I love Martial Arts and all combat sports.
I am a 4th Degree Black Belt and have instructed Tae Kwon Do under Grandmaster Hee Il Cho and the Action International Martial Arts Association weekly for the past 15 years. I have traveled to many different places with Tae Kwon Do over my 28 years (so far) training. One of my favourite trips however and one that I have made ten times since is traveling to the World Headquarters in Hawaii to learn the art directly from Grandmaster Cho (founder and president of AIMAA). I hope make this trip again this year (2019). Learn more about this living legend at www.aimaa.com
In my younger days I represented Ireland as a member of the Action International Martial Arts Association (AIMAA) Tae Kwon Do National Irish Team. We (the team) competed Nationally and Internationally and trained on with the squad weekly. At the same time I was competing in Full Contact and K1 rules Kick Boxing and had a total of 18 fights in the ring as well as hundreds of mat fights. I picked up a lot of injuries ranging from a broken eye socket and hand to a snapped ACL and many cuts around the eyes (three fights were stopped due to cuts). I was different then, I had nothing on my mind except winning and/or training for my next competition. There was lots of emotion, the highs of winning via stoppage and the low of getting knocked out, and the mental strength it takes to get back into the ring after it (On my first fight back I would only get back into the ring with the guy that had stopped me previously). I had some great wars and I gained a lot of knowledge about how to fight, the reason we fight and myself as a person during that period.
I also teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) under Balance BJJ in Philadelphia. Balance was set up by Phil Miglairese a 6th degree Black Belt under Grandmaster Relson Gracie. Phil has affiliate schools across America and one here in Ireland with Black Belt Ray Butcher. Myself and my students travel to train with Ray and his students in Balance Ireland HQ as often as possible. In November 2018 our little Jiu Jitsu school (Donn Cualinge BJJ Academy) was taken on as a full affiliate Balance School.
My starting in Jiu Jitsu was however was with Ron Huxen a Brown Belt under Relson Gracie in Honolulu. I started training with him when he opened a BJJ school operating inside the AIMAA world HQ, this is how we made the connection (initially in 2006). On each annual Hawaii trip to train Tae Kwon Do I would attend Rons Jiu Jitsu classes and he would send me home (to Ireland) with drills to practice on whoever would train with me. Eventually a steady group started to roll and drill with me on a regular basis and on my 2013 trip I was awarded my Blue Belt and 2014 my first stripe.
Learn more about Balance Jiu Jitsu at www.jiujitsumatrix.com
and more about Balance Ireland at www.tbi.ie
I (and my assistant instructors) am fully insured and Garda Vetted under the Irish Martial Arts Commission (IMAC) Garda vetting #57-9