We all start TKD for our own reasons, and we have a diverse range of ages and characters in our club! ‘Student Focus’ aims to help us get to know each other better and to see what everyone loves about Tae Kwon-Do!
Barry: It’s been a while now but I started #taekwondo around 2004. I stopped when the kids were born, now they’re older they have started too.
I started TKD to meet new people as I had just relocated down to Reading with a new job in 2004
I like the discipline and fitness aspects of TKD.
I always try to practise patterns and theory in our lounge with the kids, it helps that we do it together. We have some kick and punch pads too.
My proudest achievement or moment in TKD is when the kids first got their TKD belts from grading.
I don’t really have time for other hobbies at present as I’m always making pizza, but I used to play the drums and have a drum kit in my office. I have a pizza business called Perfect Pizze. We cater for events, private parties and now in our 2nd year.
I started tae kwon-do because I wanted to learn self-defence as a way to improve my fitness and protect myself when I am older. I started at Bridgnorth Taekwondo about a year ago. I like learning new patterns and sparring. The instructors are really helpful.
To support my training I practise my patterns and kicks at home.
My proudest achievement or moment in TKD so far, is getting my green belt. At school I am a Sports Leader which means I set up and run sporting festivals for primary children. At home I like jumping on my trampoline and listening to music.
Something you might not know about me is that I like shopping!
I started taekwondo in 2007. It was a little while after I came home from university and I wanted a hobby as I felt like I had lots of spare time. I don’t think I’ve stopped since!
It was the self defence element that attracted me but I actually enjoy this the least! I love kicks, line work and the feeling of self improvement.
Since starting a family and instructing at our own club (which happened at the same time ?) my own taekwondo training has taken a bit of a back seat. However I fully intend to get my 3rd Dan when it is a better ‘fit’ with other aspects of my life.
My proudest moments in taekwondo are, in time order, getting an ‘A’ grading element from Master Sewell (I didn’t realise this was a big deal at the time!); getting my yellow belt and telling this bloke that I quite liked that I’d passed…. you can probably guess who! Mr Slater telling me it was a ‘good little grading’ at my black stripe grading feedback. My top proud achievement is passing my 2nd Dan after having a C-section and, I am beyond proud of the standard of student that our club has produced, many many times over.
I don’t feel I have much time for other hobbies at the mo but I enjoy spending my free time with my family and planning fun adventures.
You may not know that I’m an avid sleep walker and used to be in a hot air balloon club where I’ve flown all over England and Italy too. You also may not know that when I met a much younger Gary Plant, I was on a beginners programme in taekwondo and in an attempt to impress him I showed off that I have a purple stripe in taekwondo. What were the chances that he would be a black stripe and realise (before I did) that purple isn’t even a taekwondo belt ??
My journey with tkd I have started in second half of 2016. With GTI in 2018.
I started because I wanted to improve my self defense and found this martial art gave me a lot of joy as well.
I enjoy my line work and patterns but especially sparring techniques which I use during tkd tournaments.
I enjoy GTI Squad trainings and tkd tournaments. This is additional benefit of how tkd techniques can be improved outside standard sessions.
I’m proud to see progress by getting next tkd belts also when getting medals in tournaments, the last one was bronze achieved in Wales Championships.
I like to collect classic cars and read David’s Walliams books. I have a little 2.5 years old sister which I’m very proud of and likes to play with her. Her name is Ania.
I joined #bridgnorthtkd in March 2018. I was looking for a sport or activity to do as I had recently stopped going gymnastics.
The best part of #taekwondo is that its open to all ages. One of the best things is doing #selfdefence as it makes me feel safe.
I support my training by practicing at home. (I would also like to do some #yoga to help with my #flexibility but I haven’t found a class yet.) My proudest moments in taekwondo are when I pass my gradings, and go up to the front to get my belt.
I go to @pqabridgnorth where I do film and television, Comedy and drama and musical theatre. I also do guides.
