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SAME LOCATION. SAME MISSION. SINCE 1991.

Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors

Sidekicks Martial Arts Academy has a collective wisdom and experience of 100+ years. This experience includes Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors current and past, combined with 55 years experience of Grandmaster Maurice Orange. GMO trains and oversees the development of all Sidekicks Taekwondo instructors. Hence, Sidekicks Martial Arts Academy is one of the most professionally run Taekwondo Academies in the world.

Instructors at Sidekicks are required to be at Black Belt level. They continually train and improve their teaching skills and their own martial arts techniques. Sidekicks Taekwondo instructors undergo strict professional development from GMO. Grandmaster Orange is a stickler for things like punctuality, integrity, discipline, and respect for elders. Honoring and acknowledging parents and grandparents is a big part of Sidekicks community. For example, all students must open the door for their moms. Grandmaster Orange and Sidekicks Taekwondo instructors like keeping things moving along, and seeing results. GMO is not one to let a faltering instructor continue. He is strict on Sidekicks instructors and demands a lot of them. Just as Sidekicks taekwondo instructors demand much from their students.

Becoming a Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructor takes tremendous commitment and many hours of training. These individuals have dedicated their lives to the Sidekicks form of martial arts.  Maintaining a teaching certificate is a continuing process involving further education and annual renewal. Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors maintain First Aid Certification. They undergo continuing education in the science of teaching concepts.

Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors

Who are Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors?

Sidekicks Taekwondo instructors are strong practitioners themselves. As a result, they are passionate about helping others develop a sustainable Taekwondo practice. Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors have dedicated their lives to learning, practicing, and instructing Sidekicks Taekwondo technique.

In fact, all current Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors are students or former students of Grandmaster Orange. Some junior instructors are second generation students of GMO. Want to know what a Sidekicks second generation student is? Check out this blog post!

Would you like to know a little bit about the Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors? If so, check out their profiles below. We’ve asked them how they got started in Taekwondo, and what motivates them. Almost all of them, are encouraged by their parents. They’re motivated to keep on getting in the car, and coming to Taekwondo. Just like GMO was motivated by his mom, to get in car… So long ago. 🙂

How are Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors Trained?

Becoming a Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructor takes tremendous commitment and many hours of training. All Sidekicks Taekwondo instructors are trained under GMO’s direct supervision. You’ll find GMO out on the floor working with students, and letting his junior instructors take over parts of the instruction, as they learn to model his example. Sidekicks Academy is a martial arts school where students can rise up through the ranks. In fact, you can learn about GMO’s Sidekicks vision of inclusive leadership here. That’s why on testing days, you’ll see the instructors and junior instructors sitting at the table of leadership. You will never see that in any ATA school.

Maintaining a Sidekicks teaching certificate is a dynamic ongoing process. It involves ongoing education and annual certificate renewal. Sidekicks Instructors are required to maintain first aid certification. They also take part in continuing education and progressive learning in teaching concepts.

As a result, Sidekicks Taekwondo Instructors are skilled and experienced at teaching all levels of students. From small children, to adults of all ages, Sidekicks instructors have real life experience. In conclusion, as a Sidekicks Taekwondo student, you can be certain, Sidekicks instructors know how to support your individual path. Whether you’re a beginner white belts or an experienced black belt, Sidekicks instructors work with you at your level.

Grandmaster Maurice Orange, affectionately known as GMO to his students and Sidekicks community, is founder, face, and backbone of the Martial Arts Academy. He has dedicated his life to the Sidekicks community. He prides himself on helping others learn and practice the martial art of Taekwondo.

Dustin Tran has been training with Grandmaster Orange since he was in 5th grade. Now Mr. Tran has 5 children of his own, who all train at Sidekicks Martial Arts Academy, making them the largest second generation Sidekicks Family.

Q: Why did you start Martial Arts?

A: I started Martial Arts because my parents wanted to get me in better shape. They also wanted more discipline to help shape my foundation.

