Q. Do I need any kind of experience to join?

A. Absolutely not! Most of our members (as well as many of our blackbelts) started with Harvard Taekwondo as white belts. So don't be afraid to do Taekwondo if you've never done it before or haven't done it in a long time.

Q. But I probably have to be decently athletic, right?

A. Again, no. Trust us, a few months of Taekwondo training and you'll be in good enough shape to match any of your friends! There is also no comp or try out. Anyone with commitment is welcome to become a member of our team, as long as you are a Harvard University affiliate and have access to the Malkin Athletic Center.

Q. What about competing? I probably have to train for a long time before I can participate in intercollegiate competition and represent Harvard and the team...

A. Not at all! We really encourage people to start competing from the first semester onwards. The beauty of the ECTC is that in order to do well, schools need to field athletes of all different levels, including complete beginners. It's not too scary, either! As a white or yellow belt, you will be participating in forms and sparring events against people with similar experience levels.

Q. I am starting to think Taekwondo may be for me. What kind of commitment is the team?

A. We very strongly ask anyone who is looking to test, compete and advance with us to train twice a week or more. Our experiences with training have led us to realize that it's extremely hard to keep up and to improve without training at least twice a week. Furthermore, when everyone is coming out regularly, it really helps maintain the team camaraderie and friendship that we have.

Q. What are the expenses and what kind of gear do I need?

A. Dues are usually around $60 a semester. These go into the club bank account to help fund our tournament traveling, social events, equipment orders etc. You will also need a uniform, however, if you register for a full year! Later on, as you get closer to attaining your green belt, the club will ask that you own shin guards, instep guards, a helmet, a mouthguard and forearm guards. While this may seem like a big expenditure, it is a valuable investment for anyone who continues training.

Q. Does the club offer any academic scholarships? Is there any financial aid for students interested in training but unable to field dues?

A. The club does not offer any academic scholarships. However, students who are interested in training but find the costs prohibitive need only speak to our treasurer, who can be contacted at treasurer.htkd@gmail.com. Harvard Taekwondo is committed to making sure that no student is unable to join the team due to financial constrictions and will offer help as needed.

Q. Is the club open to graduate students?

A. Yes. Any member of the Harvard community with access to the athletic facilities may train and advance with us. Any full-time student is invited to compete with us. Graduate students often are some of our most committed members.

Q. Will my taekwondo experience guarantee my admission to Harvard?

A. This is a question we often receive. We are not authorized to have a say in the admission decision of a prospective student. Still, we are always glad to talk to prospective freshmen about Taekwondo and life at Harvard, so shoot us an email, introduce yourself and who knows, maybe we'll meet at pre-frosh weekend!

Q. What if I have previous martial arts experience?

A. Great! If you have recently trained in WTF style Taekwondo, you will probably be just fine continuing where you left off. If you've trained in a different style, we'll help you get acclimated to WTF Taekwondo.

Q. What if I already have a WTF black belt?

A. ...Then why aren't you already kicking with us?! :-) We have plenty to offer those who have already attained the rank of black belt in Taekwondo. First of all, the ECTC provides a great place to continue to get competition experience and to try out intercollegiate competition. We also have many other black belts with whom you can train and hone your skills, as well as offering the possibility to test for further dans. Finally, once you have become comfortable with the club and its curriculum, you may be able to participate in instruction, should you be interested.

Q. So...while we're on the topic of black belts, could a complete beginner possibly attain one while at Harvard?

A. YES!!! If you train hard, you can expect to get a Kukkiwon (world certified) black belt in 3-4 years. Working towards your black belt as you work towards your Harvard degree is an incredible educational opportunity, and something which you will find is a rewarding and meaningful part of your Harvard experience.

Q. Do I have to do anything special to get a black belt?

A. Come out, train hard and you'll be there in no time.