Black belt success for Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do students

Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do students are celebrating new black belt grades after a challenging grading in Derby.

David Parkes, Aubrey Round and Dylan Parkes with instructor Gary Plant
David Parkes, Aubrey Round and Dylan Parkes with instructor Gary Plant

David Rowley, Dylan Parkes and Aubrey Round all took part in the grading, along with students from other clubs around the country.

The panel of examiners, Mr Bhadeshia 6th Dan, Master Cockburn 7th Dan and Master Sewell 7th Dan, tested the candidates on their ability to spar, defend themselves against physical attacks and knife attacks. The students must also show precision and technical accuracy within their patterns, as well as line work, board breaking and jumping kicks.

Finally, black belt grading candidates are tested on theory and must demonstrate that they have learnt the history of significant figures in both Tae Kwon-Do and Korea. The students have to show a solid understanding of how to protect themselves using kicks and punches, which is the basis of the Korean martial art.

David Rowley passed his grading and was promoted to First Degree Black Belt. Having trained at Bridgnorth Tae Kwon-Do since joining as a novice in 2015, David has sailed through the process despite overcoming knee reconstruction surgery, due to his determination to succeed. He was been awarded A-grade passes along the way and is current World Champion for sparring.

Aubrey Round, who has an incredible five current silver and gold international medals to his name, has had a busy few years and has gained momentum in his training since becoming a black belt. Not only has he started competing, quickly being selected for the National Squad and picking up a haul of medals since, but he is also a trained umpire. He has progressed from 1st to 2nd and now 3rd Degree Black Belt, which is a fantastic achievement.

Finally, Dylan Parkes, who has trained at the Oldbury Wells School-based club since he was five, has been promoted to 2nd Degree Black Belt. Dylan is extremely composed and humble.

Instructor Gary Plant praised the youngster, saying “Dylan is only 12 years old and for a Year 8 student to have the dedication and passion to work towards a challenge like this is something really special. I know all three students will continue with their training, so it doesn’t stop here.”

The club trains at Oldbury Wells School on Mondays and Thursdays.