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Jessica O'Reilly

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Ms Jessica O'Reilly began her training in 1992 at the Loreto College Kenpo Karate School under the instruction of Mr Alan Corrigan and Mr Tommy Flynn. Her main reason for joining was due to her father, Mr Dermot O'Reilly, who is a long-standing student of Mr Corrigan and now assists Mr Corrigan in the running of Loreto College Kenpo Karate. She had constantly begged her father to let her go training with him until he finally gave in and since then she has been an integral member of the school.

On the 11th of May 1993 she graded for her yellow belt, a day which in her mind she will never forget, the overwhelming nerves that she felt on that night would not be felt again until 4th of November 2004 when she received the rank of black belt under the American Kenpo International Senior Council - President Tony Cogliandro, President of the Boards of Directors Don Rodrigues, European Senior Council Directors Maurice Mahon, Shay Paget and Barney Coleman. The distinguished panel also consisted of AKI Senior council members Mr Alan Corrigan, her father Mr Dermot O'Reilly, Ms Freda Roberts. Also on the panel was Mr Martin Carey.

In 1997 she travelled with the Loreto College Team to Amsterdam where she would compete in the first of many International Competitions, at this time Ms O'Reilly was age 12 and the youngest member on the team. As well as competing in Holland she has also competed at international karate championships in Jersey 1998/2000, Plymouth 2000, Boston 2003 and more recently Utrecht 2006. Ms O'Reilly has been a main player in many of the national and international tournaments, which have been held in Ireland over the years. She loves competing in all events such as forms, fighting and self-defence and has won European titles in all of these categories. One of Ms O'Reilly's fondest memories of forms competition was when Mr Huk Planas complimented her on her 1st place winning form.

After coming up through the junior ranks of Loreto College Ms O'Reilly recognises the important part that the younger children have to play in the future of both the school and the Art of Kenpo. It is because of this that she has dedicated much of her time to help and train these children in the same manner that she herself was taught. In order to best serve the other students and herself, Ms O'Reilly has attended seminars by Masters such as Huk Planas, Larry Tatum, Tony Cogliandro and Ed Parker Junior to name but a few.

She will be forever grateful to her father for introducing her to the wonderful art that is Kenpo as it has become a major part of her life and feels that she would be a completely different person without it.

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