Tournament & Event Reports For 2009


German International Championships


Chon-Ji Cup


Irish International Championships


WKA World Championships


Mr. Fernando Perez Seminar


Leinster Championships


International Instructor Course


Open Day


WKA World Championship Eliminations


European Championships


Chon Ji cup


Connacht Championships 2009


Ireland Vs Spain


Master Maidana Seminar


Munster Championships


TKDI Tournament


IUTF Technical Championships


Masterclass with Master Don Dalton

IUTF Technical Championships

The first ever IUTF Technical Championships took place in Kanturk on January 18th. The primary focus of this event was patterns and special techniques. Students had the opportunity to compete in both individual and team patterns. The individual pattern sections were contested using the international ITF knockout system. This ensured consistency in the performance of the contending students as well as preparing them for European and World Championships. Overall the standard was very high,  and the attending competitors from Galway and Oranmore did themselves proud as always. The results were:

Laura Costello (Oranmore) - bronze x 2

Jason Costello (Oranmore) -gold, bronze

Darren Costello (Oranmore) - silver, bronze

Shannon Holland (Galway) - bronze x 2

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore) - Gold X 2, bronze

Roisin Dalton (Galway) - Gold, silver x 2

Mark Buckley (Oranmore) - Silver, bronze x 2

Lily Mannion (Athlone) - Silver, bronze x 2

IUTF chairperson, Master Don Dalton, VII Dan, held a terrific masterclass in January for Connacht members. It was held in Oranmore and was attended by members from Galway, Oranmore, Barna, Athlone, Claregalway, Labane and Loughrea clubs. Master Dalton is well know for his tough and dynamic training sessions, and he didn’t disappoint. From simple dodge-counterattack manoeuvres to more  complex sparring combinations, he covered a broad range of sparring skills. The class finished with some deep stretching exercises, while Master Dalton  explained to the group that the huge success of the IUTF is largely due to the close relationship between the senior instructors. He elaborated on the importance of respect and loyalty in the student-instructor relationship and thanked Mr. Fitzgibbon for inviting him to Galway. Mr. Fitzgibbon presented Master Dalton with a commemorative plaque and thanked him for his visit, but in particular for many years of instruction and friendship.

Taekwon-do Ireland Tournament

A number of Connacht students attended the recent TKDI competition in Blackrock, Cork. A number of our competitors won gold medals - Mrs Mary Mannion (Galway), Lily Mannion (Athlone) gold x 2, Roisin Dalton (Galway), and Luke Jarvis (Athlone). Cormac Mannion (Athlone) took silver, as did Conor Murray(Athlone), with Rhys Mannion taking bronze. All competitors behaved with the usual IUTF sportsmanship.

Masterclass with Master Dalton

Munster Championships

Competitor of the Year Table

(N.B. It is the responsibility of each competitor to ensure that his/her results are correctly included in each tournament reports below, as it is from these that the table is compiled)

Scoring system:: Bronze = 1 point. Silver = 2 points. Gold = 3 point. International = 1 point extra per medal.

The below list contains all the competitors who scored at least 10 points during the year.

The success of Connacht students in 2009 seems to have no limits after the magnificent results from this year’s Munster Championships. Gold was the order of the day as members from White to Black belt dominated the various divisions at this, the first of the four major IUTF tournaments. There were almost sixty students in attendance between the Galway schools (Galway city, Oranmore,  Labane, Loughrea, Ballinasloe) and Athlone. The day got off to a great start with Galway and Athlone Black Belts taking gold. Mrs Mannion won the 3rd Dan ladies’ patterns with Mr Leon Brydone taking first place in -75Kg sparring (as well as 2nd in patterns). Mr Fitzgibbon competed himself in patterns (4th dan +) and took away 3rd place. Mr Padraig O’ Connor (Mr John Riordan’s Listowel student, currently based in Galway) won the male +75Kg sparring with distinction. Congratulations to all the other members who competed. As Loughrea instructor, Mrs Doyle wrote on the Loughrea web site, “ While winning is confirmation that you are doing something right, it is important to remember there is a lot of pleasure to be had in simply taking part in these tournaments. There is an opportunity to meet and make friends with like minded people from all over the country and indeed at the Nationals from all over the world. There is also a chance to learn from watching others perform and to experience different levels and abilities. I myself have learned more from losing than I ever did from winning. It is also an opportunity to learn about who you are as a person.”

