Glen passes grading with flying colours

Glen Mattock (left) and Keith Raistrick
Glen Mattock (left) and Keith Raistrick

A 55-year-old Todmorden man has attained his second degree ITF Taekwondo black belt following 18 months of intensive training.

Glen Mattock undertook a three hour physical grading exam in order to achieve the standard.

He started his martial arts career as a teenager practicing Wado Ru and Kyokushinkai finally settling down to focus on ITF Taekwondo, passing his first dan black belt in 2002.

Following a 12 year gap, which he devoted to spending time supporting his children through to university, he resumed his martial arts career by joining TSX, the Taekwondo school, in Todmorden under the founder, Master Keith Raistrick, fifth dan.

Mr Mattock said: “After a break of 12 years, it was difficult getting back into the swing of things: it was a bit like being at the top of the pecking order then finding yourself right at the bottom again. However, all members of the Todmorden club were very supportive and helped me rebuild my confidence and develop my skills.”

At the age of 55, Glen is one of the oldest members of the club and certainly the oldest grading this time round. He added: “It just goes to show that if you are determined to do something, anything is possible. Do not let age hold you back.”

“Keith is a very dedicated and inspirational teacher. I feel my success is due largely to his support and tenacity throughout the whole of my training.”

Mr Raistrick said: “The grading involved floor work, patterns, self-defence, breaking and free sparing. Glen is highly disciplined and put in a huge amount of effort during the exam.

“By the end of the grading you could see he was physically exhausted. We expect a very high standard from our students.”