Boy, 8, gets Taekwondo black belt for Christmas - youngest in his Coventry club! - The Coventry Observer

10th Aug, 2022

Boy, 8, gets Taekwondo black belt for Christmas - youngest in his Coventry club!

DON’T mess with the Dorrans family – mum Louise, dad Grant, 11-year-old Imogen and now eight-year-old Jacob are all Taekwondo black belts!

Eight years ago Louise, 41, first enrolled her daughter into the Association of Professional Taekwondo Instructors (APTI Taekwondo) class in Coventry when she was four.

Now the mum-of-two and husband Grant, a part-time carer and football coach, run the club’s family sessions every Thursday evening at The Cube, Whoberley.

And their determined son Jacob has become the club’s youngest member to get a black belt – just in time for Christmas, along with school friend, Vignesh Ramkumar.

Louise, said: “It is a bit of a family affair!

“Imogen and one of her friends, Calum Nash, were founder members of the club. They both got black belts in 2017 – Imogen was nine – and Jacob wanted to pass his at an age younger that she was. He is so determined and competitive.

“Imogen, Calum and another member Reece Cleaver have just qualified as junior instructors.

“The club is having a Christmas party on December 21 to celebrate our latest black belt achievements. Esme White, George Wheldon and Harry Bromwich celebrate with Jacob and Vignesh and take the black belt count to 28.

“It’s lovely family-friendly club with lots of parents training with their children. Our club has lots of siblings who train and achieve new belts together.

“Nearly all our adults train because their children started first and we’re really inclusive. Taekwondo is for all so we also have children with special needs.

“A common question we get asked is ‘how long does it take the average person to get a black belt?’ The answer is the average person doesn’t get a black belt – it takes a lot of dedication.”

APTI Taekwondo was founded by chief instructor, grading examiner and social worker Ian Ferguson, an 8th Dan Black Belt, with 46 years experience.

Louise was awarded her second black belt last July.

She said: “I used to do Taekwondo as a child until I was 19. I asked Ian if he did any adult classes, they didn’t at the time, but he agreed to train me. I was already a black belt but had not trained for so long. I passed my Second Dan black belt last July – that’s 25 years between grades.

“My husband Grant is a First Dan black belt and also qualified as an instructor this year.”

The club has members from aged 4+ and has expanded over the last eight years to run classes at three venues – Burton Green Village Hall (Tuesday, 6 – 7pm), The Cube, Whoberley (Thursday, 6-7pm) and Eastern Green Village Hall (8am- 9am for adults and 9.30am – 10.30am children).

Louise also runs before and after school Taekwondo Clubs for 45 pupils at Park Hill Primary School in Coventry, including Jacob and Reece.

“The kids love it – it’s such an achievement when they get a black belt! Our ethos is respect for each other.”

To find out more check out: taekwondoapti

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