A short report from Southampton University Taekwondo Club (SUTKD) Instructor, David Honey on the club’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Congratulations to Southampton University Taekwondo Club (SUTKD) on celebrating the club’s 40th anniversary (1979 – 2019). On Saturday 11th May 2019, the club held a special training session, bringing together past and present students and instructors as well as members of our wider association (TCGB) to celebrate this wonderful milestone.
Arriving in Southampton in 1978, Too Meng Ken from Singapore, a black belt in Taekwondo, practiced by himself in the Southampton University Judo Room as there were no Taekwondo clubs in the south outside of London. He inspired interest among others who wished to learn from him and soon had a group training regularly.
In 1979, they established Taekwondo as a recognised Athletic Union club within the university, with a membership in 1980 of 76 (including Master Graham Jones who started at the club as a white belt and is now 7th Dan). Meng Ken’s reputation as an inspirational instructor soon spread, with so many non-university students keen to sign up that he was persuaded to open a club in the city, with many other clubs in Hampshire and Dorset following. Now nearly all towns and suburbs in the area have a Taekwondo club, most of which could trace back links to Meng Ken’s clubs.
Master Jones continues to train and inspire others, pictured at the special training session in the gold poomsae dobok. The club (and particularly Master Jones) has a strong history in supporting and developing university student Taekwondo, as a pioneer club of the British Student Taekwondo Federation (BSTF). SUTKD have won the BSTF National Championships on several occasions, most recently 6 years in a row between 2010 and 2015.
Following the special training session and to mark the club’s 40th anniversary, a few congratulatory words were said and Master Jones cut a cake alongside current Chief Instructor of SUTKD, Master Cliff Lee. In addition, TCGB President Grandmaster Mark Biddlecombe presented Master Jones with his 7th Dan Chungdokwan certificate and plaque. Attendees had the opportunity to catch up with old friends over a drink and some cake. Many brought along a range of memorabilia such as photos, trophies and newspaper articles to reminisce about the club’s history and their time training at the club.
Thank you to all that came to support the event and all those who have contributed to the success and longevity of the club over the years.
Here’s to another 40 years of Taekwondo at SUTKD.