Roisin Martin, Ernie Irvine and Raymond Leonard passed their 1st Dan Black belt and Dermot Finlay passed his 2nd Dan black belt.

With ages ranging from 18 to 69, these new black belts demonstrate that karate training has something to offer all ages and abilities. Karate is one of a small number of physical activities which can be enjoyed by both male and female students and various ages and abilities, to help mutual physical and mental development. The emphasis is very much on personal development rather than competitive conflict.

The black belt examination was conducted at Washinkai Karate Ireland’s (W.K.I.) annual Gasshuku training weekend, held at the Bawnacre Centre, Irvinestown, on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November by the founder and Washinkai Chief Instructor, Sensei Chris Thompson, (8th Dan), who facilitated the Gasshuku, and W.K.I. Chief Instructor, Sensei Dave Martin (6th Dan), who hosted the event together with his wife Michele Martin (5th Dan).

The Gasshuku ‘kicked’ off on the Friday evening with W.K.I. senior and cadet members from the Irvinestown, Enniskillen and Omagh clubs joining Sensei Thompson for a training session that focussed on the three ‘Ks’ of kion, kumite and kata. The evening concluded with the Dan grading examination. Saturday morning provided junior students with the opportunity to train with Sensei Thompson, which was followed by grading examinations that saw several students being awarded 9th Kyu (red belt) and 8th kyu (orange belt). The weekend concluded with a three hour training session for senior and cadet karateka.