Club News

Simon Roberts - Bio  

My Livingwell Taekwondo career started when the club was created 21 years ago when I was 13 years old. However I had been training under Master Derek Sumner at a previous club from the tender age of 4 years old. My time at Livingwell Taekwondo has been full of hard, intense, exciting and amazing times. Master Derek really supported me the whole way through day to day training, gradings and competitions. He is someone I have looked up to since day one. During my time at Livingwell Derek pushed me to be the best I could be and as a result of his sometimes relentless training style I achieved the amazing goal of passing my 1st Dan grading and being awarded my black belt at the age of 15. This was one of the best moments of my life. Shortly after I was awarded my Black belt our club was given an amazing opportunity to visit an amazing country. Sri Lanka. We had the opportunity to travel there and train with a martial arts club in the south of the country and this was something that none of us could say no to. Master Derek chose a select group of 6 club members to go on this trip. We were told that the club we would train with in Sri Lanka trained in a old run down hall with no real training aids,, no protective equipment and no air conditioning. So with this in mind Master Derek said " if we have equipment then so will they". And with no hesitation we started raising funds and asking all members of the Livingwell family to help us in supplying uniform, protective equipment and training aids to this club that was welcoming us to visit their country and train with them. The entire experience was inspiring and one I will never forget. Since our first trip to Sri Lanka over 100 students from our club have been out there training hard and helping the local community. This way of living is one of the many core values that we as a family have.


My next challenge was my 2nd Dan black belt and that was all that was on my mind. Unfortunately at the age of 17 due to work commitments I was unable to continue my training and I had a break from taekwondo until I was 21. At this time I began training again back with Master Derek and the Livingwell family. Training and times were good.


In 2010 my life changed forever. My amazing beautiful little boy Lucas was born. Like every new parent I have ever spoken to this was the greatest moment of my life. My own little version of me. However this was not as sweet as it may have been and nothing would ever prepare me or my family for the uphill battle we were about to endure.


Lucas was born with a rare condition which resulted in him being born with his intestines on the outside of his body. At the time the doctors gave little hope of him surviving his first week. But he defied expectations, fighting through a series of serious and invasive operations and is now living a ‘happy, normal" life. During this time I stopped training as without question I had to prioritise the care of my son.


 Lucas is now nine years old and recently joined me in training at Livingwell Taekwondo and I could not be more proud of him. During the six months he was in hospital, as a family we were able to be by his side day and night with the help of the Ronald McDonald House in Camberwell. They were very kind to us and offered us a room in the house to stay due to us living so far away from the hospital. Their amazing generosity meant that no matter what, we could be by his side every step of the way. What they did for us and everyone who stays with them is to create a home away from home atmosphere which is simply incredible. What the staff do without knowing it, is also give amazing emotional support and advice for anyone going through such a difficult time. The staff and the charity truly are modern day saints. I truly hope that anyone reading this will never have to go through a situation like my family did, but if you ever do I know that the Ronald McDonald House Charity will be there by your side. As a club and family we have always helped people and causes close to our hearts and when I asked Master Derek if we could do a fundraising event the answer was an instant “yes we are family”. On Saturday the 15th of June 2019 I set myself the challenge to break 50 4 inch concrete blocks with my hands in 15 minutes so we could raise as much money as we possible in order to give something back to the charity that helped us and others so much. I managed to break 45 blocks in just under 4 minutes and we raised over £1000. Which was outstanding.


In the weeks prior to the fundraising event I had lots of contact with the charity and they were so happy that we planned on doing an event in aid of the charity and gave us lots of support. We were sent t-shirts, stickers, flyers and all sorts to help us raise money on the day which was fantastic.


My life in Taekwondo has taught me so many things and helped me incredibly. As a child it boosted my confidence, taught me respect and how to never give up. Already it is teaching my son the same. In the short time he has been part of the Livingwell Family he has grown in confidence and like me on not giving up.

Livingwell Taekwondo to me is not just a part of my life, it’s a part of my family. This is how it has always been and always will be.

We are Livingwell, we are Family.

Master Del's Annuel trip to Sri-Lanka 

Master del, Sue and Marc are half way through their trip and still have loads to do , 2 more orphanages , village walk , 3 seminars , and a special invitation to some Lucky struggling families to a small party . All the monies raised are well doccumented on social media and our website. Every spare penny / ruppee they have in their possession goes to some child or adult that needs it more than we do. over the past week they have been to mixed orphanage Male, Female, children and adults all with disabilities along with standard gifts sweets etc they decided to buy them new flip flops or as they call them slippers. They brought 80 pairs and as you can tell recieved with great joy , they entertained them with their talents and their joyous sence of humour, they played a little Taekwondo with them which we already knew they loved

22/01/2019 - Sri Lanka trip 2019


I asked Master Derek Sumner to give us a update on what him, Sue and Marc got up to on tour....