For additional pictures see below the results column.

Gustin Forde (Galway): Silver x 2

David O Connor (Loughrea): gold

Brendan O Connor (Loughrea): bronze

Kayla O Connor (Loughrea): bronze

Mr Paul Doyle (Loughrea): bronze

Miss Myriam Cochonneau (Loughrea): bronze

Ciaran Doyle (Galway): silver

Yvonne Mc Hugh (Ballinasloe/Galway): gold, silver

Evan Liu (Galway): silver

Roisin Dalton (Galway): bronze

Sarah Winter (Athlone): silver

Carmel Dougherty (Athlone):  bronze

Leon Brydone (Athlone): gold, silver

Mr Padraig O’ Connor (Listowel): gold

Charlei Bermingham (Labane): gold,  silver

Paul Farrell (Galway): Gold

Anthony Datsko (Galway): Gold, silver

Brendan Walsh (Galway): silver, bronze

Darragh Rabbitte (Galway) :gold

Conor Rabbitte (Galway): silver

Shane Rabbitte (Galway): gold

Lily Mannion (Athlone): gold

Theresa Gleeson (Athlone): gold

Cormac mannion (Athlone):bronze

Rhys mannion (Athlone): silver

Rebecca Ryan (Athlone): bronze, silver

Rachel Bowe (Athlone): silver, bronze

Mrs Mary Mannion (Galway/Athlone): gold

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore): gold

Aaron McEvoy (Labane): bronze

Ireland Vs Spain

There was a special team sparring competition held in March in Zaragoza between Ireland and Spain. The event was hosted by ITF Spain. The Irish team consisted of Mr. Fitzgibbon (Galway/Tralee), Mr. Keane (Kanturk/Charleville), Mr. O’Connor (Galway/Listowel), Mr. Brydone (Athlone) and Mr. O’Sullivan (Tralee). The win eventually went to the visiting Irish IUTF team by a score of three wins, one draw and one loss. Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Brydone added silver and bronze medals for the individual sparring events to their team tally. The IUTF would like to thank ITF Spain and Mr. Christian Oriolani for their fantastic hospitality. The trip was IUTF funded.

Master Maidana Seminar

Master Jose Maidana travelled to Ireland in March to conduct seminars for ITF Ireland, which is Ireland’s only INO. The strength of the association was displayed by the fact the Master Maidana gave seminars in every region, starting in Waterford  on Wednesday March 11. The workshops covered sparring and patterns. The Argentine Master travelled on to conduct seminars in Limerick, Kerry, two in Cork, two in Dublin and in Galway. This is the fourth year in a row that Master Maidana has been hosted by ITF Ireland and the IUTF. According to IUTF Vice Chairman Mr. John Riordan VI, “each year we are learning something new and we are refining our own organisation due to Master Maidana’s influence. We realise that there is a long road ahead and much to learn and this is the most exciting part about these seminars. I do not think that there are many European associations that can continually host such great events, year after year. These seminars were held during the Saint Patrick's weekend which is a huge time of celebration in Ireland. Still the workshops were packed out which demonstrates the pulling power of Master Maidana and the strength of ITF Ireland and the IUTF. We look forward to next year’s visit with baited breath.” ITF Ireland would like to thank Master Maidana for his continued help, inspiration and influence. Master Dalton would also like to express his thanks to all the instructors and students that have supported the special week of training.

Connacht Championships 2009

The Connacht Championships, this year, was our most successful to date. With instructors and students attending from most IUTF schools, all combined to make it a successful day. Valued ITF Ireland members Mr Faulkner (Meath/Dublin)and Mr. Murphy (Waterford) both brought strong contingents to really add to the occasion This was the first Connacht Championships to feature fully matted rings which raised the profile of the event higher than ever.

