The Association of Professional Taekwon-Do Instructors
What's Your Reason For Joining?
Hobby with a difference?
Welcome to the Association of Professional Taekwondo Instructors...
We are an independent free thinking martial arts group. All of our instructors are extremely well trained, insured, Health & Safety and First Aid qualified and of course DBS (CRB) checked and all these qualifications are strictly renewed every 3 years.
The head of the Association (Chief Instructor and Grading examiner) is Ian Ferguson a 8th Dan Black Belt with over 46 years experience which includes 21 years of international and national competition. Ian is a World & European ITF champion (1981 Argentina) and holds numerous British titles including British All Styles title, he was quoted in Korean Arts Magazine as "one of the most successful competition fighters ever" and has been awarded instructor of the year by two different Martial arts associations.
In 2013 at the age of 56 Ian Graduated at Coventry University as a Qualified Social Worker with a BA Honours Degree and puts his knowledge of social and child development to good use in structuring his class syllabus.
Ian now dedicates his time to teaching and promoting martial arts as a form of physical, mental and social development. Ian has produced hundreds of black belts, and many have gone on to become British and World champions and full-time instructors in their own right.
Our aim as an Association is to promote the art of Traditional and Free Style Taekwondo, offering individuals from all walks of life the opportunity to develop their minds and bodies through world class instruction in a friendly, professional and caring manner.
Traditional or Free Style?
Traditional Tae Kwon-Do is the art form of this beautiful martial art. It involves learning the fundamental movements, i.e. Stances, blocks, hand attacks and kicks, all performed through the full range of movement (in its art form), which isn't necessarily practical for realistic application, but it does help students to understand the mechanics of each and every movement from start to finish and of course helps with conditioning and coordination.
Patterns are also an integral part of traditional training, these are a series of fundamental attack and defence movements against one or more imaginary opponents but again, performed in art form. A well performed pattern is akin to a martial ballet and is beautiful to watch. As well as being an excellent form of exercise and conditioning, patterns help keep the identity of the art itself as each pattern can represent a prominent figure or event in Korean history.
Gives an in depth understanding of the art and history.
Excellent exercise and conditioning for body and mind.
Unless the difference between art and application is taught properly, students run the risk of having an unrealistic understanding of combat and what actually works and what doesn't. Ultimately, this can leave the student with a false sense of security and put them at considerable risk.
Students can be overwhelmed by the sheer scale of political nonsense, i.e. the different groups involved, each claiming to be correct and yet all teaching differently from each other and trashing all others.
Free Style Taekwondo
Not everyone has time or the inclination to study traditional Tae Kwon-Do, some people just want to learn how to defend themselves, get fit and flexible in as short a time as possible, they don't want to learn about the history or learn a foreign language. This is where Free Style comes into its own and to be more popular as a no frills approach to martial art training. With 'Free Style' we learn and practice all the exciting parts of Taekwondo...
The kicks, punches, blocks and pad work etc and more importantly you will learn how to apply the techniques realistically for either competition or self defence. The core tenets of Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, indomitable spirit and self control are every bit a part of Free Style as they are Traditional.
A realistic, fun and practical approach to martial arts with emphasis placed on pursuing the perfect technique, understanding the mechanics of each technique and development as an individual.
How long to black belt?
Many individuals are under the mistaken belief that black belt is the ultimate goal, but nothing could be farther from the truth. 1st degree black belt is where the student has laid their foundation, the basics, the equivalent of passing your driving test... You have laid the foundation and now the real learning begins.
So how long it takes an individual to reach 1st Degree black belt? This would depend on so many things!
It would depend on the students ability, the instructor's experience, knowledge, the quality and depth of the instruction and of course the hours trained!
In the original Tae Kwon-Do manual, written by the founder of Tae Kwon-Do, it was laid out in the hours trained, and not as so many believe, in years! This makes sense when you think about it, as you could have two students training for a set amount of time, let's say three years, (which seems to be the average time quoted nowadays for 1st Degree black belt) but one of the students is training once a week and the other student is training five or six times a week! Of course, the student who puts the extra hours in is obviously going to progress faster! The exception to this, is for the Dan grades. Higher Dan grades need to have not just the necessary hours training but in depth knowledge, understanding and experience, which is why we have a two year period between 1st and 2nd Degree, a three year period between 2nd and 3rd Degree, a four year period between 3rd and 4th Degree, so on and so forth. 1st to 3rd degree are considered the novice stages of black belt, 4th degree expert, 5th degree and above Master. The higher master grades are not necessarily awarded on physical merit, but on the individuals understanding and knowledge of their art, they're experience and what they have contributed towards the art/organisation over the years.