Q: How old were you when you started?

A: I was 10 years old.

Q: How did you meet GMO?

A: I met GMO during my first 5 week special. He had taught one of my classes.

Q: What’s your favorite move?

A: My favorite move is the Reverse Hook Kick.

Q: What’s your least favorite move?

A: Jump Reverse Sidekick

Q: Which belt level are you now?

A: I’m currently a 3rd Degree Black Belt.

Q: What are your martial arts goals?

A: To share my knowledge and experience with students. I want to train and instruct students, whether they are good or not, to be the best they can be. Speaking from experience, I was not the best in my class; but with training and hard work I became the BEST ME.

Mr. Estrada has been a student of Grandmaster Orange for many years. He trained under GMO at the same time his son was training with GMO. Now Mr. Estrada is one of Sidekicks favorite instructors. You’ll see Mr. Estrada on Sidekicks testing days and teaching some of evening and Saturday classes.

Q: Why did you start Martial Arts?

A: I started Martial Arts as a way to keep myself physically active.

Q: How old were you when you started?

A: When I started practicing Taekwondo, I was 38 years old.

Q: How did you meet GMO?

A: GMO and I met during one of my son’s multiple belt testings.

Q: What’s your favorite move?

A: My favorite move is a sidekick, And if performed correctly, it can be extremely effective in close, intermediate, and long range.

Q: What’s your least favorite move?

A: Least favorite is a spear hand. It takes an advance level of understanding on how to apply this hand technique correctly and where to apply it for it to be effective.

Q: Which belt level are you now?

A: Currently a 2nd degree recommended black belt.

Q: What are your martial arts goals?

A: My Martial Arts goal is to receive my 2nd degree decided black belt, and continue on my individual path in Taekwondo.

Ms. Castillo was a student of Grandmaster Orange for 13+ years, when she was a younger adult. Ms. Castillo and her twin sister trained with GMO. Now Ms. Castilo’s daughter has gone away to college, so she came back to help teach classes at Sidekicks. You’ll see she has not lost what it takes to do martial arts after all these years. Ms. Castillo works intently with students getting them ready for belt rank testing. She’s often seen giving advice to parents, raising college bound kids. And she’s great at teaching kicks, the old school way, which is almost a lost art. Students, take advantage of the honor you have to learn from someone who learned from GMO when they were your age.

Q: Why did you start Martial Arts?

A: I enjoyed watching Jackie Chan movies from Hong Kong and other martial arts movies from China. I grew up in a small town near rice farms in the Philippines and there were no martial arts schools to check out. Only when I finished college in San Diego did I have the chance to start training in Tae KwonDo with Grand Master Orange.

Q: How old were you when you started?

A: I have lived 20 years of my life doing martial arts. My interest in Martial Arts started when I was 15 years old. I started taking classes at National City Taekwondo Center (old name of Sidekicks) when I was 22 years old. That’s when I started learning TaeKwonDo from Grand Master Orange. I had a very long break. Then recently I took martial arts classes in other schools ranging from Eskrima (very short period of time) to other forms of TaeKwonDo, i.e. ATA and ITF forms.

Q: How did you meet GMO?

A: I met Grand Master Orange through one of his students.

Q: What’s your favorite move?

A: My favorite move is a twist kick and jump spin outer crescent kick.

Q: What’s your least favorite move?

A: My least favorite move is the wheel-kick.

Q: Which belt level are you now?

A: My current belt level is 2nd degree black belt.

Q: What are your martial arts goals?

A: My ultimate goal is to have my own Sidekicks TaeKwondo school in the Philippines and to incorporate the Filipino stick fighting art called Arnis or Eskrima. I enjoy sharing my experience and martial arts knowledge with children and adults alike.

There is so much to learn, both as a student and instructor of TaeKwonDo. I believe in keeping both mind and body active for a healthier living. Martial arts, as any other form of exercise like dancing, not only benefits a person physically, but increases mental alertness and improves cognitive functions of the brain, in both young and old.

