Warrior Black Belt Exams 2012
On the morning of Sunday November 4th 2012, 16 Warrior Martial Arts students from clubs throughout West Cork came together in Kilbrittain Tae Kwon Do club for the association’s annual Black Belt examinations. Prior to this day, the exam candidates, spanning an age range of over 30 years, had already put in many years of dedicated training, including the grueling schedule of intensive “squad training” classes that are compulsory for all Black Belt candidates. The examination would determine whether or not this time had been spent wisely, with promotion to the coveted rank of Black Belt as the ultimate reward for 11 of the candidates if successful, while 5 more, already Black Belt holders, hoped to earn promotion to further degress of rank.
Beginning at 10am, the students took to the floor to warm up, under the instruction of Warrior Martial Arts Vice President Barry O’Mahony. With their muscles warmed and joints loosened out, the students were given a couple of minutes to make any final preparations before association President Dan O’Mahony introduced the grading examiner, Master Clive Harrison. Standing to attention, the students greeted the 7th Degree Black Belt with a warm round of applause, recited the Tae Kwon Do students’ oath and were then dismissed from the floor to allow for the examination to begin.
Coming onto the floor in groups of 4, the students were examined thoroughly on all aspects of their including patterns and individual techniques, sparring, self defence, board breaking, theory and fitness. As well as the presence of Barry & Dan O’Mahony at the examiner’s table, assistance in running the examination was provided by instructors Claire McCarthy, Anne O’Mahony and Eugene Birlea. Following the examination, Master Harrison gave a short speech to all candidates, giving them useful and very encouraging advice for their future training in the martial arts.
After the exam was completed, the test sheets were gathered and graded, with Master Harrison’s marks on each section of the test being scored according to the official marking scheme set down by the association. In the mean-time, the undoubtedly anxious students had no idea of what their mark would be, or whether or not it would sufficient to meet the exacting standards of the association. Thankfully, it was smiles all around when the marks were announced over the following week’s classes, with all candidates being promoted to their next rank.
A special ceremony was held on Saturday November 17th at Clonakilty GAA Complex to award each of the students with their certificates.