Mastery in everything you do…
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Not a martial arts post this, but an interesting bit of news about our Chief Instructor, Master Richard Olpin.

Yesterday he was tested for the IAM Roadsmart ‘Masters’ level driving test. This is recognised as the highest level of civilian driving in the world and is compared to ‘a Police advanced driver, without a blue light..’

Master Olpin was tested by a Police examiner on very challenging roads for nearly two hours, and just to make things interesting he also had the examiner’s boss in the back seat – who is head of driving standards for the whole of the UK. No pressure then!

After the test, which not only included driving at the very highest level but also a comprehensive examination of theory, Roadcraft and legal knowledge he was informed he’d not just passed the test, but had been awarded the highest level distinction, which is held by only about 380 drivers in the UK.

For a bit of perspective, there are around 36 million qualified drivers in the UK, so that means it’s that only about one in every 100,000 drivers have achieved this standard.

That’s an example of Black Belt Excellence. Never accept anything less than your very best. Whatever you do, aim for greatness!

 

Our Master Instructor Richard Olpin and assistant Instructor Robbie Hirst were both honoured to be among just a handful of recipients who were awarded special awards for ‘Continued Excellence in the Martial Arts‘.

The awards dinner was the biggest yet, with hundreds of the UK’s top martial artists in attendance, so it was an especially proud moment for the Academy to receive not one, but two awards.

 

Another successful graduation event last night!

With the exception of a couple of students who were ill we had an excellent attendance which all helps to make these events all the more special.

Graduation

 

Little Ninjas at Graduation - September 2016

Excited Ninjas looking forward to receiving their new belts!

So back to it next week with some new syllabus to take us up to christmas.

A few of the newly promoted green belts will be moving on up to the experienced class and one of the ninjas on up to the junior beginners class too so lots of exciting things ahead for everyone.

Don’t forget the members section password will be changing for next quarter (details in your newsletter)Do please check in on there as that’s always the first place you’ll find notices about future events. Also of course if you’re not on our Facebook Group or members forum, do please join those too!

As always if you have any questions or I can help with anything, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email, any time.

Here's Mr Powell receiving his KEWAP Level 1 Instructor Award from Steven Timperley.

Here’s Mr Powell receiving his KEWAP Level 1 Instructor Award from Steven Timperley.

Master Olpin and Mr Powell travelled up to Bletchley today for the Knives & Edged Weapons Awareness Programme (KEWAP) instructor course where Mr Powell was awarded his level one KEWAP instructor award.

KEWAP is a specialist program which aims to teach awareness of the dangers of dealing with knives and other weapons in a self protection environment. Master Olpin has been involved with this group since it was founded about five years ago and is a senior instructor in the organisation, he is also a master instructor within the parent organisation Self Defence UK.

Martial Arts is about so much more than punching & kicking. It’s the most effective path to all-round personal development.
 
I’m sure if you asked any parent who’d enrolled their children in a martial arts class what they were hoping to gain from their membership it’s pretty unlikely they’d say they wanted them to learn to fight. It’s all about the many other benefits, including focus, self-discipline, respect for them self and for others, confidence, assertiveness and so much more.
 
Here’s a great example of two young lads who’ve been with us for a few years now. Jack and Thomas and are now approaching their black belt examination next month. When they joined us they were both pretty quiet kids who’d barely say ‘boo’ to a goose, and yet this week they stood up in front of their whole school to give a presentation about their martial arts. There were probably 150 people in the room so that’s a pretty nerve-wracking thing for anyone to do, but they absolutely rocked it and got a fantastic response from both students and teachers alike..
Jack-Tom-2859
Given the number of adults who’d tell you their biggest fear is public speaking, you can imagine how proud we are to see the confidence these boys have developed through their training at the Black Belt Academy!
A lovely picture and your words above are very true. The boys have learnt so many skills in the lead up to their black belt all of which they will take forward into their school life and beyond. Although the journey so far has been tough we are so glad we met Richard Olpin at a fair in Dursley and signed Tom up all those years ago!
Jo Munyard

Well, we’ve had a fantastic year at the Academy, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for their support over the past 12 months.

2015 was a big year for Ilyokwan as we celebrated our 20th anniversary in September and had some notable successes through the year too:

In May our Chief Instructor Master Olpin was awarded a ‘Gold Award’ from Martial Arts Illustrated magazine and inducted into their prestigious Hall of Fame. Then,in July three of our top students to be recognised at the National Student Awards, including our two assistant instructors Mr Hirst and Mrs Williamson and our first ever Black Belt, Shona Thornhill. Mr Hirst was also recognised at the ‘Warriors Assemble – The Fighting Spirit Awards‘ awards in October for his outstanding dedication to the arts in spite of his brittle bones.   We’ve also seen three new Black Belt promotions too, Mr Knott and Mr Powell attaining their first degree and Mrs Williamson promoted to third degree black belt.

Fantastic stuff!

Here’s looking forward to an even more amazing year in 2016

A great little article in the Gazette this week about Master Olpin celebrating the Academy’s 20th Anniversary here in Cam.

It’s a little late as the actual anniversary was back in September, but the paper only just picked up on it recently..

In the photo with Master Olpin you’ll see our two leadership team assistants, Robbie Hirst and Shirley Williamson who are undoubtably the two most loyal students we’ve ever had, along with Shona Thornhill who was Master Olpin’s first black belt graduate back in 2000..

Here’s to the next 20 years eh!

Parents – if you’ve ever considered enrolling your children in the martial arts for self defence, here’s a great example of exactly why you should!

Original article published in The Metro – Thursday 9 Oct 2014

Attacker, 35, beaten up by girl, 14, when he grabbed her in a park

A would-be attacker was left battered, bruised and embarrassed after picking on the wrong person – a 14-year-old female martial artist.
The schoolgirl was walking home alone through a park near her home when the 35-year-old man came up behind her and grabbed her arms.
He soon realised his mistake when the young teen, who has studied martial arts for several years, broke free from his hold and started raining punches and kicks on him – despite being less than half his age.
Sussex Police arrested the man – described as being ‘very thin’ and around 5ft 7ins – shortly after his attempted assault in Tilgate Park, Crawley and are appealing for any witnesses to the Saturday morning incident to come forward.
‘Although we have made an arrest, we need to speak to anyone who was in Tilgate Park on Saturday morning and saw what happened,’ said Detective Inspector Andy Bennett.
‘We need to find people who may have seen a man acting suspiciously in or around the park on Saturday or on other occasions.’

 

If you’d like to learn more about our martial arts and self defence programmes for any age group, get in touch today and we’d invite you to try 30-days FREE membership as our guests so see the benefits for yourself.