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Ciarán Roberts

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In 1993, at the age of 16, Mr Ciarán Roberts started studying martial arts in Loreto College Kenpo Karate School. Recalling the day he began in the club Mr Roberts revealed that "he was dragged down to the club, kicking and screaming, by his father after he had been attacked in town while out collecting money on a school flag day". He has trained ever since.

He studied under and trained with some of the foremost practitioners of the day including Mr Philip Curran, Mr Mark Eastwood, Mr Mark Manning, Ms Freda Roberts, Mr Dermot O'Reilly and, the chief instructors at that time, Mr Alan Corrigan and Mr Tommy Flynn. He graded for his yellow belt later that year under Mr Corrigan and Mr Flynn. He recalls how the only other grade he had seen, at that time, was the black belt grade of Mr Curran - so had no idea what to expect. Later, when he graded for his orange belt it was under the current partnership of Mr Corrigan and Mr O'Reilly.

He experienced his first International competition as a member of the Loreto College Kenpo Karate Team that travelled to the 1997 European Championships in Amsterdam. Since then he has competed in several international events including European Championships - Jersey in 1998 and 2001 - and the International Karate Championships - U.S.A in 2003 and Utrecht in 2006.

In July 2003 he was graded to 1st Degree Black Belt, alongside Mr Jonathan Tully, by the American Kenpo International Senior Council - President Tony Cogliandro, President of the Board of Directors Don Rodrigues, European Senior Council Directors Maurice Mahon, Shay Paget and Barney Coleman. The panel also consisted of AKI Senior Council members Mr Alan Corrigan, Mr Dermot O'Reilly, Ms Freda Roberts. Other notables present include Mr Martin Carey and Mr Philip Curran.

While currently holding a 2nd Degree Black Belt, Mr Roberts continues to study and expand his understanding of Kenpo, compete at National and International levels and pass on his knowledge to a new generation of Kenpo students.