekwondo aims to provide those interested in Taekwondo, be they athletes, teachers, or scholars, a basis for understanding its theory and practice. The structure of the book mirrors the three-stage pedagogical process found in Taekwondo. The Beginning section looks at martial arts in general in order to understand Taekwondo in context. The Intermediate section explains Taekwondo practice in physical education. The final, Advanced section explores aspects of training for mastery and the more spiritual side of Taekwondo practice, with its Buddhist and Confucian influences. At the end, it explains his ultimate goal for Taekwondo practice. Foundations of Taekwondo can be used as a textbook in a course on Taekwondo or martial arts, a foundational reference book for Taekwondo and martial art practitioners at any level, and a guide for your lifelong practice of Taekwondo or any other martial art. We hope that you too will be able to use it as guide for your lifelong practice of Taekwondo.

Hardcover - $39.99 USD at

PDF - $20 USD via the link below:

All profits from the sale of both books fund the Daeshik Kim Foundation and the Daeshik Kim Scholarship, both of which support individuals studying martial arts academically.


To view iACT’s upcoming events, scholar-researcher podcasts, ongoing projects, and past activities (conference booklets, presentations, abstracts, photos and presenter profiles, podcasts, upcoming events, etc.), please go to:

iACT website

iACT YouTube channel

iACT page

iACT email account [email protected]

Home | International Academic Conference for Taekwondo (iACT) Initially intended to be a small grassroots academic conference dedicated to Taekwondo, the International Academic Center for Taekwondo (iACT) has grown into an international body that is transforming how people think and talk about Taekwondo as a martial art and combat sport. iACT is the first orga...

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 12/16/2023

We had an excellent Blackbelt/Senior Gup Class today, the last one of 2023. We take this opportunity to wish all of you members, friends and supporters a Glorious Festivus, Merry Xmas, Blessed Kwanzaa, Shubh Diwali, Good Yule, Peaceful Zarathosht Diso, Happy and Prosperous 2024, and the best of times for anything else you may be celebrating in this festive and holy season. Thursday was the last day of Chanukah, so we hope those of you in the Jewish faith had a blessed week of peace and light.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 12/10/2023

Congratulations to all our adult and junior class members who earned new gup ranks after successful testing yesterday. Good work all!

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 11/19/2023

We had good showing at WooSop Taekwondo's Thanksgiving Championships yesterday. Our 4-person team captured 3 golds and 1 silver in hard and exciting sparring bouts:

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 06/01/2023

There are few things more satisfying than waking up at the crack of dawn to practice Kukki taekwondo, which we do every Tuesday and Thursday in our 6:15 a.m. adult class. The class today was lot's of fun. Some of our members have been coming to the morning classes regularly since we opened our doors in 2009. Keep kicking!

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 05/20/2023

Congratulations to all our adult and junior class members who successfully tested for new gup rank yesterday.


We have a state champ! Congratulations to Kingston Collins, one of our Junior Archtkd Warriors, for winning gold today at the USA Taekwondo 2023 Illinois State Championships. He was competing in the Cadets, 5th-3rd Gup Colored Belt male division.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 03/06/2023

Congratulations to all our members, who tested on our 20th Kukkiwon Dan/Poom Promotion Test on Saturday. All six candidates were testing for 2nd Poom or 2nd Dan and did an excellent job. Our guest judge was Master Norman Leeker, 6th Dan, of Family Martial Arts in Washington, MO. Thanks to all our other members and guests, who came to support the candidates.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 02/19/2023

Today we had our first gup test of 2023 featuring beginner and intermediate gup rank holders in the junior and adult class. Our advanced gup rank testing is scheduled for March 31. Congrats to all those who earned new rank.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 02/19/2023

Had an excellent blackbelt and advanced gup rank class today. Wonderful training in a St. Louis dojang community with a heavy and diverse adult representation.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 12/11/2022

Congrats to our Mr. Nick Kwolek for successfully testing for Kukkiwon 1st Dan on Saturday. Great job and thanks to all our other members, who came to support.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 11/21/2022

Congrats to all Junior and Adult Class members who successfully tested and earned new geup ranks on Friday. Great job all!


Congratulations to our own Arch Taekwondo for being highlighted in TaeKwonDo Times by Prof Tobias Winright, a student of the dojo who earned his black belt 10 years after suffering a life-threatening traumatic brain injury. The story is nothing less than inspiring - and demonstrates the patience, encouragement, and perseverance taught by Master Thimangu and his team.

