Who is the Instructor?
Master Hamish Wybrow
What do you wear?
All attendees wear a Taekwondo uniform called a Dobok. New members may wear comfortable workout clothing (i.e. t-shirt and track pants or shorts (nothing that would restrict bodily movement) to class prior to receiving their uniforms. Uniforms can be purchased via the club or from an authorised martial arts supplier (see the links section of this site). When you first start Taekwondo, you are considered to be a white belt. As you devleop your skills you will move up the belt levels as shown below;
All Taekwondo Students are well aware that the sport of Taekwondo is steeped in tradition and focuses a great deal of attention on Discipline and Etiquette within the Dojang. Our rules are there to encourage a positive learning environment for all our Students, and to enable training classes to run effectively without interruption. What may not be commonly known is that these expectations also extend to those who enter our Dojang as guests or spectators. For this reason we have compiled a few reminders for our spectators:
- Please ensure that if you are sitting at the side of class during Training that you do not talk loudly or often. Especially during the opening and closing off class, when complete silence is expected.
- Please ensure your cell phone has been switched to silent so as not to disturb the class.
- Please refrain from talking to Instructors or Students during a class as this can be disruptive.
- Please feel free to continue to offer positive support and encouragement to students during class but please refrain from doing so during Patterns as this can be distracting.
Why do we Kihap?
The ‘Kihap’ is a loud shout made upon executing a technique. There are many explanations as to what a Kihap is. These range from the physical and scientific fact that the short, sharp explosive exhalation of breath tenses the abdominal muscles increasing power to the major muscle groups and preventing impacts from ‘winding’ you. Any sports person knows this, just watch weightlifters shout or tennis players grunt on a serve. More spiritual explanations say it is a focusing of the body’s ‘life-force’ or ‘shout from the soul’.
Whatever you believe (or don’t!), the Kihap makes your techniques stronger and is a good way to perform correct breathing. A proper Kihap is a sound, which cannot be spelt and is best described as a grunting shout. Many people feel unsure about what they should say or feel a little silly so few people Kihap properly to begin with. Just look to the senior grades… they felt just as silly at first too but now they just get on with it because they realize it makes sense.
What is Free Sparring?
There is no choreographed or set movements in free sparring. All the techniques, blocks and counters are performed randomly with an opponent. Beginner students demonstrate little to no contact when first starting free sparring. As they progress to higher belt ranks, it is expected that their level of control improves.
Free sparring is done with required padded safety equipment. The club has a small amount of shared gear, but it is recommended that students consider purchasing their own hand and foot pads, head guard. Mouth guards are required for all students and should be brought to all classes. Students competing in tournaments will be required to wear all gear, and Blue belts and above my be required to purchase electronic foot socks to compete in some tournaments. Students will be required to perform free sparring during various rank tests to demonstrate knowledge, skill and understanding of sparring applications, techniques, combinations, foot work, conditioning, etc.
What is 1 Step Sparring (Ilbo Matsogi) ?
This is a pre-determined set of move that are performed, in which the attacker does only one technique, like a step through punch, or a single front kick. Defenders are required to block and counter and will be expected to demonstrate a variety of techniques as well as speed, power and control. As students move up the ranks, the will be required to demonstrate more difficult and technical movements. There is no contact in 1 step sparring other than the actual blocking of the techniques. This demonstrates control as well as good close quarter timing and proper distancing.
What is Self Defence (Ho sin sul)?
In Self Defence the format is similar to One Step sparring; however, the attacks can be any technique and come from any direction, e.g. a grab from behind. Techniques to defend and counter are more direct and not flamboyant. The primary aim of self defence is not to get hurt. Firstly that means avoidance but if necessary it means doing just enough to ensure you can get away. For each belt level, students will be shown different self defence techniques and variations. They will be expected to learn how to defend themselves against specific attacks like a wrist grab, lapel grab, choke, bear hug, punches, kicks, etc. Students will not necessarily have to memorize specific movements but will be expected to understand the basics of how to get away from various holds and grabs and how to defend themselves properly as needed. Red belt (2nd gup) students and above are required to create their own defence routines.
What is the purpose of patterns (Poomsae)?
Patterns are practiced in order for students to train the fundamental movements of their body. Patterns are the foundation of Taekwondo and enable the student to develop various techniques like improved mobility and flexibility, improved body shifting, increased muscle tone, enhanced breath control and improved sparring techniques with the blocks, strikes and counters learned. Although free sparring is random and non choreographed and exercised at a much faster pace than patterns, patterns are critical to developing the necessary skills that a Taekwondo student needs in order to master sparring with their movements, balance, flexibility and ability to determine which block and counter is appropriate.