UTKD is proudly affiliated with the ITF

Martial arts in Shrewsbury, Telford, Bridgnorth and Ludlow

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About UTKD

About us

Established and based in Shrewsbury, and now with schools across Shropshire, Universal Taekwon-Do (UTKD) is led by Master James Kessler (7th Degree Black Belt, ITF Master Instructor and Examiner) and his team of instructors.

UTKD teaches authentic ITF Taekwon-Do to men, women and children of all ages and abilities.
Some martial arts schools choose to follow a very old curriculum and use out-dated teaching methods that may be unsuitable for modern-day students. Others teach a free-style system which is often unrecognised, unregulated and ineffective.

The UTKD syllabus follows the authentic ITF Taekwon-Do curriculum as developed by the founder of Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi. Instead of a military-style approach, our students are guided through the curriculum at a pace that suits them. 

Our students remain motivated, they train for longer, and we ensure they reach and maintain a high standard.


In addition to our standard time tables, we regularly host and attend seminars with prominent ITF Taekwon-Do World Masters and Grand Masters.


All UTKD instructors are insured and undergo a criminal record check with the Disclosure and Barring Service – DBS (formerly known as the CRB check) every year. This is in line with the policy of the British Taekwon-Do Council and UK Sport.


International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF)

The International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) was founded on March 22nd, 1966 by General Choi Hong Hi, IX Degree to promote and encourage the growth of genuine Taekwon-Do around the world.

The ITF is the official world body for the development of authentic Taekwon-Do technique and philosophy. It also provides black belt degree certification and recognition for schools of genuine Taekwon-Do.

ITF hosts International Instructors courses, technical seminars and International Umpire courses as well as Continental and World Taekwon-Do Championships.

UTKD is affiliated to the ITF under plaque number 7216 held by Master James Kessler.

British Taekwondo Council (BTC)

The British Taekwon-Do Council (BTC) is comprised of many National Taekwon-Do organisations, and is the only governing body for Taekwon-Do in the UK recognised by the Sports Council (UK Sport) and British Government. 

Member groups must adhere to a strict code of conduct and best practice for instruction, health & safety and safeguarding of young and vulnerable persons, as laid down by UK Sport. The BTC provides Instructor professional liability insurance, student-to-student liability insurance and instructor disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks.

We are affiliated to the BTC through our national governing body, the British Taekwon-Do Federation (BTF) who have full member status.

British Taekwon-Do Federation (BTF)

The British Taekwon-Do Federation (BTF) is a UK-based National Governing Body (NGB) recognised by the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and the British Taekwon-Do Council (BTC).

It is the responsibility of an NGB to grant authorisation for Black Belt members to test for promotion to their next Dan (Black Belt degree) attend ITF international courses and seminars and to represent their country at international competition.

The NGB is the link between Taekwon-Do schools and the proper authorising bodies. Master Kessler, UTKD Principal Instructor and Chief Examiner is a founding member of the BTF. Master Kessler is currently the BTF’s Senior Vice President.

Speak to us today!

Contact us to find out how to book yourself and/or your kids in for a trial lesson and start your journey to black belt without any delay!

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