Kingdom host Julia Cross

Kingdom host Julia Cross

Ms Julia Cross, 6 X ITF World Champ visits the Kingdom of Kerry.

 Mr Adrian O’Mahoney, 6th Degree and Chief Instructor of Kingdom Schools of Taekwon-Do, invited Ms Julia Cross, 5th Degree, to Co. Kerry in Ireland to conduct Sparring Seminars in April of 2012.Ms Cross is a 6 times ITF World Champion and was in the “Kingdom of Kerry” for Junior and Senior Sparring Seminars. On Saturday Ms Cross was in the Listowel Taekwon-Do Hall for a Junior Seminar. In A very upbeat style she taught the kids about movement and balance, footwork and how a good guard and side facing are very beneficial for good sparring. Ms Cross started with what seemed as simple games but each game evolved into sparring strategy. By the end of the Seminar the students were dodging and countering, attacking with solid punches and strong side kicks. A lot of the students commented afterwards that they found it easier to spar and score points after the session, and thought Ms Cross was brilliant. 


On Sunday Morning the venue was the Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, with Juniors starting at 10am to 12pm. 25 students arrived early and eager to learn from the World Champion. The format was similar to the previous day with each exercise progressing into the next. Sunday’s seminar was very up tempo and lots of drills were covered by the students and there was a visible change in how the students were moving after the day. After the seminar Ms Cross gave them a chance to ask questions about her training and Competition career and what she has achieved and how she achieved it.

At 12pm the Senior seminar started on what was to be a very fast paced 3 hour seminar. There was from white belt to 6th Degree in attendance, notably Mr Mark Buckley and Mr Pat Barry 6th Degrees as well as Eddie Dillon, Louise McCagh, Luke Laffan, Katy Laffan, and twice Junior World Champion Dylan Fitzgibbon.

Ms Cross covered core work, correct foot position for side kick in sparring, dodging and working angles for sparring, use of solid punches. This then led into sparring drills covering these topics. After working the drills they were then put into sparring practise, half of the class sat and watched as the other half sparred and vice versa. This was done so that each group could observe the other putting the drills into practise and see how the worked. This seminar was very informative and each student seemed to learn quite a lot. To finish up Ms Cross had everyone sparring in a point sparring game, when you lost you sat down and the winners moved onto the next person, with the last person left as the winner, (Dylan Fitzgibbon) this was a very enjoyable game. To finish there was a body massage from a partner, which involved walking on your partners back and massaging their shoulders. The seminar finished with a Q and A session, then Mr O’Mahoney made a presentation to Julia Cross on behalf of the Kingdom Schools of Taekwon-Do of a Glass clock and thanked her dearly for coming to Ireland for her first ever seminars in Ireland. Ms Cross has a wealth of information to teach and pass on and is very willing to do so. The one thing she impressed upon all the Seminar participants was that, to achieve something you have to believe in yourself and not to let others tell you what you can or cannot achieve.

Posted by Stephen Ryan