The first Colour Belt Grading of 2020 invited West Midlands Tae Kwon-Do students perform patterns, set sparring and line work in front of Grand Master Don Atkins for the first time ever.
Students of West Midlands Tae Kwon-Do normally complete their grading through the watchful eye of area coordinator Grand Master Paul Donnelly (9th Degree Black Belt), however this year has begun with a new challenge for the martial arts students with Master Atkins (also a 9th Degree Black Belt) assessing student performance and technique execution.
From White Belt to Red Belt were asked to perform a series of combinations in accordance of their grade alongside their patterns and other techniques set by the TAGB (Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain).
The new grading examiner and nerve-wracking environment in which these gradings are conducted did not stop West Midlands students. And, after putting in 3-6 months hard work, West Midlands Tae Kwon-Do achieved a 100% pass rate across all students in all clubs.
Grand Master Atkins was blown away with the standards across all the clubs, awarding multiple “+” and “A” passes – with 2 students being awarded “Best in Grade”.
Throughout the grading Master Atkins made a careful note of the students he believed had an exceptional performance on the day – and after a thorough review he decided Vlad Sampson from Oldbury TAGB Tae Kwon Do and Amelia Dunne from Cradley Heath TAGB Tae Kwon-Do should be given Senior and Junior “Best in Grade” Trophies for their technique, effort and power.
World Master Vince Farquharson (7th Degree Black Belt) commented: “As the senior instructor of West Midlands Tae Kwon-Do, I would like to congratulate all students which passed. Each grading examiner has a specialist area and West Midlands TAGB has proved thoroughly they are ‘all rounders’ – being awarded consistent grades and really impressing the grading examiner. A special mention to Vlad Sampson for achieving senior “Best in Grade” – after narrowly missing out on the award in December, Vlad has worked extremely hard to perfect technique of movements and add power, ensuring realism and correct execution.
Amelia, who trains with experienced instructor Chris Lee also deserves a special congratulations – she envisioned all the values / tenets of Tae Kwon Do and showed an exceptional performance on the day.
Overall, it was a successful day and I am very proud of our students for upholding West Midlands TAGB Tae Kwon-Do’s standards”
Over 80 students grading from the West Midlands, Wyre Forest and Sandwell area in Oldbury – with a 100% pass rate! All instructors are impressed with the hard work, determination and dedication of their students and cant wait to see each and every person progress to their next grade.