About Us

About Vasquez Taekwondo Academy

Master Julian Vasquez Sr., 6th Degree Kukkiwon certified Black Belt in Taekwondo, and is completing his 4th Dan certification through the World Haidong Gumdo Federation. Haidong Gumdo is our Head Instructor at Vasquez Taekwondo Academy. Master Vasquez actively teaches daily, and oversees each student's training along with Master Carol Vasquez, 5th Degree Black Belt and Master Julian Vasquez Jr, 4th Degree Black Belt and U.S. National Gold Medalist.  Although Taekwondo is a group activity, at VTA every student receives the individual time and attention he/she needs to achieve their potential in Taekwondo and in life.

Our goal at VTA is simply to be the best school so we can help you to be your best. We continually innovate our program to help it maintain its status as one of the best in the state of Texas. If you want more information about our school, please click here .

Master Julian Vasquez Sr.
7th Degree Blackbelt Taekwondo
Master Instructor, Haidong Gumdo
Master Carol Vasquez
6th Degree Blackbelt
Master Julian Vasquez Jr.
5th Degree Blackbelt

Why We Believe We are Among the Best Martial Arts Schools

A. Comprehensive Curriculum - Three Belts In One

At VTA, our Taekwondo program is based on the full white to black belt level curriculum of three highly unique but complementary Korean Martial Arts (Taekwondo, HapKiDo, and Tang So Do). Our focus is to provide a blend of the best techniques from a common Korean foundation that covers the full suite of martial arts techniques (kicking, punching, grappling/ground, weapons), and philosophies(traditional, modern, sport) to provide one of the most comprehensive martial arts curriculums available.

Martial Arts have grown over the centuries to include a variety of techniques. Most martial arts have a focus on just one of these techniques and the others may be covered to a limited extent. We feel our students need to get an equal grounding in each of these areas so they can handle any situation that arises.

  • Weapons - we cover traditional weapons such as the Staff or Bo, Sai, Long Club, and Knife. While other more modern weapons exist, we have focused on these traditional weapons for their simplicity and effectiveness, along with their long history in martial arts. We also cover the sword art Haidong Gumdo as a separate belt program which is 100% devoted to sword attacks. Many different types of swords are used (long sword, short sword, admirals(two sided) sword, and others (see below).
  • Kicking - as the growth of mixed martial arts has shown, kicking is not the only technique a martial artist must possess. But, used properly, kicking can be devastating to an opponent. Whether it is for providing attacks outside the range of distance of a punch, or a knockout blow, kicks to the body, head, and legs are all very effective, as are knee attacks. But, they are among the hardest martial arts techniques to do well.
  • Punching - This includes punches, knife hands, ridge hands, elbow strikes, and many other forms of upper body attacks. It also includes a large variety of blocks, grabs, and trapping techniques. A common complaint about Taekwondo is that its fighters have too great a reliance on kicks. We have included a heavy focus on these upper body attacks and defenses to help provide effective techniques when fighters are at close distances.
  • Grappling & Ground Techniques - There is an old saying in martial arts that most fights ultimately end up with someone on the ground. We have therefore heavily leveraged over a hundred techniques for grappling, throwing, choking, and submission techniques to help our students defend themselves on the ground.

As there are different forms of techniques, there are also different philosophies of martial arts. This is not related to religion, but rather to the way the techniques are applied. A kick applied traditionally, modern, or in a sport approach are quite different, but equally effective.

