Naas Taekwon-Do School - School of the Year 2004
Naas TKD School
Senior Instructor

Master. Valerie Keane
7th Degree Master Black Belt.
International Instructor
International Umpire "A"

Assistant Instructors
Ms. Debrah Manning 5th Degree Black Belt
Mr. Martin Roe 3rd Degree Black Belt
St. Mary's College, Sallins Road, Naas, Co. Kildare
Class Times
Mondays 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Wednesdays 7.00pm - 9.00pm

Ms Valerie Keane 6th Degree; Tel (01) 4510462 or


Other Information

In October 1990 this School was opened by a Female Instructor in the RITA and for many different reasons the Instructor had to move away from Taekwon-Do.

In 1995 another Female Instructor took over for just 6 months until an Instructor became available, this never happened, however, the School remained open and the Instructor continued to teach with several different Assistants. Needless to say many of the original students stopped training when the original Instructor left, as it was very difficult to take over an established School when the students become loyal to their first Instructor.

As time passed by teaching in a School away from the Big RITA family it is not easy. One of the female students successfully achieved her Black Belt and became an Assistant Instructor, having a helping hand, they both started more and more beginners classes, until they built the School up again.

In the past few years the students of Naas have realised there are many more RITA members outside their small environment and have started to attend events and become part of the RITA family, with its fundraising for the Euros well achieved

Almost 10 years down the road with 3 Female Instructors now and a membership of 70 Students and growing, Naas Taekwon-Do has successfully achieved the RITA 2004 School of the Year Award.

Naas News


International Gen. Choi Memorial Cup Ottawa Canada

Congratulations to Master Valerie Keane, Ms Deborah Manning and their students from St. Marks & Naas Taekwon-Do Schools on their impressive medal haul at the General Choi Memorial Cup. They had a long trip to Ottawa in Canada but it was well worthwhile with Seven Gold medals and Four Bronze from the eight students competing. It was a fantastic event and everyone got to meet Grand Master Leong Wei Meng and Grand Master Lu who congratulated each on their performances.

Some photos from the event can be found on Facebook


March Grading success for St. Mark's & Naas


St. Marks’s promotions:
Dmytro Kosynskyy 8th Kup
Dominika Orawska 7th Kup
Eoin Downey 7th Kup
Peter Downey 4th Kup
Sinead Mackey 1st Kup

Naas Promotions:
Aaron Fitspatrick 7th Kup
James Gallagher 6th Kup
Emma Flynn 6th Kup
Jack Farrell 5th Kup
Senan Ryan 5th Kup
Ian Fallon 3rd Kup
Lee Costello 1st Kup
Peter Gillen 1st Kup


St.Mark's Taekwon -Do School recent ITF Promotions

Another honor for St.Mark's students to have the pleasure of Grandmaster Howard & Senior Master Phelan who presented two of our students with their ITF Certificates that were promoted at the recent Black Belt Grading.
Congrats to Ms. Deborah Manning promoted to 5th Degree & Mr. Martin Roe to 3rd Degree with a special recognition for all his hard work and dedication to Taekwon- Do over the years. Keep up the great work Mr. Roe!

Once upon a time way back in the rocking 80's Collette Manning mother of 3 very young daughters took a big step forward in joining General Choi's Taekwon -Do in St.Mark's. After successfully achieving their Yellow Belts for different reasons all went about their own separate ways, with the exception of Deborah aged 9yrs who loves the challenge's of life! Over the coming years she took on the Best of the Best at ITF World & European Championships as a Junior Black Belt Team member & as an Individual Competitor, never returning empty handed, either with Gold, Silver, Bronze! At such a very young age a great inspiration to all females indeed.

After semi- retiring from the Big scene she continued to support St.Mark's at the International Martial Arts Games held in Pyongyang, General Choi's 1st Memorial Cup held in Ottawa a few yrs later held in Toronto, not to forget one of our most memorable trips to Grenada (West Indies) where she once again did us all so proud.

