What is TaeKwon-Do?.
Taekwon-Do is a Korean martial art, devised by General Choi Hong Hi and officially given its name on 11th April 1955. It is a form of unarmed combat designed for self defence that utilises scientific principles combined with natural body movements to create an art unrivalled in power or technique. Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist – chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way of life. The “Do” reflects a way of thinking, an approach to life. Through Taekwon-Do a sense of right and wrong and of moral justice and obligation is developed. As a martial art it assists both physical and mental development, training discipline, resolve and humility.
What is the GTUK?
The GTUK has been around in one guise or another since the early 1980’s. Formally a member of the GTF and ITF, the group is now an independent organisation that offers its members access to the highest quality Taekwon-Do training from some of the best instructors in the country.
The President and founder of the GTUK is Grand Master Roy Oldham VIIII who has been studying Taekwon-Do for over 35 years and his instructor was Grand Master Rhee, Ki Ha, the father of British Taekwon-Do. Master Oldham was one of the first 12 black belts from the UK, known as the ’12 disciples’. The association is lucky and privileged to have maintained strong links with Grand Master Rhee to the present day.
The GTUK has over 5000 members and clubs ranging from Scotland to London. In addition to the normal colour belt clubs there are also Jee Goo clubs which are black belt only clubs. These are run by 4th Degrees and above and succeed in maintaining the high standards of the association’s black belts which in turn filters down to all ranks.
We practice the traditional martial art of Taekwon-Do and as such follows the Chang-Hon patterns as created by General Choi. In addition to the traditional side of the art the association also has a strong competition side. We hold three major competitions per year that include a national individual championship, a national team tournament and a national ‘black belt only’ championships as well as local competitions and the annual university championships.
The association has developed a national squad that enters other competitions nationally and internationally. In the past our members have competed at World Championships all over the world including Russia, the USA, Italy and Korea as well as European Championships in many countries. The group’s close links with other associations nationally and internationally also means we are invited in attend many other tournaments including a recent trip to Hong Kong.
The GTUK is affiliated to the only government recognised governing body for Taekwon-Do in this country, the British Taekwon-Do Council, (BTC) which provides our members with insurance and also implements a well regulated child protection policy.
What would I do in a typical lesson?
Taekwon-Do aims to promote a healthy body and mind and so at the start of every lesson you would be lead through a thorough warm up to prepare the muscles, joints and cardiovascular system for exercise. Lessons are varied to maintain students’ interest and so one lesson may be very different to the next however you will learn and practise all aspects of Taekwon-Do including drill work, patterns, self – defence, pre – arranged sparring, free sparring and destruction. Each lesson will end with a cool down to allow the body to recover from the session and reduce the risk of injury the following day. New students can wear loose clothing, such as tracksuit bottoms and a T Shirt.