International Taekwondo Academy: Setting Bars and Going Beyond
By Alex Park
At the International Taekwon-Do Academy, head instructor Vic Teran advocates respect, diligence, and self-confidence through personal growth and fitness.
His academy combines the philosophies and fundamentals of traditional Taekwon-Do teachings with the disciplinary attitude and camaraderie of the U.S Marine Corps. The goal is to instill a mindset where students have the incentive to go beyond the challenges they set for themselves –– whether it’s in the training facility or in their everyday life.
Mr. Teran became a Black Belt at the age of 13, granting him the opportunity to travel to South Korea and train with the Korean Olympic Team. Afterwards, Teran saw a calling in the U.S Marine Corps and joined when he was 18. He eventually became the Chief Instructor for the Marine Corps Taekwon-Do team. He would also later joined the U.S. State Department as a Private Security Contractor stationed in Iraq and direct hire as SPS Agent in Charge for the Diplomatic Security Service in high threat–– a few of many positions he’s served throughout his career. Now, as a 7th degree Black Belt Master Instructor and a U.S Marine Corps combat veteran, he oversees the International Taekwon-Do Academy located in Jersey City. Students are trained in a positive environment where they learn to motivate themselves alongside others. The Taekwon-Do training is not solely limited to fitness and technique, but also a sincere self-defense practice that can be used in real life.
Lessons are available for both children and adults. The classes are a mix of strength and cardio training, classic Taekwon-Do drills, and light sparring so that students can apply their developing skills against classmates in a simulated manner. This is not to incite reckless behavior or misuse of Taekwon-Do, but to learn how to effectively defend oneself and respect the martial art. Alongside the children’s programs and adult Taekwon-Do are the Combat H.I.T. and All Women’s Self Defense classes. Combat H.I.T. (High Intensity Training) is a boot camp and core training session that helps with weight loss and strength development; aerobic and anaerobic exercises are executed with body weight and resistance to progressively challenge the body and stimulate further improvements. The All Women’s Self Defense program is designed to teach women effective self-defense methods against crime and how to handle targets.
According to Mr. Teran, “One of the most rewarding things as a teacher is passing on my knowledge and the love for the art. The greatest gift that I can receive is having those who want to put in that extra effort to learn.” Teran also emphasizes the ways in which we can better ourselves, including cooperation and time management –– a deeper sense of learning that isn’t limited to the color of your belt or the number of medals you’ve won. Taekwon-Do is based on the quality of the person, not the skills or accolades.
International Taekwon-Do Academy has been named as the “Best of Jersey City” in the Martial Arts category in 2015 and 2016, and are NJ State (2016) and Metro Champions (2015 & 2016). Mr. Teran himself has been ranked in the Top Ten “Best Instructor” category in Northern New Jersey. Currently, Teran is publishing his first book “Beginners guide to Taekwon-Do” and is working on becoming a ‘sponsored athlete’ for a bodybuilding and fitness supplement company. Teran’s ever-expanding knowledge base and dedication to his craft, are all part of what make International Taekwon-Do Academy stand out as one of the area’s best. Check out more on the International Taekwon-Do Academy website here, or check out their Youtube page for a preview of what to expect.