How long have your classes been running?
I’ve been teaching taekwondo in Edmonton, consistently, since June 1993.  Initially as a hobby club, I taught twice a week, but in October 2000, I left my job in I.T. and began teaching professionally.

I’m a complete beginner. How long does it take to get to black belt?
You can complete our black belt training programme in only 24 months for adults (30 months for the juniors).  From that point, you’ll be continuing training, refining your skills and fitness for the next black belt grading, which are usually held in November and May each year.  Your gradings between 1st grade (red belt + black stripe) until you take your black belt grading, are FREE.

I’ve done martial arts before.  Is there a fast track programme?
Yes, you can take double gradings.

How can you claim to get people to black belt so quickly, when local karate clubs take anything from 4 to 6 years?
There are two distinct reasons for this.  Firstly, in most martial arts clubs, they have gradings every 3 months. But as you get about half way to black belt, their gradings (i.e. martial art examinations) are less frequent, typically every 6 months for the next couple of grades, and after that, it can be up to 12 months between the two or three grades prior to black.  We have gradings every 2 months, for every belt level from complete novice, to the highest grade prior to black belt, and you are expected to take each of those gradings.  Our training programme is purposefully designed to accommodate this.

Secondly, aside from the above, there is a misconception that once someone has achieved a black belt, they are automatically an instructor and can open their own club.  Achieving the level of black belt is certainly no easy task, but it is only a qualification of personal competence of martial art skills, it is not a coaching qualification.  Instructing, coaching and teaching are a completely separate set of skills to ones personal performance.  I have studied sports coaching for children and sports coaching for adults at Level 3, but my highest regarded qualification  is with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, where a gained the Professional Trainers Certificate, which is also known as “Teaching the Teachers’ certificate”.  I am trained, and experienced (24 years of teaching experience), in delivering information to people, using methods that they will understand and relate to.

In summary, a) we don’t slow down the grading process as you climb up the ranks toward your black belt and, b) we have a very high level of teaching and coaching in The Academy.  It’s not about what is taught, but how it is taught.

Do you give discounts for friends &/or families?
Yes, through our Referral System.  For each additional family member or friend that a member brings into The Academy (i.e. joins and trains), you earn a Referral Commission of £5 per month.  This is paid quarterly by cheque.

I don’t think I’m fit enough.  When I get fit, I’ll join.
Fitness is gained through the training in The Academy, and you’ll be getting specifically fit too.  We know how to gently take you through our fitness, progressing (and regressing if necessary) the exercises appropriately.  I’ve had marathon runners in the classes (that have completed runs in less than 4 hours) that have be so exhausted after one of my lessons, they’ve not been able to string a sentence together after a class.  Fitness is generic term.  Being fit for taekwondo highlights this specificity.

Can I train with my child?
Yes.  If your child is of an age where he/she should be in the Junior class.  It means that your child will be moved up into the Adult class, and would therefore be learning the adult syllabus.  However, it is only fair to point out that all training done in the Adult class is taught at an adult level – the class will not be slowed down to accommodate a younger person’s possibly slower level of learning.  Some children have adapted to this very quickly, but it is not for all children.  It is certainly worth considering though.  Adults are not be allowed to train in a children’s class.

Can my younger child (aged 5 to 9) train in the older children’s (aged 10 to 15) class?
Yes.  As above, we can allow a younger child (Cadet) to train in the older children’s (Junior) class.  However, as above, it needs to be highlighted that for everyone training in the Junior class will be learning the Junior syllabus, and the coaching will not be slowed down to accommodate younger students.  We have seen some younger children rise up to this challenge and take on these higher level skills.

Can I do a trial lesson?
Everyone is welcome to come along and watch a the classes, and even chat to the other students/parents too, to see what they think.  However until you are a paid Member, you are not covered by insurance.  If you are keen to do a trial lesson, the fee is £15 and is to be paid before the class.

Can I do a trial month?
Yes.  Just pay the monthly Training Fee.

I’m not interested in taking grades, just improving fitness. Is that ok?
If you’re not taking gradings, then it can be hard to appreciate your own progress.  When I was first teaching, one of my guys didn’t grade for three years.  Then he said “I wish I’d taken my grades, because I’d be taking my black belt next month”.  Adding your gradings onto you C.V. can be a very positive factor in your application for jobs.  It displays long term commitment, focus, hard work, an enduring personality, and someone who strives to achieve goals.  In fact, my first engineering role in IT was gained because I had a black belt – the interviewer had done kung fu for nearly three years and only got half way to black belt.  So he knew that qualities that are required to achieve a black belt, and that is the reason I got the interview.

I want to join.  What do I do now?
Contact me to make an appointment to come down to the relevant class.  I’ll give you our detailed Information Pack before it starts.  With children’s classes it’s best to watch a class with your child and chat with the members’ parents there.  For the adults class, it’s still best to meet before the class, but due to there being a 15 minutes gap between the child and adult class, we may be limited on time.  If you have made an appointment, we can continue talking after the class.  In both cases, we’ll discuss how The Academy operates and all the fees involved – we have a full disclosure policy about fees, so there are no hidden costs to worry about.

Generally speaking, it takes 15 minutes minutes to complete the joining procedure, which means filling in the Joining Form, and paying the Joining Fee.  Only when this is completed can anyone participate in the lessons.

What’s your question?
Contact me on 07 949 535 443 or info@martinace.com or fill in the form here