On Saturday 6th November, Revolution TaeKwon-Do held our first Black Belt Grading at Ashton Park School in South Bristol. We graded students from 1st Kup going for their 1st Dan Black Belts, through to 3rd Dan going for 4th Dan. The grading panel consisted of Revolutionary Instructors: Master Russ Martin 7th Dan, Master Andrew Mole 6th Dan, Master Noel Downer 6th Dan and Master John McNally 7th Dan representing the National Governing Body, the International TaeKwon-Do Council and the TaeKwon-Do Council of the United Kingdom. It is this National Governing Body for TaeKwon-Do in the UK that recognizes our Black Belt Grading Panel and recognizes the grades we award both nationally and internationally. This is some serious pedigree!
The grading itself went very, very well; the venue worked well and the day passed smoothly without any hiccups. We examined a total of 23 students of various grades that day. Master McNally commented that we worked the students far harder at our grading than our previous organisation would have done. Even so, I am pleased to say that everybody passed! Master McNally also commented congratulating us on the standard of our students saying that this was probably the highest quality Black Belt Grading that he had officiated at in at least five years.
One long term 1st Dan, Mrs Joanne Street from Bristol South club, who has been a 1st Dan for 18 years (!) did an exceptionally good grading. As she was on the floor Master McNally suggested that we probably already had our ‘Best in Grading’ in front of us already.. Mrs Street was awesome! However, as far as Best in Grading goes, Ms Emma Lloyd took to the floor alone for her 3rd to 4th Dan linework and patterns. She then proceeded to blow the competition away. Her performance was nothing short of phenomenal. She of course was awarded the Best in Black Belt Grading. Master McNally also singled out Mrs Rachel Styles for praise as she was going for her 3rd Dan; her technically good TaeKwon-Do, her spirit and her effort were just fantastic. Personally I would also single out her son Robert Styles, taking his 2nd Dan, he has matured and grown in his TaeKwon-Do. In one step sparring where he deftly slipped his opponent and applied a rear naked choke, just brought tears of happiness to my eyes!
This was a good first grading for Revolution TaeKwon-Do. Can we do better? Well there’s always room for improvement and we learned some lessons!
The date of the next Black Belt Grading is Saturday 21st May 2022.
Nobody is going to walk into that grading without kihapping themselves hoarse and leaving a lot of sweat on our dojang floors! But there will be more to follow on this subject for anybody potentially hoping to grade. Please let me know if you are hoping to grade in May.
Congratulations to everyone on achieving your new grades. To say you made me proud is an understatement.
Long live the Revolution!
Master Russ Martin