F.A.Q. : Freqently Asked Questions
Why Taekwon-do as opposed to a gym?
Taekwon-do offers all the fitness benefits of gyms & similar types of exercises (such as aerobics etc.) but has many other benefits above & beyond what a gym offers. These benefits include self defence, discipline, confidence, flexibility, self esteem, co-ordination, technical expertise etc. Plus for those who want it, the Academy of Taekwon-do offers competitions at all levels, brilliant seminars & above all, Instructors that care about their students first & foremost.
Isn't MMA the 'go to' martial art these days?
First of all, MMA isn't really a martial art per se, but a mix of different (traditional) martial art styles, combined together to cover 3 ranges of fighting - striking, vertical grappling and groundwork. So it's a 'horses for courses' question really! However, with that said, as part of our classes, for more senior grades we cover a similar type of training called 'Traditional Sparring' (see video here), which is similar in nature (though not the same) as MMA style sparring. Of course, to prepare students for that type of sparring, we also teach striking, vertical grappling and some groundwork skills, the difference is, ours is all based around self-defence as opposed to sporting contests.
So if you like the idea of a traditional art, that has a MMA type part to it interests you, then we have that covered at the Academy of Taekwon-do. Furthermore, many of the top UFC fighters have their base in Taekwon-do or another traditional martial art, that helped them with their MMA career, such as Dan Hardy, Anthony Pettis, Mark Weir, Benson Henderson, Cung Le, Cro Cop, Kimo Leopoldo, Vernan White, Daron Cruickshank, John Makdessi, Stephan Bonnar, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida etc.
I am not very fit and worried I won't keep up?
Don't worry, as a martial art for all, we aim to help less fitter students ease in gently and you will find your fitness will improve very quickly. Your fitness will improve not matter what your starting level. You may ache a bit after your first few classes, but this is just your body adjusting and will eventually fade. If you are worried (or have a medical condition) you should consult your doctor prior to commencement of training. And not only will it get you fit, it will tone your body & help you lose weight, whilst learning self-defence and working towards the coveted black belt!
Is this the Taekwondo I saw in the Olympics?
No, the Academy of Taekwon-do teaches a more traditional style of the art than that which you saw in the Olympics (which is sport focused). The style we teach is called Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-do, which was first formed in the Korean military and is much more self-defence focused.
Why the Academy of Taekwon-do, as opposed to other martial art classes or even other Taekwon-do schools?
Not only does the Academy of Taekwon-do offer quality & expert instruction in Martial Arts & all its related areas (Self Defence & Fitness), but we also offer the best value for money. Most of our classes are 2 hours long for less fees than you`d pay at other schools. So you get much more, for much less. Also, in most cases, the Academy's syllabus offers much more that seemingly similar Taekwon-do schools, please see our syllabus section for more details.
How do I compare the quality of the Academy of Taekwon-do & other martial arts clubs?
Unfortunately, many people (especially parents) sign up for classes at the first school they visit. But quality varies wildly. You are more than welcome to try out our classes and compare our students to others (as the students are the real measure of quality within a martial arts school). Also, you can simply take a look at our videos and compare the quality via that way. We are the only school in the Country that puts all our black belt grading videos on line for the of anyone that cares to look. You are also welcome to chat with the students and/or their parents, as a lot have been training with us for many years.
Whilst many school are relatively new, we have been established since April, 1999 in the same location - see our History of the Academy section for more details. Finally, if visiting other school don't sign anything until you have made comparisons. Don't be fooled by special intro offers, as you may regret it later - a free uniform is nice, but proper in-depth training is much more critical!
Am I too old to learn martial arts?
No, contrary to popular beliefs, there is no age limit to when people can start training. Many believe if you don't start training at 5 years old its too late, but that's not true. The average age people start martial arts is actually 21. However, it is not set in stone and we have students who have started at over 50 years old before & enjoy it immensely.
Is Taekwon-do a martial art suitable for women?
Yes, Taekwon-do is a suitable martial art for both men & women as it utilizes kinetic energy (the energy of movement) rather than brute force. That, combined with the precision, timing & focus you learn through training create a powerful force that anyone can use, no matter what the size or gender.
What age can children start?
Children can start at the Academy of Taekwon-do at age 5. However, all children start on approval. This means that we monitor them and see if they can cope, as not all children can manage the hour and a half or two hour lessons we offer for children, when so young. Its not an indicator of the child's ability, just a fact of life and as we want your child to get the best out of their training, then if this is the case, we may ask you to bring them back in six months instead.
Be warned though, unlike many martial art classes that claim 'Children' classes, that are usually 20 to 45 minutes of running around, with very little actual martial arts training or discipline, classes at the Academy of Taekwon-do are proper Martial Arts Classes, just for young people. They are fun, but disciplined properly. Feel free to ask any of our parents what they think of our children's classes.
I'm not all that flexible, and have been told Taekwon-do involves mostly high kicking techniques, is this the case?
This is a popular myth, but incorrect. Though Taekwon-do is famous for is beautiful and powerful array of kicking techniques, Taekwon-do includes many other 'non-kicking' techniques as well. From hand strikes, to joint locks to throws and close quarter combat techniques, in fact kicking is just one part of the system, but often overly emphasised for publicity etc. As for flexibility, you dont have to be flexible to begin with, as flexibility training is included, but even the most non-flexible person can practise Taekwon-do because of the myriad of other techniques involved and we teach you to utilise what you have, to your advantage as well, as all students are different.
Can I try it out first, to see if I like it?
Of course. We offer 2 free trial lessons with no obligation at all. Simply turn up in suitable clothing (jogging bottoms etc.) and give it a go.
What should I wear?
For trial classes simply wear tracksuits, jogging bottoms, T-shirts etc. Eventually, you will have to wear a dobok (uniform), but you are not required to get one straight away.
If I like it, do I have to sign a contract?
No. Unlike many clubs, we do not ask you to sign a contract. Every student that is training with us, is there because they want to be, not because they are locked in by a contract.
How do you pay for training?
Can I pay per lesson?
No, unfortunately, past trials have shown us that accepting payment per lessons not only takes up a large amount of lesson time, but actually increases training fees for those who want to train a lot.
I have more questions?
For any other questions you may have, please feel free to contact us by calling 07759 438779 or emailing email@example.com