Vision Taekwondo


Master Tan class in England

The Vision Taekwon-do Association (VTA) is an affiliate of ITF England (the national governing body of ITF Taekwon-do). It was introduced by Mr Philip Lear and comprises of schools from Vision Academy, Synergy TKD, Pure TKD, SA Martial Arts, Mr Chestermans TKD schools and Tunbridge Wells TKD. That’s what VTA is but there is a far more interesting story to Vision.

In 1996 Mr Lear returned from Malaysia and took over Crowborough Taekwon-do school. He had been training for over two years in Malaysia with Master Tan Eng Kiat. Master Tan created the Vision Taekwon-do Centre in Kuala Lumpur and kindly allowed Mr Lear to use the name over in England. Mr Lear brought back the training philosophies, dedication and high standards to his schools.


I have been training under Mr Lear for many years, ever since he returned from Malaysia. I loved the stories that he told about his training in Malaysia and the training that we were now doing in England. But it was not enough, I wanted to go and experience training under Master Tan for myself. After many years of not realising my dream for whatever excuse there was at the time I had an opportunity to visit Malaysia on holiday. A group of Vision England members were going on a 2 week holiday with Master Tan and some of his students around Malaysia and Thailand. It wasn’t the hardcore training mission that I had hoped for but I couldn’t miss this opportunity.

tkd malaysiaThe trip was amazing (you can read about it here). But the best part of it was that it had renewed my determination to train in Malaysia. A year later my dream became true – I managed to get 2  months off work and booked my flights.

I won’t go into every detail (that’s here) but training under Master Tan was by far and away the best experience of my life. I learnt so much not only about Taekwon-do but about teaching, perseverance and family. Vision in Malaysia is family. Master Tan’s family is not just his wife, son and daughter but all of Vision. I was welcomed into the family. We trained together and socialised together. Training was incredibly difficult but immensely rewarding.

Lyo side kick

Master Tan and his son Lyonel

Thank you to Master Tan for teaching me and welcoming me into your family. Sifu, I can not express my gratitude enough.
And many thanks to Mr Lear for bringing Vision back to England and instilling the values in his students.

The black belts in the Vision Taekwon-do Association wear a Vision badge on their uniform. If you want one you will have to work very, very hard but it is worth it.

You can read about what Vision means to Mr Lear here, on the VTA website.
You can read about my and other Vision students experiences of training in Malaysia here.