The test took place at Song Moo Kwan Headquarters in Minneapolis, USA, on 22-23 April 2022, along with an instructor’s course.
Chong Jae Nim (Supreme Grand Master) Hee Ro, World Song Moo Kwan President, said how proud he was of SGM Mark, for the respect shown and the level of technique speed and strength, and was very pleased and proud of his performance.
Congratulations Sir you are an inspiration and the embodiment of the Five Tenets of Taekwondo!
SGM Mark’s words:
The feeling of this week is just sinking in, the enormity of the achievement, all the serious injuries over the years, I’ve never given up or quit not once. I’ve gone from strength to strength, happiness and the feeling of my life back is true happiness, spending the last 8 months on hospital crutches and a walking stick, requiring a new hip and knee, I never stopped practicing, performing Koryo Keumgang Taebaek Pyongwon Sipjin Jitae Cheonkwon Hansu Ilyo for my students, and Hoshinsul and Kyukpa.
To be tested in front of Chongjaenim Hee Ro world Song Moo Kwan President, SGM Joe Cole 9th dan, SGM Leo 9th dan, SGM Kathy Cole 9th dan, all that practice was worth every second, of thought nerves more practice, the traveling was nothing, all I wanted was to show my seniors my respect and walk out on the floor and perform my Taekwondo at 61 years old, to perform my best and even show my skill as an instructor with Song Moo Kwan.
The results and successful testing, the support and respect shown by my Song Moo Kwan family 4,600 miles from home was unbelievable. The feeling is now sinking in the lonely young boy from a poor beginning who made it to the top 9th degree blackbelt.
My beautiful wife was so pleased and proud of me. My best friend GM Ewan Briscoe was overwhelmed and my brother of 42 years right by my side was so pleased and proud of our achievement. Then my mentor GM Guy Jones was so proud of everything I had done. I’ve never once looked back or regretted a thing. The best feeling was informing my Taekwondo family I had made it for them all. The messages of congratulations made my life so much happier and filled my heart with a harmony I’ve never felt in my life.
From 9th kup to 9th Dan, I made it.
United Kingdom Song Moo Kwan president
Former world medalist
10 times national champion Kyorugi
8 times national champion Poomsae
Former GB national coach
Former Ireland national coach
My journey continues
From my heart, Thank you all, Gamsa Hamnida
Senior Grand Master Mark John Richardson, 9th degree blackbelt
Song Moo Kwan Headquarters and history:
“Grandmaster Ro says, “Song Moo Kwan taekwondo forms are for your health. Even if you need to do them slowly, complete each technique. 100 percent. Then your body will be healthy.” You embody the Song Moo Kwan philosophy: With body and mind together, nothing is impossible. With enthusiasm and perseverance, nothing is impossible.” (A fellow participant to SGM Mark)