Should I fast-track to black belt?

Date: 17th August 2017
Author: Karen Redshaw

If you've ever wondered about what the benefits of the MAW Fast-Track programmes are, then allow me to enlighten you with our own personal experience!


My husband Neil and I embarked on three separate Fast-Tracks, interspersed with our three regularly scheduled academy gradings over a six month period.

We were looking to train and grade with a higher level of intensity, gain a deeper level of knowledge and understanding of both Tae kwon do and Korean Kickboxing, whilst at the same time accelerating our journey to Black Belt.

My husband works more hours than a regular full time job (as a company director within his family business). I work part-time, as well as being a full time mum to our two young children.

To help us, Master J suggested that we split each Fast-Track into two three-hour sessions. This fitted perfectly into and around our work schedules, also allowing us a week in between to practice at home.

WOW!!! We learnt so much under the amazing expert tuition of the Bonthuys Brothers!

Session one involved focusing on the finer details and improving our individual technical ability. This allowed us to spend additional time on detail that just isn’t available during a normal class. We learnt an entire Tae kwon do pattern (which up to that point would normally be spread over several lessons), new self defence applications, four new kickboxing drills, oh and even some extra sparring combinations (always good between husband and wife)!

To sum up, we covered the entire module for both arts in far greater greater depth. This in turn also provided us with a physical challenge - which we embraced willingly. Believe me, when it’s just the two of you on the training floor, there’s no hiding place! The great thing is that its always with the watchful eyes of our personal tutors to help us to succeed.

Session two was a recap of the first, allowing time for tweaking and improvements with Master J and Mr B giving as much help as needed. It was then onto the grading…for any doubters out there about the authenticity of a private grading session, absolutely no allowance was made because it happened to be a Thursday morning. Trust me when I say that we were totally pushed and then pushed some more! I have to admit though that we loved every minute. Each time we felt so proud to receive our new belts that we had worked so hard for, and truly earned.

For my husband and I, training and achieving together was not only enjoyable, but has also given us both long-term benefits that we rely upon in class today. Our sessions, whilst “serious” had plenty of fun and laughter (mostly at our own expense) although I’m sure we entertained Master J and Mr B on more than one occasion!!

The other benefit is that we were able to join the black belt classes so much sooner to continue the journey at the next level.

My advice to any student considering taking advantage of a Fast-Track program is: DO IT, you will not regret it!

Karen and Neil Redshaw


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