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Just six months after SG Taekwon-Do UK Highlands was founded, the Campbeltown martial arts school has crowned its first champions.
More than 60 students gathered at Campbeltown Town Hall last Sunday to fight it out for a range of medals and trophies across various categories.
Piper William McLean played rousing tunes as the youngsters and adults made their way into the hall, where about 80 spectators awaited them, ahead of the opening ceremony.
Family and friends created a special atmosphere as the students showcased the skills they have learned from former world and European taekwon-do champion Sean Grady, who set up his own school after relocating from Glasgow to Campbeltown with his wife Yasmin and sons Sean and Finn earlier this year.
Every student who took part in Sunday’s competition received a medal for their hard work and dedication, in addition to the following: in the rainbow dragons category for three-to-five-year-olds, more than 30 medals were won; in the junior female sparring and junior male sparring, more than 40 were won; in the junior female patterns and junior male patterns, more than 20 were won; in the mixed junior special techniques, more than 15 were won; and across the adults’ patterns, sparring and special techniques categories, more than 25 were won.
Taking the top honours, however, were the Campbeltown Cup winners: Junior male: Evan Hunter. Junior female: Mica Amaut. Adult: Marc Galbraith.
‘All the students showed amazing integrity and there was so much talent in all categories,’ said Mr Grady. ‘I’m super proud of everyone.’
The adult students, who have been trained up for the last two months, assisted Mr Grady with judging the younger students.
Mr Grady’s mum Catherine, dad Stewart and wife Yasmin also helped on the day.
‘I could not have done it without them,’ he said. ‘I’d also like to say a massive thank you to all spectators and our sponsors, Cafe Bluebell and Kintyre Hire.
‘I also owe a lot to my aunt and uncle, Joan and Martin Grady, from Campbeltown, who have helped me and my partner so much since we moved here six months ago.’
Mr Grady, 3rd degree, has practised the combat sport, characterised by punching and kicking techniques, since he was four and has taught it for the last 15 years.
He believes taekwon-do is not only beneficial as a self-defence mechanism, for which it was originally developed, but also for life skills in general with its five core values being courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.
‘The feedback we’ve had from parents since their children joined our club has been really good,’ he said. ‘Many have noticed that their children’s discipline, self-belief and confidence has grown since taking up the martial art.
‘This gives us great pleasure and makes it all worthwhile.’
The students are now in training for the Scottish championships in Glasgow at the end of November.