Today we’d like to introduce you to Thu and Rodney Doolittle.
Thu and Rodney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My family and I came to the US in 1975 as refugee from the Vietnam War. I was 11 when our family settled in Kalamazoo, Michigan. There were 9 of us and we lived in a house with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath and the next-door neighbor had a son. This boy was about my age and he was a bully.
He mocked us, taunted us for not being able to speak English, called us names. He followed my siblings and I when we go for walk and taunted us. In additional to being bullied from the neighbor boy, my dad was very traditional and controlling. He was an authoritarian, and abusive.
As I acclimated to the American culture and tradition, I learned English and loved to watch Chinese Kung Fu movies, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman and Bruce Lee movies. I loved watching movies that has strong female characters who stood up to bullies.
When I graduated from high school and enter in college, I joined the Western Michigan University Taekwondo Club. I was hooked on learning Taekwondo and the ability to defend for myself. This is the beginning of freedom from being a victim.
I’ve trained in Taekwondo and competed for over 30 years. During my journey, I taught classes in different Taekwondo school and different cities. It was my way of giving back to the community that I lived in at the moment. I always wanted to own a Taekwondo school, but the timing was never right. In February of 2017 I had an opportunity of the life time to take over an existing Taekwondo school of my Taekwondo friend. The timing was perfect and all of the events happening to me was aligned for me to buy this school.
So my husband and I bought NTA Taekwondo- Colleyville. With NTA-Colleyville, I am able to give back to the community and train new young healthy and productive citizens.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The fun of being a small business owner included many obstacles along the way. Entering into an existing business is challenging and fun at the same times. There was a period of acclimation need from both students, parents and instructors. There were paperwork, policies, state and city regulations needed to be learned.
Part of Taekwondo business is serving our customers. When I purchased the school, the previous owner warned us about the summer months. It will be slow and the financial will be tight.
My husband/co-partner, wears many hats in any given day.
NTA Taekwondo Colleyville – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
NTA Taekwondo-Colleyville is a martial arts school in the Colleyville, TX area specializing in recreational and competitive Taekwondo for all ages both children and adults. Whether you are interested in Taekwondo to compete in local, regional or National level competition or exercise program, NTA Taekwondo – Colleyville will help you to achieve your goals.
NTA Taekwondo-Colleyville offers 2 different types of programs:
NTA Team Programs: Competitive Sparring, Competitive Poomsae/Form, or Competitive Demonstration
Traditional program offers the highest level of training by well-trained Korean’s Kukkiwon Certified instructors. The traditional belt curriculum design to follow Kukkiwon belt testing standards. This to ensure the students will learn the requirements set out internationally.
NTA Taekwondo also provide NTA Team program for those students who choose to compete in local, Texas State Championship and USA Taekwondo or AAU Nationals. The team program is being taught by USA Team Member and International Medalist Master. Thu Doolittle
NTA Taekwondo set apart from other Martial Arts schools by:
– Providing certification to our instructors and belts are certified by Kukkiwon headquarter in Korea, recognized by the World Taekwondo Federation.
– All Black Belt Athletes with Kukkiwon-certifications can compete in any competition world-wide.
– The Best Ratio Classes are always under a 6:1 student-to-instructor ratio.
– NTA Taekwondo has produced numerous State, Collegiate, Pan Am, National and International Champions.
– NTA Taekwondo instructors also certified International Referees in Poomsae/Form and in Sparring
– The Best Curriculum NTA boasts one of the highest levels of belt curriculum for juniors in the state.
– Specialized in Bully Expert Program in – Verbal Martial Arts
– Students have a choice between curriculum or competition team. Class Schedule The class schedule is designed to provide multiple class options to each age and skill level. Your membership does not require you to come on the same day or at the same time for each class.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There are many proud moments in my life. The moments come in stages of my life. The very first one receiving a Bronze medal in 1988 at US Taekwondo National Championship and was eligible to compete at the US National Team Trials in the US Olympic Training Center.
The second one was in 2010 when I won Gold medal in sparring at the National Taekwondo Championships 25 years later. It was in the Ultra Division, 40-45 years old, but it was my very first Gold medal in 25 years of training.
The other proudest event was in 2015 US Taekwondo Open. I received the Gold medal by beating 2 strong competitors in my divisions. One of them was the current USA National Team member and another one was the Alternate Australian Team member. This winning set the stage for the 2016 fight off in the 2016 US Taekwondo Open and the USA National Team Trials.
Again, I won Gold medal in 2017 US Taekwondo Open by beating the current USA National Team member and an Israeli Team member. This followed by a tough fought battle for a spot in the 2016 USA National Poomsae Team. The competition was tough and I lost to the current US Team member by a mere .002 of a point.
My proudest moment as a Martial Art instructor was when a 6-year-old dyslexic student finally understood the left and the right turn. It was a great moment for the student, for the parents and for me.
Teaching Martial Arts is the most rewarding job ever. To see the improvement in the students and knowing you are an effective teacher is the most rewarding feeling there is.
- Address: NTA Taekwondo
1101 Cheek Sparger Road, 107B
- Website: www.ntacolleyville.com
- Phone: 817-581-1419
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: NTA Taekwondo- Colleyville
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NTAtaekwondoColleyville/
Master Sang Jae Lee aka Poomsaemaster Lee