The semi-retirement has become more close now to Retirement from Competing at International level, however, it was an amazing sight to see her as Umpire at the ITF World Championships in St.Peterborough another level for Ms. Manning with so many more goals for her to achieve further down the road.

With more than a helping, willing hand in all the activities in both St.Mark's & Naas Schools, her selfless time & energy given in the promoting & spreading of General Choi's Taekwon- Do throughout. With the biggest reward to herself is to see the students strive and become better people while learning Taekwon -Do.
To be continued!!

Congrats & truly deserved Ms. Manning on your ITF 5th Degree Promotion


St. Marks Legacy Trip

For many years now St. Mark’s have been on tour, travelling the globe from Cork to Nth Korea, Wexford to the West Indies, numerous parts of Europe, Russia, Malaysia, the list is endless.  Having hit most continents so many of us students have seen amazing sites including some of the wonders of the world. From feeling the splash of Niagara Falls to climbing the Great wall of China. Participating in European and world Championships, or going as supporters & achieve some experience as to what they are like, to the friendly atmosphere of monumental events such as General Choi’s Memorial Cup in Ottawa & Toronto or the International Martial Arts Games, various Open Championships, seeing our Taekwon-Do Brothers and Sisters around the world and being part of St. Mark’s Legacy. The excitement of every trip, travelling as a big family young and old, no matter where we have visited we have been in awe, not only with Taekwon-Do but with the people we have met, and  the phenomenal experiences embedded in our hearts. Meeting & Greeting Grandmasters, Masters, students and volunteers; all living the Taekwon-Do culture and welcoming us with open arms. The biggest buzz for us is learning each culture, doing as the locals do and socialising amongst new friends. Every single trip has its own unique stories, memories and laughs. Places are remembered by these stories and experiences which we treasure and share. We have all had so many “firsts”, first time away from home, first time to be out of Ireland, first time to eat something new, first time in a club, first time to compete abroad, first time to umpire at an international event, first time in a casino, again the list is endless.

To think this is all because of the love and belief in our Instructor. The pan ultimate experience in the legacy was this summer in Estonia when some of us had yet another first. First time to observe the ITF Congress and more importantly our first time to watch as our Instructor went up on the stage to be presented with the Certificate for 7th Degree ITF Master. To be part of something so amazing, to see such a lifetime of dedication and love of Taekwon-Do be rewarded is so inspiring.

 As St. Mark’s begins to celebrate its 30th year on such a high we can’t wait to see where the Legacy will continue to bring us and what new stories and memories will come into our hearts through Taekwon-Do and our Instructor Master Valerie Keane 7th Degree.

Ms Deborah Manning, 4th Degree



Fun Day

On Sunday 24th of June St. Mark’s Taekwon-Do school held a Fun Day at its dojang in Springfield.  The event saw both Naas and St. Mark’s compete against each other in various events.  The day began with fundamental movements for the new beginners who were given license to display all of their techniques and their stretching abilities.  Eoin Downey came out as winner of the section.  This was followed by the 9th kup patterns which was won with an excellent performance by Karen Sweeney.  Yellow and green belts combined to form a large group where the pattern of the student’s was assigned.  Kim Rena came out on top in the event among stiff opposition.  Blue belts and red belts also combined which saw Michael Sweeney take the prize.  A new section was added which involved all students displaying their front leg swings.  With all students taking part there were many candidates for best leg swing but ultimately the judges announced Luke Doyle from Naas as the winner.

Once finished the students were treated to some sweets and goodies to recharge their batteries.  Once fuelled up all students took part in a “Balance Battle”.  This involved 2 students against each holding a combat stick while standing on a kick bag.  The objective was to make your opponent lose their balance and step off the kick bag.  This was great fun for all students involved.

Finally the day finished off with an obstacle course with the fastest time winning a trophy.  Students jumped over horses, crawled their way through tunnels and broke boards in a bid to become the fastest person around the course.  A fun event for the on-looking parents to cheers on.

