Sports

Black Belt seminar in Cookstown

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Black Belt seminar in Cookstown thumbnailThe group which attended the grading seminar in Cookstown.

THE Dojo in Cookstown hosted the Mugendo Association of Ireland's National Black Belt grading seminar.

The Mugendo system is a curriculum that was developed in the late 1970s for the sport of kickboxing.

In the 1980s the Mugendo Association of Ireland was formed with the coming together of three of the styles leading practitioners; Stewart Beattie from Glengormley, Desy Murphy from Forkhill and Michael McDermott from Sligo.

The syllabus has been tweaked over the years in line with the development of the amateur sport of kickboxing, keeping Mugendo fighters at the forefront of competition.

Cookstown Mugendo Kickboxing Cub, started up in 2002, led by Sensei Joe Hagan, a student of Sensei Michael McDermott. Sixteen years later the club is still going strong with students from five years of age through to adults training on a weekly basis and competing at competitions from local all the way through to world championships.

A goal set for every student is to attain Black Belt. At this Black Belt grading seminar the club was represented by one of Cookstown Mugendo's top students.

Niall McCloskey has been part of the club from seven years of age. From a young age he has shone on the fighting circuit winning competitions, national titles and has represented Northern Ireland on a world championship stage.

Alongside eight other kickboxers from across the country, Niall underwent the two day grading seminar. Under the watchful eye of the associations, chief instructors Niall showcased his technique and knowledge of the syllabus.

Niall was awarded his first degree Black Belt, joining the list of black belt instructors from the Cookstown club, Sensei Joe Hagan, Sensei Dean Kelly, Sensei Karla Quinn and Sensei Noel Tierney.

Sensei Joe Hagan remarked: "It gives me a great sense of pride to see a student to reach the level of Black Belt excellence. Niall has been with the club since he was a nipper and to see him today develop into a positive young man and attain his black is very heartwarming.

"Martial arts has played a big role in his life and I believe it will continue to do so. I'd like to say I am very proud of him and congratulate him on becoming a Black Belt."

Cookstown Mugendo Kickboxing Club is always open to new members and you can contact Joe on 07956 586100.

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