Meet the Tae Kwon Do Queen of Peoria – Master TaNiqua N. Groves

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Master Groves (center) with daughters Brooklynn, Taylor and Sidney

Master TaNiqua N. Groves started her martial arts journey at a very young age. As the only girl in the home with three older brothers, she wanted to do everything they did. Every day she watched anxiously as her father, Master Dorsey Boyd, 8th-degree black belt-owner and founder of New World Tae Kwon Do in Danville, Illinois trained her big brothers, the late Demetrious, Eric, and Leland. She begged to be allowed to join, but her father didn’t want her to because she was his little girl and he didn’t know if she was ready, and her mother Cynthia preferred cheerleading and baking cookies. After a while, at the age of 7 and much begging she got her first Do Bok (uniform) and began Tae Kwon Do! Then she wanted to quit! It was a little more than she expected! But as she grew she learned to implement one of the most important tenets of Tae Kwon Do and that is “perseverance.” Master Groves learned as a little girl no matter how hard something is, it is very important to never give up!

In 1989 Master Groves earned her 1st Degree Black Belt at the age of 11 under the testing guidelines established by the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. She assisted her father in instructing at a very young age and at the age of 14 she was hired to teach Tae Kwon Do classes for the Danville Park District. During middle and high school she participated in other sports such as track and field, and cheerleading but always returned to her true love, Tae Kwon Do. Master Groves took on an Assistant Tae Kwon Do position at the Danville Family YMCA at the age of 16 until she graduated from high school.

Master Groves continued training and teaching while she served in the United States Air Force and while she completed her degrees at Danville Area Community College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She later returned to Danville and once again went back to teaching. This time she was the Head instructor at the Danville Family YMCA, and assistant to her father at New World Tae Kwon Do. Master Groves earned the rank of Master under the testing and guidelines established by the World Tae Kwon Do Alliance under Grand Master Han Min Kyo 9th degree black belt –president and founder of the Han Tae Kwon Do Alliance. Master Groves has participated in numerous tournaments over the years and attended numerous training on other styles of martial arts such as Kung Fu, and Tai Chi.

Master Groves moved to Peoria in 2011. She has worked full-time while teaching Tae Kwon Do over the years and is the proud mother of three beautiful young ladies; Taylor, Sidney, and Brooklynn. She works in child welfare and currently works as a Child Protection Investigator, investigating abuse and neglect allegations in Peoria County.

She has a passion for teaching and sharing the gift of martial arts. She feels it is important that individuals training, know and understand that Tae Kwon Do is more than just a physical sport, but a way of life, honor, integrity, and courage. Her pride comes with knowing that she is creating a legacy for her own children in the process of teaching others.

In June 2017, TaNiqua opened Groves Martial Arts and Self Defense Academy, located at 1227 W. Glenn Avenue Suite F (lower level) in Peoria. Her DoJang is open to anyone 3 and older who wants to learn. She offers private lessons, as well as group training, special needs, experienced martial artist and novice classes. Her students have completed and won tournaments, and are required to participate in community service outside of the Dojang. TaNiqua will be teaching at Proctor Recreational Center soon to ensure children who wouldn’t normally be able to make it to her Dojang have an opportunity to learn as well.

Before leaving the home and going to college each of her three girls are required to be registered to vote, learn about the importance of good credit, AND earn their black belt!

For more information on Groves Martial Arts and Self Defense Academy call (309) 427-0957; Email: taekwondo309@yahoo.com; Facebook Groves Martial Arts and Self Defense Academy; Instagram: taekwondoqueen309; Twitter:@GrovesTKD; LinkedIn: TaNiqua (Phipps) Groves