“ Taekwon-Do is like my boomerang. I've been involved in a few different variations of the art, but I usually end up returning to it!”
- Brian Williams
Who knew that my martial arts journey would begin by purchasing a £1.99 Tae Bo VHS casette from Woolworths in 2004?
I was practising Tae Bo (martial arts aerobics) at home and during my lunch break at college, and I was spotted by some classmates who were Taekwon-Do black belts. We began training together every lunchtime and they showed me how to apply Tae Bo into sparring.
This inspired me to join a Taekwon-Do class, but I realised it wasn't for me, so I took up some different styles along the way. As much as I enjoyed these arts, something was missing - that enjoyment I had sparring with my college friends.
I later tried Korean Kickboxing alongside my other arts, which reminded me of college. My style of Kickboxing allowed me to enter Taekwon-Do competitions, where I went on to win the ITS British Championship in my weight and belt category in 2009 and again in 2012, and I made the England team in 2011. My biggest achievement was winning the UTC Tang Soo Do World Title in 2011 in my age and belt category, which was fought under rules similar to Taekwon-Do.
I later took up MMA to gain a broader awareness of self defense from different styles - and this helped rekindle my enjoyment of Taekwon-Do. I discovered that my MMA instructor was also a Taekwon-Do instructor and invited me to train at his club. I was hooked because his club was Ho Sin Sul (self defence) orientated and reminded me of college. However, the club closed down, so I switched to the ITF style and reached 1st Kup. My training fluctuated a lot over the next few years due to non-martial arts related injuries and work/sporting commitments.
I got back on track at the start of 2020 and was selected for the BUTL National squad. While I'm a little older than most of the team, I look to cement my legacy as a martial artist by continuing to perform at a high standard and seeing how things have changed since I last competed.
University of Worcester Student