Name: Miss Anna Ross
Grade: III Degree
How did you start training in Taekwon-Do?
I began training in 1999 at Loughborough University, having graduated that year from my degree. My instructor was Mr Andrew Holmes, now V Degree, in the GTUK. I shared a house with Mr Emm, now IV Degree, who was assistant instructor at the club, who suggested I try it. I had been going to a gym for the past few months and wanted something more interesting. The thought of me doing a martial art was ridiculous, but by the end of the first lesson, I was completely hooked.
Who else has been your instructor?
When I moved to Cambridge in 2001, Mr Tony Train, IV Degree in the UKTA generously allowed me to train with him whilst part of another TKD group. Now, I consider Mr Crisp and Mr Ridley VI Degree to be my instructors.
What’s been your story since then?
I gained my black belt in November 2002. I was a I degree for over three years, mainly due to a back injury. I gained my II degree in March 2006 and my III degree in November 2009.
How long have you been running Cambridge TKD?
Mr Crisp and I opened Cambridge TKD in March 2004. Its been a real journey, but becoming an instructor opened up a completely different side of Taekwon-Do for me. We gain enormous pleasure from sharing Taekwon-Do with others and we are very proud of the spirit that exists within the club.
What other achievements have you had in Taekwon-Do?
I have some international experience, initially as a coloured belt. I travelled to the GTF World Championships in Italy in 2000 as a 7th Kup, and won gold in both the patterns and sparring competitions. I also won silver in sparring and team gold for patterns in Hong Kong in 2007 and a patterns bronze in Ireland in 2009. Nationally, I have won several medals over the years, including finally winning patterns gold in the GTUK British Champs in April 2009 – something I had not done since blue belt! It was quite an important win for me because three weeks previously, I had been unsuccessful in my III degree grading. In all my years of training, that was the toughest thing I have ever had to deal with. My proudest achievement was picking myself back up and training even harder to pass the grading six months later. Having a bad day on a big test like that made me think long and hard about myself, and Taekwon-Do, and made me stronger as a result. We learn far more in failure than we ever do from success.
What do you feel Taekwon-Do has done for you personally?
It has completely changed my life. I know that sounds dramatic, but its no exaggeration. It has given me something really positive to focus on, constantly pushing my limits. It helps me develop mental strength and discipline, and it has given me the chance to experience amazing things and meet some wonderful people. Its also had a minor contribution in other ways, since it was through Taekwon-Do that I met Mr Crisp, who is now my husband!
What do you hope to do in the future in Taekwon-Do?
I have seen and done more in Taekwon-Do than I ever dreamed of, so I can’t imagine what other surprises it has in store for me! I would like to continue competing at national and international levels for as long as I can, and just enjoy it. Having originally never imagined I would even be a black belt, to achieve 4th dan would be amazing. Having been forced to postpone it due to injury problems, it is now a long-term goal again since the birth of our daughter.
The club is always exciting. We both hope to continue to provide quality instruction in a positive, disciplined
environment, to allow others to gain as much from Taekwon-Do as we have over the years.
It would be fantastic to support our students in running their own clubs and support their development through our experience.