Something you don’t know about me is that I performed on the west end stage twice (with PQA).
My kids were attending Telford taekwondo (BTA) at the Hadley Learning Centre. I was getting a little bored with sitting outside waiting around, this was in March 2017. I noticed that there was a mixed age and ability session so decided to give it a go with the kids. I was a little nervous and didn’t want to show myself up or the kids. I survived my first session and loved it! The mix of cardio, stretching, line work and learning the patterns really appeals to me.
In May 2018 the dojang disbanded. Having gained yellow belt green stripe along with my daughter and my son gaining his blue belt we had to find a new dojang. This is when we joined Bridgnorth taekwondo (GTI) in June 2018.
We now attend twice a week and have made excellent progress and achieved our next grade.
What I love about Taekwondo is that I’m not judged on my age (43), gender or being labeled as Logan and Zara’s mom. I’m proud to be a student, lining up based on ability, learning something new from each and every student.
In support of my Taekwondo training I attend the gym at work a couple of times a week to work on my cardio and recently taken up YOGA which helps with balance, flexibility and relaxation. I also enjoy walking and have recently joined a walking group at the severn valley country park.
My other hobbies are spending quality time with my Husband and children, baking – family birthday cakes and for charity. Also when I get time I enjoy sewing with my daughter.
Tom: I started practicing TKD just over a year ago now in April 2017.
I started for a couple of reasons really. Last year I wanted to lose some weight. I used to do karate about 25 years ago and always enjoyed it. After struggling to find a local karate club that suited me I wondered about starting another martial art instead. Since then, I have managed to lose 4.5 stone and that is in no small part due to my regular TKD training.
Once in school, when I was about 11 years old, I was supposed to have a “fight” with some kid in the school playground (I’m not sure why, but I think it had something to do with the Australian soap opera “Home & Away”…it all seemed very important at the time!) Anyway, I met him on the playground and he started doing some really cool spinning kicks, at which point I put my hands up and said “OK, you win, let’s call the whole thing off…also can you show me how to do that?” That diffused the whole situation and he showed me how to do what I now know to be a reverse turning kick and told me it was Tae Kwon-Do.
After that I always fancied having a go, but as there were no TKD clubs near me when growing up I forgot all about it, until last year.
I like learning new patterns the best. As mentioned above I’m not really a “fighter”, so I prefer the “art” of TKD as opposed to the practical applications of it.
I practice my patterns when I get a chance, and try to keep up with my general fitness. I also participated in a TKD competition last year.
My proudest achievement is achieving two A-grade passes for my last two belt gradings…although it has kind of cranked the pressure up for the next grading!
I like cycling, and commute the 20-mile round trip to TKD when the weather is good enough.
Apart from that, I enjoy drawing (when I get the chance) and cooking. I have a keen interest in entomology and used to make metal insect sculptures and sell them all over the world.
I started at taekwondo a few years back I wanted to be able to fight and protect myself, I like punching because I can release any bad feelings or anger I also read my books on what to do. my proudest moment was nailing my current pattern. I love acting and dancing I go to Pqa the Pauline quirk academy which includes acting and dancing. I Also love wood work which my grandad also my father figure lead me on to that. I am also fluent in the Shakespearian language in English literature. Ellie aged 12.
I started doing taekwondo at the end of 2016. I started because I wanted to build up my self confidence. I like my patterns the best as I get to do them by myself. I support my training out the dojang by reading my books, training on my mats in the garden and watching youtube. My proudest moment in my TKD career was getting my green belt as I was really ill at the time. I like cars because my dad owns a classic car which is really nice. I go hiking with my dad and his friends. I’ve even done mount Snowdon.
I started Taekwondo at Bridgnorth under a year ago. But I properly started Taekwondo at a local club when I was 4 in Hagley.
I started for self defence and discipline and for fitness.I’d say relearning my patterns is the most fun thing about Taekwondo. I tell my friends and family how much I enjoy Taekwondo. My proudest moment is when I fought in the South Island regional finals in New Zealand winning a silver medal.
