Summer Black Belt Grading Report
The ITA Summer Blackbelt grading took place on the weekend of 16 & 17th of June in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. 38 candidates presented for testing for grades ranging from 1st to 5th Degree Blackbelt. The event was hosted in the Rathcoole Community Centre by Carl & Stephen Smullen of Newlands Taekwon-Do Club. The grading was run in two adjoining training halls with two examiner panels on both days to ensure maximum efficiency. The grading was conducted using the ITA grading software meaning examiners could enter scores & feedback extremely quickly and results could be calculated instantly at the end of the grading and feedback could be given to instructors and students.
The first day of testing began at 12pm with all candidates being welcomed by Master Kenneth Wheatley, 7th Dan, ITA President. The candidate where then split into their respective groups and the grading began in front of the two panels. The first examiner panel was made up of Mr Tim Forde, 6th Dan, Mr Pat Barry 6th Dan, Mr Ken Leahy 5th Dan, Mr Kevin Kinsella 5th Dan and Mr Declan McMullen 5th Dan and this panel was responsible for testing for 2nd Dan with 14 students taking to the floor. The second panel made up of Master Patrick O’Rourke 7th Dan, Mr. Terry Donnelly 6th Dan, Mr Paul Delea 6th Dan, Mr Niall Jones 5th Dan and Mr Donal O’Donaghue 5th Dan had the responsibility of testing two candidates for 3rd Dan, three for 4th Dan & one candidate for 5th Dan. The grading was overlooked by Master Wheatley, while Mr Stephen Ryan 5th Dan tested the candidate’s knowledge of Taekwon-Do theory. The candidates where tested on all aspects of Taekwon-Do including fundamental hand techniques, kicking techniques, patterns, step sparring, free sparring, self-defence, power-breaking, special technique & Taekwon-Do theory. The grading finished at 6pm with the examiners meeting to confirm the results, before the group was lined up and the results were given.
Day 2 began at 11am and was for those testing for 1st degree blackbelt, marking a major milestone in their Taekwon-Do career. Again two panels where present with the first panel consisting of Master O’Rourke, Mr Delea, Mr Donnelly, Mr Jones and Mr Kinsella, while the other panel was made up of Mr Barry, Mr Forde, Mr Adrian Byrne 5th Dan, Ms Anne Marie Kinsella 5th Dan and Mr McMullen. 18 candidates presented for testing and the grading was carried out in the same format as on the previous day, the students had been issued with the call sheet two weeks prior the grading and so where able to tailor their final weeks preparation, however two additional hand & foot technique where called during the grading, testing the depth of the candidates technical knowledge. Sunday’s grading finished at 4:30pm and results were given to the candidates by Master Wheatley.
Of the 38 candidates who presented for testing over the weekend, 28 where successfully promoted. This highlighted the high standard that is demanded from candidates at the ITA blackbelt gradings. Congratulations must be given to those successful participants as their hard work over the past months has been rewarded. The candidates, who were unsuccessful at this time, although disappointed, will no doubt show their perseverance by coming back and retesting at the next time of asking. Overall the event was very successful and we now look forward to next ITA blackbelt grading which will take place in Ennis in December. Below is the list of successful candidates.
Posted by Stephen Ryan