Learn more about Arch TKD at

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 08/21/2022

Excellent outing for the Archtkd dojang family today as we celebrated the 33rd Pizza Day for Mst. Patrick L. Thimangu. Mst. Thimangu's first meal when he first landed in the US was a pizza.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 07/24/2022

Congratulation to all those who tested and passed today for Kukkiwon dan certificate certification. Also thank you to Grandmaster Norman Leeker, owner and head Instructor at Family Martial Arts Fitness Academy in Washington, Missouri, for agreeing to be our guest judge.


We had an excellent adult class this morning where we worked on basics. Good day to be indoors, with temps in our beautiful city of St. Louis hovering at slightly more than 100-degrees Fahrenheit outside in addition to stifling humidity.


Come to review the standard Kukkiwon forms and enjoy practice them with Master / Professor Jae O. Jo.
The day is getting close to Celebrate Illinois - Tae Kwon Do Day.
Registrations still Open for the Poomsae Seminar and for the Banquet Dinner.
Invite all your students from Poom Belt to all ranks Black Belts.
For more information give us a call 847-912-5349 or e-mail us at [email protected]
Also, for the hotel reservation use Four Points by Sheraton Chicago O'Hare Airport
10249 W Irving Park Rd, Schiller Park, IL 60176.
(847) 671-6000.

Use code USNTF for your room registration.

Thank you for your support.

GM Kwon.


We Cordially invite you to join Taekwondo Poomsae seminar, run by Master Jae O Jo, currently Kukkiwon Poomsae instructor, with many records of Poomsae champion for many years.
After seminar we will have a taekwondo black belt test all ranks.
In the evening we will have a Banquet Dinner, to celebrate Chicago Illinois Taekwondo Day. And hi Rank Black Belts Achievements.
Any questions?
Give us a call 847-912-5349.
or e-mail us [email protected]
Thank you for your support.
GM Kwon.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 04/03/2022

Congrats to our Archtkd Warriors team for good showing yesterday – no pun intended - at the 2022 Show Me Cup Taekwondo Championships organized by our good friends at WooSop's Taekwondo. It was nice to see friends we hadn't seen in more than two years in a very well-run event. This was the first time we’ve been in competition in nearly three years because of the coronavirus pandemics. We had a small team of four and scooped two gold medals in poomsae, one gold and one bronze in sparring. Three of the competitors were competing for the first time. Only one didn't medal, but he did an excellent job in the 7-8 year blue belts King/Queen of the Ring competition and was the 3rd last person standing.

Our gold medalists were Samuel Palka, in the 12-14 blackbelt division; Kingston Collins, sparring and poomsae, in the Blue Belts - 12-13 division. Thomas Johnson, earned silver in the men’s over 30, sparring division. Raynard Nicholson Jr. put up a good fight but failed to medal in the Green Belt 8-9 division. He was 3rd last person standing in the King/Queen of the Ring competition. Collins, Johnson and Nicholson Jr, were first-time competitors. Our Mst. LaTonja Thomas and Glennon Evans III, helped by judging and refereeing at the Show Me Cup.

Photos from Kwon's Martial Arts Center's post 03/15/2022
Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 03/13/2022

Congratulations to all our junior class members, who earned new gup (colored belt) ranks after testing on Friday. Everyone worked hard at the tests and made their parents and teachers proud.

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 02/27/2022

Congratulations to the te**ee in our 17th Kukkiwon Poom/Dan blackbelt promotion test yesterday. She put in the work and proved her mettle to earn 2nd degree blackbelt. You rock Dr. Tao. Great job!

Photos from Arch Taekwondo's post 02/20/2022

We often hear that doing martial arts consistently is hard for lots of children and youth, leave alone adults, who lead busy lives and often think they are too old, too tired, too stiff, too weak, too ... to practice and learn. At our taekwondo school we reject all those notions and encourage and welcome adult men and women to practice serious Kukkiwon style taekwondo. We take adults very seriously. We teach them, we practice with them and see the results every day and hear them tell us how beneficial taekwondo practice is to their health and well being. Congratulations to some of those adults who tested yesterday for higher belt ranks in their taekwondo journey.


Here's hoping you all enjoy abundant peace and joy as we join hands to wish those that celebrate a very merry Xmas. We also wish you all a happy and prosperous 2022, even as we reflect on the year that is just about to pass. We will be closed today and tomorrow, but have regular classes Monday-Thursday next week. We will be closed again Dec. 31 for the New Year weekend and reopen on Monday, Jan. 3.

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3010 Locust, Suite 001
St. Louis, MO

Opening Hours

Monday 11am - 1pm
5pm - 7pm
Tuesday 6:15am - 7:15am
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Wednesday 11am - 1pm
5pm - 7pm
Thursday 6:15am - 7:15am
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Friday 10:30am - 1pm
4:30pm - 6:30pm
Saturday 9am - 11am

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