Eastwood martial arts stars finally go for black belts after long wait through pandemic
A dedicated group of fighters at an Eastwood martial arts school have finally seen all of their hard work pay off after the setbacks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A group of 14 students at the Eastwood Taekwon-do Academy should have taken their black belt grading at the end of 2019 – but due to the events of the last 18 months it was postponed until last week (Sunday, September 26).
The grading system allows each student to train towards achieving a higher rank signified by the colour of the belt that they will wear.
There are six belts: white, yellow, green, blue, red and black. Black is given to students who have progressed through the grades and have a solid foundation of the techniques of Taekwon-do.
Eastwood Taekwon-do Academy master Michael Wood said he is really proud of his students.
He said: “12 of the students taking part on Sunday have trained with me for around six or seven years and have remained very loyal to the academy during the Covid lockdown.
“I want to thank them all for their loyalty, perseverance and patience in waiting for this day to arrive at last. They’ve worked hard through these challenging times and I am very proud of them all.
“Also a massive thanks to all parents and families who have supported their children through this troubled and difficult time.”
A series of different exercises and drills took place throughout the day to test all of the students going for the black belt.
Master Michael added: “The standard was consistently excellent.
“We started off with patterns, kicking drills and self defence drills, followed by three step, two step and one step basic and advanced.
“This was then followed by sparring and finally destruction. It was a long day. We started at 10 and didn’t finish until 4.
“Well done to everyone for working so hard for so long."
The club recently celebrated its 42nd anniversary – starting up in the town way back in 1979.
Classes are held in Plumptre Hall, Church Street, Eastwood, and the school takes children from the age of four up to adults of any age.