Tournament & Event Reports For 2010

Munster Championships

The Munster Championships were held in Tralee in January. This year a new schedule was trialled with the black belts starting at 9,30, children at 11am and adults at 1pm. The new system fantastically well with the entire tournament finished by 3pm. Each group of competitors was finished between 2-3 hours making it one of the most efficient tournaments in Irish history. This format will be retained for the Leinster and Conncaht Championships. For the first time, two bronze medals were given out in each division. There were also twenty more divisions.

The results were:

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore): gold x 2

Mark Buckley (Galway): gold x 2

Robert Walsh (Oranmore): gold

Jason Costello (Galway): silver

Darren Costello (Galway): bronze

Cathal Kilbane (Galway): gold

Cillian Howard: (Galway): silver, bronze

Daire Madden (Oranmore) silver, bronze

Leon Brydone (Athlone): Gold

Aidan Murphy (Athlone):  silver

Dylan Lacey (Athlone): silver, bronze

Lily Mannion  Silver

Cormac Mannion (Athlone): Gold, bronze

2009 Annual Awards

The 2009 end-of-year awards were presented by Mr. Fitzgibbon ands Ms. Connolly to their respective classes. The recipients were:

Galway/Oranmore Senior Student of the Year - Mr. Paul. Farrell

Galway/Oranmore Junior Student of the Year - Matthew O’ Boyle

Connacht Competitor of the Year - Brendan Kenny

Labane Student of the Year -

Labane Student of the Year -

Blackrock Taekwon-do Championships

Robert Walsh from the Oranmore Taekwon-do Academy travelled to compete in March to compete in the Blackrock Taekwon-do Championships. He did very well winning gold in his sparring division.

Kinsale Taekwon-do Championships

Well done all the Galway students who travelled to Kinsale for the annual Kinsale Taekwon-do Championships. Results were:

Cillian Howard - bronze, Jessica Howard - gold, Rebecca Howard - silver, Robert Walsh - silver & bronze, Brendan Kenny - gold

World Championship Trials

The trials for the 2010 ITF World Championships (to be held in S. Korea) took place in Mayfield Cork. There were contestant from all over Ireland looking to qualify for one the coveted spots on the junior/senior male and female teams. Mr. Fitzgibbon led the way for Connacht after securing his place on the senior mens team for both sparring and pattern. He was joined by Mr. Leon Brydone (Athlone) for the sparring team. Dylan Lacey (Ahlone), Shane Rabbitte, (Galway) and Cathal Kilbane (Galway) all qualified for the junior boys team. Cathal Kilbane particularly earned his place after a tough match that went to sudden death after two draws. He used precision counter-attacking to pip his opponent to the post. Shannon Holland who qualified for the girls sparring team also had a tough match against a much heavier and taller opponent. With pure courage she fought her heart out to clinch her spot. Laura Costello (Galway) fought bravely to earn a second team place.

Leinster Championships

Athlone, new home to the IUTf Leinster Championships, saw the cream of Taekwon-do visit once again this year. As last year, Mrs Mary Mannion had the hall ready with all rings fully matted and sections meted out carefully. The tournament was a great success with the extra divisions this year ensuring more medals being won, and thus happier students returning home. The standard was high with some exciting contests. Mrs Mannion’s super training ensure a high number of medals stayed in Athlone, but Connacht fared very well overall. The results were:

Cathal Kilbane (Galway) – gold x 2

Ava Naughton (Kinvara) – bronze

Nicola Flanagan (Kinvara) – gold

Jessica Griffin (Loughrea) – Gold, Silver

Evan Crean (Loughrea) - Bronze  x 2

Cian Bowes (Loughrea) –Bronze

Dylan Crean (Loughrea) - Silver x 2

JP Griffin (Loughrea)  - Bronze  x 2

David O’Connor (Loughrea) – Silver

Miss Myriam Cochonneau (Loughrea) – Silver

Mr Fergal Leahy (Loughrea) – Bronze

Mr Brendan O’Connor (Loughrea) – Silver

Brendan Kenny (Oranmore) – gold, silver

Laura Costello (Galway) – silver

Darren Costello (Galway) – bronze

Cillian Howard (Oranmore) - silver , bronze

 Rebecca Howard (Oranmore) -  bronze  x 2

Jessica Howard (Oranmore) -  bronze

Robert Walsh (Oranmore) – gold, silver

Mrs Allison Dunne (Barna) – bronze x 2

Cormac Mannion (Athlone) - gold, silver

Rhys  Mannion (Athlone) - gold

Sinead Carroll  (Athlone) - bronze    

Jordan Lacey  (Athlone) - bronze

Jenny Fitzpatrick (Athlone) - bronze

Marcus Conroy  (Athlone) - gold x 2

Dylan Conroy   (Athlone) - bronze

Tara Rowlands   (Athlone) - gold, silver

Kevin Kophamel  (Athlone) - gold

Evan Liu (Galway) - gold, silver

Ms. Deirdre Smyth (Galway) – silver

Lavanya Chalikonda (Galway) – silver

Ethan Flanagan (Galway) – gold, bronze

Gordon O'Connor (Barna) – silver

Finnan O'Connor (Barna) – silver

Sean O’ Rourke (Oranmore) – bronxe x 2

Oisin Higgins (Gort) - gold

Ciara Carroll (Athlone) -  silver

Shane Kophamel  (Athlone) -   bronze

Anthony Keane  (Athlone) - bronze

Shannon Ward  (Athlone) - silver    

Rowland Idowu (Athlone) - gold sparring

Sarah Winters (Athlone) - silver   x 2

Conan Molloy   (Athlone) - bronze

James McGachey   (Athlone) - bronze

James Martin  (Athlone) - gold


Connacht Championships

This year’s Connacht Championships was the most successful yet. Three major innovations this year had a huge bearing on its  success. These were giving two bronze medals in every category, as well as restricting the size of each division. E.g. under 7’s only had four competitor per pool. We also implemented a knock-out system for all patterns divisions which upped everybody’s game. Over 35’s divisions were also introduced this year. Many thanks to the many officials who helped make the event the success it was, particularly the teenagers who this year were far more involved. Well don to you all.

Results are below the photo slideshow

Mr. Fitzgibbon - Irish Competitor of the Year

See Galway Advertiser Report.

Black Belt Grading

On May 9th the 2010 IUTF Black Belt Grading took place in Listowel, Co. Kerry.  In what were record numbers for the Connacht Taekwon-do Academy 18 members were promoted to various Black Belt levels. The day started with  an ITF Ireland 4th-6th dan grading under Master Dalton, VII dan, assisted by Mr. A Murphy, VI dan and Mr. J . Riordan, Vi dan. Along with four other testees, Mr Fitzgibbon and Mrs Mannion tested for 6th dan and 4th dan respectively in a two hour marathon grading. They were examined thoroughly on patterns, free sparring, step-sparring, self-defence, speed & power breaking, special technique breaking and an extensive theory test. All candidates were exhilarated to be informed they had all been successful after the gruelling event.

Shortly afterward the IUTF grading got started with all 1st gup-2nd dan hopefuls lining up to present themselves for promotion. Like the senior grades before them they were examined in all aspects of IUTF Taekwon-do syllabus and all were successful.

The successful members were:

Shane Rabbitte  (Galway) - promoted to 3rd dan

Cathal Kilbane (Galway) - promoted to 3rd dan

Mrs Sandra Doyle (Galway) - promoted to 3rd dan

Ciaran Doyle (Galway) - promoted to 3rd dan

Laura Costello (Galway) - promoted to 2nd dan

Mr. Dara Keogh (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Niamh Keogh (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Laura Keogh (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Caoimhe Keogh (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Daragh Murphy (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Evan Liu (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Daragh Rabbitte (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Sami Lahkdar (Oranmore) - promoted to 1st dan

Brendan Kenny (Galway) - promoted to 1st dan

Conor Dolan (Oranmore) - promoted to 1st dan

Also promoted from other Connacht Schools were:

Kayla O’ Connor - (Loughrea) - promoted to 1st dan

Sinead O’ Carroll (Athlone) - promoted to 1st dan

Jenny Fitzpatrick (Athlone) - promoted to 1st dan

Dylan Lacey (Athlone) - promoted to 2nd dan

Kevin Fitzpatrick (Athlone) - promoted to 2nd dan

World Taekwon-do Festival & ITF World Championships

Cheonju, South Korea

After almost 24 hours of travelling, some of the Connacht competitors arrived in Seoul , South Korea. There they met up with other  members (from Athlone) and were all greeted by a welcome delegation on behalf off ITF Korea. The entire Irish group (approximately 30) were transported by bus to Cheonju city for registration in the World Taekwon-do Festival. The festival is a fascinating competition where ITF and WTF Tkd events are run side-by-side. It will be a good warm-up for the World Championships.