  • Classical - Classical philosophies tend to dictate heavily grounded stances, and direct linear attacks. Stances tend to be deep, and very strong. And circular techniques are avoided. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and these techniques follow this principle to the letter. Kicks tend to be waist high, linear, and strong. Punches have tremendous power and are executed with heavy twists of the hips, and the opposite arm being drawn back to increase force. 
  • Modern - As martial arts progressed, and as scientific principles of physiology, and kinesiology were applied to them, they changed. Stances became narrower to improve mobility The focus of attacks became speed, not just power. Movements became more fluid, and less focused on hard snaps on the joints. Kicks became very fast, and often head high. Traditional martial arts were very focused on preparing a warrior for battle, but not for a modern weekend warrior to practice martial arts for a lifetime. So, the execution of some kicks and upper body techniques were changed to reduce stress on the knee. Modern martial artists do not pound Makiwara boards (boards with rope round around them) to increase their knuckle bone densities as this can lead to early arthritis. There are many changes that were made to improve the techniques based on modern science to improve their effectiveness and deal with the fact most martial arts practitioners hope to spend decades perfecting them.
  • Sport - Depending on who you talk to, sports have either ruined or saved martial arts. However, their impact is undeniable. Taekwondo is an Olympic sport, with a very stringent set of rules. While these rules are not ever duplicated in a street fight, they do give martial artists a full contact outlet for their art. Instead of using their techniques to punch the air, they can get the feel for kicking an opponent, and knowing what its like to take a hit and keep on moving. Because of the rules of WTF taekwondo, many more head kicks are thrown than you would normally use in a street fight, but these kicks are still useful, and the athlete's fighting skills are much better for using them. Plus, while this is optional at our school, many of our students absolutely love the thrill of competitions, and the knowledge they are training to become world class athletes who might one day earn the respect of the world by wining a gold medal at the Olympics.

To fully, and equally support these four techniques and three philosophers, we at Vasquez Taekwondo have chosen to blend three very different, but complimentary Korean martial arts into our curriculum. We have designed our curriculum to introduce them at different times so our students are not confused by their different approaches. But, by the time a student reaches 1st degree blackbelt, they will have an equal education in all these areas, and know when to use them appropriately. They will have also covered the full white to black belt material of each of the three arts. It is why we consider our blackbelt in Taekwondo three belts in one.

 Our three Korean martial arts are as follows:

1. Taekwondo - Taekwondo is the modern Korean martial art that was founded by combining the best attributes of Koreas thousand year history of martial arts after the expulsion of the Japanese occupation force after World War II, and the forced introduction of Japanese martial arts into Korea. After WWII, Korea was looking to rediscover its history, but at the same time, create a modern martial art that would dominate the world.

Much has been written about the nine original Korean Kwans, or schools, that combined to ultimately form the World Taekwondo Federation. The origins of Taekwondo were Tang So Do (Korean Karate) that had been heavily modified over time to include a much stronger emphasis on kicking, especially jumping kicks, and head kicks. The arts innovators looked to bring in some of the techniques of  the ancient Korean foot fighting art called Taekkyeon to make it a true Korean art. The style that emerged had a heavy focus on fast kicking, and aggressive attacks and was very unlike other martial arts at the time.  The introduction of Taekwondo as a sport in the Olympics helped to further focus the art's emphasis on kicking, and enhanced its sports philosophy. But, non-Olympic taekwondo is equally practiced at our school that used the modern techniques, but relies less on the rules of sparring.

The streamlining of the material taught in Taekwondo into a modern art added much needed consistency across all the WTF schools. However, lost in this streamlining were the more traditional and classical styles of martial arts. Also, with the focus on kicking techniques, other aspects of martial arts such as grappling, and punching as well as weapons were not as prominent. To help provide a broader program that addresses some of these limitations, VTA has added the full white to black belt material from two other distinct marital arts described below.

2. HapKiDo - HapKiDo is a Korean grappling martial art that evolved in parallel to Taekwondo but with a very different focus. HapKiDo is a form of self defense where an attacker's energy and movements are used against them through the use of joint locks, pressure points, and throws. The objective is to redirect force rather than use force against force. The art of HapKiDo uses techniques that are circular as well as linear. The term HapKiDo can be translated to mean" the way of coordinated energy or strength". Through HapKiDo practice one learns to coordinate and harmonize his or her own mind and body. 

The origins of HapKiDo can be traced to Japan in the early 1900's. The recognized founder of HapKiDo, Master Choi, Yong-Sul was a student of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu under Grand Master Sokau Takeda . Master Choi lived in Japan working as a man servant to and student of Master Takeda for approximately thirty years (1912 -1943). During some of this time Master Morihei Ueshiba was also a student under Master Takeda. Master Ueshiba was the founder of Aikido . Most of the similar techniques and concepts in HapKiDo and Aikido have their origins in Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu .

