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Martial arts team celebrates national win

Students from Fishponds Taekwondo Academy.

A martial arts team from Bristol is celebrating after its members won 22 medals at a national competition.

Students aged from seven to 50 from Fishponds Taekwondo Academy, which moved into the Lyde Green area, took part in the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) competition in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

The team returned with gold, silver and bronze medals for patterns and sparring in junior and adult categories.

And several students have also been promoted to higher ranks after successfully grading.

Indomitable spirit

Instructor Simon Herrington, who has achieved the rank of 3nd degree Black Belt in the Korean-based martial art, said: “We are proud of our team who work hard and reflect the Taekwondo tenets of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.”

Gavin Reader, who is a 2nd degree Black Belt and has been a sports coach for two decades, added: “It’s great to see the students’ development through dedication and determination. They also have a lot of fun and it’s great for physical and mental wellbeing.”

Family friendly club

Fishponds Taekwondo Academy members, who have taken part in national and world competitions.

Simon and Gavin took up the martial art, which emphasises fast kicking techniques and is said to promote physical and mental strength, ten and seven years ago respectively. They were encouraged to join when their young daughters signed up.

Siblings Cameron and Millie from Downend, who are 2nd degree Black Belts, have been training with the club for seven years and have won medals at national and world level.

Mum Shona said: “They enjoy both the lessons and challenging themselves through competitions, which boosts their confidence. It’s great that they have had a shared interest growing up.”

Siblings Ranu, Renwar and Rava took up the martial art three years ago and have worked their way up 7th and 8th gup as their skills continue to grow.

Dad Abdulkadir said: “It’s great they have something they can do together and I’ve watched them as they continue to improve, while having fun.”

Simon, who has been a senior project manager for 36 years, said: “We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly club and have many siblings train together.”


Students from Fishponds Taekwondo Academy.
Students from Fishponds Taekwondo Academy.

Health benefits of Taekwondo include improved balance, flexibility, stamina, strength and posture. Psychologically, it is reported to help develop confidence, self-esteem and resilience.  

Gavin, who is a project manager for the NHS, said: “Taekwondo is a great all-round activity for all ages and abilities.”

·         The group, which is led by accredited and experienced instructors, train at Lyde Green Community Centre every Wednesday and Friday. Lessons are FREE for the first month.

·          For more information, contact Simon on 07838227522 or [email protected] Alternatively, visit Fishponds Taekwondo Academy Facebook or Instagram page.

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