Some 59 students between the ages of 4 to 57 last Saturday underwent a promotion test in Taekwondo organized by the Professional Taekwondo Gambia, based in Fajara. Established three years ago by Master Fernando Abaga Edjang, Professional Taekwondo Gambia has became the most popular and active home of martial arts in the country conscripting and graduating dozens on regular basis.
Speaking to The Standard at Saturday’s event, Master Fernando Abaga Edjang said the performance of the students is satisfactory which encourages him to believe that the school will produce a strong team to successfully compete at international level.
He said his school conducts rank promotion test every four months and it is always after intensive training in techniques which is very demanding. “That is why it takes them months to prepare for this day,” he said.
He explained that in professional Taekwondo, the dullest colour belt is the highest rank and the brightest colours belt signifies a low rank. “One does not just get to the highest rank just like that. It comes with lots of patience and hard work,” he noted.
He added that the first test was for white belt holders seeking the yellow belt but now there are students going from blue belt to purple, and from purple to brown, which shows a big change from the last test the school conducted.
Professional Taekwondo Gambia now has 120 active students and it trains 50 and 60 students using international standard facilities
At Saturday’s promotion test, 1 Purple belt student got promoted to Brown belt , 8 Blue Belt students to purple Belt, 4 Green Belt students got a Blue belt , 9 Orange belt students were upgraded to Green , 11 Yellow belt students to Orange, and 26 White belt students were tested and promoted to Yellow Belt .
Abou 37% of the students are female, constituting a total of 56% of the top ranks of Brown and Purple belts with 5 candidates out of 9 students.
Master Fernando further explained that Taekwondo equips students in the aspect of discipline, focus and scarifices. “ Our philosophy is that to get something you have to do something and not just to think that you are entitled to everything”, he said adding that Taekwondo helps citizens to be patriotic and disciplined.