Taekwon-Do is the scientific use of the body in the art of self defence – a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive, physical and mental training. Taekwon-Do is recognised today as not only one of the most effective forms of self defence but also an excellent way of improving fitness and overall health.
There are many aspects to Taekwon-Do training but the main areas are Patterns, Free Sparring, Pre-arranged Sparring and Destruction.
Steeped in history Taekwon-Do Originated in Korea and has evolved from more than 2,000 years of martial arts forms including Soo Bak-Gi and Tae Kyon, the Korean art of Foot Fighting. Taekwon-Do developed to its present form in the last century after extensive development by Grandmaster Choi Hong Hi 9th Degree and was officially recognised as the Martial Art of Korea in 1955.
Free Sparring is the process of 2 students in full protective equipment attempting to score points by hitting legal targets on each other with hand and or foot techniques. Sparring at school level is always touch contact only. Part of the assessment of good sparring skills is the student showing controlled levels of contact. Students of different grades will practice together and the senior grade student is always expected to coach the lower grades. This is especially true of juniors new to the art. All too often we hear of situations where students new to sparring have received rough treatment at the hands of higher grades. Be assured that this is not the case at a Heart of England School.
Pre-arranged Sparring is the practice of developing self defence techniques with a partner. The techniques vary from simple set sequences with a partner at white belt to free style one step attack, defence and counter attack at Black Belt. This aspect of training helps with developing fast reflexes and also the ability to read the body language of one's opponent.
Patterns are the set sequences of movements designed to mimic a confrontation with an imaginary opponent. The Patterns increase in difficulty and variety of techniques as the student progresses through the grades.
Destruction is the power testing of an individual's techniques. Power testing or destruction is performed against reformable plastic boards or against kick shields or pads. Students are not forced to break and anyone under the age of 16 may only power test against kick shields and pads.
With the exception of Pre-Arranged Sparring all the above are categories within competitions. Heart of England students regularly attend regional, national and international competitions. Students are not expected to compete but if they show the inclination and aptitude then Heart of England Instructors are extremely well qualified to train and develop individuals in this aspect of the Art. Master Gary Bradshaw 7th Degree has coached National Teams at European and World Championships on numerous occasions and many Heart of England Students hold National and International Titles.