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57 children aged between 6 and 12 years graded in St Joseph’s School for the Deaf, on Sunday. The children were part of the RITA’s Tigers & Dragons programme and were examined by ITF examiner Master Robert Howard 7th degree.

The Tigers were up first (10 am) and Master Howard examined them in all aspects of the programme, testing their technical skills, flexibility, jumping ability and Korean words. The children and parents from the Dublin 7 area; Cabra, Navan Road, Finglas and Drumcondra, were delighted when the results were announced and those who were successful received their grading certificate.

The older children (dragons) took to the floor at 12.30 pm and it was great to see the higher skills and ability which the older children displayed. The majority of the children have been training for 5 years and it was obvious that it was time well spent as they showed a very good standard for their age.

It was a long day for the students, instructors and examiner but well worth it in the end as the successful students were presented with their grading certificates.

Congratulations to all the students who graded.

 

 

Dragons Programme – Grading Results

 

First

Surname

Promoted to - KUP

Christopher

Parsons

6

Jodie

Curley

6

Jodie

Parsons

6

Amelie

Ni Roibeaird

7

Bradley

Bailey

7

David

Brady

7

Emmet

O'Rourke

7

Finn

Howard

7

Ian

Lawlor

7

Joyce

Yu

7

Max

Cleary

7

Nia

Campion

7

Shane

Rice

7

Sofia

Hu

7

Alex

Parkes

9

Chris

Yu

9

Julian

Meade

9

Seoidin

Douglas

9

Zoe

Higgins

9

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tigers Programme – Grading Results

 

 

First

Surname

Promoted to 10th KUP / Stripe

First

Surname

Promoted to 10th KUP / Stripe

Abdullah

Al-Zubaidi

Black

Adam

Hu

Black

Adam

Guemmour

Red

Alice

Abzieher

Red

Adam

Lohan

Blue

Andrew

Mohan

Black

Callum

Parkes

Black

Blake

Kavanagh

Blue

Cian

Maguire

Black

Christian

Mesolella

Blue

Cian

O'Shea

Black

Ciara

Alcock

Black

Darragh

O'Shea

Black

Cillian

Campion

Black

David

McKinley

Red

Donnagh

Coleman

Blue

Gerry

Sweeny

Black

Fionn

Mac Roibeaird

Red

Jamie

Hynes

Black

Georgia

Mooney

Blue

Libby

McKinley

Black

Jack

McCague

Black

Noah

Empereur

Red

Jack

Curley

Blue

Oliwia

Swizdor

Black

Luca

Mesolella

Blue

Paul

O'Brien

Black

Neasa

Britton

Black

Ruairi

Maguire

Black

Onri

Onlabi

Black

Stephen

Brennan

Black

Patrick

Caddell

Blue

Tom

Webb

Blue

Rian

Fox

Black

Tymotevsz

Swizdor

Black

Sam

Meade

Black

 

 

 

Sarah

Allen

Black

 

 

 

Sean

Lacey

Blue

 

 

 

It’s been a busy year for Grandmaster Howard’s Taekwon-Do School but the graduation ceremony of Tuesday evening was one of the highlights. The ceremony was held in St Joseph’s School for the Deaf, Navan Road and was attended by 40 Tigers and Dragons Taekwon-Do students and their parents.

The evening started with Master Howard welcoming all the children and parents and he handed over to Grandmaster Howard who explained the significance of the event to the children and the school as a whole. He pointed out that many of the older children (Dragons) had been training with us since our first Tigers class in 2009 and it was great to see how well they have developed since then. Nineteen children were graduating from our dragon programme to our teen programme, where they will train at a higher level.

Grandmaster Howard said that he was happy to see so many (16) of the Tigers complete their 3 years of training and were now graduating onto the Dragons programme. He went on to say that it is not just the physical development that we are concerned with, but that the moral development of the child is equally important. ‘If as instructors we can raise students who are respectful, have good moral values and can make a positive contribution to society, then we have produced good students’.

After that the students and parents came up on stage to receive the belts and tags, certificates and Taekwon-Do journey books from Grandmaster Howard and Master Howard. But (judging by the swarm of locust-like feeding frenzy) the highlight of the night for the children was the cake, biscuits and juice which was served afterwards. It was a night off for our ‘healthy eating policy’, but isn’t that was a treat is supposed to be.