At the end of the afternoon trophies were present by Ms. Keane and the other assistant instructors for reward the students for their efforts.  Every student went away with a trophy and a smiling face.  The St. Mark’s and Naas assistant instructors were presented with a fantastic keepsake, a framed photo with Grandmaster Howard and the RITA Senior Masters at St. Mark’s recent seminar celebrating the 40th anniversary of the RITA.

Results on the day:

10th kup *new* members:
1st – Dmitry Kosynsky
2nd – Evan Farrell
3rd – Syed Mekki

10th kup Fundamentals:
1st – Eoin Downey
2nd – Dylan Carville
3rd – Luke / Ken Sweeney / Daniel Nelson

9th Kup Patterns
1st – Karen Sweeney
2nd – Craig McGovern
3rd – Dannielle Ryan / Megan Nolan

Yellow and Green Belt Patterns:
1st – Kim Rena
2nd – Joseph Busante
3rd – Peter Downey / Jed Rena

Blue and Red Belt Patterns:
1st – Michael Sweeney
2nd – Cara Ronan
3rd – Mark Sweeney

Leg Swings Display:
Luke (Naas)

Obstacle Course:
Young Juniors:  Jed Rena
Over 12s: Joseph Busante
Over 15s: Senan (Naas) and Karina.

For more photos visit the St Marks & Naas Facebook page

Ms Keane with Naas

Ms Keane Honoured by ITF Order

Ms Keane with St Marks

Sunday 18th September St. Mark’s Taekwon-Do School were honoured to have our first visit of Grandmaster Robert J. Howard 9th Degree. Ms. Keane was excited to tell all of her students of our President, her Instructor’s promotion. It was a great opportunity for us to congratulate our Instructor Ms. Keane on her fantastic award which also travelled all the way back from Pyongyang. Ms. Keane was recognised and remembered by the President of the ITF Professor Dr. Chang Ung and Awarded for her Outstanding Contributions to the International Taekwon-Do Federation, and Honoured by the ITF Order. Such a phenomenal acheivenment of a lifetime of work. All of us her students wholeheartedly congratulate Ms. Keane and are so proud of our Instructor on such a High Honour to add to the Legacy.

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Naas Christmas Demo

Highslide JSChristmas is an exciting time of year to us in Naas Taekwon-Do School it is also more exciting as the Annual Demonstration and Party is here. All the students get to invite their Parents, Aunts, Uncles, brothers, sisters, Granny , anyone they would like to come along to see as they show off their Taekwon-Do. Ms. Keane Welcomes all the spectators and talks through what each student is doing whilst Instructing the students too. Every member shows off what they like, whether its patterns or destruction we all like to do what we are good at. It is fantastic to see both students and spectators smiling and enjoying the art and feeling the family atmosphere. Without the support of the Parents and family we would not be were we are today and Ms. Keane reiterates her thanks to all the parents.

Highslide JSThis Year Naas had both a Senior and Junior Student of the Year. Both Students try their best to follow the tenets and help in many capacities, always there to help out when needed usually without being asked. It is great to know we can support each other and only be a phone call away within our family. Peter Gillen Junior Student and Patrick Sheridan our Senior Student of the Year. All your Brothers and Sister in Taekwon-Do are delighted to congratulate on your great achievement. An inspiration to our family to try harder for the coming year. Happy New Year.

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Self Defence Seminar

Highslide JSOn Sunday the 21st of November, Naas Taekwon-Do School hosted the RITA annual Self-Defence Seminar.  In a change from the traditional event this year’s event was the first all day Seminar, conducted by ITF 8th Degree Senior Master Barrett.

The morning session begun with eager anticipation for members with no previous experience to learn the fundamentals of Self Defence: “A, B, R” (Attack, Break, Release). For those members who had attended in previous years it was an opportunity to demonstrate and teach their learning’s of wrist holds, locks & grabs and the techniques to Release from these.

