GB Taekwondo Coaching Day 2

Another interactive and full-on day, it has been well taught. There are a number of self study tasks to be completed in addition to the 4 planned sessions and assessment.

This morning was about techniques, skills, performance development / improvement and then how to plan a series of progressive sessions. It’s easy to unintentionally plan (and subsequently fail) to achieve the impossible in this series because there are many coaching points.

At the moment I’m splitting into position, breathing, placement, space (before progressing to movement) and I will discover better technical terms over the next few days.

Some time on self esteem and 3 hours on safeguarding this afternoon – lots of practical issues that I need to think about including use of drugs/enhancements and safeguarding.

Aside from politics and cheating temporarily – I was trying to imagine a scenario where there are no banned substances or enhancements but any use or adaptation which affects the body as in a clinical trial is available in real time as national & international data. The UK consent process would be more adequate and clinically accountable (theoretically),  better early signals of adverse effects. 

However from safeguarding perspective this doesn’t cover absent knowledge of long term effects (e.g. like a new cancer drug where there hasn’t been enough long term use to know yet) and how a temporary modification in a child could reduce their life quality or worse as a young adult or older.

Wider, more open knowledge of substances or enhancements may lead to data that could provide therapies, cures or vaccines for other areas. The increase in citizen science self reporting through apps makes it more feasible.

However, does it make the costs & time compared to anti doping better, will companies producing enhancements report adequately in their clinical trials to provide enough data for consent which is also safeguarded for athletes and even if with a no banned list, would people still do things under the radar? 

Don’t know. I don’t feel comfortable enough with the safeguarding aspects. And where is a line drawn in a martial art and improved self esteem with Courtesy Integrity Self Control Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit.

WTF para tkd championship in London 

This is not to take anything away from the amazing people who are making taekwondo more accessible as a paralympic sport or our competitors.

Found out yesterday that apparently we’re hosting it in October. Nice for us as a development opportunity in London but there are many other places who could benefit far more and I don’t believe that the WTF and partners are short of cash to make that happen. Especially with the lead up to 2020. Not to mention the UN investigating the government’s treatment of people who are registered disabled
Apparently these are the official categories in the revised rules issued in January. I’m sticking with ones previously blogged but have noted re P70 should it become applicable. I wouldn’t use the word impairment either.

GB Taekwondo Coaching Day 1

I asked friend who specialises in specific learning needs about ‘Intellectual’ classification and she said that Neurodiverse is better so will change it to that. 


Asked to think about coaching philosophy – unique to a coach – not sure yet but will be more to martial arts as developing self esteem and applicability outside of poomsae and kyorugi competitions preparation and participation.

The assessed practical on day 3 will be coaching the course attendees – all of whom are higher grades, a couple on elite scene, most running their own clubs for years – hmmm. 

At the moment,  in theory I will be coaching them on doing axe kicks but will see how the 4 sessions go over the next month or so.

Did hear one comment from behind us about someone going to do 540 kicks just for the comedy factor so it promises to be entertaining.

Today covered aspects of risk assessment and safety, how to prepare a session, insurance elements because the course is managed by British Taekwondo and competitions are WTF not Kukkiwon which are different.

Interesting that coaching can include different approaches internationally depending on what is legal or not there and preferences so if you do have some who takes part in international events, worth reviewing even though they will be training with national squads etc

GB Taekwondo coaching

It is 2 days of classroom based (tomorrow and Sunday) then deliver 4 unsupervised coaching sessions and a follow up assessed practical day in April.

I ran half of a juniors session recently, the 4 sessions can be mix of full class, or 1:1 or group sessions or all.

Master Mark (now electrically stimulated and  blogging again ) has verbally approved the categories for inclusive martial arts but we will see how it works out – I have expanded the checklist -extract below to include a classic selection of warmups, stretches, drills, poomsae patterns and kyorugi fighting. In many it is going to involve checking depending on need. I have included a physical non classified which is a bit vague but Master Mark happy with because he fits in that with Parkinsons and some tremor type movements.

Each is theoretically split into poomsae and kyorugi but the majority of warmups, stretches and drills are applicable to both.

Categories are mainly based around para taekwondo (but exercises not necessarily so that it can be more applicable beyond competitions)

  • manual/power wheelchair,
  • spastic quadriplegia / all 4 limbs (unlikely to want to do taekwondo but maybe)
  • Cerebral/Non Cerebral Triplegia/Hemiplegia
  • Non Cerebral Amputation / Lesion
  • Physical non classified
  • Vision / visual
  • Hearing (could combine with vision for blind deaf)
  • Intellectual 

So in theory this checklist could be to check against when a new student arrives. Will see if it works in practice. 

