Our Story

How it all began

In February 1989 almost 16 years old, Lisa walked into the dojang to take her first Taekwon-Do lesson, not realising that she was about to fall in love forever. By the end of her first lesson she knew her life was about to change, her passion for Taekwon-Do had officially started.

Lisa’s father was extremely overpowering physically and mentally, the fear she felt from this man at times seemed quite overwhelming. Despite having a wonderful supportive mother who was also treated terribly by this cruel man, Lisa as well as her sisters led a very strained childhood.

Lisa decided not to allow her childhood traumas overtake her life so she trained in Taekwon-Do most days which was a great way for to let out her frustrations in life and focus on something positive.

By the time Lisa got to green belt at 17 her father was out of her life. This meant she didn’t need to feel that fear anymore, thus making her more determined to succeed in something she had started to become very good at.

Funding her passion for Taekwon-Do was very difficult so she found herself a part time job whilst at college, so she could train as often as possible. Lisa left college early to work full time, as she needed to help support her family. As she was not naturally academically inclined, she took great pleasure in doing this, especially as the extra money meant she could afford to train even more often.

Virtue Taekwon-Do was born

Lisa competed heavily as a colour belt and at around blue belt it became apparent how good she was becoming at Taekwon-Do, as she won gold after gold, mostly in Power breaking and sparring, occasionally in patterns, and on many occasions she would win the colour belt overall female competitors trophy.

In 1993 Lisa became a 1st Degree Black Belt. Competitions became a lot harder, but through pure determination to succeed, she started winning Golds making her a possible candidate for the England team in the future. This would be a dream come true. Shortly after achieving her Black Belt, Lisa became a milk lady in Beckenham, a job she would do for many years.

Lisa wanted to pass on her expertise in Taekwon-Do and focus her energy into spreading the word of how this amazing martial art can change people’s lives for the better, just like it had for her. In November 1999 she opened up her very own school and Virtue Taekwon-Do was born.

Lisa opened her first class on a Tuesday evening in Bellingham, persistently training on the other evenings and still doing her job as a milk lady every morning.

The classes were very small, and sometimes she would have to pay the hall fees out of her own wages. Her love for Taekwon-Do helped her continue and eventually the number of students increased. Although still running at a slight loss her perseverance, dedication, self-belief and pure determination to succeed, once again shone through.

World Champion

In May 2001, a 3rd Degree Black Belt, Lisa was selected for the national team to represent England at the World Championships in Rimini, Italy. She came home with two silver medals, one individual medal out of 68 countries for Power Breaking and another in the team event. Both times narrowly missing out on 1st place to North Korea. When Lisa returned, the word of her success spread through media, her classes tripled in size meaning she opened up classes for a second night.

Lisa continued with her international competing, and became 7x European champion in power breaking. In 2011 she travelled to New Zealand to compete at the world championships. Winning gold she became world champion in power breaking and silver in sparring. Lisa also achieved two silver medals in sparring at European championship level, also silver in Sparring at the European cup 2008, and gold for power breaking at the world cup in Brighton 2012, which became her last competition.

The Biggest Risk

In 2004 Lisa left her job as a milk lady, and took a job delivering letters for the Royal Mail. This meant she could work shorter hours, and focus more of her time on competing and cultivating Virtue Taekwon-Do. Around 2005, Lisa broke her ankle whilst delivering mail. Her time off work to recover, made her realise the only thing she really wanted to do was to follow her dream of teaching, competing and practicing Taekwon-Do, yearning to become a full time instructor.

While unable to train she put all her energy into opening more classes, once recovered Lisa was ready to take the biggest risk of her life, and become a full time instructor successfully gaining 250 students by 2011.

Love at first sight

In May 2011 after a few pointless broken relationships, Lisa didn’t realise her life was about to change in the biggest way ever. Lisa met her perfect match, the most amazing man and love of her life, Chris Pitman, and it really truly was love at first sight…….However there was a huge obstacle in the way,……….Chris lived in Wales, while Lisa lived in England,..….After a few months their love was so strong, Chris decided to give up his successful business and move to England to live with Lisa.

Chris started up his own business which was short lived, as his van was broken into and all his equipment was stolen, making it very difficult for him to carry on. For Chris moving to another country, not knowing anyone, or even his way around, and having his work possessions stolen, which had taken years to gather, left him feeling low and not sure what direction to turn.

Where it all began for Chris Pitman

Lisa made a suggestion that Chris came along to try out Taekwon-Do, and with a little persuasion; that he did. Lisa immediately realised how powerful and Skillful Chris was at Taekwon-Do, so she suggested he train to be a Black Belt and Instructor, so they could build on making Virtue Taekwon-Do an even more successful club and business.

By then Lisa had been training in Taekwondo-Do for 22 years, and a 6th Degree Black Belt International Instructor, so for Chris having his girlfriend teach him Taekwon-Do was a very hard challenge for him to take on. However, despite this, Chris really enjoyed doing Taekwon-Do and becoming a Black Belt at the age of 45 would be an incredible achievement, and so October 2011 the training began.

The Power Couple

Chris, despite being an all-rounder soon found his forte….POWER BREAKING. In fact, he was so amazing at it, Chris was breaking more boards as a beginner than any of Lisa’s existing Black Belts, he was breaking enough boards to qualify for the National team, if he had been a Black Belt, as that is the status required to compete internationally.

