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At Target TAGB Tae Kwon Do, we've done our best to create a Web site that anticipates and satisfies the needs of existing and new students and their families. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact us
Q - Do I need to spend a lot of money to start training tae kwon-do?
A - No. Everybody starts with a free, no obligation trial. We do not insist on any long term commitments. However, if you do wish to take up training, you will require an annual TAGB licence which currently costs £38 and covers both TAGB membership and insurance. Subsequently, there is a monthly training fee, payable in the first week of each calendar month, which entitles you to a minimum of two lessons per week. With several local schools, it is possible to train many more times than this, even up to seven days a week, at no extra cost. Families who train together receive a substantial discount on the individual rate.
If you continue training, you will be expected to purchase a dobok (training suit) before your first grading, but this will not be until around three months after you start so there is no rush to purchase this.
Q - Do I have to grade for belts at set intervals?
A - No. Gradings take place approximately every three months but there is no obligation to grade. Students are assessed in class and are only put forward for gradings when both the student and instructor are confident in the student’s ability and the student is ready and willing to seek progress. Higher grades (blue belts and above) must wait at least six months between gradings. The grading cost for colour belts is currently £28 .
Q - Do I need to buy sparring safety equipment at outset?
A - No. Sparring equipment is not normally required for students in the lower grades, unless they wish to compete in tournaments. It is compulsory for gradings from blue stripe and above, but this is normally at least one and a half years after training starts. Note that only TAGB branded sparring equipment is permitted.
Q - Are there upper or lower age limits to training in tae kwon-do?
A - In recent years there has been a strong increase in the numbers of young children taking up tae kwon-do. At Target TAGB Tae Kwon-Do we feel that children younger than 6 years old seldom have sufficient concentration and so we normally discourage anyone below school age from starting in our classes. However, if you believe your young child can cope with an hour’s class among older children and possibly also adults, then please contact us to discuss it. Please feel free to discuss your own family requirements with the instructor. There is no upper age limit, with several retired students still actively training. Adults and juniors of both genders generally train together. Family groups are actively encouraged.
Q - Do I need to be fit or flexible to start tae kwon-do?
A - Absolutely not. Fitness and flexibility are developed through training. However, if you do have any existing medical conditions, or sustain any injuries between classes, please ensure you inform the instructor BEFORE training commences.
Q - is there a lesson I can get to with my work/school schedule?
A - There is at least one Target TAGB Tae Kwon-Do class available every weekday, plus a Sunday morning class, which is sufficient to meet most people’s needs. Further training sessions with other TAGB schools are available throughout the area. Joining at one TAGB school does not mean you can only train at that school and many students frequently travel to other schools to meet their needs. Ask about your own requirements.
Q - What if I don’t like violence?
A - We don’t like it either. We encourage and actively promote restraint and self control. It is a fundamental principle of the study of tae kwon-do that it must only be used for self defence or defence of the weak. Aggression is not tolerated.
Q - Is the TAGB part of the ITF or the WTF?
A - Neither. The International Tae Kwon-Do Federation (ITF) was established in 1966 and the World Tae Kwon-do Federation (WTF) in 1973, but the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain, which was formed in 1983, has never been affiliated to either of these groups. It does, however, use a style similar to that which had been taught in the ITF up until 1983, but has followed its own path since then.
The TAGB follows the original, karate influenced style of tae kwon-do, as founded in the South Korean Army and named by Major General Choi Hong Hi, who also later founded the ITF, including the original 24 patterns left by him . The ITF also follows these, albeit with some later changes, and has, since the death of Gen Choi in 2002, fragmented into multiple separate organisations, many of which all claim to be the original.
The WTF, via the Kukkiwon, was formed after Gen Choi left Korea for Canada in 1972, taking the ITF with him. Unhappy with the headquarters of a Korean martial art being in another country, the Koreans set up the WTF as a separate organisation, discrediting or ignoring all the General’s previous efforts and implementing a new style under the same name, with a dedicated effort to have their version of taekwondo as an Olympic sport. This gained approval a few years later, and was first demonstrated at the Olympics in Seoul, Korea, in 1988. Although a number of top Olympic exponents of tae kwon-do, such as Aaron Cook and Jade Jones, began their training within the TAGB, what is seen at the Olympics bears little resemblance to what the General practiced and is not what is taught in the TAGB, as the TAGB places less emphasis on just the sport element and concentrates on the entirety of the martial art.
The TAGB stayed well out of this squabbling, instead being a founding member of a new, open international organisation in 1993, called Tae Kwon-Do International, open to all styles of tae kwon-do and with no interest in political differences.
Q - Can I train at other TAGB schools?
A - Your monthly fees entitle you to at least two hours per week with your own school, but you can train more if you wish. Provided your licence and monthly fees are up to date, you can train at other schools. In addition, if your work or studies require you to be temporarily relocated to another area, you can still train with another instructor while paying fees to your home school. However, if this becomes a prolonged and regular activity, where you are training at another school more frequently than your own, you may be requested to transfer.