We haven’t yet arranged a 2 hr wheelchair practice session for senior belts but hope to complete by April. This may / may not count towards sessions as I will probably need Master Mark to supervise.

Checklist for inclusive classes

Russia update

Still going through Russian Accelerator and asking odd question to kind Russian friends / friend of friends on FB.

Very excited to be going to St Petersburg with a friend for 5 days in May – the Russian tourist office in London have been completely fab about everything. Will be great opportunity to practice Russian and what a beautiful place to see first. 

After 10 months of following various Russia accounts on twitter, blogs am still shocked by some of the hostility but I live in a country that is more hostile than previously thought and I have campaigned at grassroots.

Off tangent but I was campaigning in Rotherham with a candidate on NHS issues. He is Asian and a lovely man. There has been a lot of press in Rotherham about child grooming by an Asian gang. We walked into a pub and it was a bunch of white blokes who stared at us. My friend was temporarily uncomfortable but I walked  up to first table and introduced us. One of the men said this is a National Front pub and we chatted a bit more. I explained that my friend had founded and continued to self-fund Rotherham learning disabilities network and after that tension eased.

I haven’t done this level of preparation before visiting a country but keen to find out more. I understand very little about Russian politics so keep reminding myself daily not to rush to snap judgements about the way things are. I have found Irrussianality blog and Rethinking Russia useful for this and Kremlinstooge and Odessa blog for further commentary on Ukraine and other topics.

Maybe none of us would be where we are if it wasn’t for the kindness and compassion of others – this is certainly true of the last ten months on all things Russia.

H5P and course menus in Moodle / Totara

We wanted to create a menu – initially left-hand side of main H5P but could be right-hand side if wanted.

I searched to see if others have embedded H5P content into other Moodle resources such as books / pages / labels but I didn’t want to go down the embed route as the overall goal was to create a better flow between different H5P activities rather than tweak an existing Moodle format if possible.

So I used 5 steps to make a menu block which would have a similar look and feel to Moodle book and use similar navigation.

1. Go to course and press Turn Editing On button / link.

2. Add an HTML block from the Add a block dropdown menu

addblock moodle menu screenshot

3.Press Configure HTML block (the little grey cog) and add hyperlinks to the relevant activities. Make sure the HTML block is set to appear on all course pages so when a learner is in an H5P activity it still appears. It can also be set to appear at the top of the screen:


4. Add in the H5P activities.


5. Open the HTML block again (I left mine open in an existing tab so I didn’t have to keep re-opening) and paste in the H5P activity hyperlinks, ensuring they are set to open in new window


Keep adding any other H5P activities until it is finished. This is how an example looks to a learner in our learning hub, they can still navigate using the menu without having to leave this page / activity.







Oxford and political reading

I did a quick wander around some of Oxford new and second hand bookshops yesterday whilst there. 

In the politics / global / international relations sections, there are some textbooks and various views on Russia and Vladimir Putin – including people who say they are his number one enemy or something similar.

I couldn’t find any alternative perspectives on Russia which may have been in the more general books or maybe not. So anyone’s first impression just by looking at the shelves – even in 2017 – will be a classic bad Russia, oligarchs and Marxist-Lenin thought. And that’s it. That is what is attracting people’s attention.

A couple came in,  one of whom studying art history and politics and they looked at the shelves and said – well of course these are popular political books. They were looking for something very specific and prepared to go further.

There were also entire shelves of books which were anti EU. 

The bookshops are a reflection of media and social media today. Do Oxford political students actually dig deeper (I know some Oxford lecturers think critically) or is it just rather convenient to display these ‘feathers’ to the outside world?

Is that what they want to impress on visitors because of Oxford’s reputation and just be a continual echo chamber?

Multiple choice questions and online learning in a hospital

I revisited this earlier this year in a couple of work projects. The staff I work with have science and/or medical degrees and in some cases PhDs too. We do use some as part of an assessment whilst being aware of limitations and also distracting cognitive issues around the question design which affect outcome. I don’t have a definitive opinion on whether MCQs should disappear for good now in 2017 or not. We’re having several discussions about practical applications of some quite specific learning where recall may help or not. What we are trying to do is document what we have done and work out whether we can review it to inform any further course development.

Cathy Moore’s post has great examples of these common issues: and there’s a nice summary in BMJ about why these are issues.

Perspectives /  research from