Highslide JSSenior Master Barrett demonstrated (on the ever so coy Black Belt members) several different techniques of release from a wrist hold /grab and explained why the movements should be performed in such a specific way. Snr. Master Barrett also highlighted the importance of understanding the movements in our patterns.  Later crash mats were lined up and all students got an opportunity to practice their break falls and rolls both from a standing and an aerial position. The junior members in particular found this element great fun and one of the highlights of the morning session.

Senior Master Barrett continually stressed throughout the day that some of the techniques demonstrated were extremely dangerous and should not be practiced on family members and friends but under the strict supervision of their instructions.

Highslide JSSenior Master Barrett highlighted that practicing Self Defence was not a reason to stand and face your aggressor. The first act of Defence was to run to safety, second was to talk your self out of trouble. Finally do what is necessary to defend your self.

The afternoon advanced session got underway with all members asked to wear casual clothes rather than their uniforms, which brought an element of realism to the seminar. This session concentrated on choke holds which were demonstrated on apprehensive volunteers. These techniques were performed both from a standing and ground position. The crash mats were again utilized to throw members from a standing choke position, with junior members delighted with the opportunity to throw the senior members. Complaints of bad backs (from senior members) were not entertained and all had an occasion to experience this Self Defence technique.

Highslide JSAll graded members were encouraged to practice Self Defence techniques as a part of their class training under the correct supervision. Senior Master Barrett said that he would like to see Self Defence techniques added as a requirement for all Black Belt and Color Belt grading and would be suggesting this to the Masters Council.

The day concluded when Senior Master Barrett was applauded for his enthusiasm and effort during the day, as he is indeed an encyclopedia of knowledge of Self Defence techniques.

This year’s annual RITA Self Defence Seminar was educational and thoroughly enjoyable for all. Q&A ended a great day with minor bruising and beaming smiles.

Mr. John Byrne 3rd Degree
Enniscorthy Taekwon-Do School
Ms. Linda Kenrick 1st Degree
Blessington Taekwon-Do School


Naas Grading

Highslide JSAt a recent grading held in Naas some of our young brothers and sisters successfully achieved their new grades, entering the Green Growth exciting stages of their training. Well Done Jeanne Kenyon who progressed to 7th Kup Green tag and Reece Sheridan and Suzanne Benny who received their Green Belt 6th Kup. All your brothers and sisters in Taekwon-Do are proud of you.

Naas Grading

Highslide JSA recent grading in Naas seen lots of students successfully achieve their new grades. Its always exciting for instructors to see students progress from the little warriors to the bigger warriors. Well done to all on their acheivements.With a Special Congratulations to Ellen Claffey on receiving the grading award for her dedication and perseverance her performance on the night of the grading showed everyone how much she wanted to progress. I hope all the students are excited to be learning new materials and strive for their next goal. Well done from all your brothers and sisters.

New Grades Achieved were as follows:

Ian Fallon 9th Kup
Coimhe Browne 7th Kup
Cathal Humphreys 7th Kup
Maeve Claffey 7th Kup
Sarah Claffey 7th Kup
Filip Kokot 7th Kup
Ellen Claffey 7th Kup
Adam Cisowski 7th Kup
Laura Fallon 6th Kup
Keyon Javanmard 6th Kup
Luis Cull 6th Kup
Alfred Benny 6th Kup
Jospeh Mooney Del Campo 4th Kup
Magdalene  Michalewska   4th Kup

Naas Grading

Highslide JSGreat Success from our small grading held recent in Naas Taekwon-Do School where Jeanne Kenyon successfully achieved her 8th Kup Yellow Belt. Aidan Kelly and Alexie Kudryashov where put through all the basic fundamentals aswell as the there difficult red belt syllaus. They then had to go through the destruction of all of the techniques which they both accomplished with great determination. They are one step closer to their goal of Black Belt as they successfully gained their 1st Kup Black Tag. Well done to all three students.

