Martial Art of Taekwondo on display in the middle of Market Walk

SURPRISED shoppers will encounter a powerful and eye catching display of Taekwondo in the middle of a busy shopping centre.

Talented, young Chorley Taekwondo champ Jack Durcan will be taking part in the demonstration at Market Walk shopping centre which will form a focal point for an Olympic inspired, family friendly event on Tuesday (July 31).

The Summer of Sport Day, a free event from 11 am to 4 pm, will also include sporting fun for young shoppers and their families including target throwing, long jump, speed bounce and egg and spoon races.

The Taekwondo demonstration will take place from 1-2 pm and will involve members from Ellison’s Taekwondo, run by 6th Dan Eddie Ellison who is in the top 15 for the specialist martial arts sport in the UK.

Jack, 11, a pupil at Parklands High School, is one of his most promising youngsters and preparing to make a bid for his black belt at the end of next month.

He is already a member of the British squad and competes in the pattern side of Taekwondo, rather than the fighting or sparring sections. He recently won his category at a regional Bradford competition.

Despite being on the cusp of achieving his black belt status, Jack already competes within the black belt categories at major national competitions and took fifth place in the under 13 black belt category at the British National Championships.

Jack said: “I started it almost three years ago when I tried it at a club which Eddie set up at my old school – Buckshaw Primary School in Astley Village.

“I had never seen anything like it before, it was new to me so I gave it a go and I really, really enjoyed it.

“I like it because anybody can try it and progress with it if they want to and I have met a lot of new people. My PE teacher at school often asks how I am getting on and my friends think it is cool.

“My biggest achievement so far is getting my black tags which you need to achieve before your black belt. I had to work really hard for them and my main goal now is to achieve my black belt.”

Annalisa Johnson, Marketing Manager for Market Walk, said: “There will be a real celebration of sport at Market Walk on Tuesday for all our shoppers to enjoy as the summer school holidays are well underway.

“There will be lots of games going on for families to get involved in and the added bonus of a Taekwondo demonstration which I am sure will be a fascinating sight and not the usual thing to greet our visitors!

“It is free to all so may be a welcome distraction for youngsters as parents look for ways to entertain their children during the long break.”

Eddie Ellison said he welcomed the opportunity to share his sport with shoppers at Market Walk and added: “We all know the benefits of getting into any sport and Taekwondo is no exception.

“It is fantastic for your health and fitness, teaches discipline and respect and gives you a whole range of skills. It is also an effective means of self defence.

“I see the personal development with the people I teach, particularly the youngsters who grow in self confidence before my very eyes so it is a very rewarding job to do.”

Eddie, 51, a dad of four from Horwich, started Taekwondo almost 30 years ago while he was at university and set up his club in 1987. He teaches in schools, community and leisure centres across Chorley, Preston, Leyland and Lancaster.

He narrowly missed out on going to the Olympics after he came third in the Team Trials in 1988.

Three years ago he came close to death after suffering endocarditis, an infection of the heart, and a stroke. He credits his Taekwondo fitness with helping him to survive and has made a full recovery from his health scare which included having a metal heart valve fitted.

Taekwondo has over 60 million practitioners in 184 countries. It originates from South Korea where the world governing body, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), is currently based.

The name Taekwondo literally translates as the way of the foot and the fist – tae means to break or attack with the foot, kwon means to break with the fist and do translates as the art or way.

Come down to Market Walk shopping centre on Tuesday July 31 from 11 am to 4 pm for Summer of Sport Day. Go to

To contact Ellison’s Taekwondo call 07952 317485 or go to

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