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Maka’s Taekwondo celebrates nearly 20 years in Tea



Maka’s Taekwondo got its start in Houma Maka’s Sioux Falls garage in 1978.

He got started with taekwondo under Chang Hi Li in Sioux Falls before he was asked to take over the taekwondo school. He had a couple of locations in Sioux Falls before moving to their location in Tea on First Street in 2005.

He and his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Sarah Smith, now run the taekwondo school. Lisa and Smith, along with some black belt students, do the teaching.

They offer 2-3 classes a night four days a week.

“There is no season in martial arts, which a lot of people don’t quite know until they start, but there’s no on or off season,” Smith said.

Classes can have anyone from age 5 to 105. Classes are broken up by age sometimes, but most are a mix of ages.

“It’s common for the age range to be wide. We like keeping a good mix because you learn from other people that are other ages and other ranks,” Smith said.

“It’s good for little kids to be learning with older kids or older adults sometimes,” Lisa said. “The whole idea of it is personal growth and personal journey. That continues throughout your life.”

Their space at 100 N. Main Ave. in Tea has been an adequate space for classes of 10-30 people. They also have space for changing in the back, a restroom and high ceilings.

“It’s adequate amount of floor space for what we need because sometimes an area can get too big then you get lost in the space. Some buildings have support beams in the middle. It’s a big open floor,” Lisa said.

Lisa noted that the community has been very supportive. They also see students coming from Sioux Falls, Baltic, Lennox, Beresford, Harrisburg, Hartford, Brandon and Vermillion.

Taekwondo has a lot to offer people of all ages. As adults get older, Smith said they try new things less often and if they have children, their focus goes to them.

“We find that the adults that come here that start something new when they’re a little bit older or even teenagers, it’s pretty brave of them to put themselves out there and learn something new,” Smith said.

Martial arts is all about doing movements on both sides of the body so there’s no dominate side and a person is equally balanced.

In October, they will host their 39th Midwest Taekwondo Championships at the high school that draws 100-250 competitors. For their students, they hold about four testings a year, but everyone is on their own journey.

“I think one of the things Houma taught us really really well through actions is how to be humble. Just because I’ve been in taekwondo for 43 years, I’m still learning. I don’t know everything. You learn from your students every day,” Lisa said.

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