Media Archive

Dover-Foxcroft couple hope to spread art of self-defense

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 1, January 01, 2003

By Ben Bragdon
Staff Writer

Goodmans to teach Tae Kwan Do in Milo

Observer Photo/Ben Bragdon
BLACK BELTS - Karen and Bill Goodman of Dover-Foxcroft will begin teaching Tae Kwan Do classes in the room over the Milo Town Hall on Jan. 9. The couple are both black belts, having studied the discipline now for over five years.

MILO Bill and Karen Goodman began martial arts training hoping to rekindle interest in an old hobby while getting in shape as a family. They ended up finding a way to head confidently into retirement by teaching a sport they both love.

The Dover-Foxcroft couple had both spent some time studying self-defense as young adults. Bill as a police academy cadet and Karen as a college student, but neither had kicked and punched their way through a workout in a while when they decided to start Tae Kwan Do classes five years ago at Clark's in Dover-Foxcroft.

Karen, who had reached the level of brown belt, just below a black belt, while studying one form of karate in college, knew right away how high to set her aim while in class. "I always wanted to get my black belt as a goal," said Karen.

Though Bill admits the two were a bit intimidated at first at the advanced class members, wondering how, or if, they would ever get that good, the couple progressed, slowly moving through the instruction, gaining confidence and becoming more involved along the way. Martial arts became a family affair, with the Goodman's two sons joining in on the fun.

A couple of years ago, the Goodmans started to take on more responsibility with the teaching end of self-defense, and after receiving their black belts in April they have been official instructors at Clark's, running an advanced session on Monday nights. They began to think that teaching would be a wonderful way to supplement their income in retirement while staying in shape and enjoying their favorite activity.

They began to look for space in Dover, but started to hear from fellow students in western Piscataquis County who traveled to Dover and Dexter for classes. So when a space in Milo opened up, they decided to give it a shot, and starting Jan. 9, the Goodmans will teach a self-defense class on Thursdays from 4:45 -6:45 p.m. in the studio over the Milo Town Hall. Bill says the room has everything a budding Bruce Lee could ask for high ceilings, lots of room, bathrooms, showers, and a central location in the middle of town.

The Goodmans have little problem showing newcomers the ins and outs of self-defense and martial arts, but on the financial and logistical side of the business, they were less sure of themselves. So they enter the
Incubator Without Walls program from Penquis CAP, which provides budding small business owners with instruction, guidance, and networking opportunities.

"We wanted to cover our bases and find out what it takes to run a business," says Karen.

The Incubator program, Bill says, helped them sort out small business legal issues, locate insurance sources, and write out a business plan. " They walked you right through it," he says.

The classes are now set up and are being run currently under the umbrella of the Milo Recreation Department, which already has 8-10 students interested in the weekly classes. The Goodmans hope to bring in visiting black belts to share techniques and ideas, and they will eventually introduce weaponry training to the classes, though the couple wants to keep it simple at first.

The goal of the instruction is to promote self-confidence and physical fitness while concentrating on the three precepts of Tae Kwan Do Respect, Integrity and Discipline. The Goodmans say martial arts training takes commitment a black belt takes four or five years to complete and the lessons learned through the discipline are valuable and easily applicable to everyday life, making it an ideal endeavor for youngsters. The couple says a child is usually ready to start karate classes at around 8 or 9 years old. Their son, Ben, a 13-year-old purple belt, will participate in the classes, helping some of the less-experienced students.

The Goodmans will hold their class every Thursday from 4:45-6:45 p.m. above the Milo Town Hall. If you are interested, call the Milo Recreation Dept. at 943-7326. Rates are $25 per student per month. Additional family members are $15 per month.

Those interested in the Incubator Without Walls program can call Cathy Curry at Penquis CAP at 564-7116. A new session is beginning shortly.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.