Stephen Lamberth has been practising the self defence art of Tae Kwon Do since 1983.
Last month he achieved his 5th degree Master, joining an elite group of people in the country who can say they are true masters.
“Thirty years of training in this martial art has been inspirational,” he says. “So much so that it is now my full time career and I couldn’t wish for a better job: a hobby that has turned into a way of life is fantastic.”
Stephen started training in Salisbury with Mr Peter Bullough who at the time was a second degree black belt. He then trained under Mr Mark Taylor.
“These men inspired me to compete in national, international and even worldwide events,” says Stephen. “I have won many trophies and championships over my time.”
In 1994, he started his own Tae Kwon Do Self Defence class in Ringwood and now runs schools in Fordingbridge, Ferndown and Verwood.
This year brings his teaching to a 20 year landmark and he has one of the largest student groups of Tae Kwon Do in the country with over 250 registered students.
One of Stephen’s proudest moments was when his son achieved a black belt at the age of nine.
He also taught one of the oldest beginners in the country, an 80-year-old man.
In October Stephen’s schools had an influx of five new first dans adding to the 50 black belts currently training and taught from beginner level. He says, “In my view, a teacher of self defence should not be about how many trophies you have, but the care and devotion you pass on to your students. This makes a true master and somebody who is a true martial artist.”
Men, women, boys and girls aged from 3-80 all enjoy the sessions. Stephen adds, “They are taught discipline, awareness, self control and numerous other benefits. We also run social events such as go karting, laser quest, ten pin bowling and curry nights.”
Stephen acknowledges that with so many different martial arts and teachers available, choosing a class can be difficult. He says, “Why not try a class that has been proven over 30 years with a genuine Master teaching you with all the qualifications needed to safeguard you and your family.
“Learning Tae Kwon Do isn’t just about the individual; it’s about the class and its students; the teaching and making it achievable and fun for all. This is why we are a successful club and have so many happy students.”
If you want to know more, visit www.taekwondo4u.co.uk