Connacht students took home a fantastic haul of silverware, and this also served as a good warm-up to the upcoming Euro Championships in Croatia. The local results were:

Siobhan Casey (Galway)  - 2nd, 3rd

Lorna Farrell (Labane) - 2nd, 3rd

Mia Ainsworth (Claregalway) - 3rd

Kevin Fitzpatrick (Athlone) - 3rd, 3rd

Oisin Higgins (Labane) - 1st, 3rd

Tom Healy (Labane) - 3rd

James McGachey (Athlone) - 2nd, 1st

Tanya Lahkdar (Oranmore) - 2nd

Darragh Murphy (Oranmore) - 3rd

Joesph Casey  (Galway) - 3rd

Paul Doyle (Loughea) - 3rd x 2

Jenny Fitzpatrick (Athlone) - 1st

Cormac Mannion (Athlone) - 2nd

Jordan Lacey (Athlone) - 3rd

David O’ Connor (Loughrea) - 1st

Scion Flanagan (Kinvara) - 1st

Robert Walsh (Oranmore) - 1st, 2nd

Brendan O’ Connor (Loughrea) - 2nd, 3rd

Corey Greham (Loughrea) - 3rd

Micheal Daly (Barna) - 1st

Sinead Carroll (Athlone) - 3rd

Cathal Kilbane (Galway) - 1st

Shane Rabbitte (Galway) - 2nd, 3rd

Dylan Lacey (Athlone) - 3rd, 3rd

Donagh Coffey (Oranmore) - 2nd

Laura Costello (Galway) - 2nd

Gustin Forde (Galway) - 2nd

Megan O’ Connor (Galway) - 2nd

Maclaine Black (Labane) - 3rd

Kayla O’ Connor (Loughrea) - 1st

Cillian Howard (Oranmore) - 3rd

Emma Haran (Athlone) - 2nd, 3rd

Lily Mannion (Athlone) - 1st, 3rd

Harry Redfern (Galway) - 2nd

Paul Farrell (Galway) - 2nd

Finnán O’ Connor (Barna) - 3rd

Darren Costello (Galway) - 1st

Joseph Tanian (Galway) - 3rd

Rhys Mannion (Athlone) - 2nd

Gary McInerney (Labane) - 2nd

Shannon Holland (Galway) - 2nd

Shane Duignan (Galway) - 1st, 1st

Mark Buckley (Oranmore) - 2nd, 2nd

Charlie Bermingham (Labane) - 1st, 2nd

Sarah Winters (Athlone) - 2nd

Deirdre Smyth (Galway) - 3rd

Myriam Cochoneau (Loughrea) - 2nd x 2

Claire Masterson (Galway) - 3rd

Yvonne McHugh (Galway) - 2nd

Marie Flanagan (Oranmore) - 3rd

Jamie Folan (Galway) - 3rd

DJ Whelan (Claregawlay) - 2nd

Daire Madden (Oranmore) - 3rd

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore) - 1st, 2nd

Lowell Penas (Galway) - 2nd

Cian Qualter (Loughrea) - 1st, 3rd

Cathal Kilbane (Galway) - 1st

European Championship Success for Connacht Group

The 2009 ITF European Championships were held in the beautiful beach resort of Umag, Croatia from May 26 to May 30. The event was organised by Mr. Tomislav Đaković and was attended by 21 countries.

Shane Rabbitte took bronze in the junior -63Kg sparring division after making it through to the semi-finals following some tough bouts

Mr. Leon Brydone of Ireland was the only senior competitor to retain the gold medal in senior sparring from the last Europeans by again winning the men´s middleweight division. He seriously injured his ankle in the semi-finals and could barely walk for the the next two days. Mr. Brydone again showed his fantastic spirit by fighting a tactically brilliant final against his Slovenian opponent who had previously overcome Mr. Christian Oriolani- another of the top middleweights in these championships.

Mr. Fitzgibbon after taking bronze in the 5th dan patterns division decided to enter sparring despite suffering an abdominal muscle injury three weeks prior to the competition. This injury which restricted his training in the run-up to the championships meant he narrowly missed making the weight for his normal -80Kg division. He moved up to +80Kg where the average weight was over 90Kgs. He won three pulsating bouts against his far bigger opponents but had to settle for silver in the end as he lost by a narrow margin against his Dutch opponent in the final.

The Euro Cup was also held on the Thursday and was open for colour belts only and black belts of <13 years. Lily Mannon of Athlone fought a tactically sound fnal but had to settle for silver against her (also Irish) opponent.

