Q. What is Taekwon-Do?
A. It’s a disciplined Korean martial art founded by General Grand Master Choi Hong Hi IX on April 11th 1955, designed to equip practitioners with the skill of unarmed self defence. Although much excitement is focussed on sparring and breaking material, the student will also learn defences against weapon attacks and techniques to diffuse grappling.
Q. What does Taekwon-Do consist of?
A. Three basic elements; Patterns, Sparring, and Destruction. Patterns are a combination of offensive and defensive techniques against an imaginary opponent, allowing students to focus on vital targets. Sparring using hands and feet is the speedy fighting element of the art, allowing the student to freely express and demonstrate techniques from patters. Destruction is a highly skilled technique used to show the students power by breaking materials such as boards, wood, tiles, and bricks.
Q. Why do I require insurance and membership?
A. Membership is to be part of the England Taekwon-Do Association and the International Taekwon-Do Federation. It gives access to enter competitions, attend courses and participate in seminars. Possessing insurance is very important in the unlikely event of an accident whilst training. It also keeps an official record of all grading’s. You will not be allowed to train if your insurance is not up to date.
Q. What do I need to wear?
A. When you first start, it is best to wear loose, comfortable non zipped clothing that allows for plenty of flexibility. Long tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt are ideal. If you decide to take up Taekwon-Do you will need a formal training suit, called a Dobok).
Q. When do I need a training suit (Dobok)?
A. Whenever you are and feel ready. There is no hurry; however you will need one prior to your grading exam.
Q. What is a grading?
A. An examination to establish if you’ve learnt the required elements of your belt rank to proceed to the next level (Kup.) After a successful grading you will be awarded a new and higher belt and certificate. There is a fee for each grading that you take.
Q. Why do I need to pre-grade?
A. Pre-grading’s are held before your grading to monitor your progress and a good mental preparation. If either you or your instructor is not happy with your performance, it will then be decided at the pre-grading whether or not you will be entered for the grading.
Q. What equipment do I need?
A. A full set of (approved) protective padding is required for full contact sparring. This consists of protective head guard, gloves for hands, foot padding, shin pads, a gum shield and groin guards for males.
Q. Where can I buy equipment and clothing from?
A. Any advice on equipment can be obtained from your instructor and any equipment or clothing you need can be purchased through your club.
Q. I am not very flexible at all, can I still learn Taekwon-Do?
A. Yes you can. Flexibility comes with practise and the more you do it, the better you’ll stretch.
Q. I am not very fit, will that be a problem?
A. No, not at all! The four EK-Lips Training Programs have been carefully structured and designed to obtain high fitness levels for children, teenagers and adults, plus the additional aggressive training for competitions. You won’t be unfit for long with EK-Lips TKD School!
Q. How long does it take to become a black belt?
A. Probably the most popular question! That totally depends on how much you train and absorb techniques. On average it takes about 3 and a half – 4 years (training twice a week) to become a black belt, providing you pass every grading examination.
Q. Can I enter competitions and tournaments?
A. When you’ve taken your first grading, you can enter tournaments for both patterns and sparring. Only over 18‘s will be eligible to enter board breaking. Details of each tournament are given out during class and via the website. Please make sure that you keep yourself informed through these sources.