In martial arts, you come across stories of people who have trained for decades, become a master, continued training, performed, taught, demonstrated, competed, reached the highest level of practice and, of course, carried on training no matter what. You’ll hear about, but never see, one of these people as they are only stories that have been used to keep people engaged and give people something to aim towards becoming. To illustrate perseverance, dedication and indomitable spirit. Right?
Master Alec Bryan is one these people. I have had the priviledge of training with him throughout my taekwondo career and i think it’s only fair to share this inspiration with the martial arts community in a blog.
Although i don’t know all the ins-and-outs (he is usually too busy kicking me to talk about himself):
Master Alec started his taekwondo training among the first in Britain in the 1970’s – before the world taekwondo headquarters had even been built. Taekwondo was a very different ball game back then – his first grading (test) included, along with many other physical ordeals, breaking through a breeze block!
He has taught people, young and old, who have gone on to teach people who have gone on to teach people – some of these have gone on to set up clubs, schools and even national bodies stretching the reach of Master Alec’s taekwondo far and wide throughout Britain.
He, and a group of taekwondo chums, created the first British taekwondo display team – I can only imagine what the performances consisted of (considering breaking through breeze blocks was considered a small part of the most basic grading!)
We can all appreciate that practicing something consistantly over time is the way to actually get good at it. Master Alec has been training consistently over his career which now spans over five decades! He still trains regularly at Titan Academy – and it is a great honour that he does.
My first experience of working with a partner in taekwondo (when i was 4 years old) was standing opposite Master Alec. Tall, tough, and down right terrifying – he definitely brought out my fiery side. Now that i have grown much bigger, become a master, opened Titan Academy and competed on the international stage… He is still tall, tough and down right terrifying!
Nowadays, Master Alec rarely stands at the front of a class to teach – standing amongst the ranks and getting stuck in is way more his style (although he is always teaching and assisting everyone in class). He does, however, teach twice a year at the Titan Academy Black Belt Seminars (in June and in December) which is not something to miss!
*Images from the most recent Titan Academy Black Belt Seminar can be found at: http://www.Facebook.com/TitanDojang*
In summary, Master Alec has a huge passion for taekwondo and has given more to the martial art then anybody i know – the reach of his taekwondo is vast; from inspiring the public through his demos to teaching the competitors, teachers and masters of today. He is a humble and respectful, yet terrifying, man – his taekwondo training really does always comes before prestige and reputation (which often isn’t the case in the martial arts world).
On top of all this: He is also a fantastic salsa dancer!
As a result of this modesty he wouldn’t ever condone a blog like this being written but i couldn’t let this story not be shared with people who have probably been affected by it already – so lets circulate it far and wide (but on the down-low).
“At Titan Academy we are, of course, very proud and lucky to be associated with such an accomplished man!”
*All images have been provided by Titan Academy: http://www.TitanTaekwondo.com*
Master Luke Robinson