Black Belt Exam 2009 – Report
The wait is over for the 15 Warrior Tae Kwon Do students that took part in this year’s Black Belt Examination, with the results being officially released today. We are both proud and delighted to announce that all of this year’s candidates were successful and have been promoted to their new ranks.
While the choice of exam date, Friday the 13th, had some of the more superstitious candidates a little worried, luck didn’t have anything to do with the success of these students. The hard work that they have all put in, especially over the past 12 months, really showed on the night. From an original group of 22 candidates at the beginning of their Black Belt training course, these 15 were hand-picked to go through for examination, in recognition of their relentless commitment to training.
Having engaged in a light warm-up and stretching class with Mr. Barry O’Mahony from 6 to 6.30pm, the students took a short break to rehydrate before changing into their doboks and returning to the floor. Standing in perfectly-formed lines, the students greeted instructor Mr. Dan O’Mahony and examiner Master Clive Harrison with a round of applause as they entered the hall at 7.55pm. Once 7pm came around, it was straight down to business…
The first group on the floor were the 5 First Dans who were testing to make the leap to Second Dan. Having been thoroughly put through their paces in both line work, patterns, self defence and one-step sparring, the Junior students (under 16) were dismissed from the floor. The Senior First Dans on the other hand, along with the one Senior Black Stripe in attendance, were called upon to perform the destruction section of their test.
This section saw each of the senior candidates easily demolishing the wooden boards provided – none of them requiring the full 3 permitted attempts.
The next two groups called to perform consisted of the 10 Black Stripes who would be testing for promotion to First Dan. These groups were went through a test similar to that performed by the first group, with the techniques and patterns adjusted accordingly.
It was after this first half of the exam that the First Dans were once again called to the floor. Following a lengthy session of Semi-Free Sparring and Free Sparring, all of the candidates were then asked to perform a set of push-ups as a further test of their fitness. Then, the most nerve-wracking section of the exam took place: Theory.
Master Harrison called each of the First Dans to the table individually and proceeded to not only give each candidate a lengthy interrogation on subjects such as the history, techniques and philosophy of Tae Kwon Do, but also to provide very useful and informative feedback to each candidate, based on their performance.
The Black Stripes were next up but, to their relief, were not required to come to the table for their theory test as they had already aced this section of their exam in a written paper taken the previous week.
The last group of Black Stripes were dismissed from the floor at 10.30pm, thus marking the end of the official examination. A presentation was made to Master Harrison by Mr Dan O’Mahony on behalf of the members of Warrior Tae Kwon Do and photographs were then taken.
All in all, it was a long & tough exam; the instructors and Black Belts in attendance agreed that it was far more thorough and challenging than any Black Belt Examination that they had seen thusfar. On that note, congratulations must be given to each of the successful candidates for their superb performance, and we extend our greatest gratitude to Master Harrison for all of his help in organising and conducting the exam.
Junior First Degree Black Belt
- Mr Callum Bowkett
- Ms Elena Forde
- Ms Lisa O’Donovan
- Mr Jack Haigh
- Ms Deirdre O’Brien
- Ms Aoife Ní Bhroin
- Mr Erik Hilmer
- Ms Libby Blewitt
- Ms Annie Blewitt
Senior First Degree Black Belt
- Ms Sarah O’Donovan
Junior Second Degree Black Belt
- Ms Sarah Murphy
- Ms Julianne Hayes
Senior Second Degree Black Belt
- Mrs Anne O’Mahony
- Ms Tracy O’Driscoll
- Mr Dwayne Crowley