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Welcome to SRMA

South River Martial Arts (SRMA) is premiere Martial Arts Facility specializing in Taekwondo and Hapkido which opened its’ doors in the fall of 2008 in Edgewater, Maryland. South River Martial Arts main function is instruction in traditional martial arts for all ages from three to adult. The second function of SRMA is providing Before and After School Care which includes martial arts instruction.

South River Martial Arts is located at 20 Mayo Road and occupies two floors of the building. The first floor hosts the “Dojang” workout area which features state of the art training equipment. The second floor is utilized by the child care and features several rooms divided by age and interest.

Why Choose Us

When you choose South River Martial Arts, you are getting a Master Instructor with credentials certified by Kukkiwon and a Dojang that is very proud to follow the curriculum and guidelines of the Kukkiwon.

The South Korean government recognizes the Kukkiwon in Seoul Korea as the World Taekwondo Federation Headquarters. The Kukkiwon issues international black belt certification, instructor certification, publishes the Kukkiwon textbook, sets the standards for techniques and forms and holds an international tournament each year called the Hanmadang. Many unqualified WTF instructors do not even know what the Kukkiwon is. A WTF instructor who is not certified by the Kukkiwon may still be qualified, but they should at least be familiar with the Kukkiwon.
you must first be a 4th Degree Black belt and then apply for the instructor course curriculum and training. Once completed you must then pass a test to receive the Instructor Certification. On-going courses are required to keep the Certification.

Our Taekwondo curriculum includes: philosophy, meditation, basics, forms, self-defense, sparring, breaking, stretching, leadership skills and fitness.

Our uniforms are white. Traditional Taekwondo uses a white uniform called a dobok. The white uniform symbolizes purity and perfection of character that Taekwondo students are expected to strive for. It is common for schools that do not understand the philosophy or history of Taekwondo to utilize lots of colorful uniforms, stripes and patches.

SRMA teaches self-defense and sparring. Physical fitness is a pre-requisite for self-defense. Limited contact sparring is also an essential step to learning adequate self-defense skills. Beware of Taekwondo schools that do not practice sparring, use only non-contact sparring or avoid competitions altogether. Competition, not isolation, breeds excellence.

Classes are taught in accordance with the training and curriculum of Kukkiwon. When you receive a black belt from South River Martial Arts it is certified from Kukkiwon.

Master Instructor’s Credentials

Let’s See What Some Have To Say about SRMA

My grandsons have been taking martial arts at South River Martial arts for more than 2 years now and I have joined in the adult classes just recently. The training at SRMA has been wonderful for my grandsons and for me to understand discipline of mind, body and soul. I will explain all three disciplines as it pertains to my family.

Discipline of the mind: Both grandsons have ADD and the 7 year old is developmentally behind. They are made to pay attention during TKD class and to learn the forms needed to advance to the next belt level and Master Seo and his staff makes TKD fun while they learn. I have seen a noticeable difference in my grandsons within our family demographic as well as in school. Master Seo also encourages education and rewards the children when do well in school.

Discipline of body: My grandsons learn to make their bodies move in different ways. They learn different kicking and punching skills as they advance. They run, stretch and sometime play dodge ball or other games that provides dexterity as well as balance. I also enjoy the exercise I get for my body. Master Seo also teaches everyone to take care of their bodies by having good hygiene, eating the right foods and not using drugs or alcohol.

Discipline of Soul: My grandsons learn to be kind, helpful, courteous and have good manners, they learn respect toward others by bowing and saying “Yes Sir/Ma’am”. They learn not to bully. They see children and adults help each other to learn their forms during class and in so doing they see how working together helps others reach their goal. My grandsons have become better citizens of our community because they have been taught to be good to others. Master Seo and his staff through their actions of kindness such as visiting a sick child in the hospital or visiting a SRMA mother who has cancer teaches my family how concern and love for one another is important in this life.

At SRMA the staff are always courteous, kind and organized. My grand-boys have attended SRMA summer camps, Friday fun nights and overnights. I feel that they are safe with Master Seo and his staff.

As Master Seo presented me with my white belt, he said “Welcome, Patsy, you are now a member of our family at South River Martial Arts.” I do feel that my family is part of the TKD family we call South River Martial Arts.

Thank you SRMA Staff, Master Seo, Master Kim and Jack Her for all you have done for others and my grand-sons.