Thanks to the instructors and all our helpers (Derek Brady, Caroline Brady, Fiona Lyng, Lisa Parsons, Lee Parsons) for a helping to make it a very enjoyable evening.

 

Two Irish competitors, the National Coach and 3 Irish umpires recently attended the E.I.T.F European Championships in Minsk, Belarus from April 7th to April 14th 2014.

 

After two flights which included a stopover for a few hours in Frankfurt, some visa checks in Minsk, buying a compulsory health insurance policy in the airport, and a short bus trip on some unusually straight roads we arrived at the hotel Planeta , which would also double as a training venue for the next few days.

 

Tuesday was registration day and weigh in for anyone competing in the sparring sections. After a little bit of sitting around and some admin work by Master Doyle which included a trip to the local bank, all registration was complete and we had our competitor passes.  Before lunch we took a walk around Minsk to take a look at some of the sights which included a walk through what we thought was the famous Gorky park, taking plenty of pictures only for Google to tell us later that day that the film was based in Moscow and filmed in Helsinki!!!  Ah well!!

 

We returned to the hotel for lunch to find that they had put on Chicken, fish, rice, noodles, potatoes and salad for us. Not a bad start we thought, little did we know at this stage that this would be our breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week!!

 

After lunch we changed into our spare Dobok bottoms to do some pattern practice and it was at this point that the atmosphere for the week really started to build. Every available space in the hotel was filled with competitors from all over Europe practising with all the various coaches supervising. It was an amazing sight to see. For anyone who has been to European or World championships before you will know that this is a normal sight but it never fails to get the adrenalin going and really sets the scene for the week. The lobby of the hotel had various teams practising team and individual patterns and we were lucky that the hotel had plenty of large open areas to facilitate this. Hotel staff and other guests looked on in both astonishment and amazement at what was going on and tried to weave their way past side kicks and knife hand strikes as they went about their day. Given that the sun was shining we found a spot in the car park close to where the  Czech contingent of 41 competitors were training and we went through all colour belt and relevant black belt patterns and the self defence routine for a few hours.

 

After a few quick games of pool during which myself and Master Doyle discovered that it wouldn’t be a good idea to play Ms. Conaty for money, we headed down for some chicken for dinner. Later that evening the Irish umpires of Senior Master Barrett, Master Howard and Master Keane arrived at our hotel and we sat down for a few hours catch up with some of the English and Scottish group which had arrived after a visa nightmare which left them stranded in London overnight.

 

Wednesday morning came and after sifting through a breakfast buffet of boiled rice, noodles and breaded chicken we found some scrambled eggs and some yoghurt which would have to suffice until lunch. It was soon time for more pattern practise and as the weather was a bit cold outside we commandeered a lobby area on the 3rd floor of the hotel, rearranged the furniture and took turns to practise our optional and potential designated patterns. Again, like the day before any free space was taken and given the colder weather outside it meant everyone was indoors. After a quick break for some chicken for lunch we took a short walk up to the arena where the coaches meeting was to be held and got to see the arena and mats for the first time. While Master Doyle attended the coaches meeting we returned to the hotel and went at the pattern practise again for a short while before the opening ceremony. We must have completed 60+ patterns that day.


Wednesday evening saw the opening ceremony take place in the arena which included representatives from all countries walking out with their national flag. We were then entertained by a series of various displays from dancers, gymnasts and even Belarus’ version of 1 Direction (or so I am told!)

 

Back to the hotel for a chicken dinner and off to bed to get a good nights sleep as Thursday was the first big day for us.

 

Thursday morning was my time for individual pattern competition in Ring 3, the centre ring which ended with a close match against Mr. Carl Davis from England after we both performed Ul-Ji Tul followed by Joong- Gun Tul as our designated pattern. It was a bittersweet end to the patterns section as it meant I would come home with a bronze medal but also having been so close to a place in the final was disappointing as well. Next up after a chicken lunch was Ms. Conaty in Ring 1 where after a great performance of Choong Jang Tul and joon Gun tul in the final she clinched the gold medal and European Champion title.  Finished competing for the day we sat to watch The Male Team Patterns section which was played out in Ring 3 later in the afternoon and was won by the Czech Republic with what I can only describe as a near perfect performance of Choong Jang Tul (2nd Degree Pattern). It was a pleasure to watch and really set the bar very high for future teams.

