Advanced 1st DAN Black Belt -
I started training at TaeKwonDo Academy with Travis in January 2016, achieving a 1 st Dan and qualified as an instructor in 2018. In my early twenties I started my journey into martial arts with members of my family who were training in Zen Judo. I joined their club and qualified as brown belt in the 2017, and will soon be grading for my 1st Dan black belt in the same discipline. I was expected to help instruct all lower grades than myself, so I have been teaching judo for approximately 7 years, and in the winter of 2016 was able to start adding TaeKwonDo instructing to my skills.
I had considered finding a TaeKwonDo club for some time because of my interest in that specific martial art and wanting to find a way to gain better physical fitness. After a leaflet dropping through my letterbox about the Academy and investigation into it, I found Travis’s friendly atmosphere within the club and his manner of teaching to be very much to my taste – other places I had discovered were unadaptable to my needs. After getting to blue belt I found myself wanting to help others in the classes that I was training in, so I asked Travis how to go about helping, and he directed me to his instructor program. He supported me brilliantly through the ups and downs of my own personal training to my current grade and my journey to qualifying as a fellow instructor. Aside from the world of martial arts, I work as a pottery technician and a musician.
I believe that martial arts offer an incredible range of physical and mental health benefits. TaeKwonDo has greatly improved my quality of life – I was someone who was bullied at school at a young age and had low self-confidence. Now I am confident in my ability to defend myself, feel proud of my achievements in gaining new belts and qualifications in teaching TaeKwonDo, and feel healthier physically because of the level of fitness that can be achieved with the training. I find the sheer enjoyment of being able to smack a target with a perfectly-executed jump spin kick or performing an accurate form (a pattern of moves) is very satisfying! It takes hard work and dedication but I have found it to be more than worth it.
TaeKwonDo Academy has students from all walks of life, including all ages and abilities. It’s the best feeling in the world to see a student achieve something for the first time that they thought they’d never do, and knowing that you helped them to do it!
I hope that one day soon I will be able to open another branch of TaeKwonDo Academy in an area nearby, in order to expand the opportunity to train for potential students who struggle to get to our current clubs in Petersfield and Portsmouth area. I encouraged my brother and nephew to join the Academy, and my brother, Phil, is now also training to become an instructor.
find that many people think that once they get to black belt in any martial art that they have completed their journey – however, now that I am myself a 1st Dan at TaeKwonDo I feel like it is just the beginning! I feel like there is so much to learn after your first black belt, and it keeps my interest and enthusiasm alive, which I hope passes on to those I teach.