Our HapKiDo program is focused on a series of defenses from 120 different positions. We have as part of the program joint locks and maneuvers, grappling, trapping, foot sweeps, throws, and ground techniques.

3. Tang Soo Do - This style is a very traditional and classical empty hand martial art with an emphasis on strong rooted stances, and direct linear attacks. Punching and upper body blocks are the focus(60%), as well as kicking
(40%). Often called Korean Karate, this art evolved in Korea after the Japanese occupation of the country in the early part of the century, and the ban on Korean martial arts. Early practitioners of Tang So Do were taught Japanese Karate. Tang So Do literally translated means "Way of the Chinese Fist", which is the same as Karate in Japanese.

The founders of post World War II Tang Soo Do were trained initially in Shotokan Karate, and Kung Fu. Like Taekwondo, after WWII, they learned some of the traditional Korean styles that had long been hidden from the Japanese, like the art Taekkyeon. They moved into one of the original Kwans called the Moo Duk Kwan (which ultimately combined to form Taekwondo). However, dissatisfied with the new direction of Taekwondo with its heavy emphasis on kicking in the 1950s, this style split away from the Kwan to maintain its traditional and classical roots.

Tang Soo Do today is quite popular, but does not have a strong central organization like the World Taekwondo Federation. This has led to a variety of modifications and changes to classical forms, and approaches, but at their core, they are all very much alike, and quite different than Taekwondo. The Tang Soo Do taught by the school is very similar to the old classical Shotokan Karate stylings of Gichin Funakoshi, except Korean terms are used for the forms and techniques. Also, the style has added a large number of weapons techniques and forms added from traditional Korean arts. At the school, we teach engagement techniques and forms for the long staff, long club, sai, and knife.

B. Haidong Gumdo - The Korean Sword Art

Over the past 15 years, Master Vasquez has sought to add a martial art to the school that was well suited to older students, especially parents of children in Taekwondo. Many parents over 30 were looking for ways to get the fun and fitness of a martial art, but without the full contact nature of empty hand techniques. He noticed a new martial art that was described as being for three generations of families where children, parents and grand parents could train together. This art was the traditional sword art, Haidong Gumdo. Master Vasquez is completing his certification as a 4th Dan Master Instructor Blackbelt in Haidong Gumdo now through the World Haidong Gumdo Federation, and he has launched this program here in McKinney.

The history of Haidong Gumdo is much like that of other Korean arts. A foundation in Korean history going back a millennia, but roots in a Japanese art that was forced on the Korean population. Haidong Gumdo was formed when several members of the Korean Kumdo association, or Japanese sword art, split away to recreate a sword art based on traditional Korean techniques. The founders had become frustrated that Kumdo had become watered down and more of a sport. They also believed that the focus of Kendo, and even KenJitsu - the traditional Japanese non-sport sword art, being of a single killing blow, was not the proper view, and that the art had to take the focus of a battlefield engagement with multiple attackers. Being able to attack and defend in multiple directions at once became the new focus. The founders began their investigation of traditional Korean arts and spent many years learning from masters who had kept their arts secret from the Japanese occupiers. In the 1980s, they formed the World Haidong Gumdo association, and now have thousands of schools world wide. Haidong Gumdo has become the fastest growing martial art in Korea, and is now second only to Taekwondo in popularity.

The Haidong Gumdo program requires a different uniform, and belt promotion path than Taekwondo. Its focus is 100% on sword techniques, and all class activities involve the use of the sword. While some schools have incorporated the sword as one of many weapons they teach, we have found that it is so complex, intricate, and involved, it requires its own discipline. There is an old saying that a true swordsman does not learn how to cut in the 100th, 1000th, or even 1,000,000th cut. It can take a lifetime of mastery and an unthinkable number of cuts before the true approach is revealed. This is hard to put into words, but it is very much at the heart of our program.

Since it was instituted, students have been parents of Taekwondo students, blackbelts in Taekwondo, or simply young adults who were fascinated by the mystique of the sword. But, there is no question that its availability as a separate training path at Vasquez Taekwondo makes our school unique. 

For more information, click here .