 

Friday was a day off for us from competing and we watched the various sparring sections for the day. It was mainly Junior sparring on Friday so we moved around the various rings to try take in as much of the action as possible and take some photos. There were some great performances and it is great to see some competitors now scoring with the compulsory kick rather than merely attempting it. Watching some of the very young competitors warming up before competing it was obvious how serious they take their training and how much they are listening to their coaches and instructors and practising even the simplest of sparring drills.

 

Back to the hotel in the evening for some more chicken and then out for a bit of a walk before bed.

 

Saturday was medal presentation for Ms. Conaty’s  gold in Pattern’s and we were also back on the mats competing in the self defence routine as well as power for Ms. Conaty later in the day.

 

The self defence routine was in the afternoon and Master Doyle, Ms Conaty and myself took to the mats to perform our well rehearsed routine. After giving what felt like an Oscar winning performance which included one of the best rolling performances ever seen on camera, we had to settle for a silver medal losing out to the Czech team. Hopefully we can challenge them again next year for the gold.

 

Next up was Power for Ms. Conaty. Last year the minimum standard was 1 board for hand techniques and 2 for feet, however it was changed to 2 for hands and 3 for feet this year. All competitors went up to perform their eliminator technique but unfortunately all failed to qualify. A second round of eliminator was given and after two very strong attempts Ms. Conaty along with everyone other competitor bar one had to bow out of the competition. Czech Republic took the gold medal with a very nice SonKal break on 2 white focus boards.

 

Sunday saw the adult male power and veteran male power. We watched Mr. Dag-Owe Jensen from Norway, a former World Champion, comfortably win the Veteran power with 3 very strong techniques. Watching this was enough to start the adrenalin flowing for the day.

 

In the Adult male power the minimum standard was set at 3 boards for hand techniques and 4 for feet. This was an increase from the previous championships in Slovenia and proved very difficult for all bar the Bulgarian competitor. Yop Chagi was my chosen eliminator and after shaking the holder and the people standing on the back of it, the boards still remained intact so it wasn’t meant to be this year for power. All competitors seemed to struggle with the increased requirement but it sets the standard for next year so I am sure everyone will be back stronger and more determined in Italy.

 

The last event of the championships was the Individual and Team Special Technique. For anyone not familiar with this event, it challenges competitors to perform some of the most challenging aerial kicks in TaeKwon-Do by reaching a target in some cases up to 2.8m in the air, they must kick with accuracy and precision and land with perfect balance.

 

This was a pleasure to watch and to see the heights some of the athletes were reaching was inspirational.

 

The championships finally finished up with an after party in a local venue in Minsk where competitors were able to unwind and celebrate the highs and lows of the week before returning home to start preparing for Italy 2015.

 

I would strongly encourage all black belts and child red belts, irrespective of perceived ability or fitness to attend squad training with the National Coach Master Doyle to train for potentially competing in next year’s European Championships and various other international events. Even if you are not selected to compete, the training will improve your overall TaeKwon-Do performance. Don’t worry about not being fit enough to attend Squad, your toughest competitor will be yourself.

 

I would also encourage anyone thinking of attending purely as a spectator. The championships are a great event to watch but I must warn you, you will wish you were competing! Next years championships will take place in Andria, Italy from 27th April – 4th May so maybe an opportunity to make a holiday out of it for any potential spectators.

 

A photo and video gallery is also available on https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.671597399581168.1073741830.269597463114499&type=3

 

 

 

 

High Standard at the Grandmaster Howard Taekwon-Do Fun Challenge

 

     

 

This year’s Grandmaster Howard’s Cabra Taekwon-Do School Fun Challenge as a great success and there was some seriously high standards raised by this group of 6 to 11 year olds. This special in-house event is designed to get the children on the Tigers & Dragons programme used to more serious national competitions, and to develop the children’s flexibility and jumping ability.

