On Saturday 29th February just under 50 students from HSTS Taekwon-Do gathered at the Hitchin Dojang for an All Day training led by Master Horan and assisted by Mrs Rose and Mr Callahan. There were a wide variety of ages and grades present at the training, ranging from Yellow belts right up to 3rd Degree Black Belts.

After a quick warm up the first few hours were dedicated to practising patterns. The grades were split up into 3 groups so that each set of grades could practice their specific patterns with an instructor. All groups worked particularly hard in listening to the corrections given to them and trying to implement them whilst performing their patterns in their own time. To complete the patterns section of the training, all the patterns from 3rd degree downwards were performed right down to Chon-Ji tul, with each grade joining in when the group had got to the pattern for their grade. This allowed everyone to be performing patterns together regardless of age or grade, emphasising how Taekwon-Do can be for everyone.

After an enjoyable lunch break, the students set off practising many of the sparring types in the Taekwon-Do syllabus. In total the students performed 3 step, 2 step, 1 step, semi-free and free sparring as well as practicing some self-defense including releasing and breaking motions and direct attacks to defend against someone grabbing. Master Horan highlighted the different types of blocks we can use to defend in step-sparring explaining how both inside and outside blocks open up different openings for a counter attack on the body. He also discussed the differences between a middle attack and a middle section attack which can only be performed on an opponent and could vary in height depending on how tall the opponent is.

He also talked about the importance of reasonable force when defending in a real life situation and that we should take into consideration the strength and aggressiveness of our attacker when deciding the extent to which self-defense needs to go to in order to ensure safety. The sparring section of the day was finished with free sparring, including 2 vs 1 free sparring for some of the more senior grades as this is part of the syllabus for their gradings

Finally the day was concluded with various kicking techniques against pads to try and improve technique and power delivery. All grades practiced specific techniques from the syllabus for their gradings, with some students also practicing flying techniques. After 6 hours of training, which had certainly flown by, the day had come to an end. All students had trained hard and with diligence with the children behaving exceptionally throughout the day also. HSTS looks forward to welcoming you all to the next all day training on 6th June.

Mr Elliott Callahan 3rd Degree