Passionate About … Taekwondo!

English Lakes employs passionate people! Passionate about going the extra mile for our guests. This usually comes from a good work-life balance which allows time for other interests and hobbies.

James Wilkinson at Low Wood Bay Reception
James Wilkinson at Low Wood Bay Reception

Here, we catch up with James Wilkinson, by day, Head Receptionist at Low Wood Bay … not many people know that James is also a black belt, medal winning taekwondo teacher.

I hear you’re a bit of a Bruce Lee, what is it you do, can you tell me more about it?

Yeah, I’ve been into martial arts for years. Taekwondo is an art that originates from Korea and is practised world wide. It’s got two sides. You have the more traditional side of taekwondo using the hand and foot techniques and Poomsae which is a sequence of techniques defending against multiple attackers. Then there is the more explosive competitive side of taekwondo which has been seen in the last two Olympics.  Team GB actually won a Gold medal in the last Olympics!!

You must be dedicated to reach the level you have?

James on the left
James with Louise Houlsworth who also used to work at Low Wood Bay and went on to be World Champion

For me Tae kwon do has been a large part of my life and I have been practicing Tae kwon do since I was 5 years old and have trained for over 30 years. I spent the early years travelling the length and breadth of the country competing. I even got to travel into Europe, which is where my biggest achievement came. I won bronze medal in the Belgian Open. I could have made it to the final but as usual for me (being accident prone) it was another injury and a visit to the hospital. I had been to plenty of hospitals in the UK but never abroad so that alone was a different experience! I have gained 5th Dan black belt, which is only four off the highest possible grade, so its not a bad achievement.

Now that you have achieved your qualifications, what do you do now?

I now spend my time teaching other people. I am an instructor in the local community, if you didn’t know we have three clubs within the Cumbria Area.

I would recommend taekwondo to anyone, its great for people of all ages. Its offers discipline as well as way to get fit. It also gives you the chance to get out and meet people. I have met many friends during the years I have trained.  I also met my wife through Tae kwon do.

Are you as passionate as us?

We have many other Passionate People working at English Lakes. Take a look at what Nevil Jeffrey, General Manager of Low Wood Bay gets up to in his spare time.

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