– Patricia (Patsy) Card, SRMA Grandmother and TKD student

We signed our son up for Taekwondo when SRMA first opened its’ doors in 2008. We consider ourselves so fortunate to be members of the SRMA FAMILY. Master Seo and Master Kim are awesome instructors, who not only provide excellent instruction in martial arts but also truly care about their students. Our son has gained so many benefits from martial arts (confidence, perseverance, respect, accountability). He not only has earned his black belt but has gained valuable experience – as a public speaker (serving as the announcer for Promotional Tests) and as a leader (assisting in class with Team Eagle and serving as an Assistant during summer camp). Master Seo and Master Kim are such positive roll models – who not only instruct the students they also mentor them.

Not only does SRMA have awesome instructors they also have an awesome Manager,- Mr. Jack. Mr. Jack was the first person I talked to when they opened in 2008 – his warm caring attitude was the reason we initially joined. He truly cares about the members and is the behind the scenes pulse of the organization!

The McCaffrey Family

South River Martial Arts is a fascinating place. While ‘karate mills’ have been springing up from coast-to-coast, SRMA is dedicated to principles that teach, inspire and challenge their students far beyond the ‘chop and kick’.

First, the leadership is extraordinary: Masters Seo, Kim and the entire team live their beliefs and care deeply for their pupils. I’m impressed at how instinctively they plumb each student’s personality to effectively motivate, challenge and inspire them to succeed. As they progress, students emerge as poised leaders, with a calm, respectful and thoughtful disposition. It is wonderful to see the higher-belt students helping those coming up…

Tae Kwon Do may be considered an elite sport, but at the SRMA school, I also see a distinctive life philosophy that I truly appreciate. What an incredible experience to see my son rise from his tentative days as a novice white belt to a confident young black belt candidate with such an indomitable spirit. The SRMA way has become an integral part of his emerging belief system and I’m very grateful we found them. The SRMA family rocks!

– Gerry Robertson, Collen’s Dad

Several months ago I started looking into martial arts for my son Cam. I knew that like his parents he would most likely be one of the shortest kids in school. I was also looking to maintain and increase his self-discipline as well as his self-respect. When Cam’s mother decided to move far away suddenly and cease contact with him I started researching the effects of this with a child’s development. I found that mostly discipline and self-esteem were issues. I started looking into martial arts. After looking into several schools I found what we were looking for, South River Martial Arts. We found wonderful staff and a curriculum centered specifically for his age group. We found a school built on principals using martial arts to teach kids to be better leaders and members of our community. I love the topic specific weeks. This week is bully awareness week. This morning Cam was practicing and started yelling stranger stranger, help daddy. He then told me that is what you do if someone tries to hurt or take you. Boy was I proud and thankful for him comprehending the lesson he had learned just the night before. He is always proud of his accomplishments and I have seen his discipline as well as self-esteem grow. Everyone of the instructors knows the kids there and have the unique ability of teaching at their level. My son loves going there and I love watching the kids grow in their knowledge of martial arts and life lessons. It truly is a family that we are proud to say we belong to each and every day.

South River Martial Arts ROCKS!

– Matt Christopher, Cams Daddy

My boy learns martial arts at SRMA. But he learns more. He learns dignity; he learns respect; he learns pride. He learns from his teachers and he learns from teaching. He takes satisfaction in his accomplishments. This is what comprehensive martial arts training is supposed to be, a positive program that addresses physical, intellectual and emotional growth simultaneously.

It sure doesn’t hurt that he loves coming out for it too.

– John L. Edwards, Sean’s Dad

Our family has been with SRMA for five years. During this time, both of our daughters became black belts, which my wife and I eventually achieved several years later. There is no better place for children to learn in a safe and positive Tae Kwon Do school that builds their focus, confidence, and integrity. Under the leadership of Master Hyun Kyu Seo, SRMA is a living testament to the values of Tae Kwon Do in everything they do. SRMA creates an environment that is challenging, innovative, and supportive for adults and children of all levels of experience and athletic ability. The values of SRMA extend beyond the area (Dojang) where we practice. When a family member of one SRMA student became seriously ill, Master Seo and the leadership team organized childcare, home visits, and other caring actions of support. We are blessed to have SRMA in our community and strongly recommend anyone who is interested in learning the true spirit and practice of Tae Kwon Do.

– The Neun Family

South River Martial Arts is by far the most superior dojang that I have ever trained in. I started training when I was 12 and I have trained with many different instructors over the years, but Both Master Seo and Master Kim are by far the best. They create a family environment that makes everyone feel welcome. SRMA caters to all ability levels and encourages each student to reach their own personal best. Masters Seo and Kim both run a tight ship, all of the kids are well mannered and respectful all while having a great time. Our kids can’t wait for Parent’s Night Out and Nerf War Night each month, they always has a well thought out and entertaining night planned! I can’t say enough good things about Master Seo and Master Kim and South River Martial Arts, you can only come experience it for yourself.

