THE HISTORY OF MID-CALIFORNIA TAE KWON DO

In 1992, Dr. Dennis McCain, a student of Choong Sil Taekwondo in Nashville, Tennessee, moved to Ducor, California to pastor First Baptist Church.  He began teaching Taekwondo at the request of the church board.  An article was placed in the Porterville Recorder, indicating that free Taekwondo classes would be offered during the summer months.  The program was funded completely by the church.  The CTF office permitted Dr. McCain the opportunity to teach the pattern system under these conditions.  The students were allowed to attend the class time without cost, but were asked to stay for a Bible time at the end of each class.

Using the tenets of Taekwondo as a beginning point, biblical principles were applied to the teaching of Taekwondo.  52 new students came to class on the first day.   Being alone with fifty-two new white belts was quite a challenge.  The church fellowship hall was used for about one year. 

Upon moving to Porterville, California Mid-California, Tae Kwon Do was no longer a church-centered ministry.  Dr. McCain was asked to teach at Porterville Junior College, and many of the students initially taught in Ducor rallied to the new college program.  Other new students were added through college enrollment.  After one year at the Porterville College, there was a unique opportunity to rent the Porterville Community Center for $100 a month.  After this, the school was organized as a separate entity.  Mid-California Tae Kwon Do in Porterville still meets at the community center.

In 1994 Dr. McCain accepted a church-planting assignment with Western Baptist Home Mission in Truckee, California, and Faith Baptist Church was formed.  While in Truckee, another Mid-California Tae Kwon Do Taekwondo school was opened under the direction of Dr. and Mrs. McCain.  Thirty students participated for two and half years in the garage of their home.   In 1995 Mid-California Taekwondo had its first black belt camp in Truckee.  Students from Truckee and Porterville attended.

Mid-California Tae Kwon Do, in Porterville, continued under the direction of Mr. Jose Ortiz.   Mr. Ortiz moved to Sacramento and the school was sold to Mr. David Hann.      

In 1997, Faith Baptist Church in Truckee reached self-support status, and Dr. and Mrs. McCain moved to Modesto, California to pastor Northside Baptist Church. Their first church service was in February of 1997.  At the same time Mid-California Tae Kwon Do of Modesto began in the garage of their residence.

In September of 1997, Ms. Marian Schwartz began a new Mid-California Tae Kwon Do school in Ducor Elementary School. This site also served as a Saturday morning workout area for black belt classes with Dr. McCain.   In 1999, Ms. Schwartz began another branch MCTKD school in Strathmore, California.  The gymnasium of Strathmore First Baptist church served as the workout area and two of the first students were the Pastor and the Principal of the Christian school, which also met there. 

Dr. McCain met Mr. Terrance Keller at an open Karate tournament in Exeter, California.  At the time, Mr. Keller lived in Hanford, California, and after a meeting with Dr. McCain for personal instruction, began a program in his hometown.  Mr. Keller moved to Visalia, California to become the principal of an elementary school in Woodlake, California. He began teaching Taekwondo as an extra-curricular program, forming the next Mid-California Taekwondo school. 

In 2000, Pastor David Powell of Sunnyside Baptist Church in Fresno, California, contacted Dr. McCain, asking him to teach a summer self-defense class as an outreach of his church. Mrs. Schwartz and Mr. Kotlarek accompanied him and provided additional weekly help.  The two-hour drive back and forth from Modesto each Friday afternoon provided a great challenge in time and commitment.  The class met once a week at no cost to the students for tuition. The number of summer students reached 100, and challenged the skills of the three instructors.  Interest was very high, and it was decided to continue the program for another un-determined period of time. The first testing was held and the students officially became CTF members. 

Regular yearly black belt camps were held in Porterville in 1998, 1999 and 2000.  In 2001, a Black Belt Camp was held in Porterville, and was taught by Dr. McCain for the first three days.  The campers worked on advanced technique in patterns and sparring.  Master Hardin came to this camp for the last two days, and provided additional advanced training and conducted the black belt testing.

At this testing Dr. McCain earned his 5th Degree Black Belt, Mr. Keller earned his 4th Degree Black Belt, and Mrs. Jennifer Robertson earned her First Black Recommended.  Mrs. Robertson was an assistant instructor with Ms. Schwartz.   

The Fresno group made the change to Mid-California Tae Kwon Do autonomy, with Mrs. Schwartz taking ownership of that school.  The school still meets at Sunnyside Baptist Church.   Ms. Schwartz also became the owner of Mid-California Tae Kwon Do  of Porterville. Ms. Schwartz began another Mid-California Tae Kwon Do  school in Visalia, California.  She traveled between Modesto, Fresno and Visalia to conduct classes. 

August 3, 2003, Mr. Tim Kotlarek (3rd Degree Black Belt) opened a new school, Choong Sil Kwan Tae Kwon Do, in South Modesto, on Carpenter Road.  Mrs. Theresa Bates (2nd Degree Black Belt) became the assistant instructor.

In August 2003, Ms. Marian Schwartz moved to Modesto to work full time with Dr. McCain, and Mrs. Jennifer Robertson took the leadership of the Porterville school, assisted by Mr. Chris Stewart, 3rd Degree Black Belt.  A considerable number of students in Porterville have come from direct or indirect association with Mrs. Robertson, an extremely energetic home school mom.

In August 2003, Mid-California Tae Kwon Do moved into a new location in north Modesto.  The 3200 square foot school has been a place of blessing and growth.  The benefactors are the students who now enjoy a new facility and modern workout area. 

In 2005, Miss Emily Roe began Mid-California Tae Kwon Do in Squaw Valley, California.  We are

contemplating beginning other Mid-California Tae Kwon Do schools. Future plans also involve the building of a west coast training

facility, and more Taekwondo schools as the opportunity arises.  We look forward to the continued

adventure. The three year anniversary of our new location will be celebrated on August 1, 2006.  Mid-

California Tae Kwon Do is now in its 15th year and we looking forward to many more years of martial

arts training.

Back