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“Enhance self esteem, Build confidence, Build Respect, Build discipline, Learn self defence, strengthen the mind and Body “

Caoimhe Ryan Student, Ballingarry Centre 

My Name is Caoimhe Ryan and I am 11 years old, I started World Taekwondo in Ballingarry when I was 6 yeras old. I had heard about it from my cousins and my Aunt so I decided to give it a try. From the very first class I really enjoyed it. My Instructor is Paul Cleere and he has always been a great help to me. I started doing one class per week in Ballingarry but now that I have reached my third black tip I attend two clsses in Ballingarry and I go to Thurles class every Tuesday, and monthly training with Master Sheamus O'Neill. Last April I attended  a Seminar conducted by Great GrandMaster Hae Man Park which I really enjoyed and found very interesting. I also attended a Self Defence Seminar in Ballingarry conducted by Master Sheamus O'Neill, and every year I take part in the St. Patricks Day Parades. In class I enjoy learing the different types of kicks and techniques, as well as the hand movements and self defence. My favourite part is learing pommsae and I really enjoy breaking boards. The classes are hard work but I enjoy it all the same. It's a great way of keeping fit, it also builds my confidence and I am tested all the time. I have made alot of new friends through going to class, and some of my school friends have joined too. We encourage each other along the way which is a great help. Now that I have reached my Red Belt - third Black stripe, I help Instructor Paul to teach the lower grades in the class, This is great fun and a great way of passing on what I have learned and I always hope that the people I am helping will come to Love WORLD TAEKWONDO as much as I do.


 Caoimhe, Flying side Kick


Kilkenny Student, Inst: Michael Botha (From Paris to Seoul)

World Taekwondo started in Paris in 2000,16th arrondissement, Rue Lauriston. Rain caused the reflection of the Pharmacist's Green Cross on the pavement, the Eiffel Tower stood illuminated in the window and something pressed lightly in my chest.

Mentioning the slight inconvenience to my wife resulted in one of the finest medical systems in the world to accelerate from zero through to conclusion within 12 hours. SABU (ambulance), Pompidou Hospital, examinations, ECG, angioplasty (stent), recovery room, private room. Two days later, discharge. No fuss, no drama, all seamlessly flowed in a blur of movement toculmination.

All that I clearly remember is something stuck into an artery in the groin. A jiggling feeling around the centre of the chest and the doctor asking `should I fix this while I'm here?' Fix it now! I did not want this to happen again later. At discharge he told me two things, exercise and no fat - simple.

 Exercise - not as easy as it sounds .... In Ireland I tried walking and cycling - both requiring Kamikaze mindset - major concerns being the state of our roads and the driving skills of the Irish motorist. Eventually I returned to swimming, a sport of my youth, clocking up 80 - 100 lenghts a day, using blades to increase exertion rate. My weigth decreased and muscle tone increased - swimming was not easy and still good for me, I was in my own world and nobody could bother me. At this time, Rachel was attending National School and had a slight altercation, the wife was bemoaning the fact that the children did not do sport at school, so one day doing my lengths, I decided a martial art would meet both Requirements, Martial art was foreign to me, sports I was familiar with included rugby ) which I played for 20 years), swimming, cricket, athletics and water polo. I heard that there was a Martial Arts school in Roscrea, a few miles away, She was 7. Aoife started a year later at age 5. Rachel was awared her blackbelt at the age of 13 and Aoife at 11. Rachel received her 2nd Dan at age 16. They are both instructors and assistant instructors at their local school. I have watched World Taekwondo for many years and the question must be asked : why do some people succeed while others fall by the way side? From a personal perspective, the following points may have helped these two children succeed.

1. World Taekwondo took place 2 days a week and no other activity was allowed to interfere with it

2. One parent was responsible and drove them on those days.

3. Gradings took place evry 3 months allowing for planning of holidays etc. No gradings were missed.

4.Poomsas were practised every day and checked.

5. Children often reticent to continue in the art; - at these times executive decisions are required. Parents seem reluctant to push their children and speaking to my daughters today, they are appreciative that such decisions were reached and enforced.

6. The distances travelled allowed for a fair amount of dicussion such as:

 i. Respect, its need and the need to demonstrate it to instructors and fellow students.

ii, General technique

iii, The need to give back to others following behind you.

iv. Benefits of World Taekwondo when travelling abroad ( other schools all over the world ) 

v. Exercise benefits, able to continue until very old age.

7. The trip to Seoul in 2006 helped stimulate the child and was also important to mix World Taekwondo and cultural aspects of Seoul on tour.

8. The contribution of conference days with the Masters and also competitions allows senior belts to aim and train to reach their next level.

9. World Taekwondo training allowed for the development of a quiet confidence and physical awareness.

When the girls started I watched all classes from the back of the hall and each night Master Sheamus questioned when would I commence training? I was comfortable swimming, not needing more exercise and feeling too old to start something new! However my resolve weakened and the challenge began. The first thing I realised was that everyone was far too preoccupied with their own efforts to notice me.  As someone said everyone was a white belt at some time. Training went well until I reached red belt level, waiting to grade to black, when various Doctors who thought I had a swollen saliva gland suddenly realised something more serious was about to unfold : Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma - this preciptated three years of biopsies, scans, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Did World Taekwondo help alleviate this condition in any way? All treatments recommend of some description and whilst World  Taekwondo would be considered extreme on this occasion, I believe it helped maintain other parts of the body and definitely contributed to my mental health and focus.

Firstly, it allowed me to develop goals-Chemotherapy was every three weeks and always on thursday and training was on a Monday so I allowed myself three days recovery. Training also permitted the body to sweat thus removing the toxic effects caused by chemotherapy (my own view entirely)

Secondly. it is important that students are able to mentally visualise their poomsas. From personal experience, I know that this mental exercise drops my blood pressure by an amazing amount during stressful medical procedures. This visualisation can become more and more detailed so that the Pommsa becomes perfect and time seems to pass faster whilst undergoing treatments such as 6 hour chemotherapy sessions. 

Thank You, Master Sheamus

My Mantra has thus become;

                                                         Keep moving

                                                     From Paris to Seoul

                                                 From Kilkenny inexorably

                                                      Towards Hawaii !

Instructor J.M.G Botha

BA; LLB (Rhodes) Adv.

Instructor Kilkenny & Waterford


 The Botha Family


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