Posts by Elly


Nominate us for Club of the Year!


Great news! We have been nominated for Club of the Year at the Cornwall Sports Awards 2012. As a club we are really chuffed because it’s recognition for the hours of work the seniors put in behind the scenes to make things run smoothly and to teach the highest quality Tang Soo Do and Kickboxing that we can!

To turn that nomination into an award we are asking all friends, family and all generous strangers to vote for us! To vote, simply text DC SPORTS 1008 plus ‘your name’ and ‘your postcode’ to 65100. Texts cost 50p and you can vote as many times as you like.

Voting closes 18th October.


Spring Gradings!

The start of June saw two very special events take place over a weekend. On a wet and windy Friday night, six students arrived at our dojang with sleeping bags to begin their Tang Soo Do Dan testing. The candidates were required to spend the night in the dojang, before embarking on a morning of preparation and last minute revision, including cleaning the dojang from top to bottom. The physical examination then took place. As with all our Dan testings, the details of the event are kept secret, but it is safe to say the candidates were rigorously tested on all aspects of Tang Soo Do. Of the six candidates, two (Aaron Dee & Angus Vantoch-Wood) were attempting the massive leap from 1st Gup to 1st Dan. Three (Dominic Lewis, Joanne Chinn & Elly Jahnz) were testing for their Senior 1st Dan and one (Adam Richards) was testing for his 2nd Dan. This was the largest Dan testing ISK has seen, and the standard was incredibly high. Everyone fought hard and performed well and it was with great emotion that it was announced at the end of the testing that everyone had passed. Blood, sweat, tears & broken glass – no-one does black belt testings quite like ISK Martial Arts!

The next day saw around thirty Tang Soo Do & Doksa Kickboxing students going for their next gup grade. Students came from all of ISK’s clubs, from Redruth, Mevagissey, Falmouth & Penryn. It was a long day for all involved (not least the Dan candidates who were involved in judging and helping out) but the standard was as always exceptionally high. Regardless of if a student was going for that first yellow belt, or testing for their 1st Gup they put in 100% effort and demonstrated good martial spirit. A big thank you to Redruth School who allowed us to use their sports hall for the day. Even better was that it came equipped with a stage, meaning the testing panel could sit above everyone and get a good view of the proceedings. We are pleased to announce that everyone passed! Well done all!



European Championships 2012


A team of ISK’s finest made the trip to Hagen, Germany in May to take part in the European Tang Soo Do Championships. Although the team from Cornwall was small in comparison to some of the other teams, they certainly proved that they could punch well above their weight. A total of twenty eight trophies were won by the team, a testament to all the hard work and training put in during the build up to the event. The participants competed across a range of disciplines, including sparring, traditional forms, chil sung forms and weapons.

Chief instructor Master Robert James who lead the team by winning 2 Grand Championship trophies at the events highest levels commented “I am immensely proud of my students, not only how they competed but also the way in which they represented the club and carried the spirit of the event. We have shown repeatedly that Cornwall is a force to be reckoned with in Tang Soo Do, and this further cements our reputation as one of the best clubs in Europe.”

The competition was attended by martial artists from all over the European Union, including Poland, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Greece and Holland. All the teams performed to the high standard we have come to expect from EMTF events, and it was great to see old friends and make new ones.

Although it’s not all about medals, we’re pleased to say that everyone from Cornwall who competed came away with at least one medal, and sterling performances were put in by all. The team are now setting their sights on the upcoming British Tang Soo Do championships held in October in Bedford.


New Kids class

I’ve been fortunate to have been offered the opportunity of teaching a kids class. A popular Taekwondo school in Falmouth unfortunately had to close due to instructors having moved away. We have had dealings with them in the past and they recommended us to the parents of their juniors. At that time we didn’t teach a junior club in Falmouth, but we looked on it as a fantastic opportunity to start one up. While it is a shame a popular club has had to close, it is also a new window of opportunity – I’ve been handed a class of very capable, intelligent and fun students who are a joy to teach. Teaching kids is proving to be a rewarding experience and I’m looking forward to helping them progress through the ranks of Tang Soo Do and teaching them all about the art that I love.

For those interested, we train on a Thursday night 6.30-7.30 at Penryn College. Ages 6-10.

Just need to remember all their names now…


New term, new times…

The start of October is always an exciting time me. The change in seasons gives me an excuse to break out the heavy knitwear (and the heavyweight dobok!) and the crisp freshness of the mornings when I cycle to work is invigorating. (Although, this is Cornwall, so it’s more often than not torrential rain and I convince myself it’s easier for everyone involved if I just drive…)

Aside from waxing lyrical about the changing of the seasons, what I love most about October is the promise of new students! The Falmouth branch of ISK Tang Soo Do operates out of the University one night a week, and this time of the month brings all the new Fresher students. We recently spent a Sunday at the Freshers fair, trying our best to smile and entice people to give Tang Soo Do a try. We must have done something right as we signed up over 130 people that afternoon! The number is impressive, however I know full well that the Freshers fair brings with it a peculiar sense of fevered enthusiasm for any club or society. I remember my Freshers Fair (At the very same university), I was caught up a frenzy of sign-up forms. I think I signed up to the Gardening club, the Expedition Society, expressed an interest in learning Tai Chi and doing environmental management volunteering, despite my only goal of the fair being to sign up to the hockey team, which I also did.

