What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art and Olympic Sport. The martial art side of Taekwondo includes a full range of upper body strikes and blocks but it is best known for its fast and dynamic kicks. In 2000 Taekwondo became a full medal sport in the Olympics.
What style of Taekwondo does the club teach?
We teach the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF/Kukkiwon) style of Taekwondo. The club's syllabus covers traditional technical skills, self defence and sport. We are first and foremost a martial arts club rather than a pure competitive club - though there are plenty of opportunities to compete if you want to.
Our syllabus is deliberately tough and challenging. Our aim is to develop martial artists who will have strong and rounded skills in all aspects of Taekwondo. So those who progress through the grades know they have earned their belts. Unlikely some clubs we do not promote very rapidly and you will not see 7, 8, 9 years old black belts in our classes!
Who are the instructors?
The club currently has 9 registered instructors, including 3 master ranks (4th Dan and above). All our instructors are registered through the British Taekwondo Council. Most classes will have 2 instructors present. The club's senior instructor is Master Gerry Reilly who is one of a fairly small number of UK instructors to have trained and completed the Kukkiwon Instructors course in Korea.
Is the club part of National Governing Body?
We are the only club in the Basingstoke area that is in membership of the World Taekwondo Federation recognised national governing body, British Taekwondo. This means that your grades gained in the club will be recognised at other British Taekwondo clubs and when you reached Black Belt your grade will be registered in Korea and recognised worldwide.
Our membership of the British Taekwondo also means that should you wish to compete you have the opportunity to compete from all levels up to the Olympics.
What is a typical class like?
You will find plenty of variety in our classes. Our classes cover the full range of our syllabus and are taught in a reasonable relaxed style. We aim to limit class sizes to 20, though occasionally this will be exceeded.
A class will start with formal bows to the flags and the instructor, followed by a warm up. Typically then some of the basic techniques will be practiced followed by concentrated work on one or more of poomsae, sparring or perhaps self-defence. Following a cool down, the class will end with formal bow to the flags, instructor and senior students.
We run specialised class for Sport Taekwondo and for our senior grades.
What will I pay?
You will find up to date details on the fees page of the website. First class is free. After the first class, members pay a monthly fees, with level depending on whether you are an adult or junior (under 18) and whether you opt for one or unlimited classes per week.
If you are only in the area for a short time such as university vacations or working locally temporarily we can provide flexible arranagements for your time in the Basingstoke area.
The training fee covers membership of the National Governing Body, British Taekwondo, and student insurance. We do not charge a separate membership fee.
The club is a registered charity. This means all training fees, grading fees, etc, go into the club to help improve our facilities, equipment and funding club events.
What equipment do I need to start Taekwondo?
You basically do not need any equipment to start training in Taekwondo. Once you are sure that you wish to continue to train you will need a uniform (dobok) which are compulsory for official events such as competitions and gradings.
As you progress you will be expected to purchase your own protective equipment for your safety in contact sparring and other contact drills.
What are the opportunities to compete?
For those interested, we aim to take people out to competition once a month. There are opportunities to compete at all levels - the club has competitors from novice to some who are competing at national class. There is a weekly class specifically focused on the sport aspect of WTF Taekwondo. As members of British Taekwondo we can offer competition to the very highest level. If you have the talent and dedication this could take you up to Olympic level.
However, participation in competition is entirely optional. You do not need to compete to be able to progress in grade. However, before grading to Black Belt level it is expected that students will have gained some experience of the competition side of Taekwondo as either a competitor or official.
How long does it take to achieve black belt?
This will depend on how often you train, how hard you train and how quickly you learn. Students who are more dedicated and train harder will obviously achieve their black belt before other less devoted students but to put a time span on it is difficult. For a committed student training a 2-3 classes per week it is possible to reach the standard required for 1st Dan Black Belt in approximately 3 years. However to achieve this requires a consistently high level of commitment and effort.
I have trained before, will my grade be recognised?
This will depend. If you are a Black Belt with a Kukkiwon registered grade or are transferring from another British Taekwondo club your grade will be automatically recognised. Kup grade students from other British Taekwondo clubs will automatically have their grade recognised.
However if you are from a WTF style club from outside of British Taekwondo or from an ITF or Independent club the instructors will assess your standard over the first couple of months of your training and an appropriate starting grade will be agreed with the club's grading examiners. Unfortunately there are some clubs in the UK who promote very rapidly and expected a very low standard, therefore this assessment is necessary to ensure that transferring students start at the point in our syllabus appropriate to their current knowledge and skills.
Where can I train?
We run classes out of our dedicated dojang (gym) in Basingstoke, and in the village of Overton. As a member of the club you are welcome to train in any of the appropriate classes at any of our venues.
More details please look under Classes on this website.
How often can I train?
We have classes available 7 days a week across our venues. This provides the opportunities for to train several times a week and so make more rapid progress in your Taekwondo journey.
Am I too old to start?
You are never too old to start. However if you have not engaged in physical activity or sport for some years, you should check with your GP before starting up a new activity such as Taekwondo. However we have several members who started their training in their 50s, so you don't need to be a teen to enjoy Taekwondo.
What is the minimum age to start training?
We accept beginners from the age of 7 in our standard children's classes. Based on many years of experience we do not believe that most children under the age of 7 have developed the fine motor skills and concentration to benefit from formal martial arts training.
For children between the ages of 4 and 6, we would have a specialised multi-skills class to help develop the balance, flexibility and motor skills that will support their development in Taekwondo. This class also introduces Taekwondo basics to the children to help them start to transition to more formal training.
How do I contact the club?
If you need to contact the club in an emergency related to classes running at Vickers Business Centre, such as informing the instructor that you will be late to pick on a junior from class, then the emergency number is 07534 879852. This should not be used for any general enquiries.
Any other questions?
Then just send us an email or submit a contact form.