Alfie is a quiet, polite 11-year-old. But his slight build and timid demeanour hide an unexpected secret. He is a Tae kwon-Do (TKD) and Kickboxing Black Belt and the 2022 English Taekwon Do Champion for sparring. Incredible achievements, unimaginable when he first joined Proaction as a Mighty Monkey aged four.
He joined Proaction with the dream of being the Red Power Ranger – the leader of the team, the bravest, strongest, and most passionate Ranger. His instructors knew that their young students needed to learn through play, and that is exactly what Alfie did. Alfie had so much fun in the Mighty Monkeys lessons that he fell in love with Taekwon Do and Proaction. Working his way through the grading syllabus, he progressed from Mighty Monkeys to foundation TKD and onto the international TKD lessons.
He gradually increased the number of times he trained a week, as he had truly became hooked. He now trains six times a week in Northampton and Wellingborough.
Alfie’s mum, Nic, found Proaction Martial Arts through a Google search “We chose Proaction because they looked the most professional and friendly club around. They seemed more organised than some of the other clubs I had looked at and researched.”
His teachers say he’s more focused in class
Nic gives credit to Alife’s love of martial arts and his achievements to the unique environment Proaction fosters in its training venue and the incredible encouragement of the instructors. The personal belief that Alfie’s instructors instilled in him, made him strive to do the very best he could and a desire to achieve great things.
“Proaction is a friendly club, everyone is very supportive. The instructors are amazing, very knowledgeable and experienced and treat everyone as an induvial and aims to get the best out of each student.”
“Alfie has dyslexia which has made school a real struggle for him. He has bags of energy too, so doesn’t like sitting still for long periods of time – not ideal when having to sit in a classroom. Since starting with Proaction I have seen how his training has had a massive impact on him in terms of his confidence. He is more confident as a person but also in school, his confidence has grown. I’ve been told by his teachers that he is far more focused in class.
“He has been more willing to put his hand up and answer questions in school and is less petrified of being asked to read aloud, even though he struggles with reading and used to hate this because he knew he would likely make a mistake. He is now also more confident talking to adults and holding a conversation rather than shying away.
“Training regularly definitely gives him the outlet he needs for all of his energy and helps him to focus using it productively.”
“I am immensely proud of everything Alife has achievement but more so of the person he has become through his Taekwon Do and his Kickboxing. Almost exactly a year after achieving his Taekwon Do Black Belt he went and achieved his Kickboxing Black Belt with a distinction – which is incredibly difficult to get. He never ceases to amaze me with his hard work and determination.”
Lifelong friendships that grow with you
He takes part in all the Proaction workshops and holiday camps, in addition to his regular lessons. He enjoys training, meeting new people and developing his skills.
“They are a great experience. The holiday camps are a fantastic way of making new friends. A lot of Alfie’s friends are those he met on a Proaction holiday camp he attended. They now train together most days too and encourage and support each other. It’s fantastic that he’s got such a strong friendship group outside of school.”
It’s the size of your spirit that matters
In competitions Alfie is often the smallest competitor in his categories, by quite some margin. But this has never deterred him from doing his best, in fact, it has elevated Alfie’s achievement. He has received recognition from some of the country’s top Taekwon Do coaches for his efforts in competitions.
He has also participated in four of Proaction’s annual in-house competitions which is an opportunity to put what he is learning into practice.
Many Proaction members got to see Alfie in action at the in-house competition in July 2022. His impressive performance saw him take gold in all the categories he competed in – patterns and sparring. As well as the overall title – a further testament to his dedicate, commitment and love of the sport. Competing in front of his peers and his instructors was in some way more difficult than in external competitions, but his training helped him to stay focused.
Just like the Red Ranger, Alfie’s ambition is to become a leader, inspire others to follow their passions and to be the best they can. He is working towards becoming an instructor with Proaction and wants to continue to compete in competitions with the hope that one day he can represent England at international level.
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