Martial Arts and the Gurkhas – Taekwondo

Understandably, martial arts are a key part of Brigade of Gurkhas military training and active service, and consequently can lead to life-long interest in martial arts at professional to amateur and even international tournaments level. 

A number of martial arts are popular in Nepal (such as Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Karate, even the mainland China/PRC performance display martial art ‘Wushu’) and across the Gurkha serving or retired community in the UK. Of all these arts and absolutely fundamental in training and active service application, is Taekwondo.  There are many famous ex-Gurkhas in the UK actively involved in teaching Taekwondo. Picture above and to left [demonstrating Kukri strike] kindly provided by Sgt Hiradhan Rai. The image below from England (Rushmoor) is also from Sgt Rai: it shows popularity amongst UK Nepali youth of this Brigade of the Gurkhas of the British Army martial art.

An example of such an Ex-Gurkha is Maidstone-based Master Rastra Rai. Rastra has an established Taekwondo school in that Kent town (historically a base for the Royal Gurkha Rifles and Royal Gurkha Engineers), the Sagarmatha TaeKwon-Do Dojang.  Master Rai as a contributor to this information resource has highlighted in this area, as in many others, how UK-based Nepalis, especially retired Gurkhas, extend their community return charitable work back into Nepal itself. In this case a parallel Taekwondo club being established in Eastern Nepal (homeland of the main part of the Rai ethnic group) where hundreds of young Nepalis are learning this famous martial art.  Below are some pictures from the Nepal school (Taekwondo is as popular with female as well as male youth as the certificates presentation image illustrates), and after these we conclude with some images provided by Sgt Hiradhan Rai of Taekwondo groups in the British Army Gurkhas regiments:

Images (below) of British Army Gurkhas, Taekwondo groups, kindly provided Master Rastra Rai:

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