A VALENTINE’S gift proved that our loved ones know us best – as it is still benefiting the recipient, Nick Colgate.
Last Saturday, the Bytomic Taekwondo instructor celebrated his 20th anniversary with the martial art with a special celebration event held at Winnersh Community Hall in Sindlesham.
From his first lesson, gifted to him by his wife on February 14, 1998, he has gone on to become a 4th Dan black belt in the art and instructor not just at the Saturday sessions, but also at schools in the borough. Across the week, he can teach around 100 students in the art, which has its roots in 1st century Korea.
Taekwondo is a dynamic self-defence system; classes are open to all ages from six upwards and aim to improve fitness, confidence and flexibility through a series of movements comprising blocks, strikes, punches and kicks.
At the classes, which are held at St Crispin’s in Wokingham on Monday evenings and Winnersh on Saturdays, students learn the moves and then progress up a coloured belt system as with other martial arts.
Students from the sessions came together for Saturday’s party, which also served as a fundraiser for Prostate Cancer. Donations raised £200 for the charity.
Mr Colgate said: “20 Years ago, at the age of 40, I went for my first lesson in the martial art Taekwondo. I had no idea what it was going to be like and found that it was what I had been looking for in a sport.
“From here I progressed through the relevant stages of the system attaining different belts and standards till I reached the pinnacle, which is a Black Belt.
“Above this, my movements went to 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dan Black Belt and also becoming an instructor to which I am honoured to teach between 80 and 100 students.
“On Saturday, I celebrated my history with the event at our Winnersh academy where we train physically and mentally, acquiring the honour of being Taekwondo students.
“The organisation of Bytomic Taekwondo has taught me everything I have wanted to do in this martial art and now it is my turn to teach the future people of this sport.”
The event included a celebratory cake and also some homemade samosas.
“Our event today was also related to the charity Prostate Cancer, to which I have sentimental connections and our generosity raised £200 for this worthy cause.”
Mr Colgate, who is a Tottenham Hotspur fan, also welcomes new students and offers free trial lessons.
For more details, log on to www.btkd.co.uk