Welcome to the British Student Taekwondo Federation, a registered charity promoting the martial art and sport of Taekwondo throughout UK universities. Governed by an elected board of trustees, we deliver training camps, courses and tournaments in all disciplines of Taekwondo, and provide representation and support services available to all university Taekwondo clubs.
If you are looking to join a Taekwondo club at university, the good news is that there are already around 70 university Taekwondo clubs active in the UK, with more starting all the time. The best place to start is Google! If the university you attend does not have a club visit our Starting a Club page for information on how to get started, and remember if you already practice Taekwondo you may still enter BSTF training events and competitions even if your university does not yet have a club.
Taekwondo is fantastic for fitness, coordination and flexibility. University clubs are typically highly social and competitive clubs that attend several events each year, especially BSTF fightcamps and tournaments! Check out our Calendar for a list of upcoming events!
University clubs range from a handful of enthusiasts, up to hundreds of members. In almost every club you’ll learn sparring, patterns, self defense techniques and board breaking. Most clubs teach a syllabus focus on a traditional pair of disciplines (a discipline of sparring and of patterns), some focus mainly on a single discipline, while some teach multiple disciplines in the same classes or at two separate Taekwondo clubs within the same university. You can read more here about the different disciplines of Taekwondo. University clubs usually have members with experience across all disciplines join them at the start of the year, and it is common for students already practicing Taekwondo before they get to university to hold memberships and train with both the club at their home address and with their university club in term time.
As you progress through your clubs syllabus you’ll want to attend gradings to go up through the belts towards the coveted black belt and beyond. Outside of universities it is common for instructors to own and run clubs, but university clubs are very different, as your club committee or sports department will employ an instructor and the club committee controls the club, its training schedule and its finances. Instructors typically conduct their own gradings, or, offer access to grading services provided by more senior instructors within their association. In such cases it is common for club members to purchase annual memberships to one of the many Taekwondo associations in the UK, which typically includes member to member insurance and access to that particular association’s gradings and competitions. The good news is that all students may participate in BSTF events, regardless of whatever other memberships they may hold.
For anyone thinking of getting into Taekwondo at university, we are happy to say virtually all clubs offer the first session for free, and we know you’re going to love it 😉 For your first session you’ll only need some loose fitting clothing, and you’ll usually train in bare feet on a sports hall or matted floor. If you decide to keep going you’ll need to purchase a uniform (a dobok) and pay for session fees – ask your club committee if they offer discounted term passes for training as these usually offer the best rates.
Grab some friends and give it a go!