"Master Del"

Srilanka tours with living well.
There are 3 compulsory elements for students and 2 for non tkd people.
1: Martial Arts fitness and education (non martial arts start with number 2)
2: charity, helping orphanages poor areas and people with severe hardships, interacting with the people.
3: Holiday!

1: consists of personal consistent daily training on the purpose-built training ground at our hotel facing the ocean and beach.
2: Travelling to clubs and schools delivering seminars and distributing essential equipment and gifts (This covers all martial arts).
3: Holiday this is as important as 1 and 2 everyone is given a complete insight to the pearl drop island exclusive beaches places of interest and a special interaction with local life, cultures, temples, wildlife and hands on conservation of turtles and elephants not forgetting the unique village life.

On our 2019 tour my personal concentration was on rehabilitation so it was my intention to be intentionally focussed on the less fortunate.
My team sue and marc from day one had 6am start for our individual training. Working with marc to overcome various stretching techniques he struggles with and helping his fear of water with each day giving him a challenge to go into the sea a little deeper and feel safe in the water. All of us set goals for ourselves as a group it was the plank each day increasing the hold, sue had a strict programme finishing each day by walking through every poomsae. My goals were clear and building strength in the new  hip and twice a day swimming in the warm Indian ocean.

Our first two days were climatizing and for me organising the tight schedules we were to encounter. We focus on 4 orphanages which are located on the west coast town of Wadduwa and Kalutra district.

The first is a boy’s disabled home which is a small and run down, always in a desperate condition. we took toys, food, special items light censors, soaps hygiene essentials, and a complete investigation of repairs needed which are many.

The second is a girl’s orphanage is the same as above. Considerable foods as much non-perishable as possible dried food rice etc, extra items were 40 pairs of standard Sumner shoes and of course a fun taekwondo class, pens and books. we visited this orphanage twice; their main requirement is a copier printer.

The third is an orphanage which is a mixed disabled school and orphanage age range from 4 to adult, over 100 are in this home some with severe mental illness, again summer shoes but also for the extremely underpaid staff, food toys etc and of course a taekwondo class of fun, as with the girl’s orphanage a printer copier needed.

The fourth is a buhdist school where as above but adding extra educational needs, here the pure white uniforms were needed.

One of the highlights are the regular village Walks where we take essentials, sweets, biscuits, toys pens and books. We get to enjoy the village life.

It was estimated a minimum of 1000 pens 1000 thousand school books were distributed. Throughout the year we buy and collect what we believe are needed. Our own needs are small and most of the allocated baggage allowance is taken up with collected items for Srilanka.



Check out our Media section for more pictures coming soon!!!





01/06/2018 - Livingwell TKD Academy club Patron 












We now have a club Patron Grand Master Ansa Mahmood he has been a friend and mentor to Master Derek Sumner for over 30 years and has remained supportive continuously over the years and present. He will be leading Livingwell Taekwondo into bigger and greater projects in near future.


Please see just some of his achievements …

  • Started Taekwondo in October 1973
  • 9th Dan Chun Do Kwan
  • 8th Dan Kukkiwon
  • 2nd Dan Hapkido
  • International referee
  • Founder member of Chun Do Kwan GB
  • British university team coach 2002-2006
  • Kukkiwon international master instructor
  • Kukkiwon Hanmadag international referee
  • Dan examiner
  • Advisor to the president of the Pakistan Taekwondo Fedration
  • President of Kashmir province
  • Technical director of Kubaib orphanage foundation for Taekwondo


15/09/2014 - Livingwell TKD Academy Borough Council sports club of the year 2014 & Emily Whiting Sports Person of the year 2014.

Livingwell were nominated and won the award for its community spirit and work with all ages and disabilities,  it's continued success in Poomsae and charitable work home and abroad .


Emily Whiting Nominated by her school and winning yet another award in a truly momentous year, 1st winning the National Poomsae title after so many years of persevering,  which helped earn her place at the 2014 world Poomsae Championships in Mexico and the forth coming exciting Commonwealth TKD championships in Bonny Scotland .


A top student at her livingwell club her award was not connected with the clubs  award , Emily coming up to her 16th Birthday started at the club when she was 6 years old with her older brother Jack inspiring  her to want to start Taekwondo and later Jenny whiting and now club secretary started the family trait  the family continue their journey together with true family support , Emily said "I am overwhelmed this year so many great opportunities have come my way and I just want to thank everyone who have helped get me to this place and I will try to repay my family friends club and British Taekwondo with achieving the best results I can and work as hard as I possibly can " 


The presentation for both awards  were held at the Harlequin Theatre Redhill in the presence of top councilors And Reigate and Banstead Sports committee the presentation was made by the Honorable Mayor of R&B,  followed by a meet and greet refreshment

8/12/2013 - Three members of Livingwell Tonbridge try out for the GB Poomsae team.

