16 Next Generation Black Belts Prepare To Grade

Taekwondo Central Members Prepare For The 2016 December Black Belt Grading

Front – (L-R) Deacon, Tyler, Matt
Middle – (L-R) Mollie, Madison, Ashlee, Brent, Mia, Tahlia
Back – (L-R) Max, David, Declan

Absent – Brooklyn Jauncey, Peter Shepardson, Isobella Desot and Liam Delany


” The thousand mile journey begins with just one step” For most of the above that first step was taken 4 tears ago when they turned up with their parents to start Taekwondo or for over half of them Little Dragons.

With the test 5 weeks away, everyone is buckling down and focusing on fine tuning their skills, lifting fitness and going through the motions on what they will need to do grading day. Failling to prepare is preparing to fail so students are taking advantages of stay back practise after class and using up the time dedicated to the Black Belt Master Class on friday nights. “Ive been very happy with the level, especially with a good 5 weeks left.”

David Browne will be our only Adult for this grading though we have a handfull on the horizon approach the initial goal belt level. David has extended his training through the Black Belt Sub Grading Syllabus and is now lining upm for a 2nd Dan Black Belt jumping ahead of the other 1st Dan Black Belts through discipline and dedication to training. David will be the only current Taekwondo Central Black Belt attempting to gain a Dan Level and the 4th this year after all 3 current instructor graded earlier during the year. Its going to be great to see an active training adult second dan in the club again. Best of luck Dave.

Max, Declan, Molly, Madison, Ashlee, Brent, Mia, Tahlia, Deacon, Tyler & Matt are all currently cho dan bo (probationary black belt) so this will be there first time in front of the Ohdokwan Grading Panel so it can quite nerve racking but with the focus on progression not perfection the improvement in level is really showing through.

Tahlia has also been training as part of the Paragon Program for the last and this term. The improvement has been very noticable, her dedication is shining through, big improvements in sparring, kick speed and power plus greater determination is what Im seeing from Tahlia and its been fantastic. She wants this black belt. It can be seen when she trains

Madison & Molly have made huge improvements in the last months. The 2 have teamed up as training partners and are now pushing each other towards an even higher level. It shows the value of a focused mind with a focused training partner

When Madison kicks the target, the thump echoes through the hall, she has amoung one of the strongest kicks I have seen from a female her age, Im just so happy she is responsible with her skills, I dont think she realises how much damage she could do to a person if she wishes to. she is very quiet and humble but has these incredible kicks and great flexility, Madison has made the biggest physical ability improvement this year.

Molly has made the biggest skill improvement I have seen in the club, another quiet achiever, shes very dedicated training 3 times a week to prepare with Madison, Molly’s small stature is very decieving, she is fast and has lightning kicks. When molly smashes targets it can be heard down the corridor. Molly and Madison both come up through the Little Dragons program and now will be able to share the great experience of achieving their Black Belts as training partners & friends.

Tyler & Matt have also been training partners, teaming up in the the Junior Taekwondo, the two have always been testing and honing their skills on each other. It helps keep them both motivated and now they are working towards the Black Belt goal. Tyler has this ability to make training fun, just talking to him makes you smile, he has this presence about him, Matt already has a Black Belt in the family through his older brother Jack Bowkley, this has further inspired Matt to earn his own. Mat and Tyler are both putting in the hours and helping eacher other to their goal level. Its a great experience to have with someone who has done the journey alongside you.

Declan has been pulled in as a helper to the teaching instructors many times, Declan is dedicated to the growth of the club and also the refinement of his own level, he strikes like an adult but is very controlled, reserved though very patient, great ingredients for a club leader.

Max was the smart one who started turning up early to the back belt master class to prepare for his grading while many were still working out if they were grading this year. The extra prep shows. Max is showing the deepest understanding of the grading and has retained the most to date. Max showed me from earlier in the year that he was serious. Max has always had a good understanding of Taekwondo and it will be great to see him awarded with this level

We were very lucky to gain Brent, He joined us when his family moved here after already having a significant martial arts background, Brent started a few levels in due to his prior knowledge and he blended in perfectly. Brent has a very strong traditional martial arts background that will serve him well in this traditional Taekwondo grading but his skill doesnt limit him to tradition, very competitve in sparring with great movement and counters, Brent has developed great skill. Brent also currently trains with the Paragon Program and has been great to have on board.

Deacons story is pure inspiration. Deacon joined us as a young child in the Little Dragons Program after beating an illness that in most cases is terminal, defying the odds, he has not only beaten the condition, he has set himself some great life goals with black belt being one of them. Deacon has taken his Taekwondo seriously and it shows in his skill, I have watched Deacon grow as a person and its been great to be able to call him one of my students. Im very proud of him and his skill level.

Ashlee joined us from another Taekwondo club, at first Ashlee had trouble with the transition, about 2 months ago was when it hit me how much she had improved, with good flexibility and the development of her technique and strength. Ashlees co-ordination has made huge improvements also with patterns flowing more freely and target kicking stronger and accurate. What I love about Ashlee is she has never given up, she has pushed forward and kept trying and now succeeded through to a high level. I have seen many who were in Ashlees position when starting training with us drop out. though Ashlee had an adjustment in style to make, she has progressed into someone I am really looking forward to seeing achieve her black belt.

One thing about grading for black belt, it can get overwhelming. The nervous anxiety a student has to deal with can be too much for some. The training can also be hard. Its not the beginning anymore when your excited about learning something new. its the busines end and some 90% of people who start Taekwondo never reach this point and the Cho Dan Bo belt is one of those levels that students tend to stop at. I have had 3 students at cho dan bo drop off in the last year and I thought Mia was the 4th.

After an absence, I was very happy to see Mia return to train for the black belt, Mia has teamed up with Tahlia and the 2 are working on the belt. Mia has been one of the great personalities down the club for many years. making her way up to Cho Dan Bo she has put herself in the position to prepare for her grading. I would love to see Mia get her black belt. she has spent many hours building her skill and to fall short one belt would be frustrating in the future when looking back. One level. Mia’s focus and dedication is building. Shes improving very quickly and getting her level up to complete the black belt journey, me for one, thinks she totally deserves the belt.

Best of luck to all of you, its a great achievement you all deserve and though we havent passed yet, you have put in the hours and training to pass this now. its just going the process of going through with it.


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