Naas Grading

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Sean Gorman successfully graded to 8th Kup , Suzanne Benny to 7th Kup, and Niara Clarke and Vala Mehar to 6th Kup. Exams or gradings are never easy and it is a great achievment for all the students to grade successfully and to progress to their next level to learn more. Keep up the hard work and well done to all the students.

Naas Grading

The final grading of the year in Naas saw nearly all of its members growing and successfully achievhing their new grades. Eoin not only graded for the highest grade that day but won the award for his improvment & determination an inspriation to all the upcoming members.

Well done to all those students recently promoted and especially to the students that received Awards as is a great achievment. May 2010 bring lots of growth, success and Happiness to all our Brothers and sisters in Taekwon-Do.

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Photo one is Ms. Keane wth Reece Sheridan 7th Kup who recieved the junior Student of the year award for all his perseverance and in following the tenents of Taekwon-Do.

Photo 2. Ms. Keane & Kevin Redmond, longest standing member of Naas who recieved Senior Student of the Year not only for his hard work and dedication in following the tenents but who will also most likely be the next Senior Black Belt to teach in our School

Photo 3. Ms. Keane with Eoin Campbell. Grading Award

Self Defence & Sparring Seminar

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Sunday the 22nd Nov marked the day of the annual Self-Defence and Sparring seminar hosted by Naas Taekwon-Do School and conducted by Senior Master Barrett 8th degree and Mr Floyd Keane 6th degree.  The event began around 10:30 with all the participants greeting other members and introducing themselves to new faces. Senior Master Barrett VIII, who was conducting the self-defence part of the course, was welcomed in warm and relaxed atmosphere and shortly after he delivered a short introductory talk on the importance and relevance of this side of Taekwon-Do to daily life, everybody lined up with a partner and all were fast engaged in releasing their wrists out of a firm grip of their partners. The first techniques introduced dealt with handling a wrist-grabbing attack from front and behind while standing, and having been shown a variety of self-defence methods in great detail (on more than eager black belts), all members should now be familiar with the trinity of R(elease), B(reak) and A(ttack).  Moreover, everybody could appreciate the effectiveness of the techniques by observing the brave black belts whimpering and grimacing under the strikes of Senior Master Barrett VIII, on whom he demonstrated and explained the elements of the defence.  All members, encouraged by Ms Keane VI, to mix and change around, practised zealously with partners of different weight and grade and a few moments later, everybody had an opportunity to practise techniques of safe rolling-over and landing once swept off one’s feet. In the final part of the event, members worked their thumbs out practising thumbs-in and thumbs-out ways of strangling and also learned how to free oneself from a strangling attack. Senior Master Barrett VIII supervised the exercise at all times and was happy to answer any questions. All members took active part in learning the basic techniques of self-defence and despite the occasional bruises the event was highly informative and more than enjoyable.

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In the afternoon we had a sparring seminar conducted by Mr Keane 6 deg. We started with some footwork learning how to be quick and light on our feet, denying our opponent the opportunity of landing a blow against us. Progressing  on to some kicks and hand techniques Mr Keane showed us how to use our newly learned skills to take down a guard and surprise our opponent with an attack. We then watched some members sparring taking note when they scored a point against each other. The most valuable lesson of the day concerned how important it is to have a target before striking rather than wasting valuable energy kicking or punching hoping to connect. Time now to put this all together in some free sparing. It was great to have the opportunity to spar new faces from all parts of the country not just our own familiar partners. All grades mixed well after Mr Keane assured us, Colour belts, that the Black belts would not hurt us. As always the hours passed like minutes and we rounded off a very enjoyable day with some jump kicks. We all headed home much wiser and so grateful to Mr Keane not only for sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with us but also for making it such fun.
Many thanks to Ms Keane VI for hosting the event, and to Senior Master Barrett VIII and Mr Keane VI for taking the time to conduct the seminar as well as to all members who, keeping in mind the tenets of Taekwon-Do, made this a very practical and entertaining day.

