What is Taekwondo?
Tae Kwon Do is the Korean art of self-defence and means “The Art of Hand and Foot Fighting”. Tae Kwon Do indicates the technique of unarmed combat for self-defence, involving skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks, dodges and restraints.
Most of all Tae Kwon Do is about self-imposed discipline, fitness and inner peace. Its origins go back 3,000 years ago. This provides its practitioners with a link to a tradition and philosophy which is truly historic. The art itself however has evolved with time to reflect the needs and aspirations of the modern martial artist.
South Midlands Taekwondo has been training for over 20 years, we are based in Stratford Upon Avon and train multiple times a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
EXERCISE AND IMPROVE WELL-BEING
Taekwondo strengthens your body and improves your health through physical exercise and conditioning. Isometric and dynamic tension exercises will allow you to gain better muscle tone and more strength. A gradual building process of safe and easy stretching techniques will enhance flexibility, while breathing and concentration exercises lead to sharper reflexes and senses.
The discipline of Taekwondo leads to increase energy, better health and fitness, greater coordination, and higher self-esteem. These qualities are vital to a happier, longer life.
HOW CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM TAEKWONDO
Taekwondo is a total learning activity. Lessons are tailored to your child’s age and skill level. Your child begins by practicing basic patterns and forms, board breaking, kicking, blocking, striking, and punching. These fundamental skills increase your child’s physical coordination, flexibility, balance, and mental acumen.
Taekwondo develops your child’s athletic abilities and self-awareness, and improves the child’s capabilities in self-defense.
WHAT IS THE T.A.G.B.?
The Tae Kwon Do Association of Great Britain is the largest martial arts association in Europe. With 20,000 members in over 450 clubs nationwide we provide you with high-quality tuition, regularly run national competitions, seminars, training camps, added benefits high-profile events, as well as a fun, safe way to get fit and meet people who are as relaxed, dedicated and interesting as you.
AM I TOO OLD TO START?
NO! We have people training in our clubs between the ages of 5 and 80. We believe you bring in Tae Kwon Do your own self-imposed limits and we’ll do our best to help you expand them. Age is just a number.
HOW OLD MUST MY CHILDREN BE BEFORE THEY CAN START TAE KWON DO?
Depending on the club and the classes it runs children as young as three and half years old may start Tae Kwon Do. Our instructors are trained in creating a teaching syllabus which is specifically aimed at young children and is not just a truncated version of an adult one. As such, young children will receive the best possible tuition which will help their fitness, motor-coordination skills and mental discipline.
DO I HAVE TO BE FIT BEFORE I JOIN?
No. Tae Kwon Do will help improve your level of fitness.
DO I HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE?
No. Tae Kwon Do will help improve your level of flexibility.
DO I HAVE TO HAVE A SPECIAL UNIFORM?
Initially loose fitting clothing such as a tracksuit and t-shirt would be fine. We do ask however that if they wish to grade all our members wear a regulation TAGB white suit (called a Dobok) and the belt indicating their level of skill.
WHO WILL BE IN MY CLASS?
Most instructors will have a dedicated class of people who are new to Tae Kwon Do. If this is not the case you will still be taught within a group of people whose skill and experience of martial arts will reflect your own. Any exceptions to this will be due to availability in the hire of premises and in this case our instructors will do their best to provide you with tuition suitable to your level of Tae Kwon Do.
ARE CHILDREN AND ADULTS TAUGHT TOGETHER?
Usually classes are split into juniors and seniors. The communication and physical skills of children are different to those of adults and our training curricula reflect this. Any exceptions to this will be due to availability in the hire of the premises and time slots available. Your instructor will still run a different curriculum for children and adults even within the same class. To check the particular arrangements in effect please check with your instructor.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DEFEND MYSELF?
Yes! the skills you will learn will enable you to react to different attack situations using either blocks, restraints, punches or kicks
that you have been taught in class.
DO I HAVE TO GRADE (TAKE BELTS)?
No! It is purely optional. A belt is a visual sign of how good an individual is! All new beginners are given a FREE white belt indicating the first level of Tae Kwon Do. We’d like to think that the challenge of learning a dynamic, thoroughly modern martial art will inspire you to set goals for yourself. The belts you gain in our grading system could be part of this goal-setting. We know, however, that there are as many reasons for doing Tae Kwon Do as there are Tae Kwon Do practitioners in our clubs. If you are quite happy not to grade we will still be happy to have you as a member.
CAN I ACHIEVE A BLACK BELT?
Yes! A black belt is an indication of sound knowledge and technical competence in Tae Kwon Do. That means you can achieve one irrespective of your age and physical ability. Starting with the white belt which is given to you at the beginners class there are ten steps to black belt. Each step has a discreet, manageable level of technical expertise and knowledge to learn. To get to black belt it will take approximately just over three years. The process is especially designed to enable you to become mentally and physically competent at Tae Kwon
DO I HAVE TO ENTER COMPETITIONS?
Entering competitions is purely optional. The competitions are held regionally, nationally and internationally and are split into men, women, cadet male, cadet female, boys and girls, in your own belt divisions and then into weights for adults and cadets, and heights for children. The TAGB has the most professionally run Tae Kwon Do tournaments in Europe. This allows you to gain valuable experience, meet like-minded individuals from all over the country and generally have some fun while indulging the competitive element in you. There is never any pressure however to enter a competition.
DOES TAE KWON-DO CATER FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
Yes! Tae Kwon Do is the great equaliser. We pride ourselves on seeking a person’s worth not the particulars of their circumstances. This is why our instructors will strive to make Tae Kwon Do fit your abilities. The TAGB has black belt students and instructors who have disabilities; I.e. they are amputees, or have hearing or sight impediments. We take the view that Tae Kwon Do is the key that helps you unlock your own potential. This is the same for everyone however able-bodied they may be.