After successful weighing-in for all concerned, food was the next priority followed by a good night’s rest. The Irish delegation settled in to the arena early next morning to ensure a good viewing area. Most Irish entrants were placed in the festival over the following few days with Mr. Fitzgibbon taking two gold medals (individual sparring and team sparring). Other Connacht results were:

Shane Rabbitte - gold x 2 , silver x 3 ,bronze 1

Cathal Kilbane - gold, silver, bronze x 2

Ms. Mannion - Bronze

Dylan Lacey - silver

Shannon Holland - silver

Following the festival, all sparring contenders had to weigh in again for the World Championships. It was quire impressive to see the large squads arriving from around the World -  Argentina, USA, UK and Canada all sporting squads of 100+ people. Ireland alone presented 45 competitors, most of whom ended up on the podium. There were approximately thirty countries represented.

The tournament started with patterns the next day with the juniors getting a run out.  Cathal Kilbane picked up bronze in the 3rd dan section. The seniors followed, resulting in  Ireland’s first WORLD CHAMPION - MS. MARY MANNION. Mr. Fitzgibbon also made it to the podium winning bronze. In sparring the standard was incredibly high. Cathal Kilbane got off to a great start by using tactical counterattacking to beat his first opponent. He was narrowly defeated in the next round however as he couldn’t quite get to grips with his opponent’s reach advantage. Laura and Shannon fought bravely but their lack of international experience was a hurdle they couldn’t quite overcome. In the men’s senior heavyweight division, Mr. Fitzgibbon fought strategically to overcome his English and Argentinean opponents. He conceded a point in the last ten seconds of the semi-final however, and had to settle for bronze.

There was great success for Ireland in the team events. Mr. Fitzgibbon captained the men’s team to bronze in sparring (losing to Argentina) and also bronze in power. Mr. Brydone featured prominently in both events. The junior boys team, similarly, had success in their power event, winning bronze also. Cathal Kilbane and Dylan Lacey were on the Irish boys team. Laura and Shannon both featured in the Irish girls team, winning silver in the team sparring event.

Overall, it was a really successful week for the Connacht group who all brought back at least one medal apiece. Success was  due to many reasons, including the commitment of the competitors & coaches, tough squad sessions over the last year, parental support, etc...


Ms. Connolly  with the help of her student, Mrs. Gina Casey,  organised a welcome-home celebration  as Mr. Fitzgibbon and the teenagers arrived at Saturday’s classes. Heavily jet lagged, the group were overwhelmed by the greeting they received and the atmosphere there. Mr. Chris Hickey, Judo instructor, and proprietor of the Pagodas Temple where the classes are held also made a welcome appearance. Unfortunately our new World Champion, Mrs Mannion couldn’t be there as she flew directly to America to spend time with her family

Master Maidana Seminars in Galway & Athlone

In October, Master Jose Maidana visited Ireland once again after an eighteen month span. He performed a number of masterclasses around Ireland and UK where  he demonstrated his wealth of knowledge. The two session in Galway/Athlone were greatly supported with all participants learning a great deal. The theme of his visit was the categorisation of different strategies, etc. Into a coherent system, to make it easier to teach, e.g. 4 ways to land after a jumping back kick, etc...

The two sessions were completely different in content, and so the few who travelled to do both seminars were really thrilled at the variation.

Galway students perform well in WKA’s

Robert Walsh (Oranmore Club) and Brendan Kenny (Galway club) did themselves, their families and instructors proud at the WKA World Championships in Edinburgh. Brendan won two silver with Robert taking bronze. Both boys prepared well for the event.


WkA Success for  Galway Duo


Master Maidana Seminars




World TKD Festival and ITF World Championships


Black Belt Grading


Connacht Championships


Mr. Fitzgibbon - Irish Competitor of the Year


Leinster Championships


Kinsale Taekwon-do Championships


Blackrock Taekwon-do Championships


World Championship Trials


Munster Championships


2009 Annual Awards