PREPARE TO FIGHT: Members of the club showing off their stances
TAEKWONDO developed from the oldest known martial arts in Korea, but it is still one of the most hard-hitting fighting styles in the world.
Taekwondo is a martial art that emphasises the use of your feet as well as your hands in ways to end a fight.
In Korea, taekwondo is loosely translated to “the way of the foot and the hand” based on the Korean definitions of these three phrases.
Tae – “to strike or break with foot”
Kwon – “to strike or break with fist”
Do – “way”
Taekwondo was officially introduced as a martial art in Korea in 1955.
It would then go on to be a full-medal Olympic sport in the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, after being a demonstration sport since 1988.
In 2012 Britain’s Jade Jones actually won gold in the London Olympics for taekwondo, making her the only Brit to ever win Gold for the martial art.
Teesside University have started given students a chance to study in the fighting style of Taekwondo.
The Teesside University Taekwondo Club was introduced in October and his gained a lot of members in a short period of time.
The club’s instructor is Christopher Black, who is hopefully that the numbers will increase with time.
Chris said: “We are a class to learn and educate in moral culture and learning the correct techniques to become experts in taekwondo.”
“With the backing of the SU, we are pleased that the numbers will increase and generate more interest and bring people to the classes.”
“It is great as you are guaranteed new starters every fresher’s week and new student year so always good to have fresh blood in the class and encourage the last years students to step up the grades.”
Chris is a ITF 4th Degree International Instructor & Examiner, who started training at aged 9 years old has been training for 27 years.
He’s spent 20 years of instructing the original art of Taekwondo and has been instructing at universities for more than 15 years.
He’s also achieved success in both European and World Championships and is a ITF International B umpire and referee.
Chris believes that with the strict syllabus fighters must learn, university students can digest it as learning comes a lot more natural for them.
Chris said: “I really enjoy the fact that University students are in the right frame of mind to learn and you do find that they progress a lot quicker than outside classes.”
“Advantage really in taekwondo is the legs famous for amazing kicking ability, and the power of taekwondo cannot be rivalled by any other martial art.”
“Also, we follow true moral cultures and taekwondo is not just about sport events and it is a way of life that hopefully any student will also take into their working and family life.”
Chris believes that it’s crucial for students to focus on the learning aspects of taekwondo initially.
Chris said: “You must always understand that you need to learn the basics first before can do the more fun side of any martial art.”
“The ultimate advice I would say remember your instructor has worked hard for his/her grades and though many years’ experience, learning and their own mistakes they are the best way to master a art form and take everything you can from your instructor but always appreciate and respect them.”
“I believe that anyone can learn taekwondo no matter what age, size, mobility and dexterity.”
Chris encourages students to get involved with the newly formed club and learn the art of taekwondo.
Chris said: “We are a new club and in only 6 weeks we now have 22 registered members which show the talent and fun they are all having already.”
“We would like to become the biggest martial art club at TU!”
“We are friendly and confidence building, so come along and give us a try!”
The club are also taking a few students to Derby University who are hosting for the weekend with a 6 hour open sparring seminar with the World famous ITF Japan Head Coach Mr Hwang Su IL (VI Dan).
He is famous for the man who was modelled with light animation for the computer game Tekken.
This will be an amazing opportunity to train with the former World Champion and learn some amazing new sparring tricks.
The club is normally on from 7pm-9pm on Tuesdays at the Brittan Building. To learn more about the club you can visit their Facebook page here and the North East Schools of Taekwondo page for more information of schools around the North East and taekwondo clothing.