Mr. Capon was a student of Grandmaster Orange back in the 90’s – 2000’s when GMO had the school in Chula Vista. Mr. Capon often tells his son, who is a Sidekicks student, how strict GMO used to be. In other words, the grandmaster has softened up a bit on the kids. He’s less formal and rigid than he previously was.

Q: Why did you start Martial Arts?

A: I started Taekwondo for self defense.

Q: How old were you when you started?

A: About 9 years old.

Q: How did you meet GMO?

A: GMO or Mr. Orange, as I call him, was a 3rd degree black belt when I first met him. His first school was called American Taekwondo Association. It was located at E. Plaza Blvd. right next to Yum Yum Donuts. We later moved locations in the same strip mall. Mr. Orange was very strict and had a military-style of teaching. He was the only instructor for the school with an average of 50 students per class.

During that time, my fellow students were disciplined. We were all very good at our Taekwondo skills. Our school had a reputation for being tough. It’s students were the best competitors in Taekwondo tournaments.

Q: What’s your favorite move?

A: My favorite move is the butterfly kick.

Q: Which belt level are you now?

A: When I was in high school, I reached the rank of 2nd Degree Black Belt. Afterwards, I stopped going to Taekwondo. I moved further from the Taekwondo school and was preparing to go to college at University of California Irvine. I graduated and went on to law school to get a law degree. I worked both in the legal and real estate field for many years. I’m currently focusing on my real estate career as a realtor and loan originator. However, I still put on my taekwondo uniform and get in the car, to come help out in my son’s Sidekicks class. I returned to Mr. Orange in 2015 because I wanted him to teach my son what I learned from him decades before. I want my son to learn from the BEST!

Mr. Visda has been learning and practicing Taekwondo with Grandmaster Orange for 11 years. He has advanced greatly, and is now a class assistant and junior instructor. Mr. Visda shows great teaching etiquette and maturity for his age. He is really good with the younger students and is a lead teacher for the yellow and green belt classes. Mr. Visda is still under the tutelage of GMO and he’s continually working on improving his martial arts technique and his teaching skills. He has a very supportive family. Mr. Visda is committed to his success and to his Taekwondo practice and thus, it really shows.

Q: Why did you start Martial Arts?

A: My parents foresaw events in my future, although starting fairly young, that would be considered dangerous towards my well-being in which studying Taekwondo would prevent those circumstances. With being asthmatic, I needed a way to exercise frequently, according to my provider. In order to betterment myself, I needed to learn self discipline, defense, and confidence. This in return, will allow me to communicate with various types of people in a respectful manner.

Q: How old were you when you started?

A: Seven years old.

Q: How did you meet GMO?

A: I firmly met GMO after 4 years when I became a 1st degree black belt. He instructed a black belt class where he mentally challenged our will and passion towards martial arts and witness if we ourselves were committed and understood the position we held. He not only introduced himself, but asked us questions individually to know us better.

Q: What’s your favorite move?

A: The butterfly 360 crescent kick is one of my favorite moves because it can cohesively follow-up another technique that engages the hip to create a quick, fluid and unpredictable combination which focuses on the balance and flexibility of the kicker.

Q: What’s your least favorite move?

A: I would call the outer crescent kick as one of my least favorite kicks because it initially utilizes the opposite side of the hips to bring the leg that is kicking to the optimized height, then opens up to bring it back to the original neutral hip position. It doesn’t go through naturally with the flow of my combinations.

Q: Which belt level are you now?

A: I am a 2nd degree decided black belt.

Q: What are your martial arts goals?

A: I aim to acquire a greater mental and spiritual understanding of Taekwondo, as teaching is a part of ones martial arts journey. I have been pursuing a goal that will set me to be an instructor that can be comparable to all those who have taught me. It has been a learning experience as well as difficult to interpret everything I learned into lessons.

I’m willing to improve my physical growth too. I seek to learn different kicks, and techniques that have not been taught into my martial arts skill-set.

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