The Gift of Fitness and Confidence!  Call 723-5446 or email: craig@tkdworks.com to Join us


Our Purpose: To provide a place where our students can learn the physical and mental skills of Taekwondo, so they can be strong of body and character and go confidently in life.

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“My son has been a TKD student here for years. Craig, Alexa and everybody else are amazing. Your son or daughter will not only learn TKD and self defense, but will also have great role models to look up to.” A.S.

“We love taking our son here!! He has been working on his belt ranks for the past 2 years. It takes time and consistency, not just getting the children to black belt as soon as possible. Every child is different and they take their time to make sure they achieve their goals at their speed. The staff is fantastic, friendly and truly take care of the kids. This place is so much more than “just Taekwondo” they have after school daycare program! Oh and they even have classes for 40+!”    -T.E.

“The staff is exceptional. My youngest daughter attends the after school program; where she plays with her friends, does her homework and gets a great workout. My oldest daughter attends taekwondo lessons and in a short time increased her confidence and self defense skills. My husband also takes MMA and taekwondo lessons getting a great workout due to the outstanding instruction from Craig, David and Alexa.”  -J.Y.


Like most martial arts, Taekwondo uses colored belts to denote the students progress through his journey. There are two main categories of rank in Korean Martial Arts, Colored Belts (junior class) and Black Belts (senior class). Each category has nine levels with the colored belts using Grades 9th through 1st, and the Black Belt using Degrees 1st through 9th!

Belt Colors also have meaning as described below (with the corresponding Grade numbers)

White – Innocence or without experience (9th Grade)

Yellow – The earth as a seed is taking root (8th & 7th)

Green – Growth and knowledge as the seed begins to grow (6th & 5th)

Blue – The sky towards which the plant grows tall and strong (4th & 3rd)

Red – A warning for the student to use control as his strength grows (2nd & 1st)

Black – The opposite of white, when a student is truly ready to learn (1st – 9th)

  A Short History Taekwondo Works  

Craig Simpson began his TKD training at the age of 19 in Hastings, Ne.  He studied for two years with Mr. Bob McPhail.  Craig then moved to South Carolina, where he began his training with Master Derman Hodge and Master Tony Williams.  There he was taught TKD, Hapkido, and Kwan Jul Sul(Korean joint locks).  It was also this  time that he had the opportunity to be trained by Master James Benko, 9th degree black belt.  Craig then moved back to Nebraska and earned his black belt  with Mr. Bob McPhail and the Chung Do Kwan TaeKwon-Do Association in 1985.

In 1984, Craig, as a blue belt, was asked to open a school in Red Cloud, Nebraska and operated that school until moving to Boone, NC to attend graduate school in 1986.  While attending graduate school and serving as a graduate assistant  football coach at Appalachian State University, he opened his  second school.   During this time period, the name Taekwon-Do Works was adopted.  In 1987, Craig earned his 2nd degree black belt from Mr. Bob McPhail.

In 1988, Craig moved to Richmond, VA.  He began teaching TKD part  time in 1989 at The Dance Center, where his  wife Valarie taught dance.  Later he would have classes at Beulah United Methodist Church, Virginia International Gymnastics School and Fairmount Memorial Baptist Church.  In 2000, Taekwon-Do Works moved to the current location.  In 2008 TKD WORKS expanded to its current space.

In 2007, TKD Works saw the great potential of Mixed Martial Arts and Olympic Sparring.  Since that 2007, we have added in our Grappling, JuJitsu, and Olympic sparring programs.  The combined knowledge of Taekwondo, ground fighting, and boxing make for a potent martial art that gives us even more reaon to “GO CONFIDENTLY!”  Since 2007, our competiton team  has grown to over 10 students and we have strongly competed in tournaments.

In 2011, David Simpson competed in and won his first cage fight, winning the Tri-State Championship in 2011 while at the same time Erin Roepke,  placed second in her first grappling tournament.   In 2012, we hit a highmark when our instructor and Olympic Sparring competitor, Alexa Oswald,  qualified for the USA TKD’s National Tournament in Dallas,TX. In 2013 Alexa Oswald, placed 3rd at the USA Taekwondo Nationals at the elite level senior black belt division.  This qualified her to compete at the national team trials to win a spot on the U.S. national team.  In 2014 and 2015 2016 Brittany Hertless, Senior Red Belt (18-32) won her division and became our first National Champion!  Even more exciting, Brittany as a Black Belt won Gold at the 2016 USA TAEKWONDO National Championships! In 2017, David Simpson won his fight in NYC and is working to turn professional this year.  Brittany Hertless medaled again in Detroit, earning a bronze medal at the USA Taekwondo Nationals.

At TKD Works, you have to earn your black belt.  We now have 54 Black belts.  All who we are proud of and it has been great to see so many of them do so well in their personal lives.


 Seminar with Master David Meyer, who is an internationally respected master in JuJitsu