 

The event was the biggest yet with 50 of Master Howard’s students (6-11 years) competing in 4 sections at the Taekwon-Do school in the Navan Road, Dublin 7. The sections were; technical (4-step punch and patterns), flexibility, sparring and jumping overhead kick. The results of the flexibility development programme were clearly evident as the children wowed the umpires and parents with their advanced stretches. There was also some very impressive jumping as personal and school recorded were broken. The winning jump in the boys’ nopi chagi (9-11 years) was 210 cm, which is just 60 cm off the European standard for boys (14-17 years). While the girls (9-11 years) winning jump was 180 cm, which is just 40 cm off the European standard for girls (14-17 years).

 

Well done to all the children who took part and thanks to the parents for supporting the event. Also thanks to the members of the school who helped out on the day, preparing the children for sparring and keeping the show on the road. A big special thanks to all the umpires from some of the RITA’s Dublin Taekwon-Do schools who gave up their Sunday to support the event; Ms Linda Kenrick (Blessington), Mr Chris Dowes and Mr Gavin Finnegan (Old Bawn), Ms Jen McCormack (Dublin North East), and our umpires from Cabra and Navan Road, Mr Leon McSherry, Mr Fergus Wilson, Mr John Malone, Mr Patrick Choi, Mr Alek Nowak, Mr Anthony Dunne.

 

Photos of the event are on our school facebook page. Click Here

 

Results of the Grandmaster Howard Taekwon-Do Fun Challenge 2014

 

Tigers (6-8 years)

4-Step Punch

Group 1

Group 2

1st Adam H

1st Stephen

2nd Cian O’S

2nd Tom

3rd Libby

3rd Jack McC

3rd Ruairi

3rd Adam L

 

Stetching

Girls

Boys – Group 1

Boys – Group 2

1st Oliwia

1st Adam H

1st Donnagh

2nd Libby

2nd Darragh

2nd Jack C

3rd Ciara

3rd Cian M

3rd Tom

3rd Sarah

3rd Cian O’S

3rd Noah

 

Jump Overhead Kick (Nopi Chagi)

Girls

Boys – Group 1

Boys – Group 2

1st Oliwia

1st Adam H

1st Stephen (190 cm)

 

Sparring

Boys Team Sparring

Girls Team Sparring

1st Panthers

1st Diamond

2nd Lions

2nd Jade

3rd Leopards

 

3rd Pumas

 

 

 

Dragons (9-11 years)

Patterns

4- Dirn Punch

Yellow Belt

1st Seoidin

1st Max

2nd Zoe

2nd Finn

3rd Chris

3rd Emmet

3rd Emily

3rd Joyce

 

Stetching

Girls

Boys – Group 1

1st Emily

1st Emmet

2nd Kate

2nd Finn

3rd Joyce

3rd Ian

3rd Amelie

3rd Shane

 

Jump Overhead Kick (Nopi Chagi)

Mixed 10th kups

Girls

Boys – Group 2

1st Chris

1st Joyce (180 cm)

1st Emmet (210 cm)

 

Sparring

Boys Team Sparring

Girls Team Sparring

1st Avengers

1st Earth

2nd X-Men

2nd Fire

 

 

 

Tigers (6-8 years) – Girls

Team – Jade

Ciara

Alice

Neasa

 

Team Diamond

Oliwia

Sarah

Libby

 

Tigers (6-8 years) – Boys

Team - Lions

Adam G

Tymotevsz

Abdullah

Eoghan

Adam Hu

Onri

 

Team - Pumas

Fionn

Sean

Adam Lohan

Tom

Cian Maguire

Jack McCague

 

Team - Leopards

Stephen

Jamie

David

Donnagh

Cian O’Shea

Callum

 

Team - Panthers

Darragh

Patrick

Jack  Curley

Noah

Blake

Ruairi

 

Dragons (9-11 years) – Girls

Team Earth

Joyce

Emily

Jodie C

Jodie P

 

Team – Fire

Amelie

Zoe

Kate

Seoidin

 

Dragons (9-11 years) – Boys

Team – Avengers

David

Eoin

Ian

Finn

Max

Alex P

 

Team X-Men

Emmet

Shane

Bradley

Christopher P

Chris Yu