HSTS Taekwon-Do All-Day Training Session with Master Horan, 8th Degree Black Belt

HSTS Taekwon-Do welcomed students from across it’s three clubs for an all day training event led by Master Horan 8th Dan. The event held on the 1st June 2024 at the HSTS main dojang in Hitchin provided participants with a comprehensive and intensive exploration of the Taekwon-Do grading syllabus.

The day’s training covered all traditional aspects of the art, including fundamentals, patterns, three-step sparring, two-step sparring, semi-free sparring, free sparring, and breaking techniques. However, the highlight of this year’s session was the introduction of a new component: an in-depth review of the “Nine Training Secrets” of Taekwon-Do.

Fundamentals and Patterns

Master Horan began the session with a focus on the exploration of the nine training secrets, using these ideas in our techniques, emphasising the importance of proper form and execution. Students practiced stances, strikes, blocks, and kicks, receiving feedback to correct and refine their techniques. The morning continued with a thorough run-through of patterns (Tuls), where practitioners performed a series of movements in a predefined sequence, reflecting various offensive and defensive techniques.

Nine Training Secrets

A unique aspect of this training day was the detailed discussion and application of the Nine Training Secrets of Taekwon-Do, which are often overlooked in regular training sessions. Master Horan elaborated on each secret, providing insights on how they can enhance training and performance:

  1. Study the Theory of Power thoroughly.
  2. Understand the purpose and method of each movement clearly.
  3. Bring the movement of eyes, hands, feet, and breath into a single coordinated action.
  4. Choose the appropriate attacking tool for each vital spot.
  5. Become familiar with the correct angle and distance for attack and defense.
  6. Keep both the arms and legs bent slightly while the movement is in motion.
  7. All movements must begin with a backward motion, with very few exceptions, however once the movement is in motion it should not stop before reaching the target.
  8. Create a sine wave during the movement by utilising the knee spring properly.
  9. Exhale briefly at the moment of each blow except a connection motion.

Participants were encouraged to integrate these principles into their daily practice to deepen their understanding and effectiveness in Taekwon-Do.

Sparring Techniques

The afternoon sessions transitioned into sparring drills. Participants engaged in three-step sparring, which helps to develop fundamental timing and distance control. This was followed by two-step sparring, which increases the complexity and realism of the defensive and offensive manoeuvres and one step sparring focusing on the goal of Taekwon-Do in combat of defending with one single seasoned blow. We then moved onto self-defence in the form of releasing from a grab. Covering the three parts, releasing motions, direct attacking motions and breaking motions. Finally in the set sparring elements we focused on Semi-free sparring allowed students to experience a more dynamic interaction, bridging the gap between structured drills and free sparring.

Free Sparring and Breaking

Free sparring sessions were particularly intense, as students put their skills to the test in a controlled environment. This component encouraged agility, strategic thinking, and adaptability, key elements in mastering Taekwon-Do. The day concluded with breaking, where participants demonstrated their power and precision by breaking boards in preparation for their grading.


The all-day training session hopefully left all participants inspired and motivated. The inclusion of the Nine Training Secrets added a new dimension to the syllabus, ensuring that students left with both practical skills and a deeper theoretical understanding of their martial art.