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Horsham Students Work Experience Challenge

By Ryan and Charlie

For one week, two Fortitude Martial Arts Academy Students from the Horsham location, Charlie and Ryan, aged 15 and 14 respectively, came to Head Office in East Grinstead to work behind the scenes to find out how a Martial Arts Academy is run. During their time at the Head Office in East Grinstead the students learned how to effectively run a Martial Arts Academy, by processing grading information, registering students for the upcoming Summer Camp and Summer Competition, counting new stock for the Shop, sending Black Belt Grading Theory Test results to students and of course meeting the office dog Dora! Here's what they had to say. Ryan: "I've learnt a lot of skills that would be useful in any job not just this one. I've also enhanced my Tae Kwon-do with Master Hodson as he's taught us more about board breaking and our patterns which were limited before - I've been enlightened." Charlie: "It was very educational and informative to see not just how the Horsham location is run, but how all the locations overall are run from the Head Office. This experience helped me to further extend my appreciation for the organisation and effort that goes into co-ordinating events such as Gradings and Competitions." Mrs Hodson: "It has been an absolute pleasure to have Charlie and Ryan from the Forest School in Horsham work with us for the week. They've been throwing themselves at every task with enthusiasm and we've been absolutely delighted to have them. As students of our Horsham Taekwon-Do School they have been given the opportunity to see how an academy is run by completing every day tasks, practicing their Taekwon-Do with Master Hodson and creating a blog about their time to publish on the website. I hope that you find it a good read!"…

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New Year! New You? New Schools!?

Fortitude Martial Arts Academy are introducing 3 NEW SCHOOLS in 2018 - Maidstone, Redhill and Bromley. Last year we saw the start of Paddock Wood , Kings Hill and Borough Green covering the Tonbridge and Malling area. For more information click on the location name. We are forever looking to extend our services teaching Taekwon-Do across the South East and are very proud of our students taking the next steps and becoming Instructors. We shall support them and help them grow their schools and we are sure that Fortitude students, family and friends will join together to wish these new schools the very best. It was always a desire from the very beginning of Fortitude Academy to enable individuals to not only benefit from the training of Taekwon-Do, but to empower them to teach Taekwon-Do and the far reaching philosophy of the martial arts - The Taekwon-Do philosophy is to 'build a more peaceful world'. Our Black Belts are diligently prepared and are given opportunities to support their Instructors in class to gain the skills required to teach the next generation. Helping new students hone their skills can be a demanding yet rewarding application of years of hard training, but becoming a teacher requires more than physical ability alone. The martial arts require mental and spiritual development; at Fortitude Academy we behave as a family, supporting each other and building communities so these new schools are an extension of the Fortitude Communities and we are one family. #Fortitudefamilyrocks Keep an eye out for these schools and attend those closest to you; helping to engage new students and furthering the art of Taekwon-Do. Don't forget to mention them and share - we look forward to seeing you back to training in 2018. Taekwon Mrs Hodson…

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Samantha's Passage from Child Student to Adult Instructor

This Girl Can and DOES! I started Taekwon-Do when I was eight years old and have been training for the last 10 years. As a child I was incredibly shy and didn't like joining new clubs or meeting new people. I participated in many different sports, but found that I didn't want to continue any of them until I found Taekwon-Do. The instructors and students made me feel really welcome and encouraged me to join in with activities that I had never done before. As I progressed through the belts I continued to learn new skills and moves, which is what has encouraged me to continue training throughout the years. However, Taekwon-Do isn't only about learning self defence and meeting new people. I have found that it has helped me relieve stress throughout my GCSE's and A levels, which meant that I was able to go back to work with a clear mind. At 12 I began to assist my instructor in classes starting off with basic things like holding the pads for other students; and as I continued to teach I learnt more about not just the martial art, but also about how different students learn, which is when I realised that in order for all students to get the best experience in class I needed to be able to adapt my style of teaching for the different needs of the pupils and different classes. Taekwon-Do has provided me with lots of opportunities to grow as a person and I am now opening my own Taekwon-Do classes in Maidstone to try and give others the opportunity to progress in the way that I have and to gain the skills that you need not just in sport, but in everyday life, like self discipline, social skills and self motivation as well as motivating other people. I would definitely recommend Taekwon-Do to anyone that is looking to start a new martial art or sport, learn new skills or relieve stress as it not only teaches you how to defend yourself against others, but also gives you a sense of family and belonging. I am proud of my journey so far and excited about the future especially opening my Fortitude Martial Arts Academy in Maidstone this January 2018. To find more information about my classes click this link Maidstone and arrange your 30 Day Free Trial. Samantha Tilley III Degree…

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Jane's Journey to Second Degree Black Belt (and Beyond!)