The next European Championships will be hosted by INO 47 (ITF Ireland) and will be held In Cork, Ireland in 2011. This will be the first Europeans to fully feature the new ITF Computer Scoring System which has revolutionised ITF tournaments. The system was successfully used at the last World Championships in Birmingham.

WKA World Championship Eliminations

The 2009 WKA World Championship Eliminations took place in Kanturk. While this event is run as a standalone competition, the top three contestants in each event qualify to represent Ireland in that event at the World Championships in Spain (October). Connacht has a number of entrants who all performed extremely well. The results were:

Róisín Dalton (Galway): Gold x 2, silver x 2

Kayla O Connor (Loughrea): silver x 2

Brendan O Connor (Loughrea: gold, silver

David O Connor (Loughrea): bronze x 2

Myriam Cochonneau (Loughrea): gold, silver

Kevin Rabbitte (Galway): bronze

Darragh Rabbitte (Galway): bronze

Shane Rabbitte (Galway): gold, bronze

Lily Mannion (Athlone): silver, bronze

Cillian Howard (Oranmore): gold, silver

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore): gold

Chon Ji cup

Congratulations to Rebecca and Cillian Howard (Oranmore) who competed in the Chon-Ji cup in Kanturk. Rebecca won gold x 2, silver x 2, while Cillian won gold x 2 silver x 2 and bronze.  Not to be outdone, Brendan Kenny (Oranmore) took  Gold X 2 Bronze X 1. The Costello family attended as usual and did very well. Laura and Darren  took gold, silver and bronze., with Jason taking gold, silver Well done to all.

Open Day

Connacht Taekwon-do Academy classes in Galway take part at the Pagodas Temple, a full-time martial art centre which hosts many martial arts. On Sept 26th an open day was held where each school performed a ten minute demonstration of their art. Below is a short video encompassing a selection of the Taekwon-do schools demo.

International Instructor Course

Mr Fitzgibbon and Ms Connolly travelled as part of an IUTF group to Barcelona the first weekend of October to participate in an  IIC run by Master Galarraga, VIII dan (from Argentina). The other instructors were Master Dalton, Mr Riordan, Mr Philpott, Ms. Claire O’ Sullivan and Mr. Alex Milanov (originally from Bulgaria, now living in Ireland). Master Dalton along with Master Maidana (Argentina) and Master David Brown (Scotland) assisted Master Galarraga throughout the gruelling weekend.

The course was one of the best he has done, according to Mr Fitzgibbon. All the boxes were ticked; Master Galarraga covered fundamental movements, step sparring , patterns in great detail, self-defence and free sparring. At the end of the Master Galarraga commented on how much he respects Master Dalton’s acknowledgement of the knowledge we have learned from the Argentinean masters. He explained how so few people genuinely recognise and thank the people they have learned from, and that Master Dalton was one of the exception.

The weekend had special meaning for Ms Connolly who after a thorough grading was promoted to 4th dan. The panel consisted of Master Galarraga, Master Maidana, Master Dalton and Master David Brown (Scotland). She was tested  on Tul, step sparring, free sparring, self-defence, power breaking and also received a thorough theory exam. After the grading, a banquet meal for the course participants was laid on. The pre-dinner entertainment consisted of the European launch of the ITF Taekwon-do pro-circuit. With only a few hours notice , Mr Fitzgibbon was asked to contest a -80 Kg match against a Spanish fighter. Mr Fitzgibbon agreed despite nursing a moderate shoulder injury, and proceeded to win the match decisively.

All in all it was an extremely satisfying and informative weekend.

Leinster Championships

Sunday, October 11, Athlone Taekwon-do Academy hosted the Leinster Championships for the first time at the Marist Sports Complex. With a large national attendance, the event proved to be a big success. In addition to the usual IUTF support there was a very strong attendance from ITF Ireland members Pulse TKD (Mr. Ambrose Murphy (VI), Taekwon-Do Ireland (Mr. Dermot Walsh (VI) and National Irish Taekwon-Do Association (Mr. James Faulkner (IV). There were six matted rings running continually from 9.00am until 3.00pm. Ms. Mary Mannion 3rd Dan, was the host for the prestigious event. Competitors came from Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Dublin, Galway, West Meath, Louth and Kerry. Mrs. Mannion would like to thank all the IUTF and ITF Ireland instructors who supported the event and worked so hard on the day. Competitors were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd. An additional 3rd place was given and some sections split if there were too many entrants.

