Mark and Andy’s massive honour

Published on: 01 Oct 2014

Mark Iles (left) and Andy Davies (right)

TWO martial arts instructors from Staple Hill have become the first westerners to be promoted to 9th Dan Black Belt by one of the founders of Taekwondo.

The honour was bestowed by Supreme Korean Grandmaster Kim, Bok Man, who is said to regard character as important as technical knowledge and ability and a lifelong dedication to the art.

Andy, the founder of the Elite Chung Do Kwan Black Belt Academy in Page Park, who first experienced Martial Arts in 1968 and went on to represent Great Britain in Taekwondo at international level, said the promotion was very humbling.

Mark added: “It is such a great honour knowing that Grandmaster Kim, being a true pioneer of Taekwondo and the last of the original founders of the art, has officially promoted us to ninth degree Black Belt, of only three people he has ever promoted to the highest rank.”

Academy members who usually compete under the World Taekwondo Federation code have now also had success under the different rules and Code of the International Taekwondo Federation.

Several members won medals at the DMA Championships against some of the UK’s top exponents.

Leo Lee 1st place - Cadet Black Belt continuous sparring;

Gabriel Lee 1st Place - Junior Black Belt continuous sparring;

Joseph Harman-Bowden 1st place - Cadet, Junior grade point sparring;

Dean Turner 1st place - Cadet Black Belt Patterns & 2nd Place - Cadet Black Belt sparring;

Gurdit Singh 2nd place - Peewee Junior Grade point sparring;

Lewis Ricketts 3rd place - Junior Black Belt continuous sparring;

Liam Meadon 3rd place - Cadet, Junior grade point sparring;

Gurdit Singh 2nd place - Peewee Junior Grade point sparring.

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