I enjoy creating short films and animations, playing video games, golf and football. I learnt to Ski and Snowboard whilst living in New Zealand.
I started #taekwondo in Jan 2017 because I wanted to join in with Auntie Anna and Uncle Gaz. I came to watch a few sessions before I finally decided I was brave enough, but I haven’t regretted it – I love it!
What I like best is getting new belts. I feel a sense of #achievement with each one. I enjoy trampolining which strengthens my muscles. As I have just started secondary school, PE is more #challenging which helps my overall fitness.
My proudest achievement is getting my first belt because it was the start of my TKD journey.
I enjoy colouring and love painting. I have a passion for nail varnish and painting nails. I have over 70 nail varnishes!
I started Tae Kwon-Do 15 years ago as I wanted to gain more confidence. I tried various sports, my parents found Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do where Gurdeep encouraged me to join in with the class. I enjoy learning and practicing patterns; along with self and knife defence. Outside of class Dan and I practice patterns and sparring together. One of my proudest moments would be when achieved my 1st Degree black belt, it took me a while to get there but I knew I had earned it when I was presented with my new black belt. Another moment I am proud of is taking my first class as an instructor on behalf of Gary and Anna, this is also something that I enjoy, helping others progress. Another hobby of mine is volunteering on the Severn Valley Railway.
I very first started taekwondo in 2002 with my dad, and I’ve been in and out ever since. I started because I had always been interested in learning self defence and have always been inspired by people such as Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Personally I’ve found taekwondo to be fantastic for both my physical and mental wellbeing. I’m also very passionate about mental health and am pursuing a career within psychology. I’d say my proudest and fondest memory was doing my first 360 degree kick without falling over.
I started TKD aged 6 because my mom wanted me to try something different. I love sparring. It’s so much fun!
I play rugby, I’m on my trampoline every night running through my kicks, I do sit ups every night and practice my patterns in the garden.
My proudest achievement is my black stripe. It meant so much to me to get that. Everyone at school knew what that meant.
I love playing rugby. Trampolining. I also love playing on my laptop. Something you don’t know is I can do some really cool magic tricks.
I first started at Bridgnorth TKD around Sept/Oct 2015, before this is I had done a 6 weeks mixed martial arts after school club where I gained my first belt, I was hooked from then, unfortunately the school club wasn’t continued so my mum searched for a club for me and found Bridgnorth TKD, I first felt nervous and excited but was eager to learn new patterns.
I’m really enjoying taekwondo, I learn something new each lesson, learning patterns takes a lot of focus and practice but it feels good once I’ve got the hang of it and I can work on my timings, powerful movements, attacks & defences.
Outside of the dojang, I go to squad training as much as possible, I practice at home in the garden and also watch clips on YouTube to help me perfect movements.
My biggest achievement so far is definitely getting my blue belt, I worked hard to try to overcome my nerves and once I achieved my blue belt I realised how close I am to getting my black belt now, which I’m eager to get before I’m 13 years old.
I aspire to be a 7th Dan and dream of representing England at the Olympics one day, in the mean time I want to get some more medals at tournaments and would like to work on my ability so that I can get higher grading marks.
My hobbies include football, swimming and playing Minecraft and Need for Speed.
Something that you don’t know about me is that I have a cat called Skittles but I call him skittzie, he’s a big cat and some people think he’s a bit scary because of his size, but really he’s just a big baby!
I started taekwondo at 9 years old in 2014, I wanted to learn how to protect myself. I like sparring best. My mum tests me on my theory and I like to show off my patterns to my family. My proudest moment in taekwondo was getting gold this year for sparring. I am now in scouts but I have been going since I was 6 to beavers and cubs. I also go to PQA drama school at weekends. I am an awesome dancer and love to listen to Ozzy Osborne.
I started TKD 6 1/2 years ago.
