As a qualified international grading examiner I am fully qualified to grade students in ITF TaeKwon-Do, however on this occasion I knew Master Dennis VIII was holding his own grading and only 3 Banstead Students had put themselves forward for this opportunity.
The grading was held on August 22nd at the TaeKwon-Do Impact HQ in Croydon, a facility owned and run by Grandmaster Nardizzi.
Georgia, Dan and Hollie put themselves forward for this grading going for Blacktags, Red belt and Reg Tags respectively. The grading system goes from White belt Beginners to Blackbelt with Blackbelt being further categorised at Novice, Expert, Master and Grand Master.
And to further put things into perspective Georgia has been in my class since 4 years old and she is now 16 heading to sit her blackbelt exam in 2022. No doubt, if anyone reads this, they might ask "But why so long to get a blackbelt? I can go to a different class and get one in just a couple of years". The joy of martial arts training is in the Journey and not the Destination, I try to give the youngest members a good grounding in physical movement to help them progress in any sport or activity they choose; I teach the next age group, JUNIOR TKD, the TKD syllabus but with emphasis on high quality basics.
Georgia, Dan and Hollie enjoy their classes and no doubt will make great Blackbelts when that time comes.
Being a TaeKwon-Do Blackbelt is more than 'having' a blackbelt and character development, fortitude, tenacity are all graded alongside physical and mental development. A TaeKwon-Do ITF Blackbelt holder enters a new era of responsibility and part of an honourable club of Blackbelt holders all over the World and all actions whether they are inside or outside the training hall could reflect on all Blackbelt holders and should set a good example to the fellow students and the community also.
All 3 students performed well through the physical tests required and answered the theory questions well. However, there was a standout performance in Dan and he has been awarded a 'PLUS' pass (a higher result than ordinary or normal).
Dan has improved his technique all over lockdown working hard on individual things that needed correcting to become a Red belt, he sparred some very capable, much stronger, bigger and stronger teenage blackbelts and sparred them very well. I am sure there are good things to come from Dan.
Georgia - now blacktags, 1st Kup
Dan - now Red belt, 2nd Kup
Hollie - now Red tags, 3rd Kup
...for putting themselves forward and progressing to the next stages in their training.
The next grading for other students will be held at the end of September.