August 8th, 2019 -- On Sunday July 14th, the Trinidad & Tobago Taekwon-Do Federation (TTTF) took huge strides in its development with the grading and promotion of three of its black belts to new ranks.
Newly promoted to 2nd degree black belt is Franz Gillezeau, a personal trainer and strength coach from San Fernando, and Vice President of the TTTF. Also promoted to 2nd degree was Samuel Negrin, a Venezuelan national now living in St. James, Trinidad, who despite being only 17 years old has been practicing Taekwon-Do for 13 years.
But the major step was taken by Paul Waithe, who was promoted to 4th degree black belt, known as Sabum in Korean. In so doing, Mr. Waithe became the first Trinbagonian to have joined the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) as a white belt and climbed the ranks all the way through to 4th degree black belt.
The grading was conducted by the venerable Master Mark Hutton, an 8th degree black belt from Scotland. Master Hutton, who is one of the most experienced and respected masters within the ITF worldwide, has also come on board as Technical Director for the TTTF, with the aim of achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards for Taekwon-Do in the country, and by extension the region.
With these gradings successfully completed the TTTF now turns its attention to its next major event: a Taekwon-Do Festival. Dubbed ‘Train Hard; Lime Hard’, the festival will take place over Carnival weekend in February 2020. Master Hutton will be back in the country to conduct a seminar and another black belt grading, accompanied by some of the top martial artists from Europe who will also be conducting seminars and training. The event will be capped off with an open ITF tournament involving athletes from across the region, after which competitors and instructors alike can enjoy the culmination of T&T Carnival 2020.
It is sure to be an experience like no other.
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