TTA Nottingham University hosted the Annual TTA Summer School event on 17th – 23rd September 2017, with 15 from TTA London in attendance, ranging from green tag to 4th Dan Black Belt.
Many thanks go to TTA Nottingham University for their organisation, and Grandmaster Loh for the amazing training opportunity.
Jamal Wallace and Elias Zapantis reported back on their experience:
I convinced myself that attending Summer School would be the next large milestone on my Taekwondo journey, as I knew it involved a week of intensive training under Grandmaster Loh, however I was not aware of what a transformative experience it would be.
At the beginning of the week, I remember being very excited when all the attendees gathered at registration. It was an unfamiliar sight to see such a vast amount of black belts all in one place, but also comforting to see such a range of kup grades in attendance. Therefore the summer school provided the opportunity to train and pair with other TTA members from other clubs from junior kup grade to 5th Dan Black belts, or even with Grandmaster Loh himself, increasing the perception and knowledge of our techniques and improving with every step.
During the week, Grandmaster Loh led us through practices focused on improving both Kyorugi and Poomsae. Through the use of many sparring drills, repeated movement and exercises, even the use of ankle weights and resistance bands in training – we were able to correct our errors and identify progress instantly. On a daily basis we were encouraged to concentrate and develop our technique, speed, strength and flexibility in addition to understanding the essential purpose of our action.
Everyone was once a white belt, so being surrounded by people who have dedicated much of their time to Taekwondo really motivates you to work harder. Albeit the long and steep road, it is amazingly satisfying to see yourself kicking a bit higher or with a greater technique.
By the end of the week, I must admit I was feeling pretty sore, but if there is one thing I have definitely learned, is that Taekwondo is as much about one’s Spirit, as it is Mind and Body. There was also a grading to look forward to, so there was no time for failure. Once we had finished, the sense of pride and achievement that filled the room was amazing.
Closing Recollections from Summer School:
“The intense training and mental focus required to get through each day really takes you to your limits as you learn about yourself better. The secret to overcome such challenges is to push through and conquer the moment. The result is definitely worth it.” Elias Zapantis
“I began Taekwondo, not only because I wanted to challenge myself, but also to engage my athleticism whilst learning fundamental skills. I am therefore immensely grateful to Grandmaster Loh, as the summer school truly embodied this objective for me and exceeded my expectations.” Jamal Wallace
“The Summer School week seemed to fly by and each day was always focussed on ensuring that our taekwondo skills improved. The classes were hard and rewarding and the sense of team spirit was there throughout. Summer school highlighted a lot of areas that I want to improve and with instructors guidance I will continue to do so! If you want a week away that clears the mind, improves fitness and gets you to do a lot of taekwondo, then there is nothing better!” Thomas Groarke
“This was my first ever summer school and I went with a mixture of total dread and excitement. I can honestly say this was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I have undertaken but was completely worth it. To spend six days working with Grandmaster Loh, senior instructors, London club members as students from other clubs was fantastic. Learned so much and pushed myself very hard! Can’t wait to next year! Pilsung” Patrick Callaghan