Our Program

We have been teaching martial arts in cooperation with the City of Monroe Parks and Recreation Department in Monroe, Wisconsin, since 1991. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the gym at the Behring Senior Center, 1113 10th Street, Monroe. We teach children ages 7 and up, and adults of all ages. Adults can take classes with their children, come to the adult sessions, or do both.


We teach a complete martial art system. The core of our system comes from the Korean art of Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do is primarily a kicking style, and Tae Kwon Do kicks are extremely powerful. Tae Kwon Do punching techniques and movement are more limited, so we include hand techniques and movement ideas from Western Boxing. For close-quarters, when neither kicking nor punching is effective, we teach techniques from Judo, to throw opponents and control them on the ground, and Folkstyle Wrestling, to control opponents and to escape from the ground. We also borrow liberally from other martial arts. We are more concerned with what works, rather than what a particular style requires.

Tournaments are not our focus. We are more concerned that our students develop their physical and mental potential, that they are safe on the street and productive members of their community.

We teach how to safely increase your flexibility, and how to precisely control your muscles. A typical class will include basics, forms (also known as kata or hyung), technical practice and self defense drills. We cover the art, sport, and defensive aspects of the martial arts.

We also emphasize development of self-confidence, personal responsibility, and service to the community. Except for the lowest belt levels, we require students to be involved in their communities, helping those who are in need and providing services for those who cannot do things for themselves.

With minor exceptions, we teach in English. Students need to learn about a half-dozen words of Korean, but all counting is done in English and English is used for all technique names. We will teach the Japanese names for Judo techniques, but the English names are just as acceptable. We do not teach Korean history.


We are not affiliated with any Tae Kwon Do association or organization. We do not do the "modern" Tae Kwon Do forms, but rather the forms from the Chung Do Kwan, one of the schools from which Tae Kwon Do is derived. These are related to the forms of Shotokan Karate.

We teach a fluid method of sparring which is derived in great part from the methods that worked in the full-contact karate ring for Kim Yee, Mr. Burns' instructor.

The number of movements in our forms is not related to any person or event in Korean history. The movements are numbered only as a teaching tool.

Students do not not need to memorize Korean history, bow to instructors in public, or use unusual handshake styles.


Combined Class runs from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anyone can take this class. We often split up into groups based on age or belt level to give all of the students an opportunity to work on their particular needs.


The head instructor is Timothy J. Burns. Mr. Burns earned his black belt in 1988 from Karate West in Fort Collins, Colorado. He taught a martial arts program for youth in Fort Collins for 3 years, and has been teaching in Monroe since 1991. For more information, please go to the "Instructors" menu item on the top of this page.

Ryan Colden and other Ronin Karate Black Belts teach classes from time to time.


Park and Recreation works to keep the tuition affordable.  Call the Park and Recreation Office at (608) 329-2460 for the most current information. All tuition payments are handled directly by the Monroe Park and Recreation Department at 1110 18th Avenue, Monroe, WI 53566. We do not handle any tuition payments at the class location.

If you would like to enroll in the program but can't afford it, fee reduction may be available through the Park and Recreation Department. The Department is dedicated to making sure those who are interested can participate, regardless of their financial ability. You can get more information by contacting the Park and Recreation Office at (608) 329-2460.


Except for gym shoes and inexpensive items that can be picked up anywhere, the instructors sell everything you will need. We are currently selling our remaining equipment at closeout prices; if we do not have an item in stock students can purchase equipment from several web sources.


We teach our program in belt-level steps. Our students begin at the No Belt level, moving to White Belt when they know the basic techniques and stances. Advancement to most belt levels is done in class. Testings to other belts are held periodically, generally on Saturdays.  There is a fee for belt level advancement which is handled by the instructor.  This is separate from the tuition.


Feel free to come and watch a class before signing up. You can talk to us after class about what you saw, or if you have any questions. If you have questions before you come, please contact us or contact the Monroe Park and Recreation Department at 329-2460.