Congratulations to all the competitors who displayed impeccable sportsmanship and etiquette. Connacht results are below the picture gallery.

Mr. Fernando Perez Seminar

The IUTF had the opportunity to host Mr. Fernando Perez in October for two sparring workshops. The first workshop was hosted by the South West Taekwon-Do Center, Tralee, County Kerry and the second was held in Oranmore, Galway. Mr. Perez (VI) is President of ITF Spain, a member of the ITF Tournament Committee and Chairman of the European Tournament Committee. He is also regarded by many as the leading referee in the world.

The Saturday seminar began with a huge round of applause as the Spanish leader entered the training hall. Mr. Perez was introduced to the class of over 40 students, and after a quick warm-up, they were all put to their paces both mentally and physically with a series of steps, up and down the famous South West TKD Dojang. These techniques were aimed at improving movement during sparring and were based on a great scientific and anatomical knowledge. Mr. Perez concentrated on the double step and the single step, both of which were very different in their execution and were to prove very beneficial for the drills that were to come.

During the training Mr. Perez introduced a series of exercises which were specifically orientated to improving reaction time. These exercises were never seen previously by the Irish contingent. The instructors present were over the moon with their new found knowledge and will be using the new routines in their next classes!!! The Galway session was preceded by a Squad Session instructed by Master Dalton. It was refreshing to see many of the previous day’s attendees travel the long journey for the second session. Mr. Perez spent considerable time teaching counter attacks for the blitz and the lead leg side kick. He was enthusiastic throughout and his infectious positive teaching method had the participants longing for more. He finished the second work shop with some games which had all the students and instructors beaming from cheek to cheek. It was a special weekend with a close friend of the IUTF. We look forward to future workshops with Mr. Perez in the years ahead.

WKA World Championships

Two of Mr Fitzgibbon’s/Ms Connolly’s students travelled to Spain in November to participate in the WKA World Championships. Brendan Kenny and Robert Walsh have both enjoyed  a successful year so far, winning multiple prizes in IUTF competitions. This was topped however, when they returned home from Spain with a silver medal each. Both boys are looking forward to the Irish International Championships.

Their trip was partially funded by  the Connacht Taekwon-do Academy, which is conditional to attending National Squad Training Sessions.

Irish International Championships

Irish International Championships - the IUTF event of the year! With an impressive line-up of black belts on Saturday and eager colour belts on Sunday this was one of the best Championships of the decade. Connacht Taekwon-do Schools had a strong contingent taking part and with such a high standard (particularly from the visiting countries) every prize was going to hard fought-for. Mrs Mannion kicked things off for the black belts by taking bronze in the ladies 3rd Tul. Mrs Mannion has been doing TKD for many years now including reaching black stripe in WTF. Her experience showed as she held her mettle amongst the other contestants. Mr. Fitzgibbon followed up with bronze in the men’s 4th/5th dan category. He performed a strong So-San Tul to qualify for the semi-finals where he narrowly lost out to current European Champion, Mr. Kevin McCabe (Wales). Lily Mannion (Athlone) took silver in the junior girls 1st dan tul, vastly improving upon her performance in the Leinster Championships.

Sparring was up next, and Mr Leon Brydone (Athlone) fought valiantly as usual to win the -71KG division. Mr Fitzgibbon, needed all his experience to deal with his much taller -80Kg adversaries, and had to settle for silver against his 6’5’’ Dutch opponent. Lily Mannion , Cillian Howard (Oranmore), and Shannon Holland (Galway) each took bronze apiece in sparring, as did Kenneth Duignan (Galway). Cathal Kilbane (Galway) took silver in junior boys -52KG sparring. Jason Costello took bronze in -42Kg sparring.

At the end of the individual events, the prestigious Celtic Cup took place. This team competition is now regarded as being THE elite team event in Europe next to the European Championships team event. Mr Brydone and Mr Fitzgibbon (Captain) lined up with Messrs Padraig O’ Connor (Listowel), Alan Murphy (Athlone), and Dara O’ Shea (Listowel) to represent  the IUTF

After seeing off, a strong UK team in the semi-final, the Irish men observed a tight battle between  Czech Republin (BRNO) and Taekwon-do Ireland. Tied after the exciting five matches, the Czech team went through to the final with victory in the tie-break match. The final was to be held the next morning -  Ireland (IUTF) Vs Czech (BRNO).