Magdalena Michalewska Naas Taekwon-Do School and Deirdre Corrigan Enniscorthy Taekwon-Do School.


St Marks Team Challenge 2009

Last weekend St. Mark’s Taekwon-Do school hosted its annual Team challenge tournament.  The event supported by Naas, AIB, Stillorgan, Blessington and Master Howard’s Dojang was an action packed, fun filled occasion from start to finish.  The day started off with junior team patterns with some well choreographed formations (and not to mention some well chosen team names) by the younger members.  This was followed by senior team patterns with some very close competition along with some interesting accessories to boot, providing great entertainment for the on looking spectators.

After lunch team sparring got underway with all schools going head to head with some excellent displays of Taekwon-Do.  Following sparring, the St. Marks senior black belts performed a demonstration including team pattern, self defence and destruction including some impressive tile breaks by Mr. McGuinness III & Mr. Roe II.

The competition resumed with the return of the very popular obstacle course event.  As an addition to this years challenge the section was opened up to seniors and proved highly entertaining and enjoyable.  Special technique followed for the juniors with the event finale being the team self-defence routine.  No school left disappointed as all schools managed to feature in the medals (results to follow).

The day closed with the awards ceremony headed by the senior umpire of the day, Mr. John Jacob 6th degree.  A long time friend to St. Mark’s Taekwon-Do School, Mr Jacob was perfect for the role on the day, revelling in the fun & entertainment while also adding his own sense of humour.  St. Mark’s Taekwon-Do School would like to thank Mr. Jacob for his time on the day and wish him every success in his quest to becoming the next R.I.T.A. master.  In recognition of the occasion Ms. Keane made a presentation to Mr. Jacob of some beautiful glassware.

Many thanks to 6th degree, Ms. Valerie Keane for hosting the event, to all of the umpires who gave up their time on the day and particular thanks to special guest Senior Master Howard 8th degree.  The support of the aforementioned made this easily St. Mark’s best ever Team Challenge.


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Congratulations Ms Daly

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Pictured is Ms. Leah Daly 1st Degree from Naas Taekwon-Do School on her Graduation day from College. Ms. Daly joined Naas at 8 years of age and at the back of a huge adult class persevered and became the last remaining student from that class. It is wonderful to now see Ms. Daly as an adult Graduating from College and doing so well. All of her Taekwon-Do Family send there warmest Congratulations well done.


From Russia with love

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From Russia with love. Ms. Keane 6th Degree  Senior instructor to St. Mark's and Naas Taekwon-Do School and Ms Deborah Manning 4th Degree. Golden girls off to Russia for the World Championships to keep the female flag flying high.

Naas promotion

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Congratulations to black belt David Fallon upon successfully achieving his 2nd degree at the recent black belt grading.  The 16 year old Naas student displayed an impressive performance in front of the RITA Senior Masters to gain his promotion.  A long standing member of Naas Taekwon-Do school, David joined Taekwon-Do in 2002 and achieved black belt status in 2007.  Since then David has been of great assistance to Ms. Keane 6th deg with the beginner students in Naas.  Wasting no time on his 1st degree, David immediately set about training for his 2nd degree and displayed his determination by training between both Naas & St. Mark's Taekwon-Do schools in the months leading up to the exam.  All of the training culminated in a fine performance with some excellent aerial breaks as part of his grading requirement.  It would appear that it's onwards and upwards for this newly promoted 2nd degree.

Naas Grading

Congratulations to all the members of the Naas Taekwon-Do School who were promoted at a recent Grading under their Senior Instructor Ms Valerie Keane 6th Degree Black Belt.

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Ms. Keane with Lee Costello (orginal Warrior) successfully achieved 5th Kup

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Ms. Keane Senior Instructor in Naas & Mr. Roe Instrutor to twins Ali and Stuart Sheridan who successfully achieved their 8th Kup.

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Ms. Keane  with Sean Gorman newly promoted to 9th Kup.

