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Grantham Tae Kwon Do Club is celebrating its 40th anniversary

Grantham Tae Kwon Do Club is still packing a punch after celebrating 40 years of training.

The club, which was first opened in 1984, is still going strong under the team of coaches that learned their trade under founder Malcolm Scholes.

The eighth degree black belt originally started the club at the Guildhall on St Peter's Hill in the town.

Club founder Malcolm Scholes in action
Club founder Malcolm Scholes in action

It first opened on Mondays in the council chambers and Wednesdays upstairs in the ballroom.

However, after a few months, the club membership increased and larger premises were needed.

After a very short time at the Central School in Rushcliffe Road, the club moved to the King's School on Brook Street where they have met twice a week ever since.

Stamfordian Malcolm brought his teaching style of discipline and high standards to the Grantham club and very quickly attracted men, women and children of all ages.

Over the years, the club have achieved many world, european, national and county champions and former Grantham mayor and current councillor, Ian Selby, trained with Malcolm in the early years.

He recalled: "I remember it as if it were only yesterday.

"My good friend Graham Tasker and I both attended Malcolm's class in the ballroom and we both had to dash from that to the dojo by the Catholic Church to attend a judo class directly after.

"If the classes were the other way around and we had to dash from judo and constantly be late for the tae kwon do, I don't think Malcolm would have put up with it for very long as he was a stickler for punctuality, and rightly so, it's also a pet hate of mine to be late.

"One of Malcolm’s top priorities was discipline. He was a fabulous instructor and I will always have such fond memories of him.

Club instructors Daniel Pearce, Jill Pearce and Leigh Bridge.
Club instructors Daniel Pearce, Jill Pearce and Leigh Bridge.

"He was a second dan at the time and I still have one of my grading certificates somewhere."

Malcolm died in 2020 but his team of black belts, who have a collective total of nearly 100 years training between them, have been honoured to continue the club and still run classes twice a week in his memory and strive to attain his high standards throughout.

The club originally had an age limit of nine years but this has lowered over the years and they now offer classes to men, women and children over six-years-old.

Seventh degree black belt club instructor, Jill Pearce, explained: "It makes me feel a bit old but some of Malcolm's original students are now bringing their children and even grandchildren to us to learn and understand the importance of what tae kwon do training can offer and the benefits to children in their adolescent and teenage years."

Sixth degree black belt, Daniel Pearce, and fifth degree black belt, Leigh Bridge, complete the instructor team and encourage parents to enrol with their children so that all enjoy training together.

Jill added: "One of the best aspects of teaching is to meet a young student who, when they first arrive, shyly hides behind their parents but after a few weeks finds the confidence to run into class on their own and is excited to learn all the challenges and goals we have waiting for them.

"Starting at a young age equips students to be independent and self-confident at college, university and during their teenage years."

The club is always welcoming new members and anyone interested can contact Jill on 07496 012048 or email info@tkdclubs.com for further details.

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