Name: Mr Andrew Crisp
Grade: VI Degree
How did you start training in Taekwon-Do?
I began training in 1985 at the age of 10, in Stamford, Lincolnshire. My first instructor was Mr Malcolm Scholes, in the TAGB. I was very quiet and under-confident as a child and my parents thought it would be a good activity for me. My Mum and brother had to join as well to persuade me to go. They both gave up eventually, but I was hooked.
Who else has been your instructor?
Mr David Mears, IV Degree was my instructor in Stamford for many years. He was a world champion free-sparrer and a nightclub doorman. Having gone to Thailand to train and compete in Thai boxing, he fell in love with the country and has since moved there.
What’s been your story since then?
I gained my black belt in October 1988 under Master Oldham, then a V degree. I
spent several years away from Taekwon-Do in my late teens, before returning, with some trepidation, and eventually gained my II degree in 1999. I spent several years as an assistant instructor at the
Stamford club and also ran my own club in Bourne, Lincolnshire for around three years.
I gained my III degree in 2001, again under Master Oldham, and my IV degree in 2006 in front of a panel of ITF Masters. I was promoted to V degree in 2011 by First Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha.
How long have you been running Cambridge TKD?
I moved to Cambridge in 2003 to join my partner, Miss Ross, and we opened Cambridge TKD in March 2004.
What other achievements have you had in Taekwon-Do?
I have been lucky enough to represent England and my association on several occasions. My International achievements are as follows:
1998: Bronze in I degree male patterns – GTF European Open Championships, Germany
1998: Gold in male team destruction – GTF European Open Championships, Germany
2000: Bronze in male sparring – GTF World Championships, Italy
2005: Gold in male sparring & England Team Captain – Norway Open Championships
2006: GTUK England Coaching team – ITF European Championships, Germany.
2007: Gold in team patterns – ITF Cyberport Cup, Hong Kong.
A serious knee injury put a stop to my competing in 2008, but I have since been more involved in coaching.
What do you feel Taekwon-Do has done for you personally?
As a boy, I learned to push myself and deal with things that made me nervous. I came to understand the
importance of commitment and respect.
When I returned from my break in training, it gave me direction when I was going nowhere in my life.
Competition has taught me so much– you learn more in defeat than you do in victory.
Finally, I think I learn as much through instructing as my students do. It adds another dimension to your life in Taekwon-Do, and is incredibly rewarding. It gives you a focus for your own training, because you have to continue to develop and learn in order to do your job properly.