What Is Taekwondo?
The name Taekwondo literally translates as 'the way of the foot and hand'- tae means to break or attack with the foot, kwon means to break with the hand and do translates as the art or way. It originated in South Korea and combines combat and self-defence techniques with sport and exercise. The modern form of taekwondo was not agreed upon until 1955, but the sport has its roots in various Korean forms of martial arts stretching back more than 2000 years.
The Martial Art
If there is a difference between taekwondo as a sport and taekwondo as an art it is that the art recognises no rules for combat while the sport of taekwondo is highly regulated for the safety of its participants. As an art, taekwondo focuses on a combination of combat techniques and self-defence as well as being a good form of exercise and entertainment. In taekwondo a system of attacking and defensive movements incorporating punching, kicking and blocking techniques, as well as differing stances is done in a set sequence and is referred to as Poomsae. These basic movements bring together all the martial art skills in a graceful yet powerful manner.
Taekwondo first appeared in the Olympics as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. It is now also a Commonwealth Games Sport. It made its debut as an official Olympic Sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Since then it has also featured in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Taekwondo is certainly not limited to those in superb physical condition, anyone can take advantage of its benefits when learning proper techniques.
As well as the sporting and self-defence aspects to taekwondo the exercise one gets from martial arts training improves balance, flexibility, stamina, strength and posture. Unlike many other forms of physical activity, martial arts also have a mental element which not only improves the mind's focus but also helps provide confidence and self control. As well as those mentioned above, Taekwondo can also help with:
- improved muscle tone and appearance
- improved agility and reflexes
- improved concentration
Meet Our Instructors
Boston Taekwondo have 5 experienced instructors, all of whom have achieved a 'Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Taekwondo', have full professional insurance, have been DBS checks and have all completed a Safeguarding Course.
Master Alan Steeper, 7th Dan
I have been doing taekwondo for 40 years and have 38 years of experience in teaching Taekwondo. I am a taekwondo instructor, a joiner and a driving instructor. In the past I have entered around 40 kyorugi (sparring) competitions and am now competing in poomsae (pattern) competitions, winning silver in pairs and bronze in individuals in the National Poomsae Championships 2019. My greatest achievements were becoming a 7th Dan, running Boston Taekwondo and winning 2 championship fights. Outside of taekwondo I enjoy hill walking, fitness training and biking. A few years ago I did the Three Peaks Challenge for charity. I believe that a belt is just a colour, anyone off the street can come into a dojang and wear a black belt. In order to be a black belt you need years of training and experience. I also strongly believe that taekwondo is more important than life.
Master Kimberley Stancer, 5th Dan
I have been doing taekwondo for 20 years and have been teaching for 16 years. I am a 1:1 Teaching Assistant in a Primary School giving me a good amount of experience with children. I also run my own club, Kim's Kickers Taekwondo, where I run 8 sessions a week. I run Boston Taekwondo's poomsae class, taking members to regional and national competitions. My greatest achievements have been overcoming my fear and confidence barriers to set up my own club, becoming Boston Taekwondo's first female master grade and being invited on to the Great British Poomsae Squad. Outside of taekwondo I enjoy baking, doing puzzles and cake decorating. I believe that dedication is the key to success - anyone who wants to succeed so badly and puts all of their effort into it will succeed.
Master Matthew Fox, 5th Dan
I have been doing taekwondo for 30 years and teaching for 20 years. I am an Regional Operations Director working for Pets At Home. In the past I have entered several sparring competitions winning my first one as a 9th kup back in 1993. My greatest achievement has been passing my 5th dan grading. Outside of taekwondo I enjoy spending time with my family, motor bike racing, watching films and doing other forms of exercise. I believe that life is too short so make the most of every opportunity, dont be afraid to be ambitious about your goals - hard work never stops, neither should your dreams and every artist at first was an amateur.
Kate Richardson, 4th Dan
Faye Louch, 3rd Dan
At Boston Taekwondo we have a program training black belts to teach in a safe way. We do this by allowing them to shadow us and taking them to one side and becoming "students" ourselves so they can practise. We also have regular teaching instructor classes to develop the skills of our instructors led by Master Steeper. Our other instructors are:
- Stefan Chester - 4th Dan - has full professional insurance and DBS checked.
- Chris Purkiss - 3rd Dan - has full professional insurance and DBS checked.
- Ben Johnson - 1st Dan