During the early 1980’s both Master JH YOON (7th Dan) and Master KI LIM (6th Dan) arrived in the UK as part of the WTF drive to popularize and spread the martial art and sport of Taekwondo. With the imminent inclusion of Taekwondo as a contact sport in the Olympics, a number of Taekwondo Masters had been encouraged overseas. Both of them happened to move to within a few miles of each other, in Surrey. Master Yoon settled in New Malden with his wife where there is an large Korean community. Both of them had met and trained before when Master Yoon had been Master Lim’s mentor. Master Yoon opened clubs in London and Leatherhead whilst Master Lim opened a club in Epsom.
As Master Instructors they soon became involved in the British national organisations. Master Yoon as the Gradings and Technical Chairman of the British Taekwondo Do Federation and Master Lim as the National Team Coach. After many discussions about the future of WTF Taekwondo in the UK they both decided to resign their position within the BTF and create their own organisation, bringing together a loose affiliation of disparate clubs from around the country. The AWTC came into being in 1991.
The AWTC was initially a member of the BTF and then the British Taekwondo Do Council before becoming affiliated to the formers successor, the British Taekwondo Control Board. The BTC is the UK Sport recognised national governing body, representing all forms of Taekwondo in the UK. The BTCB, representing WTF Taekwondo, is the officially recognised organisation by the British Olympic Committee. As well as the Olympics, in 2010, WTF Taekwondo has been admitted as an official sport of the Commonwealth Games. The AWTC, through the BTC/BTCB, is affiliated to the European Taekwondo Union and the World Taekwondo Federation.
Since then the organisation has gone from strength to strength. Many of Master Yoon’s and Master Lim’s students have gone on to open and run clubs for themselves. Master Yoon now spends his time running the AWTC in the UK and his reciprocal organisation in Korea. He is currently a member of the Kukkiwon Overseas Advisory Committee. Master Lim has since left the organisation to take up a professorship in China advising the Chinese Olympic Taekwondo team; however he has maintained his contact with the UK by recently accepting the position of Vice-Chairman of the BTCB.
AWTC students regularly participate in local, regional, national, international and world events. Through Master Yoon many have gone on to train and participate in events in Korea and at the Kukkiwon. The AWTC hold regular Gradings, Seminars and Squad training sessions. Kyup (Colour belt) gradings are held every 3 months (subject to minimum requirements) whilst Black Belt gradings are scheduled twice a year under the auspices of Master Yoon.
In line with national requirements, all AWTC instructors must be registered (having attended the appropriate Registered Instructors Course), be fully insured, DBS vetted (CRB checked) and First Aid trained. Coaches and Officials are required to hold similar relevant qualifications.