– Melanie Lopez, The Lopez Family

We have been members of South River Martial Arts since 2008. Participating in Tae Kwon Do as a family has had life changing positive impacts for all of us. South River Martial Arts and their professional, dedicated instructors and staff have provided a training environment that is fun, productive, engaging and focused on the total Tae Kwon Do experience, embodying the tenants of Tae Kwon Do: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and the Indomitable Spirit. SRMA sets high standards for conduct and the training environment (governed by the World Tae Kwon Do Federation) while still providing instruction that is tailored to all levels of experience. We are proud to be members of the SRMA Family and have developed friendships and total life skills that will remain with us in our personal and professional lives.

– The Solly Family

My family and I cannot say enough good things about South River Martial Arts and ESPECIALLY Master Seo. The difference they have made in our family’s life has been tremendous.

Our son was having difficulty getting overly excited while playing with others. He would quickly become overstimulated and would begin pushing and shoving other children in a attempt to get attention from them. He had zero self control and had a very difficult time calming himself down. Once he reached peak overload…all bets were off. Going home was the only option every single time. He had so much difficulty he had even been removed from a daycare/preschool situation due to pushing and being unable to focus on tasks. The school worked with us quite a bit and we tried so many different tactics but were unable to figure out a solution. Nothing was working and the school was concerned not only about his distracting the other students but also the fact that he was quickly becoming a “loner” as everyone else seemed to avoid him.

Friends with children in similar situations recommended that we look into Taekwondo and specifically recommended Master Seo at SRMA. We did a lot of research, but none of the other reviews we read, or people we talked to seemed as fantastic as what we heard about SRMA. Still, distance was an issue, we live almost 30 miles away. We decided to at least do the two week trial. By the end of the first week we had officially decided the drive was worth it and signed our son up for lessons.

Will has been attending for about a year now. To say the changes have been positive it quite an understatement. Often he can now bring himself down to a normal level of excitement. On the occasions where he needs to be reminded to tone it down, he quickly complies and sits in the meditation position and counts to 10. He is also far less physical with other children. If he does physically connect with another person, he owns up to it, apologizes and tries to make them feel better. While his ability to focus can at times still be less then your average 4 year old, he can now complete multi step tasks that he could not before.

Our son also attends some occupational therapy for some fine motor issues as well as some upper body weakness. We were able to deliver a copy of his report to Master Seo and by the next class he had altered the teachings to help Will work on the items listed on the report. He frequently checks in with us as to his progress in OT to be sure out son is still on track with the therapist and that he and the therapist are on the same page. His help with this has made a HUGE difference. Just a year ago Will was unable to carry one target across the studio. He is now able to carry two at a time.

It is evident just after watching one class that Master Seo genuinely cares about every student (and their families) and knows how to handle difficult children. He worked with our child in a way that didn’t make him lose confidence but at the same time made him slowly stop the bad behaviors. A few months ago, our son was hospitalized with a serious illness. Master Seo and Mr. Dakota came to visit our him in the hospital an hour away. William was thrilled with his visit and we were immensely appreciative.

Our time with SRMA has simply been amazing. The entire staff and student body is indeed just like a family and we don’t know where we would be without them.

– The Witt Family

As parents of young daughters (3 and 5), it was very important for us to provide them a way to develop self-respect, self discipline, and most importantly, self defense. We went to a few martial arts facilities looking for the instructors that were passionate and dedicated to those values we wanted to reinforce. Our last stop was South River Martial Arts (SRMA) because after the first interview with Master Seo and Master Kim we knew that SRMA was the right place for us.
We immediately signed up and both girls were on their way. The class structure and family involvement made this a very comfortable place for our children to grow, and that they have. Through the Master’s teaching and constant support from the higher belts, our girls have not only thrived in their classes, but in their personal lives as well. The instructor’s ability to motivate kids with encouragement as well as a gentle yet stern discipline is probably one of the high marks in our eyes. The care and attention to each student’s development is unique allowing diverse classes to grow as one. Now 3 years later I am still as impressed as the first day. Being able to see our daughter mature through this process has been everything you could want as a parent. If you are looking to provide your child with this type of productive environment, then SRMA is someplace you should certainly consider.

Bill and Patricia McDonald