Point being, that when offered a pen, some paper to sign and the chance to help themselves to a bowl of sweets, students will go crazy.

Come the class the following day I think we were quite relieved when 130 people failed to show up. Still, we had around 30 rock up to give it a go, which was fantastic. There was the normal mix of people wanting to get fit, people wanting to learn self defence, people with experience in other arts not practiced down here and people who just wanted to punch things. All were welcome, and all were given a good work out, taught some ho sin sool (self defence) and given a chance to have a punch and a kick of some pads. On the whole I think everyone enjoyed it, and it was such a rewarding feeling to look around the class and see smiling faces.

From past experience we know other people will drift along in the coming weeks as they get settled into university life, and we welcome them wholeheartedly. It can be a great experience learning a martial art at university – a fantastic social life and a crew of interesting and enthusiastic people to hang out with. Looking forward to next Monday’s lesson and to seeing who else will be coming along to have a go!


All hands on deck!

Things are getting exciting over at ISK Martial Arts. If you have been looking on the main site, you’ll know that we have recently moved into bigger premises. We are now above Wilkinsons’ on Redruth High Street – a prime location. It’s a bit shabby at the moment though, it’s stood empty for a while and is in need of a little bit of TLC…which is exactly what we have been doing!

Last evening saw a small contingent head over there, roll up our sleeves and start the decorating process. Walls scrubbed, wallpaper peeled off, holes filled and mirrors polished. Lots more work to go, but everyone from the club is chipping in and giving a little bit of their free time to help. It’s one of those things that makes me thankful to train in a club where everyone is committed and cares deeply about what we do. When we open the doors to the public we can say we’ve all built this club together. Quite a nice thought.

Despite not having a permanent base at the moment, training continues in the Falmouth class as usual. Still working hard in the preparation for the World Championships. Less than 3 weeks to go – haven’t even brought me suitcase! Uh-oh! Got some serious packing to do…well, who am I kidding, all I need is dobalk, changbong, sparring gear, sun lotion & a bikini! Sorted!


Much news!

Lots of exciting news! As you may have guessed from reading the news on the main site, I was awarded my 1st Dan black belt a couple of weeks ago. I have trained for four years for this so it was a fantastic honour to be invited to join the ranks of the ISK Dan grades. What made it even more special was I got to take my grading alongside some fantastic people; Mrs Chinn, Mr Leonard & Mr Richards. I joined roughly the same time as Mrs Chinn and we have gone up the ranks of the gup grades together. We have fought together, competed together and trained together for four years. It’s been a fun journey.

The next bit of exciting news concerns the British Championships. There are some fantastic reviews and thoughts on the championships on fellow students’ blogs on this site. For me, it was an important competition. It was my first competing as a Dan grade. I found the categories much harder, with many more competitors. I was expecting to at the start of the day, after the Masters, but unusually they ran the Gup competitions first. It was great watching all our gup grades perform to their utmost and all the training we put in certainly showed in the results.

By the time my categories were called I was super fired up to compete, which was a welcome change for me. Normally I just enjoy the whole process of watching others and having a go myself, but this time it was different. Maybe it was the new belt round my waist but I really wanted to perform my best. I performed what was probably the angriest-looking chil sung of my life…slightly to weh ga ryu if I’m honest, need to work on my chun ga ryu performance a little! But, it worked! I came away with two golds (chang bond & chil sung hyund) and a bronze (traditional hyung), which I am more than happy about. Would like to thank all instructors who have given up their time to teach and train me, in particular Master James and Mr Leonard!

Now, after a week off on holiday I’m keen to get back in the Dojang and start training hard (again) for the World Championships in Florida!


The Big One

Hello all.

I’d like to start my first post with what has been the biggest milestone in my Tang Soo Do life so far. My First Dan grading.

Some consider the Dan grade to be the first grade. The previous four years training have been to prepare yourself for this first test. As I stepped into the Dojang last Saturday afternoon I did not know what to expect. ISK tradition dictates we don’t talk about what happens in a Dan grading – I suppose it makes you train harder for it – you don’t know what you could be faced with so you try your hardest to be ready to face anything that gets thrown at you!

For an event that I had been training for for the past four years it went by in a flash. Only from talking to the other participants after have I been able to piece together a complete picture of the event. There was blood, sweat and more than a few tears. I spent the next day unable to properly walk and I’m still an interesting shade of purple but you know what? Wouldn’t change it. Going through that grading was a fantastic experience, it was an insight into something far greater in our martial art than I’d witnessed previously. Friendships were cemented stronger than ever on the mat of the Dojang that day. I have the greatest respect for everyone who stood with me on that mat – and even more respect for those who didn’t need to be on the mat!

Also part of a first Dan grading is a written test. I’ve always loved history and over the last few months have been really into reading about the history of not only of Tang Soo Do and the Moo Duk Kwan but also of Korea and its long history. Revising for the test made me appreciate how much history our art possesses and has inspired me to find out more about it.

So that’s it – all done (for now). Never thought I’d say that. Nothing left to do now but wait.

Tang Soo!