In the summer of 2012 Chris and Lisa decided to do a roof tile smashing/board breaking/brick breaking demonstration at the end of the Virtue Taekwon-Do summer camp, in front of students and parents. This was an incredible success, and for the first time ever Chris and Lisa had shown their extreme power as a couple.

Guinness World Record

The following week Chris and Lisa were approached by one of the parents, Sarah Newman, who worked in PR. Sarah asked if she could take them on as clients as she felt they should be putting themselves in the public eye, and should attempt a Guinness World Record.

In April 2013 Chris and Lisa attempted their first Guinness World Record of the fastest time to smash 1000 roof tiles, which they set up themselves, and not realising what they were letting themselves in for.

Chris had to smash 1000 in under 54 seconds, as this was the existing record, and Lisa had to smash 1000 in under 90 seconds, set by GWR, as no other female had ever attempted this.

The day arrived and the couple had incredible support from Virtue Taekwon-Do students, friends and family. The atmosphere was electric with a few newspaper photographers present. Chris and Lisa supplied their own adjudicators and time keepers as through Guinness World Records this can be very expensive if the attempt is not shown on TV, though everything was approved by GWR.

Unfortunately, their first attempt wasn’t successful and it made them realise the monstrosity of the challenge. However Chris and Lisa reconsidered the attempted challenge, as they had ran out of tiles, but still had more time. This was an error not to be repeated.

Second Attempt ‘Indomitable spirit’

On 19th August 2013, Chris and Lisa re attempted their Guinness World Record for the fastest time to smash 1000 roof tiles. This time they were fortunate to attempt their record on Blue Peter, who provided an official Guinness World Record Adjudicator.

So the attempt began, students, friends and family of Virtue Taekwon-Do watched closely, with Chris going first, as he smashed his way into the Guinness World Records, having beat the old record by almost 3 seconds, Chris Pitman smashed 1000 roof tiles in 51.08 seconds making him the new Guinness World Record holder.

It was now Lisa’s turn, but sadly for the second time, she was not successful, which caused complete heartbreak and humiliation for her as the couple wanted to achieve this together, Chris proposed to Lisa after their attempt on Blue Peter and of course Lisa wanted to marry Chris, but only once she had achieved the same as Chris as they wanted to become “The World’s Most Powerful Couple”.

Third Attempt ‘Indomitable spirit’

Amazingly, Lisa had an offer from BBC Breakfast TV to make a third attempt of smashing 1000 roof tiles in under 90 seconds. Meanwhile, Chris still training all the hours possible to become a Black Belt, with Lisa as his instructor, and rolls reversing for him to help Lisa achieve a Guinness World Record.

‘The World’s Most Powerful Couple’

On 26th March 2014 Lisa once again attempted the Guinness World Record for The fastest time to smash 1000 Roof Tiles on BBC Breakfast TV, presented by Mike Bushell. Again support from Virtue Taekwon-Do students, friends and family was incredible and Lisa managed to Smash her way into Guinness World Records by Smashing 1000 roof tiles in 83.98 seconds, making her a new Guinness World Record Holder, which meant Chris and Lisa became ‘The World’s Most Powerful Couple’ through Guinness World Records.

Lisa then got offered to attempt a different Guinness World Record, on an Italian TV Show called ‘Lo Show Dei Record’ for The Most Amount of Roof Tiles Broken in one minute. Lisa had to break at least 700 tiles, set by GWR but astonishingly with Chris’s expert coaching, she Broke 923 roof tiles in one minute, making her 2X Guinness World Record Holder, and smashing her way into the Official Guinness World Record Book 2016 (pg 77).

From tying the knot to moving house to Black Belt awesomeness + TV Interviews

On 29th November 2014 Chris and Lisa Pitman tied the knot, and got married at the Bromley Court hotel. A week later they moved out of their rented house and into their newly owned home in Biggin Hill Kent.

On 28th March 2015, Chris Pitman graded in front of the England Taekwon-Do Association and became a 1st Degree Black Belt and assistant Instructor.

At the end of August 2015, Chris and Lisa Pitman were called by Guinness World Records, to have an interview on Good Morning Britain alongside the Chief editor of GWR Craig Glenday, to celebrate their 60th year anniversary, the same day they then appeared on Channel 5 news for another interview alongside Craig.

‘Britain’s Got Talent’

In November 2015, Chris and Lisa Pitman got a call from Britain’s got talent to appear on their show in 2016, as ‘THE WORLDS MOST POWERFUL COUPLE’, and smash 1000 roof tiles in the shape of a number Ten, to celebrate their 10th year anniversary.

In January 2016 they travelled to Liverpool for their live audition in front of the BGT Judges, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon, coming away with four YES’S.

On the 13th February 2016 the BTG camera crew visited Chris and Lisa at their home for an interview, about going to the London palladium to find out if they go through to the live finals, which they found out on Sunday 14th February 2016 this was not to be.

Complete success

Virtue Taekwon-Do now, has over 500 students and continues to grow due to the expert tuition of Chris and Lisa Pitman, and their incredible achievements.

Chris and Lisa thrive on teaching Taekwon-Do, and are honored to have the most satisfying job they could ever ask for. They feel that they can help to change people's lives in many ways, both big and small due to their positive energy and self-belief. Seeing smiles on their students faces as they train and achieve their goals is priceless.

By following the five tenets of Taekwon-Do; Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit - we can all find and bring out the best within ourselves. Taekwon-Do has helped to make them the people they are today, and they look forward to many more years of helping to "build a more peaceful world" through the teaching and practice of Taekwon-Do.