Matthew Spoors 

Derek Skidmore

Mr Skidmore was born in The British Military Hospital, Singapore in 1966. He returned to the UK aged 5 and settled in the town on Midsomer Norton near Bath. His early Martial Arts influences were Bruce Lee and David Caradine's TV series Kung Fu. He was 19 years old when he stepped into his first dojang, and passed his first grading in Taekwondo on 31st March 1985 under two of the UKs leading British Martial Artists, Master Raymond Gayle - 7th Degree and Master Mark Ogborne - 7th Degree.

In his first tournament in 1985 Mr Skidmore fought his way to the final of the WOE Taekwondo Championships where he achieved Silver. Unfortunately due to an industrial accident Mr Skidmore withdrew from competition in 1986. On 30th September 1990 under Master Hee Il Cho - 8th Degree, Mr Skidmore passed his 1st Degree Black Belt. He qualified as a professional instructor in 1993 and on the 12th September 1994 he opened his first Taekwondo school in Midsomer Norton. He later became the instructor of the Royal Wooton Bassett School in October 1997 before opening his newest school in 2001 in Kingswood, Bristol.

In his years as an instructor he has produced over 500 Regional, National, European and World Champions and over 25 Black Belts with these figures continuing to increase. 10th September 2000 saw Mr Skidmore receive the huge honour of meeting and training with the founder of Taekwondo, Major General Choi Hong Hi - 9th Degree, and he was awarded certification for attending the ITF 169th International Instructors Course. After many years absent from competing, Mr Skidmore returned to competition spurred on and inspired by many of his students. Dusting off his Bo Staff and training with Master Ogborne, he was crowned National Black belt Weapons Champion 2001 which was followed by him introducing weapons training to his students.

In 2006 he competed for the first time in Destruction - The Art Of Breaking. Supported by Mr Evans, the duo travelled to the Northern Championships and returned with Gold and the Northern Champs Title. Later that year Mr Skidmore defended his title in the English Championships competing against Black Belts from all over Europe. Despite some hefty competition especially from the highlands of Scotland Mr Skidmore took the gold and also set a new English Record which remains unbeaten.

With all his success, his most memorable moments were sending students to the 2006 and 2007 world championships who proudly represented his school and also returned with medals. "Every time a student excels at a tournament, it's a success we all share. Every time someone passes a Black Belt grading we all share with them that Special Achievement. That's what makes me proud"

At the 17th Bi Annual Black Belt presentation ceremony of the Professional Unification of Martial Arts (P.U.M.A), Mr Skidmore received a special award for his services to Taekwondo.

Profile Name: Mr Derek Skidmore

Date of Birth: 13/03/1966

Place of Birth: Singapore

Started Taekwondo Training: 1984

1st Grading: 31st March 1985

1st Degree Black Belt: 30th September 1990

1st Degree Black Belt AIMAA (USA): 1990

2nd Degree Black Belt: 30th October 1994

3rd Degree Black Belt: 26th October 1997

4th Degree Black Belt: 30th April 2006

Qualifications Assistant Instructor: 9th May 1993

Instructor: 3rd October 1993

Umpire: 14th March 1992

Referee: September 1995

Certifications Certified ITF 169th International Instructor Course: 10th September 2000 (Under Major General Choi Hong Hi - 9th Degree, Founder of Taekwondo)

Certified ITF Instructor Seminar: 20th July 2002 (Under Master Choi Jung Hwa - 8th Degree, Son of the founder of Taekwondo)

Awards National Black Belt Weapons Champion English Destruction Champion English Destruction Champion Record Holder Services to Taekwondo and P.U.M.A