In customary tradition, the Saturday competition was rounded off with a masterclass. This year, Master Dalton’s instructor, Master Patrick McCarthy took the masterclass for the anticipating black and quite a few colour belts who had come specially for this event. He focused on ground-fighting and self-defence techniques. He carefully explained the difference between choke holds and sleeper holds while demonstrating on the capable, Mr. Ben Pethick (IUTF London). A wide variety of techniques were taught and an enjoyable session was had by all.

Sunday morning, Neptune Stadium was buzzing with anticipation of a memorable Celtic Cup senior men's team final. As all the colour belts and spectators filled the stadium, the atmosphere grew more and more electric. The IUTF squad gathered (with Mr. Murphy now replaced by sub, Mr. Calvin  Thomas, IUTF London). As they faced up to the Czech team for the bow, the cheering in the arena (for both team) was deafening. The Czech team got off to a dream start winning the first two matches. However, the tactical decisions by the IUTF squad proved a key point in the contest as the remaining three matches were won by Mr. O’ Connor, Mr. Fitzgibbon, and Mr. Brydone. The Celtic Cup remains in Ireland.

Following the Celtic Cup final, the colour belt action began as the entrants made their way  to their respective rings. Connacht Students did exceptionally well, with the results as follows:

Rebecca Ryan (Athlone) - Silver, Gold

Theresa Gleeson (Athlone) - Gold

Rhys Mannion (Athlone) - Gold

Patrick Ryan (Athlone) - Silver

Aidan Murphy (Athlone) - Silver

Jenny Fitzpatrick (Athlone) - Silver

Cormac Mannion (Athlone) - Silver

Sinead Carroll (Athlone) - Bronze

Dylan Lacey (Athlone) - Bronze

Robert Walsh (Oranmore) - Gold x 2

Ronan Conneely (Galway) - bronze x 2

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore) - silver, bronze

Michael Conneely (Galway) - silver x 2

Fawad Noonan (Galway) - silver, bronze

Deirdre Smyth (Galway) - gold

Darren Costello /(Galway) - bronze

Mark Buckley (Galway) - silver



Brendan Kenny


Lily Mannion


Roisin Dalton


Leon Brydone


Miriam Cochonneau


Shane Rabbitte


Darren Costello


Robert Walsh


Cormac Mannion


Mark Buckley


Padraig O’ Connor


Jason Costello


Laura Costello


All pictures featured below (and many more) can be purchased at higher resolutions from

German International Championships

Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Brydone (Athlone) travelled as part of the ITF Ireland squad to Germany in November. The German International Championships were hosted by Mr. Olaf Bremmer, VI. Mrs Patricia Dalton, V (ITF Ireland General Secretary) accompanied the team as an official, and assisted the German INO in running the tournament. The black belt patterns kicked off the day with the Connacht instructors getting a great start - Mr Brydone took bronze, with Mr. Fitzgibbon winning his division.

Next up was men’s team sparring. The Irish team met a spirited Dutch contingent in the final. The first few results didn’t go the Irish way, and the team found themselves needing two wins just to tie the match. Mr. O’ Connor and Mr. Fitzgibbon delivered the needed results, and Mr. O’ Connor proceeded to win the tie break bout , and hence the match for Ireland.

In the individual -71 Kg matches, Mr. Brydone fought some tough matches, and despite being was hampered by an injured leg, made it to the final. He fought extremely well in the final against his Dutch opponent, but conceded some head kicks near the end of the bout and had to settle for silver. Mr. Fitzgibbon clearly dominated his German opponent in the -80 Kg semi-finals, but his Dutch finalist opponent proved more awkward. Mr. Fitzgibbon’s experience ensured that he didn’t give anything away and took gold.

Chon-Ji Cup

Mark Buckley (Oranmore) attended the Chon-ji Cup in Killarney. It was hosted by Mr. Jason Moriarty, V. Mark did extremely well winning two gold and two bronze medals.