Aisling Downey reports
Kenpo students from all over Ireland travelled to Celbridge to attend a series of Kenpo seminars conducted by Master John Sepulveda 9th degree black belt. The visit was hosted by Professor Edward Downey who has been studying with Master Sepulveda for the past fifteen years. Master Sepulveda’s classes are always very popular with Celbridge students because of his amazing ability and teaching skills. Celbridge black belts attending included; John & Richard Burgess, David & Aisling Byrne, Gerard Kelly and Donal Kavanagh.
A large group of students travelled from Portlaoise Kenpo Club with their instructors Stephen McKeon and Barry Hooper to attend the seminars. Students from Wexford Kenpo Club also attended headed by Kevin Hendrick & Anne O’Gorman. The Enniscorthy Kenpo Club also gave great support to the seminars with Paul Canavan and Liam Croke who brought a group of students from the south east club. The Midlands Kenpo clubs were well represented by Tullamore Kenpo instructor Jack Smith, Birr Kenpo instructor Tom Wells and Declan Lee from the Portumna club.
During his visit to Ireland Master Sepulveda headed a grading panel where Galway Kenpo instructor James Dillon successfully tested for his 2nd degree black, as did his training partner Athlone based Ryan Fitzgerald who also achieved his 2nd degree black belt. James and Ryan had to perform all the required forms and sets of the Kenpo system followed by a Kenpo self-defence technique line which involved constantly changing attacks being delivered by a variety of opponent’s from various angles. The attack sequences included grabs, pushes, punches, chokes, locks, weapons and various kicking techniques. They also had to decisively handle each attack in the prescribed manner and be able to adjust his or her response to any variables that occurred. The final part of the test was free-style sparring for each of candidates who had to defend themselves against single and double attackers. Other successful candidates at the test included; Barry Hooper from the Portlaoise club gained his 2nd degree brown belt and Noel Byrne from Thurles in Tipperary who achieved his 3rd degree brown belt. The belt test was a culmination of years of diligent training and study under the direction of their instructor Professor Edward Downey 6th Degree Black Belt.