This is Jane from our Coulsdon / Caterham location. We hope her story will inspire you: How long have you been training? Between 5 and 6 years I think. I was 44 when I started and am 49 now. I wish I had discovered martial arts 40 years ago. But I am glad I did find it eventually and I am proof that it is never too late to start. What is your favourite part? Where to start? There are so many aspects to the training that I enjoy....the patterns, the set sparring and sparring drills, the self defence, the technical theory. It is an all round workout for my body and brain: it helps me with my fitness, my flexibility, my coordination, reflexes and my memory. I love the variety. There is so much to learn, and then to improve on, that I am never bored. It is like a journey...around every corner there is a whole new challenge waiting for me. The more I learn, the more I want to know and improve on. A lot of the drills are in pairs, or we might work on our patterns with people of a similar grade, so that makes the classes really sociable and fun. And it is not about being better than the person next to me in class or being judged if I cannot run as fast or jump as high as him or her. It is about being the best that I can be and helping others to do the same. What have I achieved so far? The short answer is: more than I would have believed. I have earned my second degree black belt. I have put myself way outside my comfort zone in so many ways and come out stronger and more confident. I have competed in national competitions. I have broken boards with my hands and feet. I have become stronger and more flexible than I ever was, even in my 20s. I have learned about far eastern history and culture. I had bunion surgery and couldn't walk for 3 months...but taekwondo helped me to get back to fitness...and I am even teaching now. If my instructor had said to me 6 years ago that I would have done any of those things, I would not have believed him. But here I am. And if I can do it, never having done boxing or gymnastics or anything remotely like this before I started, then anyone can. Describe what TAEKWON-DO means to you in one word only? Wellbeing Would you recommend Fortitude? Yes, if you want to learn martial arts in a non-intimidating environment and exercise with positive, like-minded people. If you are thinking of trying it, there's no time like the present. Give it a go. As Master Hodson says, a black belt is just a white belt who didn't give up.…

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Fleur's Taekwon-Do Story

I was aged four years and five months when I first put on a dobok. Having watched my big brother learn Taekwon-Do, I thought that it looked interesting and fun and I couldn't wait to be old enough to join in. On my very first lesson with Mr Simmonds, I remember feeling very nervous I was absolutely terrified of everything; the other students and all the other things in the dojang and even my instructor. He was very kind and funny and encouraged me to try the moves. I finally got used to it and enjoyed going every week. While I have been doing Taekwon-Do, I have had one main instructor - Mr Simmonds, and lots of really kind and friendly assistant instructors have helped me along the way. Mr Simmonds has helped me so much to learn Taekwon-Do and hopefully I will be fully aware of all I have learnt if I end up in a situation where someone wants to hurt me! I never thought I'd get to green belt, but at age six and a half, I did just that. I remember feeling very proud. I really enjoyed learning my pattern, Won Hyo, and it's still one of my favourite patterns today. I have loads of memories from Taekwon- Do- from the new- belt moments to the funny things my instructors did. All the instructors at Taekwon- Do are kind, friendly and helpful and they are very willing to help if someone is stuck. They are very good at explaining how things are supposed to work and why. The patterns are the most interesting things in Taekwon- Do in my opinion. They have so many different moves and stances. When I was a blue belt, I saw the pattern Choong Moo being demonstrated for the first time and I thought it was amazing! At one point I think I even asked Mr Simmonds to move me straight up to black-stripe! The patterns are a great way to learn self-defence. I used to pretend I was fighting criminals or evil robots and I used my pattern as the fight! It was very fun and I always won. Sometimes I do it privately because I think I'll look silly fighting no-one, or I will pretend they're there when I'm just practicing my patterns in the dojang. Learning Taekwon-Do has given me lots of confidence. As I graded for each belt and learnt more and more moves I became stronger inside. When I got to black tag, I suddenly realised that black belt was within my reach. Being just one belt away made me put in extra effort in classes and do more practice at home. I worked really hard to learn Choong Moo, at first there seemed to be no logic to it, but I persevered and kept practising until I knew it. It is my favourite pattern so far. When the message came through from Fortitude that I had passed my black belt grading I felt so happy I nearly burst! I couldn't stop smiling all that day, and the next and that joyful feeling lasted for ages. Mr Simmonds and my parents commented that I seemed to be walking just that little bit taller. Now that I'm a black belt I want to work hard to learn all the new patterns and techniques and be the best that I can be. I also want to help beginners like my instructors did with me, to achieve their potential. It's given me even more confidence because I know if I can do this, I can do anything. By Fleur - 1st Degree Black Belt :)…

