31st challenge completed – Taekwondo

Following the my previous week’s session at Taekwondo, I returned this week for my second session. It started with more of the same, an extended warm up with various technique and flexibility exercises. The difference this week was that instead of splitting of into two groups, we all stayed in our various lines and the whole session was a progressive technique workshop focusing on different punching and kicking motions.

It’s pretty obvious to me that this isn’t a sport that I am likely to excel at, partly because of the need for both balance and flexibility which definitely isn’t my strong point. It was however something that I really enjoyed and the exercises were likely to be beneficial for running and other sports.

Overall in the two sessions, I think I’ve got a good understanding of the sport, some of the history and etiquette and what is required to be successful. For now, I going to settle for this and move onto the next challenge.

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After a few false starts I’ve finally given Taekwondo a go. There were a few options around London, but after my previous negative experiences with martial arts I really wanted to join a proper beginners session. As a result I signed up for Taekwondo London, which is a traditional taekwondo association (WTF-sytle) club. Their website is http://www.taekwondo-london.co.uk/ and at various times during the year they hold specific beginner sessions as well as regular weekly sessions that beginners are able to attend.

As a result, my experience was far more enjoyable then with Judo and I actually came away from the session, looking forward to going back.

There were about 25 pupils in the session and like most martial arts there is a hierarchy and individuals line up depending on their grading and experience. This actually works out really well as during the warm up sessions, it gives those with less experience the opportunity to watch others. After the extended warm up, myself and 4 other beginners were split off from the other group and we focused on the basics techniques. I generally managed ok, but it did require a huge amount of focus, and balance, the latter of which is not something that I’m naturally gifted with.

I’m definitely going to go next week and take it from there.

Watch this space!

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The plan for 2015

I started 2015 in a way that sums up the new me. Instead of the usual going out on new year’s eve, we stayed in as I prepared for the Serpentine NYE 10k run. In fairness we had spent a week on the road over the festive period and we’d run out of energy come the 31st. My early night was rewarded as I bagged myself a new 10k PB of 43.51.


The first 3 months of 2015 will largely be dedicated to training for the Greater Manchester Marathon and my goal of sub-3.30, although I have found time to schedule the volleyball and rugby challenges.

So this leaves an additional 13 and certainly not the easiest of 13.

The two aquatic sports of synchronised swimming and water polo will prove a challenge. Sychro is not a male sport in the Olympics and water polo is often played at a very competitive level.

Next is basketball, there are plenty of social leagues around London so it should be just a case of finding the time to take part in one.

Boxing, well I’m not particularly looking forward to this one and decided against anything that involves me getting punched. I’ll arrange a training session at some point.

Then comes the three equestrian sports of dressage, eventing and jumping. I’m still not exactly sure how this will be achieved but some sort of course or series of private lessons is probably on the cards.

Gymnastics is another sport split into three; artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline. We have a couple of friends that are coaches so the plan will be to spend a day learning various routines. Hoping to rope in a few others as well.

Hockey in a similar way to basketball has a number of social leagues in London so it should just be a matter of time before I can find a date in 2015 to play.

Modern pentathlon is a combination of:

  • Fencing (completed 23rd Aug, 2013)
  • Swimming (completed 23rd Mar, 2013)
  • Pistol Shooting (completed 2nd Dec, 2012)
  • Cross-Country Run (completed 26th Oct, 2014)
  • Show jumping

Once I’ve completed jumping as part of the equestrian sports this will be complete.

Taekwondo is available in a number of places across London but it would be good to find a proper beginners course and really get into one of the martial art disciplines.

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Taekwondo booked

First Taekwondo lesson booked for next Wednesday. Taster session at Greenford Panther Taekwondo Academy. Hopefully I’ll enjoy this more than Judo and Wrestling.

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The challenge is to learn the principles of Taekwondo and attend at least one coach session.

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