Half-way up Chequer Hill in Newry sits an unassuming building that around six years ago was just a shell.
Since then the space has been transformed into the hub of one of the most successful martial arts clubs in the country, with Northern Irelands TaeKwon-Do Master, Cathal Fegan at the helm.
His Dojang training Centre is the epicentre of clubs the fourth Dan Black belt runs – from Dundalk to Silverbridge – with around 200 students of all ages.
Cathal has been involved in martial arts since he was five years old and it didn’t take him long to discover that TaeKwon-Do was the discipline for him.
The walls of the Newry club are covered in pictures of founders, masters and inspirational leaders, alongside words of wisdom in Korean – the country where Tae Kwon Do was born.
The Silverbridge man is passionate about spreading his knowledge throughout the community. He found his own way of giving back during the first lockdown by teaching classes to NHS workers and teachers to help with their mental health.
Cathal is the current world and 10-time All-Ireland Champion, and although it took him 10 years, he finally convinced the council to set up free introductory self-defence classes for girls on the back of Ashling Murphy’s tragic murder.
Spirituality and building a more peaceful world is at the heart of martial arts. It’s about technique and skill rather than physical size.
For this week’s podcast, Cathal tells Armagh I all about the origins of Tae Kwon-Do, it’s place in our society, the success of his club and his students and how he hopes to expand the sport and spread the word.
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