Martial arts club punches its way to World Championships in Slovenia

Tunbridge Wells Taekwon-do club members
KICK START Club members celebrate success

Club members from a Tunbridge Wells Taekwon-Do club are taking to the international stage this year after seven competitors qualified for a competition that allows junior and lower-grade competitors to gain international experience.

The martial arts club, which is based at St Gregory’s Catholic School, is preparing a squad of four adults and three juniors for the
8th International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) World Cup in Koper, Slovenia, starting on October 1.

As a club-based tournament, participants face competitors of their own age, weight, sex and Taekwon-Do grade.

“Anyone can go,” said squad member Michael Westlake. “That’s why we were so keen to attend this. It is not elitist at all.”

Club coach Luke Thompson is a former England coach and the current Scottish Open Male Champion. He said: “With over 2,000 competitors from 60 countries, we will compete with the best of the best at the largest World Cup the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) has ever seen.
It will be the club’s biggest challenge so far.”


As a sport with no official funding, the club is fundraising for its seven competitors, and adult chaperones for the three junior members.

“Our athletes are a mix of pre-junior, junior, advanced senior and veterans who have won national and international medals,” Luke said.

All funds go towards costs of flights, accommodation, safety equipment, t-shirts, tracksuits and registration fees.

The club’s fundraiser is at

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