Golden Tae Kwon Do master says 'screams' during online workouts relieve stress, scare COVID-19

Douglas Kim migrates martial arts class to Zoom
Posted at 9:37 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 00:39:47-04

GOLDEN, Colo. -- When Douglas Kim was told to shut down his Tae Kwon Do studio in Golden because of the COVID-related "stay-at-home" order, he was heartbroken.

But his entrepreneurial spirit soon kicked in, and he decided to migrate his martial arts class to the internet.

He said he doesn't have as many clients as before, but he wants everyone to know he's open for business in Colorado, via Zoom.

"Tae Kwon Do helps with your confidence," he said. "It also helps with respect and discipline."

Mr. Kim needs all the confidence and discipline he can muster as he tries to keep his pride and joy, Golden Tae Kwon Do, afloat.

"I'm using what money I have saved to make sure I keep going with this studio," he said.

The Tae Kwon Do master said he's grateful for the clients who are now following him online.

Clients like Maria Flores.

"It changed my life completely," the 21-year-old student told Denver7.

She said, at first, she had no desire to take the class, but her mom made her.

"I fell in love with it," she said.

Flores told Denver7 the COVID crisis is taking a toll on her life, and that online Tae Kwon Do lessons help her cope.

"I have a sister who is sick at home," she said. "I've been taking care of her because she is immunocompromised. Not being able to go out, and having to limit my contact with friends, and everyone I work with, has been extremely stressful."

Flores said accessing the online class when she does her exercises helps relieve that stress.

"It reminds me that soon, this is hopefully going to be over, and we can get back in the studio," she said.

Instructor-in-training, Paul Schulte, feels the same way.

"Having it online keeps me sane," he said. "I get my stress out and get some exercise."

While Kim and his students demonstrated several Tae Kwon Do techniques, they let out a few loud screams.

Kim said those screams are key to getting stress out.

Flores said she didn't scream very loud when she first started taking the class. As a woman, she didn't think it was polite.

"I was kind of quiet at first, but after a little practicing, my 'kihup' is as loud as any of the boys here," she chuckled.

Schulte said he and his wife practice their 'kihups' at home, while working out during Master Kim's online class.

When asked if his neighbors know he's taking Tae Kwon Do lessons, Schulte said, "on the warmer days, when we have the windows open, they wonder what's going on in here."

Mr. Kim and his students hope their screams help chase the pandemic away.

"I don't know how long I can handle it with no income," he said, "so, I'm hoping this corona goes away, and then I can restart in my own studio here."