I've never done a martial art before. What can I expect?
Martial arts are primarily about self defence. A gym or other sport may teach fitness or a skill for a game but martial arts combine this to also develop your mind and body and teach the vital life skill of self preservation.
We work to improve your physical fitness, focus, discipline, respect, confidence, goal-setting and self-esteem. These skills can be taken into any field of life and is built over time. We do not expect anyone to be super-fit or athletic - just put in good effort and do not worry if you need to take a little break along the way. We want long-term results so will work with you to gradually meet your goals.
How much does it cost? Are there any tie-ins?
The first two classes are free. Thereafter classes can be paid on a monhtly basis or pay as go. Pricing for adults is £35 a month for four lessons or £12 if it is pay as you go. For Children it is £30 a month and £10 a less if pay as you go. Discounts are available for multiple members from the same family if they are regulars - please speak to our instructors for further detail.
There is no contract or notice period to quit. We hope you will want to train regularly from your own free will rather than through any binding document.
What should I wear? Do I need any equipment?
No equipment will be necessary to train. A bottle of water, hand towel and a change of clothes after lesson is recommended.
Before you get your uniform just wear something that is loose and comfortable, like jogging trousers and a t-shirt. Training is done barefoot so no footwear is required.
Please note jewellery or watches must be removed before training (earrings, chains, bracelets, rings etc)
Am I too old or is my child too young to begin training?
Tae Kwon Do is suitable for all ages. We train children above 5 and have members who started in our federation in their 80’s! If you have the desire we will help with the rest.
There are so many martial arts clubs out there. Is Tae Kwon Do right for me?
It is difficult to judge a good club if we do not have much knowledge of martial arts. A few flashy techniques and some chit chat and it is easy to be convinced you are on to a winner.
Rather than praise ourselves we encourage would be students to shop around and to bear a few things in mind as they do. We are confident that people will recognise real quality when they see it and will come back to us:
Instructors and students should treat each other with respect. Be wary of ego’s, bravado and the hard sell. Students will reflect their instructors so you want to train with people will help your growth without being arrogant.
Clubs trying to sell you their ‘brand’ of martial arts as best going around. A good club will not need to criticize and abuse other systems in order to show how good they are. They will know what they can offer and let you decide if it is good enough for you.
Contracts / Tie-ins: You should be able to quit at any time you desire so be very wary of anyone asking you to sign a contract. Costs should also be reasonable and clear with no hidden charges.
We offer two free lessons with no strings attached so you can decide if you want to make a commitment without impacting your wallet.
Is MMA better than traditional martial arts?
Mixed Martial Arts (or MMA) has become one of the fastest growing trends in recent years and has gained wide coverage on TV through tournaments such as the UFC.
Traditional arts have taken a knock as they have been perceived to be limited for certain situations. For example a grappling art is thought to come unstuck against a striking art and vice a versa. Everyone therefore seeks to learn the ‘key’ elements of some major arts to be a more rounded fighter.
In principle this is not a bad idea. It is good to open your eyes and be aware of the possibilities and strengths and weaknesses of any art. However the danger is that many students look for instant results rather than become proficient in one core skill. Sadly many people remain average across a number of areas rather than excelling in one.
Many of the most respected fighters actually hold black belts in traditional martial arts from Georges St. Pierre to Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately there is no instant secret to becoming competent in self-defence. It really is about repeating your kicks, punches and defence thousands of time until it is ingrained in your muscle memory. Drilling many different movements may provide mental stimulation but in the end it is about being able to call on those skills under pressure.
Traditional arts have survived for thousands of years as they are tried and tested methods. By honing a core skill you will have higher confidence of executing a technique when needed rather than going blank.
Mixed martial arts teach some wonderful skills and this is no disrespect to any art or choice. We believe that in the end it comes down to the practitioner and how much work they put in. In our experience we find it better to master one art before trying another. Some of our students and instructors do train in other arts and will be happy to explain this further.
How long does it take to get a black belt?
Most students never earn a black belt. While you may be able to get easy belts handed out for simply turning up or easy gradings elsewhere, we can confidently say that belts under the BUTF are always earned.
You will be entered when your instructor thinks you are ready and not before and then it is in your hands to prove you are worthy. Typically, it takes about 5 years for those who train regularly and persevere to earn black belt rank.
Do you have tournaments?
Yes, the BUTF hosts tournaments each year and competitors can enter whichever category they prefer (or all). These are sparring, destruction and patterns. It is purely optional if you wish to enter but most people enjoy testing themselves in a safe, friendly and professional environment.