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Members of Naas Taekwon-Do School with Cara Byrne from St. Mark's Taekwon-Do School who not only achieved her 6th Kup but won the Naas Grading award for her outstanding perfomance and displaying the tenets of Taekwon-Do.

Naas Student of the Year Awards

Naas Taekwon-Do School introduced a student of the year award this year to celebrate those students that have full dedication in training the strive to follow the tenents of TaeKwon-Do which isn't always easy. The First winners of the award was Patrick Sheridan and Lee Costello. Well done to both Students from all there Taekwon-Do Family.

Ms Keane inducted in to International Black Belt Hall of Fame

U.S.A. International Black Belt Hall of Fame, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Its half four in the morning and once again I'm heading off on another Taekwon-Do adventure but this one is different. Not the usual World Championship or Referee Seminar. I'm going to America to support my Instructor Ms. Keane who has been nominated as an Inductee into the U.S.A. Black Belt Hall of Fame. What makes this even more special is the fact the she is recognised for her dedication to the art she loves by an outside body on the other side of the Ocean. When I heard of this recognition I had already arranged to go to Uzbekistan as part of St. Mark's 25th celebrations but even though finances were tight I just had to go the extra mile, (if you pardon the pun), and be there.

As this was not a Taekwon-Do event we did not know to expect so it was with open minds that Ms. Keane, Ms. Manning, Mr. Roe, Collette Manning and myself arrived at the Holiday Inn beside Pittsburgh airport. The welcome we received was beyond our expectations and from the minute we arrived to our departure we were treated with the utmost in courtesy and respect.The only way I can describe the awards night itself would be to call it the Martial Arts Oscars. The event started in the afternoon and continued till later that evening and every single Inductee was an Icon in their own Martial Art and style. I was amazed by the professionalism of the event and felt overwhelmed with pride for Ms. Keane who is now a recognised member of this International Martial Arts Elite.

Needless to say as usual the craic was ninety and we had great fun in our Dobok's attending all the various informal Seminars under many World Masters from all the different disciplines who thrilled us with their skills and technique. A special thanks on that note must go to Dr. John Ward Kenpo Master who treated us like his own Brothers and Sisters and his lovely wife Pat mammied  us throughout. I came away with an  immense pride in Martial Arts and a realization that we all belong  to this International Family. I also feel sad that T.V. and newspapers can never capture this true essence of Martial Arts.

Walter Mc Guinness  3rd Degree,
Instructor AIB Taekwon-Do School. 

Self Defence and Sparring Seminar

Senior Master Barrett was in great form and asked all the students attending to remain in their regular clothes as he wanted to demonstrate some Self Defense in areal life manner, throwing us all off our guard.

Students all ages and grades from Enniscorthy, Bunclody, Carlow, Old Bawn, Kilmacow, Masters Howard's School, Blessington, Stillorgan, Naas and St. Mark's Schools, all participated in  some unusual techniques that gripped not only the body but hearts and minds of the Taekwon-Do Family. As the course progressed we eventually got into our Dobok's and Senior Master Barrett demonstrated throws and releases as seen in the photo's and memories for all the students to take away to see an I.T.F. Senior Master upside down on the mats. Unfortunately time ran out and the Sparring Seminar took place after lunch conducted by Mr. Floyd Keane 6th Degree, (R.I.T.A tournament director and former National Coach). For all those interested in competing in Tournament Sparring it is a course never to be missed. With Mr. Keane's experience he has an excellent approach in teaching the skills needed and to develop a students attitude towards competing. After a rigorous three hours training we all came away with a better knowledge and understanding of Tournament Sparring.

On behalf of the Naas Students we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Senior Master Barrett and Mr. Keane & all the Instructors & Students who supported our annual family gathering.

Deborah Manning 4th Degree,
Assistant Instructor Naas Taekwon-School.

