Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are just browsing, looking for information about the Club or have signed yourself up for a free trial we hope that this FAQ page will help answer any questions you may have before attending. If you have a question that isn’t answered below then please feel free to message us here.

Tae Kwon-Do and The T.A.G.B

What is Tae Kwon-Do?
Is Tae Kwon-Do suitable for me?
What is the T.A.G.B.?

Our Clubs and Instructors

Where and when are classes held?
Who teaches classes?
Do you run classes all year round?

Lessons

What should I wear to a lesson?
Do I need to attend the same lessons every week?
What happens in a typical Tae Kwon-Do lesson?
Will there be contact work with others?

Free Trial

How long is the free trial and when does it start?
What happens at the end of the free trial?

Belts, Gradings & Competitions

How does the belt system work?
How do Gradings work?
What about Competitions?


What is Tae Kwon-Do?

Tae Kwon-Do literally means “The Way of Foot and Fist” and is a high-kicking fast-paced modern Martial Art developed by the Korean Army for unarmed combat. It was officially founded in 1955 by 9th Degree Black Belt Major General Choi Hong Hi, and has since reached every corner of the planet. The system uses rapid blocks, kicks and punches to quickly disable the opponent.


Is Tae Kwon-Do suitable for me?

Yes! Tae Kwon-Do is an inclusive and accommodating sport suitable for all ages (4+) and levels of fitness. It has many different aspects to it which is why it is appealing to so many people; from the artistic aspect within the patterns, to the competitive aspect within the sparring, the practical aspect of self-defence and the health aspect of the increased fitness, flexibility and whole body conditioning.


What is the T.A.G.B.?

We are members of the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain (TAGB), which is currently Europe’s largest Martial Arts Organisation. It is ran by a committee of some of the most important names in British Tae Kwon-Do, including Grand Master David Oliver (9th Degree Black Belt) and Grand Master Michael Dew (9th Degree Black Belt). It was formed in 1983 and has since become the founding member of the British Tae Kwon-Do Council (BTC) which is recognised by the United Kingdom Sports Council. It is also a member of Tae Kwon-Do International (TKDI) which has representation on every continent of the globe.

In training with a T.A.G.B. School you are guaranteed quality tuition by professional qualified Instructors, an excellent structured syllabus that can take you from beginner to Black Belt in just 3 1/2 years, a fair grading system with examiners being committee members only, and lastly but by no means least, a vibrant tournament scene with 1,000’s of competitors, highly trained officials and world renowned championships.


Where and when are classes held?

We currently run the following classes suitable for beginners:

Family Classes (suitable for all ages 4+)
@ Chipping Sodbury Sports Centre
Mondays & Thursdays at 6 – 7pm.

Children’s Classes (suitable for 4-11yrs)
@ Emersons Green Village Hall
Wednesdays 5.15 – 6pm & Saturdays 9.15 – 10am.

Adult Classes (suitable for 12yrs+)
@ Emersons Green Village Hall
Wednesdays 6 – 7pm & Saturdays 10 – 11am.

For more info on our class locations and times please visit Our Clubs page.


Who teaches classes?

Our classes are run by a team of Instructors and Assistant Instructors.

Our Instructors are:
Master Lee David Newman (6th Dan)
Mrs Frances Newman (4th Dan)

Our Assistant Instructors are:
Mr Rich Jones (3rd Dan)
Mr Nick Reed (2nd Dan)
Miss Beth Halliday (2nd Dan)

For more info on our teaching team please visit Our Instructors page.


Do you run classes all year round?

Yes! We run all year, not just term time. We only close for 2 weeks over Christmas and for the occasional bank holiday or Tae Kwon-Do event (e.g. Grading). All events and closures are listed on our Google Calendar, which you can find on our homepage or sync to your phone.


What should I wear to a lesson?

You can come wearing anything loose and comfortable such as a T-shirt and jogging bottoms. We are a bare foot sport so no special footwear is required, but we do ask that younger juniors come wearing shoes they are able to put back on easily themselves. You may wish to also bring a drinks bottle with you, especially in warmer months.


Do I need to attend the same lessons every week?

