Taekwondo Club grading event
Smash! Whoosh! Crash! It sounds like something out of a comic book and it was pretty close to it when taekwondo students from JJ’s Taekwondo Club were graded for their taekwondo Exams.
Self defence techniques, concrete tiles and pine board smashing, high flying jumps with mid air board breaking were just a few of the skills demonstrated by instructor Jay Jay Gonzalez as he graded for his 4th dan black belt, with his assistant instructors Ricardo Alcala and Michael Wallace grading to 2nd dan, junior black belt Brody Mellberg to 2nd poon, 12-year-old Kaine Wallace grading for junior black belt 1st poon, and 23 of his students ranging from white belts through to red belts.
Australian Taekwondo Academy 7th dan black belt master Mr Graeme McEwan and 2nd dan black belt Mrs Shelley McEwan made the trip from Karratha to grade Jay Jay and his students on Saturday August 18.
The students anxiously watched as their instructor and assistant instructors were put through their paces by Mr McEwan.
Not just punching and kicking techniques, they individually demonstrated all the patterns ranging from beginner white belt rank through to their highest grading rank, and said them in Korean!
Terminology, technique and history of the many patterns in taekwondo made up the exam.
“It was an adrenalin packed, exhilarating grading,” commented a club parent.
“The atmosphere within the gym that day had us all holding our breath during the tile and board smashing. “You could almost feel the energy, concentration and calming that was required in each different category of their exam and watching them literally fly through the air over three people and smash a board on the other side was cause for a standing ovation.
“They all did so well, very inspiring for the younger belt ranking students.”
Jay Jay said “I think it was great my students were able to witness not just my exam, but also the other four black belt students, especially the junior black belt students.
“I feel this has given them a better understanding of the art of taekwondo and what is expected of them should they wish to achieve the level that we attained today and possibly further.
“Taekwondo is not just about powerful punches and high flying kicks; it is about discipline, respect, self control and personal development which I instil within my students” he said.
Mr. Graeme McEwan was equally impressed with Jay Jay’s students and the level of taekwondo that was displayed by them during the exam.
“Jay Jay’s passion for the art of taekwondo is definitely imparted to his students; his standards are of the highest level” he said.
“The quality of the art and discipline his students have displayed here today reflects the leadership and training of their instructor. There aren’t many instructors around teaching at this level, he is an asset to the community and Hedland should be lucky to have an instructor of his calibre teaching within their town; with Jay Jay passing his exam and now a 4th dan comes with it the title of head instructor.
“He has truly earned this title ” Mr McEwan said.
With all students passing their grading, Mr and Mrs McEwan announced their semi retirement as they head overseas for an extended break.
With parting gifts and tears of gratitude, Mr and Mrs McEwan were thanked for their six years of support and mentoring towards Jay Jay and his club’s students.
“To have Mr McEwan grace us with his presence at each and every grading we have held over the years has been an absolute honour” said Jay Jay.
“We as a club have been very fortunate to have someone of his level and experience only two hours away from us and support us the way he and his wife have done over the years.”
On a happier note, a new master instructor was introduced, 6th dan black belt master Mr John Geeves.
Mr Geeves brings with him over 40 years of taekwondo training and teaching.
Trained under the late master Mr Dale Eagling who pioneered taekwondo in Australia in the 1970s, and his son Hugh Eagling of Eaglings Taekwondo in Tasmania, Mr Geeves has competed at state and national levels and refereed at a national level.
John mentioned, “I really enjoy teaching taekwondo; seeing the students confidence grow as their skills develop. While embracing taekwondo’s tenets, my classes are well balanced and aim to be fun and informative, offering a wide range of attack, defensive and offensive techniques following taekwondo’s code of ethics and discipline.”
Originally from Hobart, John has been a Hedland resident for three years.
John is excited to be getting back into taekwondo and imparting his years of experience and knowledge in the art.
Classes are held at the Hedland Senior High School Gymnasium.
Classes run in conjunction with school term dates, term four begins on Wednesday October 17.
For further information please call 0428 831 359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.