International Instructors Course, Dublin

ITF Senior Master Howard,President RITA/ITF Ireland Professor John Ward,( President Kenpo Ireland) Ms. Valerie Keane RITA /ITF Ireland National Secretary &ITF Senior Master Phelan, Vice President RITA/ITF Ireland

ITF Senior Master Howard, President RITA/ITF Ireland, Mr Martin Roe, Professor John Ward, (President Kenpo Ireland) Ms.Valerie Keane, RITA/ITF Ireland National Secretary Mr. Floyd Keane & ITF Senior Master Phelan, Vice President RITA/ITF Ireland

ITF Senior Master Howard, President RITA/ITF Ireland, Ms. Deborah Manning, Professor John Ward (President Kenpo Ireland) Ms. Valerie Keane RITA/ITF Ireland National Secretary, Mr. Floyd Keane, Mr.John Paul Nestor, & ITF Senior Master Phelan, Vice President RITA/ITF Ireland

Group taken at the ITF International Instructors Course on Sunday 19th October



Sunday morning in December outside it is one of the wildest days I’ve seen yet, it’s wet windy and miserable. I step inside St. Mary’s College in Naas and all I see is smiling faces. Kids, teenagers, adults all smiling and laughing and having fun and I think to myself this is why I love Taekwon-Do.

The now annual event conducted by our own Master Francis Barrett 7th Degree and Mr. Floyd Keane 5th Degree attracted students from all over the country. I couldn’t believe some people still travelled up from the country with the weather being so bad but I’m glad they did it made the day to see so many different ages and grades from beginner to 5th degree Black Belt all together eager to learn. The morning part of the seminar was the self-defence part where Master Barrett shared his endless knowledge with all the students concentrating on releasing from numerous grabs and holds. This was a novelty for most students as it is not part of our grading syllabus but still in Taekwon-Do there are hundreds of these moves.

After warming up Master Barrett explained to all that he will show and practice but a few of these releases the basic most common ones needed for out in the street. It is up to each student to practice these within there own dojang, reiterating that these will not be perfected in a single morning or by repeating them incorrectly but with proper practice will be worthwhile. We all got our partners and the buzz started in the hall, the excitement of learning something new filtered throughout the place. As we tried our best to get out of our partners hold Master Barrett went to each and every student explaining, answering any questions and helping us get it right, an honour to be given such time and patients. Every single person learned something new and thoroughly enjoyed especially near the end of the morning session when Master Barrett took time out to answer any questions the students might have or scenario in which they would like to get out of. The most common one asked is the Headlock it was amazing to see the amount of different ways to get out of it everyone was wide eyed and hungry to learn. So by lunchtime with red wrists and smiling faces we headed back into the cold to refuel for afternoon of Sparring.

Mr. Keane started the afternoon being a little nice I think on account of the full stomachs, but we soon got into learning new techniques, the importance of defending and the different ways of scoring points in competition. Again being taught by someone with such knowledge of sparring was an absolute honour. We started with how to relax and move our feet keeping the guard up and just weaving in and out of each other without touching of course great fun in a hall full of people. We progressed in practicing different techniques mostly new to the students combining different techniques and how to make them work. The faces getting red and the smiles still wide as we bobbed, jumped, spun, then did all three together, the family atmosphere was fantastic, everyone wanting to learn from green tag to black belt, competitors and aspiring competitors getting the hunger for the world stage. Mr. Keane has a great way of showing you how to be relaxed and explaining the importance of defending, even in competition its not just about scoring but also not getting hit, stopping the other person from scoring and like Master Barrett went to each and every person explaining helping us all get it right, answering any questions and giving us his time and expertise. I can safely say that everyone learned something new and had a completely fantastic day which to me is what it’s all about.
I would like to thank both Master Barrett and Mr. Keane and I hope next year is even better even if the weather gets worse I’m sure anyone who was there will be coming back and bringing a friend.

Deborah Manning 3rd Degree Balck Belt

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In Memoriam

Gen Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Taekwon-Do
1918 - 2002

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