This past weekend has marked the beginning of a new era for Gibraltar Taekwondo. A journey that has taken 20 years to conclude. A dream which once seemed so distant and has now become true. Our own club! We must admit that throughout this journey we were misled on numerous occasions, to the point of almost losing hope. But then all faith resumed when we received the news.
The major works were undertaken by Mr Wayne Estella with the help of some private companies. In a space of a month, he managed to transform the premises into a magnificent Taekwondo facility. It was a huge transformation which without Mr Estella's input, would have never been achieved.
The club has undergone an amazing transformation, from a 320-year-old fortress to a modern martial arts facility, where other than teaching Taekwondo, we also encourage discipline, respect and education, being the main principles of leading a humble life.
HSE Consulting Ltd, GibDock, Gibraltar Joinery and Building Services, BaseWell & Concrete Pumping and Aggregates Ltd together with the support of the Gibraltar Government and the perseverance of Mr Wayne Estella, are responsible for what we now have. It wouldn't have been possible without them! A crystal presentation was given to everyone in recognition of the club's appreciation.
This past weekend was chosen to hold a few events, which included the official club opening amongst others. This was held on Friday 28th August, in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister The Hon Dr Joseph Garcia, Minister for Sports, Culture, Heritage and Sports The Hon Steven Linares, British Taekwondo General Secretary Master Neil Guest 7th Dan, Directors of the above mentioned companies who helped with the refurbishment of the premises, current and past members, family and friends. Speeches were offered by Master Ernest Garcia who was very emotional and The Hon Steven Linares who explained to all those present the reasons why Government had chosen our club to be fit for these premises.
Following the club opening, a Seminar was held and this was conducted by Master Neil Guest who demonstrated various self-defence and sparring techniques to all those present. A string bag and bracelet was presented by Master Neil Guest to all our members, on behalf of British Taekwondo.
On Saturday 29th August, the Dan Grading examinations were held. This was conducted by Master Neil Guest together with the help of Masters Edward and Ernest Garcia. The following were successful and have now been promoted as follows:
Master Alexander Trinidad 5th Dan
Miss Lorena Garcia 4th Dan
Mr Wayne Estella 1st Dan
Miss Macy Cornelio 1st Poom
All those who were examined did an excellent grading. Alex having now attained 5th Dan is now "Master", whilst Lorena is the highest belt female within Martial Arts in Gibraltar. Both Wayne and Macy have been training with us for a number of years now. So we are very pleased that they have now attained their black belts. We are very proud of them all.
Master Neil Guest said "I have been coming to Gibraltar for 12 years now and have always been impressed with the standard of the club. Masters Edward & Ernest Garcia have achieved this through their constant hard work. It has always been a dream for them to one day get their own place. To have been invited over for the grand opening to see their dream become a reality, is not only a great honor but a very proud moment for me personally. Having their own club now will create more opportunities for the development of their students. Edward, Ernest and family very much deserve it for all the work they have done."
We would also like to take this opportunity to give an enormous thank you to current and past members, instructors, parents and their families as we wouldn't have made it this far without their constant support. Special thanks should also go to Mr Lee Cornelio and Mr Stanley Olivero for assisting in every way possible.