Coloured Belt Grading

The next coloured grading is on Saturday 20 October conducted by Master Andy Betts 7th Dan. We use the standard GTI grading syllabus with the following upgrades

Yellow belts with Green tags need to do “free sparring” instead of “3 Step-semi free sparring“. This means Green tags and above need to own and bring a full set of sparring equipment to their gradings.

The Power test for Blue Belts and above means breaking for both Juniors and Adults using age appropriate plastic boards. Display your hand and foot breaking techniques appropriate for your age, weight, grade and general awesomeness. 

The GTI press-ups requirements for each grade

  • White – 10
  • White with yellow tag 15 press ups
  • Yellow Belt – 20 press ups

The following are the NLTKD requirements which are conducted during the “Basics” phase of the grading

  • Green Belt – 30 press ups
  • Blue Belt – 40 press ups
  • Red Belt – 50 press ups

None of the above is new. Just posting all syllabus changes from past few years in one post.

I know from my personal experience that press-ups can be hard. I hated them as male adults have to do press-ups on knuckles, but also they are not impossible. I asked in class today, particularly the adults and ladies, if I should lower the press-up target and they all said keep we should keep it. The ladies said reducing their requirement would be discriminatory 😎   OKaaaay  !! Also in my experience the students who struggle to do press-up will generally struggle to be a good Black belts and whilst the student who are going to be good Black Belts will do 1000 press-ups if I asked. Press-up, like patterns and stretching simply need practice.

Also making a clear rule that you need to be 11 years old to be a Blue Belt. This is not currently an issue as you need to be 11 to simply join our club, but we occasionally take younger students with previous martial art experience or siblings of existing students. Under those circumstances, the student will now need to be 11 before getting a blue belts. I have heard there are 10 year olds with 4th Dan Black Belts out there but . .  not with the NLTKD.

Assistant Instructors and Tournaments

Assistant Instructors
For the time being, Oliver Charles (3rd Dan) and Roger Husbands (1st Dan) will be the daily instructors of the Tottenham Branch. This is due to both of them wanting more experience and involvement in being a Taekwondo Instructors. This coincides with the main Instructor, Mr Biodun Sean Onipede, being extremely busy at work and struggling with teaching taekwondo 4 evenings a week. The feedback from student is they are doing a good job and I suppose the students also enjoy the change. Note that Mr Husbands is a fully qualified Instructor and trained with Mr Onipede back in the days, and Mr Charles is a 3rd Dan and former GTI Competitor of the Year. 

C Henryanto
Catherine has won another tournament last weekend. Sadly due to a coloured belt grading over the weekend, the NLTKD had to spend more time with the coloured belts, but Catherine has kept herself fit and had the support of the GTI squad. Special thanks to Chris Davis of the GTI Squad who was ringside with Catherine in her fight. The GTI squad is there for student to take the training to the next level.

GTI National Open
The next GTI tournament is on Sunday 8th of July in Cheltenham. See poster below. Parents, please try and take your kid to the event. With all the best training in the world, unless the student actually attend tournaments, the student cannot reach their potential. This is true for any sport. Catherine is a great champion to a large part due to her parents efforts

Easter Bank Holiday Opening Dates

Due to the Easter and Bank holidays we have a lot of days where there will be no training. The Tottenham Branch closes on school holidays while the Leytonstone branch will try to remain open except this Thursday due to a funeral. So therefore

Thursday 29 March Leytonstone CLOSED due to a funeral
Friday 30 March Tottenham CLOSED due to a Easter Holiday
Monday 2 April Leytonstone CLOSED due to a Bank Holiday
Tuesday 3 April Tottenham CLOSED due to a Easter Holiday
Wednesday 4 April    
Thursday 5 April Leytonstone OPEN as usual
Friday 6 April Tottenham CLOSED due to a Easter Holiday
Monday 9 April Leytonstone OPEN as usual
Tuesday 10 April Tottenham CLOSED due to a Easter Holiday
Wednesday 11 April    
Thursday 12 April Leytonstone OPEN as usual
Friday 13 April Tottenham CLOSED due to a Easter Holiday
Monday 16 April Leytonstone OPEN as usual
Tuesday 17 April Tottenham Tottenham reopen 

The Tottenham branch is always forced to close on school holidays so we encourage those students who wish to continue training to try and attend the Leytonstone branch. You can get the Oveground train from South Tottenham and ride a few stops to Leytonstone High Road and we are a short walk from the station. 

If you are going away on holiday, have fun and don’t eat too much. If you want to train at home check out the NLTKD Homework page


Due to the snow and difficult travel conditions Gladesmore will be closed on Friday. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Those are the words taken directly off the Gladesmore school website. So Tottenham Branch is closed tomorrow and Leytonstone Branch is closed today. I visited both branches myself today and it was not fun. The snow in east London seems thicker than North London but both have bad side streets. Since the weather is supposed to get worse and the classes are late in the evening it is best to heed the weather warnings. We should be back to normal next week.

In meantime I have spoken to Rinchin bout finding us a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor to teach us ground work. Taekwondo is probably the best stand-up martial arts style but we are no good on the ground. Rinchin has found someone and I am in talks to see if we can get him down to show us a few moves. 

2018 GTI English Open in Cheltenham

The NLTKD encourages students to attend tournaments. Tournaments are useful in introducing students to dealing with adversity. A student asked how a tournament who help him in real life. I said that if he is afraid to compete in a tournament with referees and safety equipment, then he will probably crap himself in a real self-defence situation. Tournaments will help you a little bit to deal with the adrenaline surge, nerves and reality of “fighting” a stranger. However I must admit nothing can prepare you against a mugger with an AK47 or Desert Eagle, just saying.

It also encourages students to learn to strive to be competitive and be the best they can be. These are life skills needed in a the highly competitive professional real world.  At the last GTI tournament in Cheltenham, the following student got

  • N. Henryanto – Bronze Sparring
  • C. Henryanto – Gold Sparring and Gold patterns
  • V. Vasiura – Bronze sparring and Bronze patterns
  • C. Craig-Mellentin – Bronze sparring
  • N. Kunchii – fought well but was unsuccessful.
  • A. Kunchii – silver sparring
  • J. Dlask- Gold Sparring and Gold patterns
  • A. Bejenariu – Bronze Sparring
  • R. Grigaliunaite– silver sparring
  • M. Tapper – Gold patterns and Bronze Sparring

Lots more photos on the GTI Facebook page 
Like the Global Taekwondo International (GTI) page to keep updated on news and events.


Your Instructor is a builder by day.

I always attend classes after work in my work clothes. If you have not guessed from the condition of my clothes, I am a builder by day. I run the Aon Building Contractors firm. I refurbish houses and though I do have people who help out, I prefer to get my hands dirty to get the work done.
Some people might have seen me on “Homes Under the Hammer” Series 20 episode 41, where I bought a house in East London at auction and refurbished it. Below are picture from another house I bought at auction.

I often recommend young people to consider a career in the building industry. There are lots of different area of specialisation. I have had a few guys who started their careers with me as a labourer, go on the learn the trade and eventually start own business. From their building careers, they have their own homes/mortgages, ski holidays, pets and 2.4 kids.
I do not recommend a career as a Martial arts instructor as the high hall rent and very stiff competition in London make it difficult to achieve. On the other hand there is a shortage of highly skilled tradesmen in London. If you want further advise in the building industry, please contact me. PS I am very busy and unable to do your works but if you need any free advice, you can call me.