Henry, Billy and Kevin attain black belt status

The Budo Martial Arts Centre, Kilkenny had cause for celebration recently when three members successfully achieved the rank of black belt. The successful trio, Henry Maher, Billy Clowry and Kevin Brophy, all hail from Kilkenny.

The Budo Martial Arts Centre, Kilkenny had cause for celebration recently when three members successfully achieved the rank of black belt. The successful trio, Henry Maher, Billy Clowry and Kevin Brophy, all hail from Kilkenny.

They had worked tirelessly over the past number of months and years to reach the standards required for such a coveted grade.

On the day of the grading all three karateka presented themselves in front of world renowned karate master, Abe Sensei from Japan. He is the World Chief Instructor of the Japan Shotokan Karate Association and holds the rank of 9th Dan black belt.

After been put through a gruelling session of basics, kata and sparring, Abe Sensei awarded the three their 1st Dan black belts.

These grades are now registered in the headquarters of the Japan Shotokan Karate Association and are recognised worldwide.

The newly crowned black belts train regular with the Budo Martial Arts Centre in their City training venues, the Watershed and the Loreto Sports Hall.

Chief Instructor of the Budo Martial Arts Centre, Sensei Kevin Shortall was quick to acknowledge the effort put in by Henry, Billy and Kevin and is now looking forward to seeing some of the younger members achieve a similar rank.

Sensei Shortall said that achieving a black belt from an internationally recognised karate association such as the Japan Shotokan Karate Association’ was a major achievement and a milestone for most people. It was great to see years of hard training finally receiving the recognition it deserves.

Sensei Shortall said age or physical fitness should not be seen as a barrier to commencing martial arts. Karate was for all, women, men, adults and children. Karate was about personal development. It was not all about how many competitions anyone had won or what grade they were.

Everybody got something different from karate.

“We have several families who train with us with the children focusing on competing and winning medals, while the parents are often happy just to get fit and learn some self-defence,” he added.

The Budo Martial Arts Centre is the headquarters for the Japan Shotokan Karate Association in Ireland.

Through the centre students receive the best of training and have access to high quality international instructors.

The contact number is 086-3668669 or visit www.budomartialartscentre.com.