A fighting example


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After bringing a new lease of life to a Huddersfield Tae Kwon-Do club, Zeeshan Zafar has recently enjoyed the form of his own life, picking up six titles in just three months.

For the past two years, the 28-year-old instructor has helped boost attendance, standards and victories for students who train at his Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain (T.A.G.B) club located at the Highfields community centre.

INSTRUCTOR: Zeeshan Zafar took up the role at Huddersfield’s T.A.G.B club in October 2011 and has overseen a successful restoration, with attendances and awards all on the up

INSTRUCTOR: Zeeshan Zafar took up the role at Huddersfield’s T.A.G.B club in October 2011 and has overseen a successful restoration, with attendances and awards all on the up

With the establishment almost dissolving in 2011, following the resignation of the previous instructor, Zeeshan was approached to take over the position and help restore the club to its former glory.

Upon acceptance, the Second Dan black belt has helped transform the club into a thriving community organisation with recent successes in World, British and Regional Championships.  “When I took over I looked at the standards and they weren’t where they should have been,” Zeeshan said. “I knew things needed to improve so I began working towards raising the standards and this has clearly happened.

“The ability and standard of our members has become more recognised in Huddersfield which is a great credit to everybody who is involved with the club.”

The T.A.G.B is Europe’s largest single martial arts organisation, with over 25,000 members training in over 600 clubs throughout the UK. Zeeshan has been training in the sport for more than 18 years and recent successes have only helped fuel his desire to see his students succeed much like he has.  Since August the club has clinched a number of titles with the most recent tournament, the British Open Championship, being held earlier this month in Cheltenham.  With more than 800 competitors fighting it out for the top spot in both genders, Zeeshan registered a second place finish, whilst his sister, Natasha Zafar, proved that success runs in the family, claiming Bronze in the ladies sparring event.

VICTORY: Zeeshan Zafar and members of the West Yorkshire club at the Scottish Championships

VICTORY: Zeeshan Zafar and members of the West Yorkshire club at the Scottish Championships

“To see the class succeed is what this job is all about,” he said. “The best thing for me isn’t the World Championships but the simpler things; seeing my students improve week on week, and seeing a new found confidence in people.” The father of two added that his vast experience in the field has helped him get the best out of the club’s members and explained what mentality you must have when ‘fight night’ arrives.

“It’s the ‘fight or flight’ thing,” he said. “You either get so nervous you can’t fight properly or you harness that energy so you can do anything.  And I know how to control fear.  “You have to watch people throughout the competition - the fight before and the fight after.  That’s how you learn. You get to the stage when you know what your opponent’s going to do, and then you can put them in the position you want them to be in. I make them do what I want them to do.” Huddersfield’s T.A.G.B classes train on Mondays and Wednesdays, between 6.30pm and7.30pm at the Highfields community center, Cemetery Road.

Anybody interested in taking up Tae kwon Do should contact Mr Zeeshan Zafar on 07803 172 895.

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