C. One of the Top Jr. Olympic Programs in the Country

While taekwondo is a modern martial art influenced by its sport aspects, the vast majority of its practitioners practice it without interest in tournaments, or competitions. These students practice forms, techniques, kicks, and sparring, but only in the confines of their school. For most students, it is how they wish to train.

However, in 2000, Taekwondo sparring was accepted as an Olympic sport. This, and the inspiration of US Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez created a frenzy of interest in Taekwondo as a highly competitive sport. Taekwondo as an Olympic sport is governed by the AAU, or Amateur Athletic Union. This governing body oversees competitions, rules, and athletes. Competing in this sport requires the advanced athletic training and curriculum of any other Olympic event.

At VTA, we have successfully developed one of the top programs in the US for creating Jr. Olympic champions. Based on the foundations of the Blue Victory System developed by Master Guy Poos, this program uses modern training techniques to supplement regular taekwondo activities. Our results speak for themselves.  Our athletes' have earned over 200 state and regional champions, and over 60 Junior Olympic champions within the past 5 years.

Our Olympic sparring program is taught through a separate series of classes held 6 times a week depending on a students age and belt rank. All students are required to participate in our regular taekwondo programs as well as our sparring classes. Students get to travel within Texas, nationally, and sometimes internationally to compete in the leading taekwondo competitions.

Our motto is "Where National Champions Train." No other school in North Dallas, and few in the southern United States can match our training program and success in helping our students achieve Jr. Olympic medals.

For more information, click here .

D. JiDo  Kwan

Our school is a member of the Jido Kwan fraternal order of Taekwondo Schools. The Jido Kwan was one of the 9 original Korean martial arts schools, or Kwans formed after the Japanese occupation force were expelled from Korea. Jido Kwan means "Way of Wisdom" and is an association of Taekwondo Schools that fully supports the World Taekwondo Federation, but provides a much stronger community, common philosophy and way of life.

The logo above shows the philosophy of Jido Kwan. Flowers in general signify peace, love, nobility and happiness. Eight flower pedals around the edges have great meaning as well. The Jidokwan Spirit of eight manners of justice are: See Rightly, Feel Rightly, Think Rightly, Speak Rightly, Command Rightly, Serve Rightly, Have Ability, and Conduct with Justice. Also, the central figure - a roly-poly - signifies persistence. There is a saying, "Seven times down, eight times up." This spirit of standing upright in all tribulations is very strong in the Jidokwan community. Circles symbolize universe, sun, earth, nation, Kwan, self.  For more information, see the attached link here .

E. School for Master Instructors

A recent national study of martial artists had a sad statistic. It found that about 80% of blackbelt students stop training after recieving their 1st dan blackbelt. We believe the blackbelt dropout rate is a direct result of schools expecting most blackbelts to dedicate their efforts to teaching, and that few dedicated classes are offered for blackbelt students.

At VTA, we have created a dedicated program to help taekwondo blackbelts attain a 4th dan master designation from the WTF Kukkiwon. We have over 14 dedicated classes per week just for blackbelts of different ranks to help them learn their material, and provide appropriate leadership. Our classes are broken down into deputy blackbelt (students just below blackbelt who need to focus on learning the considerable material for the test), 1st dan blackbelts, and advanced dan blackbelts (2nd and 3rd degree).

We have also created a separate set of classes for blackbelts from other schools who are looking for dedicated master training, or have moved to the McKinney area and wish to transfer to our school. Our transfer blackbelt program is focused on helping the students rapidly learn the core blackbelt material of one-steps, breaking holds, and forms. Because we teach three complete styles of martial arts in our taekwondo program, even blackbelt taekwondo students from other WTF schools have some incremental material to learn.

For more information, please click here .

F. Web e-Learning

The national study mentioned above also had an unfortunate statistic on martial arts students achieving blackbelt. That number was closer to 1 in 100 students invest the 4+ years necessary to get a blackbelt in a martial art. We believe there are a number of factors that influence this. Martial arts is hard work and it requires dedication and a lot of time in the gym. And traditionally, martial arts is a solo activity. It can be hard to make friends to give you the support you need to get through a program, given the focus on training and a lack of opportunity for social interaction.

