A Kent woman has achieved an internationally recognised Master title in Taekwondo.
Petra Darvill, 47, of Paek Ma Taekwondo club in Ashford, passed her 5th Dan grading making her an International Master in World Taekwondo.
The grading took place last Sunday at Great Chart Village Hall and was assessed by 6th Dan instructor, Master Geoff Darvill.
The prestigious title is recognised worldwide which is why it’s called International Master, although in the UK you become a ‘Technical Master’ at 4th Dan.
At a Dan grading you must demonstrate patterns, sparring, foot technique and for higher grades, destruction which is board breaking.
Master Petra had to wait 5 years to do the grading as the sport requires you to wait the number of years for the Dan level you need. In total she has been training for 19 years.
She said: “I feel a huge sense of achievement. Not only because I have passed a grading that somehow proves I am eligible for this Master Grade in Taekwondo but also because of everything else I have established, such as competitions in our association and everything that’s involved with running them. Taekwondo is a big part of my life.
The grading itself was tough, but not the hardest part of becoming 5th Dan Master. It takes 5 years after the 4th Dan grading to prepare for the 5th Dan, by committing oneself not only to training, but also to promoting this Martial Art.”
Master Geoff spoke about his student’s success: “It takes a lot of work over a large number of years. She’s worked very very hard, she’s worked consistently. I’m very proud of her. She’s the first student that I’ve got up to 5th Dan so it is a very big achievement.”
Master Geoff currently has approximately 100 students and has been running the Paek Ma Taekwondo club for 27 years.
Taekwondo originates from South Korea and ranks up to 10th Dan.
Listen to Master Geoff’s full interview here: