Exciting international connections have been forged with revered masters of martial arts based in Korea and other parts of the world to underline the growing reputation of an academy in Retford.
Specialist tuiton was delivered by experts in their field for students of Bassetlaw who are members of Lynx Black Belt Leadership Academy on Exchange Street, which is owned by Andrew and Rachel Blinston.
A seminar was delivered by Grand Master Kim Yong Ho, 9th dan, who is president of world organisations in martial arts, Venerable Master Kim Sang Tae, world famous Buddhist monk, taekwondo master Seugngpil Choi and also by other masters, champions and instructors who are renowned across the globe.
The Lynx students travelled to various UK locations to receive training in a variety of disciplines, techniques and restraints, which reinforced the Modo methods of Yong Ho that Andrew uses at Lynx.
“The students were left feeling alive and infused, eager to learn and understand more,” Andrew said.
“It was a surreal experience and an amazing opportunity to have the masters all in the same training facilities together. The students embraced so much. The seminar was both educational and beneficial.”
The seminar was the highlight of another successful year for Lynx, which continues to go from strength and strength and has been embraced by local businesses, councils, schools, colleges and the community itself.
The year was celebrated at the academy’s annual presentation night when awards, all sponsored by Retford and district companies, were handed out to some of the 165 talented students now training two to four times a week at Lynx in the various martial arts disciplines.
The Lynx Champion award, for the student “who shows impeccable dedication to training, the master, fellow students and the academy itself”, was won by Alexsandra Macioszek. Said Andrew: “In 19 years of hosting our presentation, only two ladies have ever won this title.
“Alexsandra is competitive, headstrong and focused. She is eager to learn, strict, methodical and disciplined. She displays a winning and leadership attitude.”
The Macioszek family also won one of two Leadership Spirit awards that were presented for “standing out from the rest and going above and beyond”. The other went to Tamara Childs, who was praised by Andrew for her “attitude and the way she embraces martial arts training, regardless of the obstacles and challenges she has to overcome”.
The Winning Spirit award for “showing a can-do attitude” was won by little Max Donovan, whom Andrew desribed as someone who “has grown and developed into a fine young boy”. He added: “Even when Max feels he could do better, he doesn’t realise how talented he is. His spirit shines through in his hard training.”
Another child student, Connor Cooley, took the academy’s Rising Star award for best new beginner, while the Shining Star accolade for best all-rounder went to Paul Oakes.
Robert Macioszek took his family’s third honour of the night when receiving the Black Belt Leadership Attitude award for “setting an example to inspire and follow”.
All students received Indomitable Spirit medals at an event hosted by Rachel Blinston, with the help of her daughter, Rhio, who is an assistant instructor, and scholarship instructor Robert Martin. In the audience were students, sponsors, guests, family and friends.
Anyone wishing to get in involved in professional martial arts training programmes can contact Lynx on 01777 700252 or visit the academy’s website. Throguhout January, the academy is offering a two-for-one membership on its Positive Start programme.