At VTA we have embarked on a grand experiment. We have decided to use the web to help improve the learning experience of our students and address some of the issues mentioned above.  We have built out the most advanced web based e-learning system of any martial arts school in the country, and perhaps the world. We have now digitized over 400 instructional videos on all aspects of our curriculum up to 4th dan blackbelt and have them deployed in a web based system accessible from any browser on any computer.

The system has the following features:

  • Over 400 separate videos on our entire curriculum of kicks, punches, blocks, forms, one-steps, breaking holds, forms, breaks, sparring, etc up to 4th dan.
  • Over 400 instructional step by step instructions with pictures on that same curriculum
  • A Korean language instruction system with audio instruction
  • Kickbook - a social network similar to Facebook where all our students can post photos, videos, and exchange posts and messages.
  • See your detailed attendance by program (Olympic sparring, Haidong Gumdo, takewondo), and see how many classes you have yet to take before you achieve your minimum standards for testing
  • Personalized schedule based on your belt rank
  • Personalized testing material based on your belt rank
  • On-line belt test report cards after each test
  • Operates in any browser.

It is our hope that this system will help our students in memorizing the material they need to learn, as well as help them make new friends and get the support of a broader team of students to help them through their martial arts journey. For more information click here .

G. Family Run

We will shortly be celebrating our 15th anniversary in the McKinney area. Few schools have had the same longevity we have. We are not a chain. Our instructors are senior master level blackbelts and teach all the classes.

H. We Have Fun

Martial arts is a serious endeavor. It takes tremendous diligence to achieve the highest ranks. However, through our Kickbook social network, through a serious of organized social events, spirit team competitions, and a general philosophy of showing respect to all, we do our best to ensure your experience at Vasquez Taekwondo is an enjoyable one. Many of our senior students describe VTA as an extended family. We hope you will consider joining that family.

The Bottom Line

We believe your choice in a martial arts school should be carefully thought out. There are many schools around that will lock you into long term contracts, and make outlandish claims of fast results. Their instructors may be recent 1st dan blackbelts, affiliates of chain schools, or hold ranks from obscure associations whose requirements for achievement are minimal at best. Or, they may be senior instructors who have long ago given up active teaching, and have delegated the work to junior staff.

At VTA, we belong to the top martial arts organizations. We are a World Taekwondo Federation certified school, whose instructors have received their Dan certificates from the Kukkiwon. Our Haidong Gumdo instructors also are certified by the World Haidong Gumdo Association. We do not lock you into contracts, and do not place an emphasis on making a profit over the quality of your training. Our program is harder, and more comprehensive than any other in our area. And, our three master instructors all teach classes daily. The work is not delegated to junior blackbelts.

Should you choose Vasquez Taekwondo Academy as your martial arts school, you will work harder and learn more than anywhere else in the North Dallas area. But, in the end, you will be amazed at your personal transformation. If you want more information about our school, please click here . We look forward to seeing you soon.

How to Join

No Contract? No Problem.

VTA is the only martial arts school in the area that gives you options and doesn't require you to sign a year/multi-year contract, or "membership" which legally binds you to hundreds of dollars.  At VTA students have options when they enroll;

#1 - pay on a monthly basis, without a contractual commitment,
#2 - pay 100% upfront for 6 months, 12 months or 24 months (discounts apply – cash flow helps the Academy) or,
#3 - commit to 24 months contractual agreements for even additional savings. Contractual agreement offers the best discounts. Family discounts apply:

Two or three member receive discounts, four or more do not pay (same family member).

You will find that our monthly fees (without the contractual contracts that other Martial Arts Schools make you sign) are lower then what they charge on an extended time commitment basis/contract.   However, students at VTA study here because they enjoy it, and have set their own personal goal to get their Black Belt not because they are financially committed to a year/multi-year contract!

VTA reserves the right to increase or decrease prices with a 30-day written notice. Students that pay up front or are on a contractual agreement (and are current) are price protected; their rates will not be affected, until the expiration of the contract/agreement.

VTA Annual membership dues are $35.00 per 1 student, $50.00 for Family. Due during enrollment and first of January thereafter.