No, you can mix and match between our classes and locations. We recommend trying as many classes as possible in your free trial, after all, it is free! After this we have 2 levels of membership, part time (one lesson per week) or full time (two or more lessons per week), but at no point will you be restricted to one particular class. Want to increase or decrease your training? No problem! You can change your membership on a monthly basis to fit in with your schedule.


What happens in a typical Tae Kwon-Do lesson?

Every lesson is a little different, but each will start with a warm up with a bit of running, mobilisation and strength building exercises, and end in a cool down including stretches. Sometimes lessons are broken down into smaller focus groups, sometimes we keep everyone together in one larger group. The majority of lessons will focus on the T.A.G.B. syllabus and preparing students for gradings, but we will often do other activities such as padwork, sparring drills, self defence and general fitness exercises.


Will there be contact work with others?

There are many aspects to Tae Kwon-Do which will require you to work with a partner. Initially this will be in the form of distance based “tag” like activities, non-contact work where we may talk about target areas or focus on balance, or in the form of padwork where you will practice holding/hitting a pad held by someone else. We may then slowly introduce activities where we show you how to use the blocks you have learnt against punches and kicks performed by a partner. Later when you are around Green Belt you will be required to look at getting a full set of padded safety equipment for free sparring; this is semi-contact and forms part of grading assessments from Blue Stripe onwards but you can get it earlier if it is something that interests you.


How long is the free trial and when does it start?

We give beginners one month free, starting from the date of your first lesson. If you fill out the form on the 10th February for example but don’t get to a lesson until the 20th February your free trial will run until the 20th March.

If you are ill or unable to attend lessons in your free trial for whatever reason then please let us know and we will extend it to account for this.


What happens at the end of the free trial?

At the end of your free trial you will receive an email to the address you provided which will cover things like how to set up payments for training fees if you wish to continue and how to go about ordering an outfit (Dobok) from us when you decide you would like one.

If at this point you decide not to continue with Tae Kwon-Do then that is absolutely fine, you don’t need to do anything. It is important to us to give people the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and try something new, so we won’t at all be offended if you decide it isn’t the sport for you.


How does the belt system work?

As a beginner you are considered a White Belt (10th Kup). When you buy your first outfit (Dobok) it will come with a White Belt. After around 3 months you can take part in your first grading for White Belt Yellow Stripe (9th Kup). You are then eligible to grade once every 3 months to advance through the grades of Yellow Belt (8th Kup), Yellow Belt Green Stripe (7th Kup), Green Belt (6th Kup), Green Belt Blue Stripe (5th Kup) and Blue Belt (4th Kup). Once a Blue Belt you are then only eligible to grade once every 6 months through Blue Belt Red Stripe (3rd Kup), Red Belt (2nd Kup), Red Belt Black Stripe (1st Kup) and finally to Black Belt (1st Dan / Degree). A beginner can get to Black Belt in as little as 3 1/2yrs. It takes a little longer to progress through the grades of Black Belt but it is possible to go as high as 9th Dan.


How do Gradings work?

When you are eligible for your first grading we will let you know when the next Pre-Grading is being held. A Pre-Grading is a practice grading under exam conditions where we show you what to expect and test your readiness. If you pass the Pre-Grading you will then be entered into the Grading itself. Both our Pre-Gradings and Gradings are held at the Emersons Green Village Hall; Pre-Gradings are judged by the teaching team, Gradings are judged by the Vice-Chairman of the T.A.G.B., Grand Master Michael Dew (9th Dan Black Belt). If you are successful in passing the Grading you will find out at your next lesson when you will receive your new belt and certificate.


What about Competitions?

Noticed an upcoming Competition on our events calendar? Competitions are a fun, exciting but optional part of training. We understand that not everyone is competitive so will never pressure you into competing. The T.A.G.B. hold many competitions every year, from small ones like the South West and Southern Championships, to larger ones like the English, Welsh and British Championships; they even host the World Championships! We are very lucky where we are as the majority of them are held locally (within an hour or two’s drive), so if it is something that interests you there are plenty of events to keep you busy year round. Many of our students over the years have come back with trophies and have had a great time. There are divisions for everyone, from the youngest to the executive age group. You can enter for patterns, free sparring, or even destruction at Black Belt level. Curious? Why not pop along for the day and watch? Spectator tickets can be purchased in advance or on the door.

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