On Saturday the 4th of Feburary 2017 with some nervousness and excitement Members of Kuk Sool Won Cork Martial Arts school and their families met at the Gresham Metropole Hotel in Cork City to attend their 1st CMAP (Cork Martial Arts Promotions) award ceremony.
In all 16 Martial arts Clubs and schools were represented at this years CMAP awards, ranging from Karate to TaeKwonDo, MMA to BJJ and, for the 1st time, Kuk Sool Won. There were 15 awards on offer, and Kuk Sool Won Cork had nominations in 3 different catogories.
The 1st catogory in which we were nominated was “Junior Boy Competitor of the year” with Nathan Hurley (Ballinspittle) as the nominee.
Nathan was one of the first students at Kuk Sool Won Cork, he began training at the age of 6, and was our first junior Black belt achieving the mile stone at the incredible age of 11, he has competed internationally, representing Cork and Ireland at the European and British Championships winning multiple medals. He is an inspiration to the younger students, and a great help in class.
Unfortunately, Nathan didn’t win this time, but what a fantastic achievement to be in the top 3 competitors for this award, from all the Martial Arts schools in Cork! On his first try!!
After a few more awards were called, we then got to the second category for which we were up for an award. This time the nominee was Saoirse McCarthy (Ballinspittle) and the award was for “Senior Female Competitor of the year”.
Saoirse is another of founding students of Kuk Sool Won Cork. She initially came to class to accompany a friend who had won a free classes pass in a raffle, but didn’t want to come alone. Fast forward 6 years, and she is now one of our best students — a Black belt and multi-medal winning champion at international level. She has won medals in the Spanish, European, Scottish and British Championships, as well as being a Camogie champion with both the Courceys and Cork teams! We missed out this time and Saoirse didn’t win but again, what a great achievement to be placed in the top 3 Female Martial Artists in the County!
After 2 near misses, we weren’t holding out much hope for our third and final nomination. This time for Kuk Sool Won Cork Founder, and Master instructor Matthew Boniwell (Kinsale) who was up for “Instructor of the year”
Matthew Boniwell was the first person to bring the Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won to Ireland. With his passion and knowledge, he has made a hitherto unkown Martial Art in Ireland into a success story now boasting over 100 active students with classes in Ballinspittle, Kinsale and Carrigaline. He has coached students from varying backgrounds; helping them reach their goals, obtain their black belts, become champions and acheive what they thought beyond their capabilities.
We all waited with baited breath as the read out the nominiees, and then, to our shock and delight, Matthew was named as the CMAP Instructor of the year 2016/17!! Amazing! From Matthew bringing an unknown martial art to Ireland 7 years ago, and through the loyal dedication and tireless work of his students such as Saoirse McCarthy and Nathan Hurley, Kuk Sool Won Cork and all of its members have become an example of what you can achieve with a “never give up attitude” and hard work.
If you wish to know why Matthew Boniwell was named instructor of the year, and why his students Saoirse McCarthy and Nathan Hurley made it into the top 3 of their CMAP catogories, come down and try out one of his classes. You won’t regret it!