Information from the students

Ben Miller - 2nd Degree Black Belt


At the age of six I watched the karate kid films and my parents tell me stories that I used to jump around the living room trying to kick and punch pieces of furniture. So to save the house my mother went to the local leisure centre and found a Taekwondo class that I could start. So I started my Taekwondo life at Fairwater Taekwondo School under the instruction of Grand Master Prewett IX Dan at the age of six. I remember laughing and joking about the silly white pj’s the students wear and how I didn’t want to wear them! But I soon gave in and was training in my first dobok (which I still have!) I loved taekwondo and everything about it but the hardest part of it I found was in the summer holidays playing in the street with friends my dad would call me to come a get ready for training. I moaned and groaned but because my parents did not give up and encouraged me in the right way to go to training I progressed through the belts quite quickly. It came to the point where I was ten years old and I was ready to take my black belt grading. I was successful and for as number of years was recognised as the youngest black belt in Wales.

Through my teens I trained hard with taekwondo and entered tournaments and won medals and trophies including the junior overall British championships. Although tournaments are great fun and I think everyone should have a go at them they are not the reason I train. Not long after gaining my black belt I decided to change schools for convenience. I chose to train under Mr. Darren Johns V Dan who at the time was a II Dan. Since then I have learnt there is so much more to Taekwondo than the tournaments and the actual theory behind taekwondo and the self defence side. Recently I have started to teach small groups and classes and that is where I found my true passion! In the teaching of Taekwondo and I owe all of  that to Cardiff North Taekwondo and Mr. Darren Johns V Dan!

Emma Dinnick -1st Degree Black Belt


Hi I'm Emma Dinnick, I'm a 14 year old black belt who trains with Mr Johns and have been training for almost a year now.Joining Cardiff north taekwondo school was the best decision I've ever made. In our taekwondo school we learn new things all the time, from life skills to taekwondo moves and sparring variations. In our taekwondo everyone is accepted, encouraged and inspired to do there very best. Mr Johns is a very motivational instructor. My fitness and flexibility levels have improved massively thanks to him. I really enjoy training with mr johns and the rest of my taekwondo family, they've boosted my confidence levels massively.

Natalie Dinnick - 1st Degree Black Belt


I'm Natalie Dinnick, I began my Taekwondo journey nearly 20 years ago! Wow i must be getting old. I actually started training because I felt nervous walking at night on my own!! I felt I needed to learn some skills to protect myself! I got my black belt within 6 years but then stopped training when I got married and had children. When my daughter Emma was 6 I started taking her to class. It was then I thought why not go back?! I certainly needed to get fitter to look after energetic youngsters. Since then I have trained on and off in a few different clubs but joined Cardiff North Taekwondo about 7 months ago. I was really nervous but Mr Johns encouraged me and I am slowly growing in confidence again. My fitness and flexibility has greatly improved. Everyone in the club could not be nicer!! The students truely are like a family and have welcomed Emma and I without any hesitation or bias. I have been given great new opportunities like umpiring at a local competition and attending fun socials. I love that I can share a passion with my daughter and train together. Mr Johns is an amazing instructor. Knowledge and motivating. I would recommend anyone to come along and give Taekwondo a try.

Vince Dinapoli

I first got involved with Cardiff North Taekwon-do when my son, Alfie, started training in January 2014 after a recommendation from a family friend that is also a student. 
 At this point my involvement was never going to be any more than support and spectate. Looking back, I now realise I was probably more tempted to join in than I cared to admit, just felt I was too old, unfit and pretty much past it. 
 As Alfie started progressing through the ranks he entered first a national and then a local competition. We somehow ended up with a running bet that when he won his first Gold medal I would start training in class (purely as an incentive for him). The inevitable happened and he did us proud winning first, a silver medal at the British open and then another Silver and his first Gold at the ITF Wales competition in the December.      
 Not being one to break a promise, suddenly there I was.. 37 years old, no interest in sport, a poor fitness level and at that point a heavy smoker lining up with the rest of class. All that was going through my head was “What the hell are you doing ?..”.  Fast forward to now, and I struggle to find the words to describe what a positive difference Taekwon-do has made to my life. 
Under the excellent instruction of Mr. Johns, and with the absolute unwavering support of my family and also everyone involved in the school from committee members to students and their families, friends, and relatives I have made steady progress and am now working towards my black belt grading. That in itself is something that I never in a million years thought myself capable of and that on its own would be a huge achievement, made even more so if I achieve it alongside my son.
 Starting Taekwon-do has given me the incentive to give up smoking (since April 2015) and get myself into probably the best physical condition I’ve been in since my teenage years.
I enjoy the team-spirited training with such a diverse group of students but also the traditional discipline that is so important to the art and its heritage. It goes hand in hand with Mr. Johns own ethos of training and learning whilst promoting family values and supporting those that need it.

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