My son had been doing TKD for about 12 months, I would take him twice a week and sit and watch. One night I decided to have a go and loved it. It was great to have an activity that we could do together.
After retiring from playing regular football I needed something to keep me fit and TKD is perfect, not only for fitness but flexibility too although I still struggle with my flexibility.
I really enjoy the camaraderie and the feeling of belonging to a club where everyone supports everyone else.
Outside of club I stretch at home regularly, train once a week in my home gym and watch endless sparring, stretching and patterns on YouTube which is great. Any spare weekends I have I try to attend seminars and GTI squad training once a month. But being a father of three, spare time is not a luxury I have much of!!
Proudest moment without a doubt was being presented with my Black Belt from Mr Plant. Coming a very close second was winning gold in sparring at the 2015 English open.
I enjoy watching football, eating out, watching movies and am an avid watch collector, with a collection of over 25 watches.
I started TKD at the age of 6 (I’m now 11). I started for self-defence, to learn respect, for keeping fit, and for fun. The thing I like best is sparring.
I support my training outside of the dojang by doing practice at home – especially if I’m preparing for a competition or a grading. My proudest achievement is achieving black belt in March 2016! My other hobbies are football, guitar, computer games, card/board games, films, reading. Something you probably don’t know about me is that I’m good at Geography!
I started TKD in January 2016. I started TKD to learn self defence and improve my confidence. The best thing I like about TKD is learning new patterns.
I support my training by practicing my patterns, punches and kicks. I either look through the handbook myself or my mom asks me questions, so hopefully I will never forget things.
My proudest moments are when I do my gradings and pass. My other hobbies are swimming, riding my bike, playing with Lego and playing on my PS4. Something you don’t know about me is that i love anything to do with Minecraft and i’m fascinated with high speed trains and fast cars (speed). I love watching Top Gear.
I started Taekwondo in July 2015, I started because I wanted to learn self defence and a prior interest in martial arts. My favourite thing about Taekwondo is sparring.
My proudest moment is taking part in the competition in July 2016 despite the fact I didn’t come out with any medals. My other hobbies are Gaming, socialising and listening to music.
I hate football and much prefer Rugby.
I started TKD in January 2015 as I wanted to gain fitness and strength after having serious issues with my back for a few years. I brought my son Jack along as I thought it would be great for him too. Of all the great things about TKD, the thing I like most is the people. Everyone is so helpful and supportive, even members of other clubs at gradings and competitions.
Outside the dojang I also run, lift weights and work on my TKD techniques. My proudest moment was gaining my first belt (yellow tag) and also seeing Jack earn his. My other hobbies include walking, woodworking, and spending time with my family and dog. Something you don’t know about me is I’m 33 and I still play way too many computer games! Also lego!! And toy cars!
I started taekwondo 3 years ago. I started because my brother and my dad did it so I was desperate to have a go and couldn’t wait to be 5 to go. The best thing I like is the stretching and sparring. I practice these at home and now I can do the splits I also practice my patterns at home to try and get better my proudest moments have been when I got my yellow tag belt and when I won my first medal at the competition. I have lots of other hobbies I do football gymnastics dodgeball cubs and Bridgnorth stage academy which I have just got a part in Annie. Something I don’t think you know about me is that when I’m older I would like to be an astronaut or an actor. Thank you Harry Lewis.
I started TKD around February this year (2016) to learn something new. What I like best is learning patterns and watching the higher belts train. I play league football to keep fit. My proudest achievement or moment in TKD is getting my first belt. My hobbies are playing football and Xbox and reading. I have a little kitten called Milo ?
Aubrey (also known as Michelangelo):
I started TKD in 2008. I started as my son Jake started in 2007 and while watching him I thought it would be a good idea if we both did it to spur each other on. Now I’m a bit more experienced I enjoy helping others with new patterns etc – for my training I enjoy sparring the most. I do a lot of sport with my kids and with Jake we do a lot of practice at home.
