A HEREFORD taekwondo expert and teacher has put his name into the British record books.

Luke Hall has become the youngest British taekwondo Master at 7th Degree classification at the age of 36.

Hall has dedicated 32 years of his life to martial arts, starting judo at the age of four and moving across to taekwondo at the age of six after a chance encounter with a local instructor, who now holds a Grand Master title.

Master Hall now runs successful local taekwondo schools along with his wife in Hereford and Worcester.

As well as teaching other students and helping them to achieve their goal of becoming black belts, Master Hall has also continued his training under Grand Master Clive Harrison.

A black belt grading is an intense and very long process in which a team of examiners assess the ability of the students in a gruelling physical and theoretical test.

This usually happens behind closed doors. Each Dan grade syllabus increases in complexity covering aspects such as traditional line work, patterns, physical sparring (including sparring multiple opponents at once), self-defence (including defence against knife attacks), destruction (board breaking), Korean theory and a written thesis.

Years of preparation go on behind the scenes before students are even considered ready for this experience.

To take this grade Hall had to wait a minimum of six years from his previous promotion and demonstrate the extensive knowledge and commitment that has been accumulated over his many years in the art.

Master Hall took his three-hour long sole grading under the watchful eye of Grand Master Harrison, Senior Master Slater, and Master Tizick.

To keep a balanced view all examiners were from different backgrounds and associations, and different parts of the country.

The examiners were extremely impressed with the standard and knowledge demonstrated, and the perseverance shown throughout the grading and all agreed that this was the most physically and emotionally challenging grading they had ever witnessed.

As this was such a momentous occasion, Master Hall invited people to come along to watch in an open-door grading for the first time, and asked for a small donation for charity in return. Around 100 spectators attended and the charity chosen was the Marches Family Network.

Hall family students helped to organise a raffle and cake sale with the total raised for the charity nearing £600 including donations online.

Anybody who is interested in learning taekwondo can contact Hall Family TKD at info@halltkd.co.uk – they can also be found on Facebook.

Hall Family are part of the International Taekwondo Council with the opportunity to compete in local, national, and international tournaments. Classes are held every Tuesday at Hereford Academy and every Friday at the Point4 in Hereford.