About Wirral UKTA Taekwon-Do School
We are a not-for-profit members club which means that all proceeds go back into the school for the benefit of members. Members, or parent representative of junior members, can stand for election onto the management committee if nominated by two others. An AGM is held each year for the election of committee members. This club is run by members for members, with highly skilled instructors and coaches giving their time and skills for free. See our constitution
As we are non profit making we are able to use income to pay for such things as; first aid training for any members who want it, instructor training courses for all our black belts, travel to and from England squad training sessions for eligible members, subsidised or completely free entry into National competitions, along with free or subsidised travel, plus many other benefits.
The school was set up in 1995 by Mrs Bennett and Mr Stott, both experienced black belts at the time, who already had 18 years Taekwon-do experience between them. Mr Harris joined in 2003 having previously trained in London. Our youngest assistant instructor began Taekwon-Do in 2003 and Mr Stott retired in 2007.
In 2009 the school achieved Sport England 'Clubmark' accreditation for ethical standards in coaching and club management. In 2010 Mrs Bennett was awarded the UK Instructor of the Year award by the UKTA
All our instructors hold ITF qualifications, we don't just 'do ITF style' but have passed grading exams under the World Number One Grandmaster, Rhee Ki Ha. Mrs Bennett qualified as an ITF International Instructor & examiner in 2008, however, we are proud to tell you that we have never graded any students to black belt. They have all passed external grading exams under the 9th Dan Grandmaster, Chair of the ITF grading committee, along with a panel of 7th & 8th Dan Masters, at open, public gradings for all to see their standards.
Wirral UKTA Committee Members:
Mrs H Bennett, BSc (Hons), PGCE - (Instructor)
Mr D Caine (Instructor)
Mr D Inwood, BSc - (student)
Mr B Ross, NSVM BVMA - (student)
Mr M Ryan, (student)
Ms A lang - (parent)
Mrs H Bennett 4th Degree
Began training in 1986
Promoted to 4th Dan by Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha, March 2008
UK Instructor of the Year 2010
Mr A Harris 2nd Degree
'B' class Instructor
Promoted to 2nd Dan by Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha, March 2008
Miss C Winstanley 2nd Degree
'C' class Instructor
Began training in 1999
Promoted to 2nd Dan by Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha, September 2008
Mr D Caine 2nd Degree
'C' class Assistant Instructor
Began training in 2003
Promoted to 2nd Dan by Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha, March 2010
How do I know if Taekwon-Do is the right Martial Art for me?
You don’t know until you try, we offer a trial lesson with no obligation for a nominal charge of £4 to cover insurance.
What will my first few lessons be like?
Starting a martial art can feel like a big step. Our instructors have a range of styles and experience to bring out the best in you. Feel free to come and see what classes involve or better still, join in straight away. Children must be accompanied by parents on their first visit.
Classes begin with a warm up to prevent injury, then as a beginner, for the first lesson, you will normally be one-to-one with a designated instructor, learning co-ordination exercises and sequences to develop muscle memory and aim to get the body and the mind working as one. You will then integrate into the class and work with other students in pairs or small groups
What should I wear?
Loose clothing to begin with, such as track pants and T-shirt. Once you have decided to join you will need a UKTA dobok (training suit).
How often should I train?
It is recommended that you train at least twice a week, however, some people can only manage once a week which is OK but you need to realise that your progress will be slower unless you put in a lot of practice at home. We hold 3 adult lessons per week and 3 children's lessons. As a member of the UKTA there are also other lessons around the North West where you can attend extra lessons.
What are the risks?
Any sport or Martial Art has some risks, but our instructors are highly experienced and so Taekwon-do is a low risk activity, if in doubt, come and see for yourself. Instructors are CRB checked and first aid qualified, with full professional indemnity and public liability insurance through the BTC. We also hold Sport England Clubmark accredtiation for our high ethical standards.
How often can I grade and how long will it take to become a Black Belt?
There is grading every 3 months conducted by a 7th or 8th Dan Master for those who are ready, any students needing to grade between these times will be graded by our International level examiner. No-one can tell you exactly how long it will take you to reach Black Belt as everyone is different. With us you earn your Black Belt with skills & abilities. If an instructor guarantees you will get a black belt in a certain time then you might as well just go and buy one from a martial arts shop as train under that instructor.
What age can my child start?
Children aged 6 and over can join. Sometimes parents ask if younger children can join and we occasionally let 5 year olds join, however, these children usually have parents who are also members and can help them practice at home. 5 year olds may be considered on an individual basis. Research has shown that younger children are much more likely to give up after a short period of time as they do not have the right physique, co-ordination or concentration span. If you want your child to achieve black belt and continue with their Taekwon-Do into adulthood, it is important that they do not start too young. Read article Too much too young?
Can my child and I train together?
Yes, parents can train with their child at the children’s classes but you should attend some adult classes too for your own development.
What is the UKTA?
The UKTA is the original Taekwon-Do Association in the UK, founded in 1967 by Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha, when he brought Taekwon-Do from the Korean Military. Splinter groups broke away from the UKTA over the years and formed their own associations within the ITF. There are also 'copy-cat' groups who are not in the ITF and never have been, they often claim to teach ITF Taekwon-do but have no ITF qualifications or training. The UKTA is overseen by a Masters Council consisting of 7th & 8th Dan ITF Masters, some of whom have been training since the 1960’s and, of course, First Grandmaster Rhee, founder of European Taekwon-Do. UKTA standards can't be surpassed.
I’m in my 40s and unfit, am I too old to start?
No. Many people have achieved black belt in their 50s and beyond, and if you are interested in competition there are veteran categories. Beginners aren’t expected to have a high level of fitness, this builds up in time.
Is TKD a competitive sport?
Yes, we are a martial art first & foremost, so teach practical applications of self-defence. We also provide competition opportunities. ITF competitions allow you to compete with various skill aspects, not just sparring.
I want to do Taekwon-Do, why should I join your school in particular?
Not only is our school the only one on Wirral which is part of the UKTA
, and one of only two in Wirral in the ITF
, but we have instructors who have trained under the Founder and all our instructors still train under First Grandmaster Rhee. Our senior instructor has been training continually since 1986 and we are the only Taekwon-Do school on Wirral with Sport England Clubmark accreditation
. In 2009 we were awarded Wirral Sports Forum's 'Club of the Year'
and in 2010 Mrs Bennett received the UK Taekwon-Do 'Instructor of the Year 2010'
from the UKTA. In 2010 Sport England have invested over £3000 in us.
Will you accept my grade from a different Taekwon-Do Association?
We will if possible, however, not all groups meet ITF standards, so each person is judged individually. However, we don’t want you to have to pay to grade again so your grade will be recognised once you meet standards. If you have been a black belt or instructor with another association we will work with you one-to-one in confidence.
When can I start?
New students are welcome at any of the venues. Please phone or email to arrange this, so we can look out for you.