Dillon Callinan

When we first met Dillon he was really shy, and you’d be lucky to get a few words out of him even if you asked a direct question.

How amazing then to see him a few years later where he stood up in front of his whole school and gave a 20 minute presentation about his martial arts to well over 100 people! Such a huge improvement in his confidence since he began training at the Academy. 

Well done Dillon!


Master Olpin presented with 6th Degree Black Belt

Master Olpin, presented with 6th Degree Black Belt and GIMA Instructor of the Year

Last weekend, a group of Ilyokwan students travelled up to Nottingham for the Guild of Independant Martial Arts (GIMA) conference weekend.

The weekend proved to be a double celebration as Master Olpin was presented with two awards: GIMA Instructor of the Year 2013, and a promotion to 6th Degree Black Belt!

A personal message from Master Olpin..

I’d like to take a moment to express my gratitude and say a very special personal thank-you to everyone involved in both these nominations and to those of you who’d conspired to provide testimonials etc in support of them..

I am especially grateful to Mr Hirst and to Mr Davison who provided the nominations, and to the students who attended the event. It meant a lot to me that you were there to share such a memorable evening with me.

After 30 years in the martial arts one tends to stop worrying about the number of stripes on a belt etc. As an instructor the real rewards are earned in the progress and support of your students. It means a great deal to me to know that my students appreciate what I do, that my peers and fellow instructors had such nice things to say, and that they felt I was deserving of both the instructor of the year award, and the promotion.

I’m truly humbled to receive both awards, and inspired to raise my game even further to continue to earn the respect that you’ve so graciously shown me.

Thank you all, and Kaizen!

Trident - Personal Safety Trainer

On Sunday 24th February, Master Olpin attended certification course with Steve Timperley of Trident Safety and Intervention Systems and is now certified with TSIS as a Personal Safety Trainer within the organisation.

We’ll soon be offering an introductory personal safety workshop as a service to schools, businesses and groups within the local community.

Contact us for further information

Finally back from the printers!


“It’s like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.”

KEWAP Senior Instructor LogoOn Sunday 26th February, Master Olpin attended an advanced level certification course for the KEWAP (Knives and Edged Weapons Awareness Programme) and is now certified as a Senior Instructor in the programme.

We’ll soon be offering this unique programme as a service to schools, local community and youth groups to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime, especially amongst the youth and young adult population.


Master Olpin with KEWAP founder, Steve Timperley


KEWAP instructor Logo

On Sunday 24th July, Master Olpin attended an instructor certification course for the Knives and Edged Weapons Awareness Programme and we’re happy to announce that as a result he is now certified as a fully accredited KEWAP Instructor.

We’ll soon be offering this unique programme as a service to schools, local community and youth groups to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime, especially amongst the youth and young adult population.

Contact us for further information


Master Olpin with Steven Timperley – KEWAP Instructor Course

Eleanor Davison and Robbie Hirst Black belt Promotion

Eleanor Davison and Robbie Hirst promoted to 1st Degree Cadet Black Belts

Two local martial arts enthusiasts are celebrating their promotion to the coveted rank of Black Belt.

Stewart Davison and Shirley Williamson, Promoted to Second Degree

Shirley Williamson from Cam and Stewart Davison from Wotton Under Edge are both members of the Ilyokwan Black Belt Academy which is based at Cam Everlands School, where they train with their instructor Richard Olpin in the Korean art of Taekwondo. Master Olpin said: “Over the years I have been privileged to work with some excellent students, to date we’ve now had 25 black belt promotions in Cam and have five more juniors testing in September this year. Their promotion is based on much more than just one physical exam. They are assessed on many criteria for several months leading up to the final examination. During this time we are looking to see them develop the kind of personal skills and leadership ability that befits someone in a position of respect. They are expected to set an excellent example to others at all times and in this I have to say I am extremely proud of both Mrs Williamson and Mr Davison as they have really raised the bar this time.

If you’re a keen reader you may just recognise Shirley as for many years now she has been the manager of our local libraries in Dursley, Wotton and Berkeley. Having now achieved her black belt she is currently enjoying a well-earned holiday in Japan to celebrate her achievement.  Master Olpin said: “Part of the black belt exam is a fitness test and we were absolutely blown away by her performance, putting many of the younger members to shame and inspiring the other black belts to get in the gym to catch her up!”

Similarly, Mr Davison has proven that there’s never any excuse of ‘I don’t have time for exercise’. Stewart has a very high profile and time-consuming job as a manager in the IT industry which involves many long hours and a lot of travel, yet he still manages to fit in his training around work and family life. More than that – he doesn’t just ‘make do’, he really makes the effort to lead by example and provides a tremendous amount of support and encouragement to his fellow students along the way too.

Master Olpin said, “Shirley and Stewart have really demonstrated what it takes to be a Black Belt. It’s not just about punching and kicking, it’s about holding yourself to the highest standards and demonstrating the type of character that others can aspire to, whatever you do, both inside and outside the martial arts.  In this case they have both set an outstanding example to others and I’m honoured that I get to train with them. I’m really very proud of them both.



Master Olpin with Chris Crudelli

Our chief instructor, Richard Olpin was honoured last weekend at the Black Belt International awards held at the Hilton Hotel in Bradford, UK.

Master Olpin was presented with an International award in recognition of his services to the development of the martial arts in the United Kindgom.

His award was presented by Chris Crudelli, the presenter of the “Mind, Body and Kick-Ass Moves” TV show.

We’re planning to have Mr Crudelli down to Dursley for a Seminar early next year so watch this space for more details!


Miss Dimery with Emma Elmes


Also at the same event Master Olpin and Miss Dimery had the chance to meet the lovely MissEmma Elmes, multiple world champion in creative forms and weapons.

Again, we’re hoping to have Emma visit us early next year for a seminar.

Top tip guys: start stretching now!