Mr Joannou VI
Mr Joannou started TKD in February 1992, having carefully looked at a range of martial arts, and chancing upon TKD after meeting an ex-school friend who was a black belt studying with the BUTF. Watching his first TKD class, he was impressed with the quality of the teaching and the explanations given for each movement. It was also evident to him that there was a clear progression between the various grades, and that student’s performance and techniques improved with their rank (belt colour.)
After joining and under Master Sangha´s tuition, he progressed steadily through all the colour belt grading’s without any serious setbacks, even though on occasion, he felt unsure that he was ready. His Instructor encouraged him to persevere and where necessary to attend additional classes at his other schools, to ensure that he was indeed ready to perform at his personal best.
Each occasion that he passed onto a senior grade, he found a deeper level of dedication and motivation. Even though feeling that he was being pushed to his limit, he still somehow, was able to find a higher 'gear' to shift into.
Having spent many years in his youth exploring different activities and hobbies, it wasn't until he discovered TKD, that an activity had demanded from him more than superficial commitment. Close friends and family were extremely surprised (and indeed impressed!) when they learnt that after 2 ½ years, he was studying for the degree of Black Belt I Dan. This obviously was a moment of some personal achievement for him, in that he had successfully been able to apply the tenet of 'Perseverance', thereby enabling him to attain the coveted BUTF Black Belt in 1995.
From that day on he attests to having learnt the benefits of mental visualisation, which the student applies in the form of TKD meditation; envisaging oneself achieving and performing in a way which had previously been difficult, if not impossible.
Some time after achieving his 1st Dan, he severely fractured several bones in his right foot, in a work related accident. Doctors advised giving up TKD, as he would be risking permanent damage if he were he to continue. As such, the rehabilitation period was at times quite despairing; going from major activity to complete inactivity was extremely hard. Simultaneously ,complications with his personal life compounded his feelings of despair. Notwithstanding, the cast finally came off, and he began to gently re-enter the TKD arena with the Initial act of attending a TKD championship on crutches, which gave him the renewed belief that one-day, he would be back to full strength and activity.
Initially, the re entry into training commenced with light stretching exercises and patterns movements. Subsequently, the rehabilitation gained momentum, testimony to a renewed mental focus and determination, culminating in the preparation for and the successful achieving of 2nd Dan in 1997.
Though contemplating seriously for some time the call to become a TKD Instructor, the decision to delay so as to concentrate his efforts to achieving III Dan before becoming one was taken in preference. The reasoning behind this decision was his desire to be able to dedicate his entire efforts to Instructing for a given period with no distractions once he had committed himself.
Successfully gaining his 3rd Dan Black Belt, heI set about fulfilling his ambition of becoming one of the BUTF's elite group of practitioners, its Instructors. Locating a venue the same year as he passed his 3rd Dan, the proud Mr Joannou opened the Croydon School of Tae Kwon-Do for the BUTF.
With time marching on since the heady days of its inception, the school continues to mature and currently boasts 5 Black Belt students of its own.
In the Spring of 2002 he gained his Black Stripes when he successfully attained the rank of IV Dan International Instructor with the British United Taekwon-Do Federation.