This grading held some significance with me mostly because I have seen all of the students progress from day one, so I was very excited to see how they all dealt with the pressures that come with each grade. Accompanied by our DTA friend Grandmaster Dong Jin Bae, and Master Mustafa Efezeybek, Master Naraine and I sat down ready for the first candidates.
Apart from the usual (44) Kup grades testing, we had 9 students testing for 1st Dan, and 2 testing for 2nd Dan. The Kup grade students came in group by group and all put in lots if effort, and while there were no distinctions, a few came very close, showing extra spirit and earning some good grades.
Just after midday, the 11 Dan grades candidates came in to start their most important grading since they began their journey. They were under no illusion that this was going to be easy. With nerves and tension high, we got under way, with all students completing 4 Poomsae, advanced movements, self defence and measuring up for destruction combining hand and foot breaks. They finished their grading with approximately 4-5 rounds of full sparring with body armor, which we were very impressed with.
Everyone worked very hard, and their positive results were hard earned, and we were very proud to tell them all that they had passed, especially since they have all come so far, not only in their Taekwondo journey, but in their personal development too. GM Bae was also very proud of everyone’s performance and expressed his pride in the effort displayed by everyone, Dan and Kup grades alike!! All in all, everyone who graded should be proud of yourselves, for Kup grades, you have your next grade to work towards now, but also improving on what you have already learned. And, for the new Dan holders, your Taekwondo journey now continues onward and upwards, and Master Naraine and I hope you all continue to grow, learn and gain new skills along the way.
I would like to finish by thanking all of those who gave up some or all of your day to help us, the examiners, work through those testing with such ease. To Master Sharon Ward, Chris Samuels, Ed Inge, Kailin Woodland, Jon Bealey, Angailika Woodland and Cassidy Maidment for suiting up and sparring a fair few rounds herself, from Master Efezeybek, GM Bae. Thank you.