I would like to thank everyone for coming this evening. As you know the Academy has been running now for a little over a year. In that time we've seen the students progress from white belt to green belts, doing well at the nerve racking gradings & bringing home gold medals at competitions. Testament I believe to their own dedication. In fact they have gone from the very first interclub tournament last November, to some students hopefully attending the World Martial Arts Championships, that is being held in Dublin in September. A big step I know, but one they all deserve. It should be a spectacular few days.
Students can rest assured that even though their journey will not be an easy one, when they reach the beginning, as black belt is just the start, they will be good, well versed black belts, capable of many things, but most of all I hope that through training they develop the love for the art that I have & discover that high kicks & humility go hand in hand.
A night like this cannot go by without a few thank yous. Firstly to the students for doing the demonstrations & the hard work they put into their own training. Effort put in will gain its own rewards in the future Also to all the supportive parents which make a big difference to the academy. Also to my Mother & my sister for doing all the food.
Obviously I would like to thank my own instructor, Mr. David Bryan, 5th degree, for the hard work he has put into me over the years, because even though I would like to think I was a model student, I know it is probably not true, well we all have our little faults !!!!. Also, many of you may not know that in the early years, when I started training in Taekwon-do I also had another instructor, Mr. John Pepper, who sadly no longer teaches, but was instrumental in teaching me to look further than my own preconceptions.
Also to Mr. John O'Conner & Mr. Derrick Clarke, two of the truest practitioners of the art I know, firstly for hitting me so often & keeping my feet firmly on the ground, but more importantly for the support that they have given both myself & the academy from day one, until hopefully year 50 (when they'll be to old for it - which I doubt).
And finally to Mr. Lui & Mr. Sheehan, both great Taekwon-do exponents & instructors in their own right, for coming down tonight to take part in the demonstration. Also thanks to Vikram & Mr. Sheehans student for helping out with the demo.
1st Year Anniversary Party & Demonstrations
May 6th, 2000