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Martial Arts, News, Taekwondo

January Newsletter


Volume 1 Issue: January 2012

The academy has been going for nearly three years now, and there have been a lot of changes in the way that the academy runs, as well as the systems that it teaches, and there are more changes in the offing which are outlined below.

Taekwondo Schools of Excellence
As you know, we have joined with a new organisation, Taekwondo Schools of Excellence (TKDSOE), under Masters Russell Perks and Paul Drury.

The benefits of this are;

 Other clubs to draw upon for seminars, events and competitions.

  1. Greater recognition of grades attained within the club.
  2. Access to a wide range of National and World Champions.
  3. The students will have grades that are recognised by a very large base of clubs, should they ever move on due to the syllabus employed by TKDSOE.
  4. The traditional uniform and approach is something that appeals to a lot more people, therefore we should see more students coming through the door and staying, ensuring survivability and keeping things ‘fresh’.
  5. The Taekwondo syllabus will mean that the students are exposed to a lot more of the ‘martial art’ type moves, which will prove to be an exciting challenge.
  6. The students will be exposed to a new language and culture as they will start to learn Korean words e.g. counting to 10, learning the names of techniques.
  7. The students will still be taught the self-defence aspects that they love, and which I believe to be a very important aspect of their training.
  8. The students will have a set of techniques that are transferable between Taekwondo clubs.
  9. Because Taekwondo is the most popular martial art in the world, the number of reference books (including mine) and DVDs/YouTube videos on the subject is nearly endless. This means that students can train in, or read about, Taekwondo almost anywhere, anytime.

There are some drawbacks;

  1. Insurance is slightly more expensive.
  2. Gradings will be slightly more expensive than you are used to.
  3. We will be phasing in new uniforms as the children grow out of their current uniforms.
    This isn’t a drawback per se, however, you might find that they start to ask for them as new and existing students start to wear them.

Grading Results

Harry Stoneman and Nathan Castillo were the star students of December 2011’s grading, and Tom Stoneman was the Student of the Year, 2011.


Every student put in a great effort, and it was great to see them striving to do their best! I know that they will do the club proud in all future gradings.


Gradings will be held on the provisional dates of;

  • April 28th
  • July 28th
  • October 27th

Summer Camp

We are currently planning to hold the Summer Camp on the weekend of July 28th. Not only will there be training, but there will also be activities such as the mid-year BBQ on the Saturday night, the bouncy castle will make an appearance, and there will also be a grading.

Winter camp

We are also looking into holding a Winter Camp for adult students. There won’t be a bouncy castle, but there will be additional training, seminars, and a winter BBQ.


We are hopefully having some seminars this year. Certain junior students who have proven themselves to be mature enough to attend will be invited to do so. This is a privilege to be earned, and is not a right. Seminars attended will count as training credits, so that if they miss any classes, they don’t necessarily fall into a training deficit. It will also mean that our students get to meet a wide range of respected and very highly skilled martial artists aside from the EPMA training cadre. These are opportunities that shouldn’t be missed.


Obviously, our ability (and reputation) to hold seminars rests on attendance, please come along as you can’t fail to learn something new, meet new people, and have fun!


Master Perks, the head of TKDSOE will also be travelling down to oversee some of the gradings and give a seminar. This is a GREAT opportunity to meet the head of our organisation and show just how good you are.

Bring a friend and win prizes!

That’s right. We need more students. More students means more variety for you, a greater chance to make new friends, and more competition in the shield fighting! Every student that brings a friend who trains for 1 month will be given ten (10) tickets as entry into the end-of-year draw. The more friends you bring, the more tickets you get. Yes, this applies to adults as well!


Every new member will receive one (1) ticket, for every full month of membership, leading up to the December draw (to a maximum of ten (10)).


Prizes are to be confirmed, but rest assured they won’t be a box of Celebrations chocolates!


Note: if anyone leaves the club before the draw, their tickets will be void.

Talk about the club on Facebook and …. Win prizes!

That’s right! Join us on our Facebook pages and talk about how much you’ve enjoyed training, what you want to do, how you found the gradings/events/seminars. Suggest us to your friends, post on their walls as to how much you think they’d enjoy training with us and get one (1) ticket for every 10 posts Exeter Practical Martial Arts is tagged in. Posts mean prizes people!


Prizes are to be confirmed, but rest assured they won’t be a box of Celebrations chocolates!


We’ve got a lot more merchandise including;

PMA t-shirts – can be worn outside of training, and in our sparring/street sessions

TKDSOE T-shirts – can be worn outside of training, and in our sparring/street sessions

PTKD T-shirts – can be worn outside of training, and in our sparring/street sessions

Hoodies – As above, can be worn outside of training, and in our sparring/street sessions

Mugs – As above, can’t be used in our sparring/street sessions

Mouse mats – As above, can’t be used in our sparring/street sessions


Get a photo of you using any of our merchandise in a public/funny place, upload it to your a and get a ticket to the draw. Photos mean prizes!

Training Equipment

A number of parents have expressed an interest in buying training equipment for home use. This is a great idea as it means that your children will improve much faster (up to 40%) if they practice outside of the class. It also means that I can progress the classes faster, as they will be coming to train and not coming to practice/relearn the skills.


Prices are;

Hand Spot Pads – £10.00 (19% discount)

Kick shield – £23.00 (11% discount)

Sparring Equipment

Part of the new syllabus is sparring. This is like our warm-up, only the students make more contact and have to wear protection in order to do so. We will also be introducing a sporting element with both intra- and inter-club tournaments.


The club does have some sparring equipment that it can loan out. However, this is not the most sanitary way of training and should be avoided as much as possible, Inner Bag Gloves are therefore mandatory. Students will be expected to purchase their own sparring equipment as soon as possible.


We have put together a sparring kit, for the very reasonable price of £80.00. This includes;


Helmet – £25.49

Foam Tag – £20.41

Foot mitts – £20.41

Groin guard – Mandatory for boys – £10.87

Shin guards – £16.28

Mouth guard – £8.27

Inner Bag Gloves – Mandatory for all – £4.36

Total: 106.09


That’s a WHOPPING 25% discount!


This offer only applies to existing students as a thank you for your loyalty.

Matt’s Book
Matt’s now available for sale to members of the academy at the amazing price of #12.00. This is a 50% discount, and there is no postage or packaging. If you would like a copy, please feel free to speak to Matt.

If your child is being bullied inside of outside of school, please don’t hesitate to speak to Matt if you want to. He’s more than happy to offer suggestions and to boost confidence when needed!

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.


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