Three members from Livingwell Taekwondo Tonbridge, Mathi Gupta (club instructor), Ann Palmer and Jaya Gupta travelled to the GB Taekwondo Poomsae (Technical Patterns) Headquarters at Horley, Surrey to participate in trials for selection into the GB squad. All three were battling to get a place in their respective categories.


Jaya, also a student at Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls (ToGs) is juggling school work and her passion for the Korean Martial Art to ultimately represent her country Nationally and Internationally, was up against athletes from different clubs throughout England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to win a place for selection into the Cadet Female category. Jaya has had previous success and at the age of 9 was GB National Champion in the Peewee Division.


Success was attained by Mathi and Jaya and both have been selected into the GB National Poomsae Squad.

2013 World Poomsae Championships

Livingwell are proud to have four of its members selected for the GB Worlds Squad.


Guntur Dwiarmein Livingwell ;National Champion for over 10 years with only one defeat ,one of the most experienced international Players for GB at such a young age , this coming world Championships G is in his best form ever Good luck from all of us at Livingwell Taekwondo Academy




Ali Pourtaheri livingwell: 3 times British Champion 2012 number one ranking in Europe , 2011 world Bronze Medalist , commonwealth Gold medalist , Good luck Ali from all at Livingwell Academy For this Years 2013 World Poomsae Championships Bali


Henry Chiu ; Livingwell Henry the youngest of Livingwells World selected Players at the Age of only 14 Henry is the first European cadet male medalist for GB , he is unbeaten in the UK he has the attention of all the world Poomsae community , sadly unable to compete due to diabolical catagory ommision in this years World poomsae Championship s Henry will surly Qualify again next year , we at livingwell are very proud of him.


Our 4th world Poomsae Player from Livingwell Sue Parkins 5 times National Poomsae Champion, Commonwealth Medallist , European Bronze Medallist, Scottish Open Champion 2013 (as with all our other world Players )Sue has had intense training Preparation for this years World Poomsae Championships in Bali, looking forward to her 4th world Championships looking to improve on her past 7th world ranking Placing , good luck from all of us at Livingwell Academy.

14/01/2013 - 7th world Poomsae Championships colombia 2012

The 2012 World Championships in Colombia was attended by a small team of three senior players accompanied by myself acting as national team coach. The event was attended by a record number of countries and produced a marked improvement in performance standards across the board giving some surprise results and eliminations.The level of security at the event and the provision of personal escorts was unprecedented both by the local police force and event volunteers.


Our Players Master Simon Negus, Ali Pourtahari (previous World Bronze Medalist), Susan parkins (previous European Bronze Medalist), first had to aclimatise to the altitude change following the long flight. They coped extremely well with carefully structured training and form-wise I couldn't have asked for more from the players. They were looking sharp and both myself and Master Gemma Biescas were agreed that all three selected players had shown evident improvement in the run up to the World Championships and felt that a medal position was a realistic expectation. All three competed on the same day with Sue Parkins being the first of our players to compete and clearly implementing her coaching instruction to focus on performance unfortunately missing out on progressing to the finals with the judges favouring the more precisely implemented styles of other competing countries.Ali Pourtahari followed on but with new players coming up into his division it was always going to be tough, however he gave a good solid performance and missed progressing into the finals by the smallest of margins. Finally Master Simon Negus took to the Floor and he stormed through the pelimery and semis, making medalling a real possibility. It was minimal point difference between him and his opposition finally finishing an amazing 6th in the world.


Overall we have to take this as another unparalleled experience and learning curve.Grand Master Shin (vice chief world Judge at the Championships) expressed his admiration for our players knowing the medals were lost not on performance but on minor technical aspects and significant opposition improvement,

Ali Pourtahari, after his second consecutive year as European Number one in Poomsae attained a position with the ETU working on A Class poomsae Competition .


After many years of working to ascertain the introduction of a Cadet Division to high level competition we finally secured the inclusion of this division to the European Championships and to my delight it was announced at the recent World Championships a "Cadet Division" will now be introduced officially by the WTF at all events .


Uk Poomsae also secured sponsorship from "Kwon" to supply some limited sport wear/equipment details of which will be reported on as this progresses. In the first instance Kwon supplied the World Team Tracksuits, training suits, footwear and kit bags.

20/05/2012 - Livingwell involved in helping achieve a new world record!

Today we assisted in a monumental World Record all across the United Kingdom.


British Taekwondo instructors and students helped KPMG and the charity Dr Barnardos to achieve not only an entry into the world record books but more importantly raising over 50k for the Charity.

