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Master Wood’s Black Belt Grading.
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Master Wood’s Black Belt Grading.

Myself, Chris Hurt, and my training partner Lisa Blewitt, were both invited to Master Wood’s Black Belt Grading at The Plum Tree Hall in Eastwood on the 23rd October 2010. 

Three students were taking the grading, Matthew a First degree taking his Second degree, and two First kups, David and Cameron, taking their First degree grading.

After a quick briefing from Master Wood the grading started with a warm up for the three students in order to reduce the risk of injury, and then it was straight into patterns.

All three students showed that they knew each of the coloured belt patterns well and demonstrated tremendous power from the outset.  Each pattern was completed successfully and to a good standard, although Master Wood request some patterns be repeated to ensure that every move was correct to the highest standard, and that all the students knew the correct moves and had an excellent knowledge of all the patterns demonstrated.

Although signs of nerves were showing due to the pressure of taking a Black Belt grading, it was obvious that the students had prepared for this grading and the power from each student was maintained throughout the grading.

After patterns it was Set Sparring, and as in the patterns each student demonstrated a good knowledge of all the Set Sparring with Master Wood checking some moves to be certain that the correct body part was being used, and that the focus of each technique was directed to the correct area. Although each student was showing signs of nerves it was obvious that the training they had received had prepared them well for this grading.

With Set Sparring and Self Defence out of the way, the grading moved onto Free and Semi-Free Sparring which gave the students an opportunity to show their own style.  Each student had very different fighting styles; Matthew showed excellent fighting skills and the good self control and courtesy that comes with the experience of being a respectful black belt, whilst David and Cameron showed perseverance and their indomitable spirit under the pressure of a very challenging grading. All three were pushed to the limit of endurance, showing excellent physical fitness and great determination.

Each student was then asked to in turn to perform their favourite technique, moving forward and back down the hall, with each one having very different styles and all performing well.

The grading then moved on to Destruction, one of the most challenging parts of the grading. Once more, each student was expected to demonstrate the effectiveness of their Tae Kwon Do knowledge, and they were each asked to perform destruction on wood and brick with both hand and foot techniques, including flying kicks as requested by Master Wood.  Each student stepped up to the mark, and although signs of fatigue were showing and some boards and bricks seemed more stubborn that others, each student dug deep and by sheer determination dispatched each set of boards and bricks to the scrap bin!

The final part of the grading was Terminology and Tae Kwon Do Knowledge – like the earlier parts of the grading this was very thorough and extremely demanding, with each of the three grading examiners asking each student questions to ensure they could all demonstrate a sound knowledge and had studied their terminology for the grading.  Once again, each student showed that they had prepared well for this grading, each one showing a good knowledge of Tae Kwon Do.

It is my opinion that this was, as it should be, a difficult and demanding black belt grading; the pressure was firmly on each student from the outset – the whole grading was physically demanding and relentless from start to finish. Although Matthew, David and Cameron will not know the results of their grading until next week, if successful they should all know that Tae Kwon Do students who have gone through a grading as demanding as this was can wear their black belts with pride, safe in the knowledge that they deserve to be a black belt. In turn, their instructors can take pride in producing such high quality black belt students.

Finally, both Lisa and I would like to send our best wishes to the students who are eagerly waiting their results, and would like to thank everyone who made us both feel so welcome, with special thanks to Master Wood for making it possible for us to attend.

Written by: Christopher Hurt - 24th October 2010
[Comments: 3]

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Article Feedback:

Kay Z King : 28th October 2010, 13:53

Great report Sir.
I hope everybody passed.
Michael Carr : 24th October 2010, 22:37

glad to hear it was a tough grading!
Mark Skyrme ( UK ITF) : 24th October 2010, 19:36

Great article
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