Tae kwon-do grand master Noel Keating demonstrates on fifth dan martial artist Doug Swain as (left) Ashleigh McNae, and (second from right) Graham Moore and Evan Pritchard watch on.
Tae kwon-do grand master Noel Keating demonstrates on fifth dan martial artist Doug Swain as (left) Ashleigh McNae, and (second from right) Graham Moore and Evan Pritchard watch on. contributed

Half century of work for martial arts pair pays off

NEARLY half a century of hard work has paid off for a pair of Central Queensland martial artists.

Tae kwon do martial artists Evan Pritchard and Graham Moore were put through their paces earlier this month by grand master Noel Keating.

Keating flew up to Rockhampton to assess whether Pritchard and Moore were accomplished-enough artists to receive their fourth dan, while fellow Rockhampton martial artist Ashleigh McNae hoped to move up to a third dan black belt.

All three were successful in their grading attempt, but that was no surprise to not only Keating, but local instructor and fifth dan black belt Doug Swain.

"Everyone passed, but the idea of a grading is that they should pass - they really have to fail a grading," Swain said.

"They've been working for a long time on their grading and Master Keating was very happy with how they were prepared for it."

The trio were assessed on their board breaking, patterns and self-defence ability, as well as their knowledge of the fundamentals of the sport.

Swain said he couldn't have been more impressed, despite the odd mishap.

"If something doesn't go right on the day, which does happen, what is important is the show of character," Swain said.

"That means more than breaking a board. What is important is how you handle the miss and that you recoup and move on to the next part of your grading."

For Moore, a teacher at Rockhampton Grammar School, the pursuit of his fourth dan black belt began 15 years ago.

After taking part in the sport as a kid and working up to a black belt, Moore returned to tae kwon do in 1998 and was determined to become an internationally qualified tae kwon do instructor. He now must wait 12 months and then be reassessed by a grand master before he can become an international coach.

Pritchard has been competing in tae kwon do for 30-odd years and last attempted his fourth dan grading in 2003.

Ten years on and the senior public trustee officer has now moved closer to his dreams of becoming a grand master tae kwon do specialist.



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