Choi Kwang Do is a martial arts system that combines a practical method of self defence and cardiovascular workout with fun and easy to learn techniques.
The style was designed and created by Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi between 1978 and 1987; Grandmaster Choi is world's only 9th degree black belt in Choi Kwang Do.
Grandmaster Choi developed a practical system which allows its practitioners to deliver a much more powerful and effective punches, kicks and strikes whilst reducing the risks of injury to themselves.
Choi Kwang Do is not designed for competition, and is well suited to all ages and physical abilities and disabilities.
The core principles of Choi Kwang Do revolve around personal health and well-being, development of character and humility, combined with non-violent self defence.
If you'd like to learn more, please visit the official association website at choikwangdo.com.
The history of Herts Choi Kwang Do goes back to 1981 with Mr Peter Wake and the opening of the Hitchin CKD School. Mr Wake began his martial arts training that year studying the traditional Korean art of Tae Kwon Do at RAF Henlow. By 1984, he had attained the rank of not only black belt, but also Chief Instructor. Shortly after qualifying as a Chief Instructor, he took over the running of the school.
On 16th February 1986, a young Mr Simon Sparrow joined the Henlow Tae Kwon Do School under the instruction of Mr Wake.
Two years later, in 1988, the school converted from Tae Kwon Do to Choi Kwang Do, the martial art of Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi, an 8th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
In 1989, the newly formed Choi Kwang Do school relocated to Hitchin, firstly to Bancroft Park Halls, and then in 1990 to its current location at the Town Hall Gymnasium.
Mrs Wake gained her Chief Instructor status in 1991, and that year, Mr & Mrs Wake established their second Choi Kwang Do school in Stevenage. This school ran until 1992. This school was re-opened in Stevenage in 1998 at its current location, the Stevenage Leisure Centre. Mr Sparrow became it's main Chief Instructor and joint school owner following his Chief Instructor qualification 2 years earlier.
In 1998, Mr Wake became the UK Choi Kwang Do Association chairman and both himself and Mrs Wake took on the huge responsibility of running the UK side of Choi Kwang Do.
In 1999, Mr Mark Foster became a Chief Instructor and established a children's club at Hitchin. He joined the other students to qualify as Instructors and move on to start their own clubs, notably, Mr Darren Busby, St Neots Choi Kwang Do and Sandy Choi Kwang Do. Mr Foster then went on to establish Royston Choi Kwang Do in October 2000. Hitchin has also produced a vast number of Assistant Instructors.
July 2000 saw the tragic death of Mr Wake and was a devastating blow to the Hitchin club which he had founded. The club continued with Mr Simon Sparrow as the main Chief Instructor under the guidance of Mrs Wake.
In January 2002, Mr Huggins and Mr Renney qualified as Chief Instructors and took over the Hitchin Junior school from Mr Foster. As junior students progress and mature, they transfer from the junior to the adult school ensuring a more tailored type of tuition.
Mr Sparrow had been a partner in the Stevenage school since its opening and went on to take full ownership in April 2003.
At the end of 2003 he founded the Stevenage children's school and went on to take over Hitchin school ownership from Mrs Wake in April 2004.
One month later, he also took over Royston school ownership from Mr Mark Foster and started a children's school at this location the following September.
Mr Sparrow now runs an after school program at the John Henry Newman School in Stevenage. As well as the John Henry Newman class - Hitchin, Stevenage Junior and Adults and Royston Juniors and Adults are now formed together as Herts CKD. Herts CKD continues to produce a steady number of Chief Instructors, Head Instructors and Assistant Instructors.
In May 2006, Assistant Instructor Mark France from the Royston school was promoted to Chief Instructor and opened his first school in Thornton Heath, Surrey.