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Benefit of Taekwon-Do Training with Fortitude Academy

This is Marijan Rogic and his daughter Imani both students from our Oxted location. Marijan is 46 yrs and has been training with us for 2yrs. He says "Taekwon Do has an amazing effect on my physical wellbeing. My strength and flexibility improved. It feels like I have a new body. I enjoy sparring and to have the feeling of constant achievement while progressing through the grades". We asked Marijan if he would recommend Fortitude? His reply "I strongly recommend Fortitude for all ages. My instructor has rich experience adjusting the style and challenge of excercises to a variety of age groups". We also asked what he would say to anyone who was thinking of starting? his reply was "You have a 1 month free trial for a life changing experience!" Thank you Marijan & Imani ! 😊…

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Families that kick together, stick together!

Sharing a common goal When a child begins to learn a Martial Art, the idea has normally come from either mum or dad. They envisage their son or daughter learning about discipline, respect, how to deal with bullies and of course, it's a regular opportunity to burn off some of that excess energy! But - did you know that learning a Martial Art can offer so much more to every member of the family? Fortitude Academy isn't just for the kids, it's for you, the parents too... "Oh, but I'm too old"! "I'm not fit enough" "I've never done anything like this before" So, when you hear your children say: "I don't want to train tonight" "I've got homework" (most likely) "I'm too tired from school" QUESTION - "Do you insist that they go"? Well, you've paid! It would be a waste of money not to! They are just excuses aren't they.... Hmmm ... do you make similar excuses? Is there an inner voice telling you to give it a go, challenge yourself, don't sit on the side-lines? Remember you're the one who thought about Martial Arts first! There are some interesting facts about what happens when parents start to train with their kids. • The active routine provides "quality time" that they don't get at home or in sports where one party is just a spectator. • Children often see their parents in a new, more positive light. • They are more open to discussions about values and virtues. • Parents get to model the actions and attitudes they want their children to have. This makes a powerful impression on a child's developing persona, much better than lectures alone. • There is a special joy that comes from sharing trials with family members, in addition to the mental, physical, and emotional health rewards earned in the martial arts. • The old saying that "the family that kicks together sticks together" is true in many cases because of the unique fellowship students enjoy while training, competing, and growing in knowledge and skill together. • Family members learn to encourage and rely on each other. This builds loyalty, respect, and gratitude. By working together in a social setting like a Taekwon-Do class, good relationships with other individuals are easier to create and maintain. • Families in Taekwon-Do often become friends with other Taekwon-Do families. This opens the door to positive, lasting relationships that improve the quality of life for everyone involved. • Studying a Martial Art has been proven to provide mental and physical health benefits like weight loss, muscle gain, stress relief, and self-confidence. Taekwon-Do training also reduces depression, improves circulation, and improves the overall health of the body. Now more than ever, lots of parents, kids, and siblings are training together. This builds family unity and gives everyone the chance to teach and learn from each other. So if you have an ounce of interest then we're ready at You can cancel that expensive gym membership NOW; let your children be your inspiration and come training with them.... It's not difficult to start with the same 30 day free trial your children did! Taekwon Mrs Hodson These pictures are the Fortitude Families; a small fraction of the 85 families training together each week..#fortitudefamilyrocks…

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