Frequently Asked Questions

When do classes run?


From May 17th we will be returning to face-to-face lessons in the hall. These will be socially-distanced until government restrictions are eased later in June. The classes are as follows: MONDAYS 4pm-4.30pm Juniors & Cadets (combined class)
MONDAYS 4.30pm -5pm Cadets only THURSDAYS 8pm-9pm Women's class (all levels)
THURSDAYS 9pm-9.30pm Women's class (green belts and above)




What are the costs involved?


All classes cost £4/class except the Juniors (4-7yrs) which costs £3/class. Your first class is completely free, so you can get a taste of taekwondo before deciding if it is something you would like to continue with. Students can then decide whether to attend on a casual basis, or work their way up the belts by learning the syllabus and taking gradings. All students must be registered as members with the UKITF, our taekwondo organisation. Membership covers your martial arts insurance and allows you to grade if you wish to, and costs £30 for the year. Special offer for new students: Adults: 1yr membership + official UK ITF uniform and belt for £50 +delivery (normally £76 +delivery if ordered separately) Juniors & Cadets: 1yr membership + children's uniform and belt for £35 +delivery Gradings occur every 3-6 months throughout the year and cost £25 per exam which includes your new belt and certificate if you pass.




How do I progress?


JUNIORS The Juniors taekwondo syllabus has been designed specifically for 4-7 yrs olds and builds upon what children are learning at primary school. The exercises we play not only help with learning the techniques, but help improve gross and complex motor skills, spatial awareness and social skills such as taking turns, which are still developing at this age. The syllabus breaks down into 5 sections corresponding the to 5 tenets of taekwondo: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit. Each student receives an attendance card to which they add stickers at the end of every class. Instead of formal gradings, children receive a certificate and are eligible to purchase an embroidered badge once they have completed 10 sessions. When all the badges have been attained, or if the instructor deems your child ready, they can move up into the mainstream UK ITF syllabus. CADETS & ADULTS The Adults and Cadets follow the official ITF syllabus which means they can work their way up through the coloured belt system by taking 'gradings' or exams. Gradings occur every 3-6 months and your instructor will let you know when you or your child is ready to take it. They are based on attendence in class as well as mastering the syllabus requirements and everyone progresses at their own pace. The belt progression is: white, yellow, green, blue, red, black with a 'stripe' inbetween each (eg, 'yellow tag' is the first grading, a white belt with a yellow stripe).




What ages do you teach?


The Junior class is designed specifically for 4-7 yr olds (Key Stage 1), and Cadets is for 8-12 yr olds (Key Stage 2). The women's class is suitable for 12yrs and upwards. I am hoping to re-start the family class (suitable for everyone) again in due course, but if your child does not fit into the above categories then please try our sister club, Leicester Taekwondo Academy.




What should I bring to class?


To begin with, students simply need to wear something they can move around easily in - T-shirt and jogging bottoms or leggings for example. When they have decided if taekwondo is something they would like to pursue, then we advise ordering a dobok, the white uniform of taekwondo (see our special offer for new students). For safety reasons food should not be taken into the training hall (unless required for medical reasons), but do bring a drink. These can be kept at the side of the hall in case students get thirsty during class.




Do I need to be fit to start taekwondo?


The answer here is absolutely not!! It is daunting, taking up a new sport if you have not done any exercise for a while, and worrying if you'll struggle to keep up is completely natural, but we are a friendly and supportive club and everyone works at their own pace. The adults' warm-up includes lots of low-impact Pilates-style exercises with adaptations which will get your muscles warm but let you take it at your own pace. Likewise the padwork, which is generally done in pairs allowing you to work at your own speed. Learning taekwondo is a journey of self-betterment, which means you improve at your own speed. The aim is not to reach a universal "one-size-fits-all" goal, but to see development in yourself after each class.




What is involved in a typical class?


A typical class is a mix of: - fitness, strength and conditioning exercises - patterns (the different sequences of attacks and defences that we learn to move up the belts) - pad work to practice technique and develop power - line work (combinations of techniques in formation) - 'destruction' (breaking boards - this comes into the syllabus as you progress up the belts) - stretching for greater flexibility In addition I use many low-impact Pilates exercises as part of the warm-up. It is an invaluable training tool to improve strength, balance and flexibility and bring greater self-awareness of the body's mechanics, and it perfectly complements the more physical side of taekwondo. No matter what your age or fitness level, you will be able to participate as the exercises are adaptable and everyone works to their individual ability. If you have any queries at all about the class activities, please do not hesitate to contact me.




Will I have to spar?


Participation in sparring is completely up to the individual. As beginners we primarily work on combinations of attacks or defences using the pads instead of sparring. Taekwondo is a martial art so working with the pads and strike shields gives students a feel for performing techniques with force but without doing anybody any damage! Sparring is done under strict instructor supervision and is non- or light- contact only. All children under 13 are provided with body armour in addition to their own sparring kit and may spar only if their instructor deems them ready and there is a suitably matched partner. Juniors (4-7 yrs) do not participate in sparring. If students wish to participate in sparring, they have their own sparring kit (boxing gloves, foot pads, shin guards and head guard, breast guard optional).




*SPECIAL OFFER* for new students


The initial costs of joining a martial art organisation can be daunting so we offer a special discount for new students. For Adults, this includes 1 year's membership (covering your insurance to train) + official UK ITF uniform and belt for £50 +delivery (normally £76 +delivery if bought individually). For Juniors and Cadets: 1yrs membership + children's uniform & belt for £35 +delivery.




Safeguarding children


Keeping your children safe is of utmost importance, especially in a martial arts environment. Instructor Tamsin is fully DBS-checked and trained in Emergency First Aid for sports injuries. All activities are carefully designed to cater to children's abilities at their particular age and focus on improving their gross motor skills and coordination, and the added benefits from learning taekwondo, such as self-control and increased confidence, prepare them well for life. As a member of the BTC ( British Taekwondo Council, the country's only recognised governing body for taekwondo), we have set policies in place for the safeguarding of children which follow the NSPCC/CPSU codes of conduct. If parents or students have any concerns they can speak either to the instructor or to the UK ITF's dedicated safeguarding officer.




Are you affiliated with a taekwondo organisation?


Yes, as an instructor I am part of the UK ITF (UK International Taekwondo Federation) which is a member of the British Taekwondo Council (BTC), the only recognised governing body for taekwondo in the UK. We teach the ITF syllabus. For your peace of mind I am listed as a qualified instructor which can be verified on the BTC website here.