My proudest moments in TKD are all Jake’s achievements. For my own achievement it would be passing my black tag as it was the first belt I passed after being seriously ill for quite a long time.
I enjoy doing track days on both cars and my bikes. I enjoy watching Disney and Pixar films!
Oliver has a lovely creativity and decided to go about our Student Focus programme in a different way. You can watch his video here:
I started TKD in 2012 (I think!) and I started because I have always wanted to learn self defence and work on my fitness and flexibility. My favourite part is the sparring and also the flexibility and fitness exercises we do – I enjoy the patterns also however I’ve never been the most co-ordinated person alive so sometimes I do struggle with putting some of the moves together. When I’m not training I try and do as much stretching as possible at home and jogging – however my work life is very hectic so I try and squeeze in as much as I can. My brother also has a BOB at his house so I try and practise kicks and combinations on that when I can.
My proudest TKD moment is winning Gold in the ladies sparring at Cheltenham and winning silver for the team patterns (beating a Black belt team!) My other hobbies include crochet, travelling, socialising and my cats! I can play several musical instruments including the bass guitar, trumpet and keyboard.
I started TKD in 2007, when I was 7. I started because my brother was doing it and it looked really enjoyable.
I really enjoy doing kicking and one step sparring. I enjoy having challenges and managing to overcome them. I practice with my brother and I try to use the tenets of TKD in my everyday life. My proudest moment is when I achieved my 1st degree black belt after I had failed it, because I persevered.
Something you don’t know about me: I regularly go to watch the football team that I support, Nottingham Forest. I actually used to be scared of the Kiap shouts that we do at TKD, when I was younger!
I started TKD in October 2015. I started TKD because I wanted to try something new and also because some of my friends had told me how great it was. I’m not into sports like rugby and football like my brother so I thought TKD would be ideal for me and would be good exercise too. I also didn’t have much confidence before TKD so I thought it would help my confidence; and it has enormously!
One of my favourite things is learning new patterns. My favourite so far is the Dan Gun Tul pattern. I also enjoy making new friends from different schools. I practise my patterns and defensive drills at home. I also read my GTI handbook to learn my theory.
My proudest achievement or moment in TKD has to be when I was presented with my yellow stripe belt. I had been nervous at my first grading so I didn’t know if I’d passed so I was delighted that I had! I was also proud when I won the poster competition at Christmas as it meant I could train in the number 1 black belt position. I really want to be a black belt and train in that spot in the future!
I love everything connected to Star Wars and I enjoy making Lego models. I also enjoy swimming, kayaking, chess, reading and playing on my Xbox.
I have a giant rabbit called Pluto who is amazing at dribbling a football! I also have an attic room filled with Lego models and sets that is like a mini Legoland!
I started because I had always had an interest in martial arts and having previously had an ACL reconstruction and micro fracture surgery on my left knee I hoped the training and stretching would assist my recovery.
I enjoy all aspects of Tkd from learning the patterns, and the history of the art but most of all testing myself in the sparring arena. Not forgetting, feeling part of a huge family, a Tkd family.
I support my training in the dojang by working on my fitness in a self styled home gym that used to be my garage. With treadmill, weights bench and heavy punch bag installed I can work out anytime.
I have been lucky enough to have several proud moments on my Tkd journey so far. Getting an ‘A’ in my first grading, wining three gold medals at three GTI competitions but my proudest moment and biggest surprise was being awarded student of the year.
My other hobbies are reading, fishing but mainly football. I’ve played amateur football for as long as I can remember and I currently manage Riverside FC, a Bridgnorth amateur men’s football team playing in the mercian league and Telford Sunday league. I have held this position for approximately eight years or so.
Something you don’t know about me:
I like the thrill of danger.
I’ve had three close encounters with the grim reaper. Two scuba diving the scuttled German fleet in scapa flow Scotland and another falling off a Scottish mountain while ice climbing.
I’m an Eastenders addict!