Interview with Jamie Woodland Black Belt Academy Radstock


hi Jamie thank you very much for doing
an interview today for our martial arts of the month Taekwondo. Could we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself and your background and how when you started in
Taekwondo. Yes, thanks for coming along. My name is Jamie Woodland and I started Taekwondo in 1994, back with the TAGB under Master Dew in Bristol and continued training since then and opened my own school in 2001 Brilliant. Have you studied any other martial arts, and if so has it affected you and would you recommend it? I originally started in Judo way way back, I really enjoyed it going for all the competitions. Unfortunately at the time I broke my leg, which then after that they wouldn’t let me compete and get involved with the sparring, I later moved to Taekwondo. About 15 years ago I started training training in Kickboxing and Muay Thai and found an instructor that was very good with Wing Chun and Filipino martial arts. I trained in that for several years’ one-to-one sessions, but currently I’m training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Gracie Barra, a group under Salvatore Pace as well. Did you find a lot of the skills you learnt in the other martial arts you just mentioned like Wing Chun transferable or did you have to learn new techniques? I think there are a lot of skills that do transfer over and if you look at the technique although it looks slightly different the application of it again can be different but some of the ways of using the body can be the same. Obviously between the grappling and striking there’s a lot of differences and you have to relearn; and certainly the grappling being so close, close quarter, which is something I think Taekwondo certainly doesn’t really cover, its more of a long range art. So I think the different arts blend together quite well and give you more of a rounded skill set. So yeah some skills transfer across but it’s always a learning process. I know lineage is quite important in Korean martial arts can you tell us a little bit about the lineage of Jamie Woodlands Black Belt Academy. Myself I trained originally with the T.A.G.B and that group, my instructors, changed and formed the Professional Unification of Martial Arts (P.U.M.A.) at the time Years later I moved away from that group and for a brief period trained with the B.U.T.F. (British United Taekwondo Federation). I kind of came a bit despondent with the politics; and certainly once I started my own club I felt it was about the students more than the arguing certainly with the things that I had learned I wanted to bring those back into the club and some associations wouldn’t allow me to diversify and go outside of the Taekwondo box. I found a multi skilled association under Master Mark Junday, it’s the Black Belt Academy’s Great Britain and I’ve been with them for 15 years now. They help me to run my school, they help me with anything I need, we are very much a small association now. Can you tell us about what keeps you interested in Taekwondo after all these years and what are you favorite parts of Taekwondo? I love the kicking aspect of Taekwondo I always have done although it’s a bit trickier now as I’m going on in age the hips get a little bit sore, but no I still love the kicking and I still love the patterns actually I kind of came away from learning them as much or wasn’t as interested but now I’ve come full circle There’s so many benefits from the patterns, I do enjoy the patterns and the kicking aspect of Taekwondo and there’s always a different combination of kicks to put together so that keeps me interested. Great stuff. Do you and your club compete at any Regional, National, European or World level tournaments? We’ve not competed much in the past as a club and certainly the emphasis has been on more individual improvement rather than competition but in the last few years we’ve got more into open competitions, more freestyle competitions. Each year we’ve been visiting Master White’s Dragon Tang Soo Do Open in Bristol that’s our annual competition, where there is very like-minded people, very respectful, kind of a way we like to do things. I do have guys that compete in Kickboxing and I also have a small group of MMA guys that compete in that area as well. Brilliant. What’s been your biggest achievement? My biggest achievement has probably been opening my own club. I initially set out just to teach a few people that wanted to learn and eventually it grew. People would comment and say I’ve got a natural way for teaching, so it progressed from there and the club grew and just seeing people’s achievements has been one of my biggest achievements to date although winning a grand champion award at the Dragon Tang Soo Do Open last year was quite good for me, it was like the icing on the cake for my competition days I guess. Brilliant stuff. What would you say is the biggest positive influence Taekwondo has had upon you? Probably the most important thing that its’ given me as a quiet timid individual is confidence. Certainly back at school I was quite nervous to stand up in front of a group and talk and it’s enabled me to be able to get over that, certainly have more confidence in myself and hopefully more confidence to deal with a situation should it arise So definitely it’s built me up in that, it sound quite a cliché but I think martial arts in general are very good for this If you could give one piece of advice to somebody that is beginning there martial arts journey now, what would it be? My biggest piece of advice would be patience. I see too many people that want to jump from A to Z and don’t want to take the time to train and learn along the way and do it the right way. They want to get the flashy kicks straight away or just the end result, they want to be competing within a couple of months. I think you should take your time, delve into the art listen to your instructor as well, that’s very important, make sure you listen to your instructor and be guided by them and just be patient Can you tell us about your teaching career? I started as an assistant instructor back in 1997 and I would help my instructor at his clubs in Swindon, Wooten Basset, and Cricklade I progressed onto teaching with my original club once I was black belt and then I opened my club in 2001 and I’ve been teaching pretty much full time since then up to six seven days a week now from young right up to adult Brilliant. What are your aims and goals in and outside of training? My aim inside of training and my club is to keep passing on what we do passing on the valuable skills not just physical skills but confidence, the respect. We are quite a small community so we’ve got a good reputation as a club for doing that and just to maintain that reputation and keep doing what we do. Outside of training there’s not too much time left. Yeah doesn’t sound like it. So I’m decorating the house, keeping my wife happy hahahaha. Brilliant, always good to do that We try hahahaha. To finish off, could you tell us about your classes for those interested in starting Taekwondo? Yeah. We teach right from the age of 4 up to…… well there’s no end, there’s no limit really. We have Little Ninja’s 4 – 7, and Juniors age 8 – 15 and are Adults are 16 upwards. Classes most nights a week all split by age levels. What’s the exact address of your academy? We are at 16 Coombe End, Radstock, which is about 8 mile from Bath. Excellent stuff. Well Jamie thank you for your time and talking to us at Enso Martial Arts Shop. Pleasure, thank you

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