Celbridge Black Belt Grading

Martina Downey reports

The International Kenpo Karate Academy recently held a National Black Belt grading at it’s headquarters in Celbridge County Kildare. The Black Belt testing board consisted of:

Name Rank
Senior Professor John Sepulveda 8th Degree Black Belt
Professor Edward Downey 6th Degree Black Belt
Mr. John Burgess 4th Degree Black Belt
Mr. Anthony Taylor 4th Degree Black Belt
Mr. Richard Burgess 4th Degree Black Belt
Mr. Sean Fox 2nd Degree Black Belt

The test involved four students testing for First Degree Black Belt and six other students for advanced brown belt grades and one student for senior green belt. Professor Sepulveda was very pleased and impressed with the quality of the testing candidates and commented that the test was one the best he ever witnessed during his numerous visits to Ireland over the past ten years.

Testing for his Black Belt was Kevin Hendrick who teaches Kenpo in County Wexford and has been involved in martial arts for past thirty-five years. Mr. Hendrick is a retired Irish army commandant who holds a first-degree black belt in Judo and also a first degree black in Shotokan Karate. Mr Hendrick spent the last seven years preparing for his Kenpo black belt and already runs a very successfully Kenpo school in Enniscorthy County Wexford. Mr. Hendricks performance on the day was excellent and he graduated with honours for his 1st Degree Kenpo Black Belt.

Also testing for his first degree black belt was Brendan Osborne who began his Kenpo studies in Harcourt Street, Dublin in 1971 with Maurice Mahon, but due to work commitments was unable to keep his Kenpo training going, however eight years ago Mr. Osborne joined Celbridge Kenpo Karate Academy and has finally completed a Kenpo journey, which began over thirty years ago.

Mr. Matt Molloy began his Kenpo studies six years ago with Sean Fox in Trim County Meath and also trains directly with Professor Downey in Celbridge. Mr. Molloy is one of three Molloy brothers who study Kenpo in Trim & Celbridge, these brothers have proven to be very talented and enthusiast Kenpo students and have display a martial arts spirit and vigour which is an inspiration to their fellow students. Mr. Molloy passed his test for black belt with great display of power and skill.

Mr. Declan Carroll also successfully passed his first-degree black belt test after seven years of study. Mr. Carroll has been one of the most consistent and focused Kenpo students at the National Kenpo Academy in Celbridge and Mr. Carroll’s focus and perseverance are greatly respected by his fellow students. Mr. Carroll will be travelling to Melbourne in Australia later this year to open a Kenpo school.

Listed Below are the Successful Candidates at the Celbridge Grading.

Name Rank Club
Kevin Hendrick 1st Degree Black Belt Enniscorthy & Celbridge
Brennan Osborne 1st Degree Black Belt Celbridge
Matt Molloy 1st Degree Black Belt Trim & Celbridge
Declan Carroll 1st Degree Black Belt Celbridge
James Dillon 1st Degree Brown Belt Portumna & Celbridge
Ryan Fitzgerald 1st Degree Brown Belt Celbridge & Antlone
Tom Wells 2nd Degree Brown Belt Birr & Celbridge
Jack Smith 2nd Degree Brown Belt Banagher & Celbridge
Rachel Coyne 3rd Degree Brown Belt Celbridge
Shane Courtney 3rd Degree Brown Belt Celbridge
Siraj Ahmed 4th Kyu Green Belt Clondalkin