The TKD Community once again joined in unison to help others. It was a proud moment for all who attended.


On a personal note, not only would I would like to thank Emily and Guntur for joining me in making an ''outstanding Team'' representing Livingwell Gatwick , but I would also like to thank Jenny for all the organizing up to the event.


Across the UK the participants for the demonstration were not TKD students and for some only learnt this routine on the day.


For my group they got into the spirit, shared many laughs and by the time they had finished, they were performing like seasoned TKD Practitioners.



Thankyou Again .Del x  


30/11/2011 - Livingwell Langshott awarded 'Club Of The Year' by the Livingwell Academy

It has Been a very successful Year for Jenny Whiting, probably the most successful year in her TKD journey so far. Seeing her daughter making National Cadet Squad and then producing eight year old Elizabeth Hamson to Black Belt - one of her first students from Langshott Livingwell. With the pressure on, Jenny then had to sit her own promotion to 3rd Dan with of course complete success. For myself as Chief instructor of Livingwell, I look at all our amazing and loyal instructors with pride. Jenny has delivered many many students to the nucleus hub of our academy and continues to introduce young children to our Art .

I took the descision to Award Jenny and Livingwell Langshott our internal club of the Year a New award i think everyone will join me in congratulating Jenny


Well Done Jen


30/11/2011 - Ali's Tally ! : Ali Pourtaheri's impressive year culminates in being crowned European No. 1

Ali Pourtaheri ranked in European Taekwondo Union's ranking as No 1 in Europe".


Livingwell's Chief Instructor Master Del said "I am very pleased to have Ali among our diligent Poomsae players. Early in the year, we identified his weaknesses and developed a program for him. He is a good example of how following your program and instructions can bear fruit. This year was his best year ever in terms of international achievement. After the last A-class competition of the year in Portugal, Ali is now ranked by ETU as Number 1 in Master 2 category with 115 points (66 point ahead of Number 2). He has also been able to, together with Sue achieve shared number 2 ranking in Pairs 2 category. We will work more diligent in 2012 to develop him further with the objective to achieve higher goals."


Achievements in Individual category

20110129 Commonwealth Gold

20110205 UK Championship Gold

20110409 Belgian Open Gold

20110430 Danish Open Gold

20110507 Finish Open Gold

20110521-22 Europeans 5th

20110611 Northern Ireland Silver

20110618 Austrian Open Silver

20110710 British International Gold

20111008 Hungarian Open Gold

20111105 Portugal Open Silver


Achievements in Pairs category with Sue Parkins

20110129 Commonwealth Silver

20110205 UK Championship Silver

20110611 Northern Ireland Gold

20110618 Austrian Open Silver (With Erika Zimmermann)

20110710 British International Gold or Silver? I am not sure as I am writing this.

20110729-31 World Championship 7th

20111008 Hungarian Open Gold

20111105 Portugal Open Silver

22/11/2011 - Livingwell's Sue Parkins is selected as manager for the Cadet GB Squad!

After a meeting with Master Lennox , Odette and Master Gemma it was agreed the necessity for additional Assistance with the 30 strong Cadet Team.


It therefore gives me great pleasure in introducing a new member to the management team @ UK Poomsae, Sue Parkins from Livingwell Taekwondo Academy, who will take the role of Manager for the cadet section. She will work directly with our National Team manager Odette so future contact will be with Sue. She has what we believe is the perfect CV - currently European ranking number two; Bronze medallist at the European Poomsae Championships 2011 and ranked number seven in the world at this years World Poomsae Championships in Vladivostok Russia.


Sue is the most successful masters two female in the UK and this year took a team to China for the world University championships as acting National Coach. Sue is a qualified BTCB 3rd Dan instructor CRB Checked , her personal Criteria is also a valuable asset to the Cadet Squad Section Currently a Qualified School teacher in Sussex special educational needs coordinator MA (Ed) , B.Ed (Hons).

13/11/2011 - Another five students from Livingwell achieve a Dan promotion!

Another five of Livingwells finest passed their Dan gradings on the second day of the 92nd Dan Gradings in mansfield. Congratulations to all who succeeded this weekend!

12/11/2011 Mark gets a special mention and outstanding ovation at 92nd Dan Grading presentation

Mark passed his Dan grading today and got a special mention by the chairman of the BTCB. He was the first student to be awarded the grade out of more than one hundred hopefulls. The BTCB chairman stated that Mark was 'An inspiration to us all'.


Well done Mark!


See more pictures from Day One of the grading here. 

12/11/2011 Livingwell get a 100% pass rate on day one of the 92nd Dan gradings!

Livingwell's seven Kup grades all successfully passed their Dan grading today! Congratulations to all the students and good luck to everyone grading on Sunday.


See more pictures from Day One of the grading here. 

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