Professor Jacob inspires Purple Dragon kickers

Purple Dragon karate students excelled recently under Professor Don Jacob.

Almost 100 local Purple Dragon students were graded last week by renowned club soke/founder Professor Don Jacob at Camana Bay. Professor Jacob is a Martial Arts Hall of Famer and martial arts world champion who introduced Don Jitsu Ryu in 1970, on which the Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts is based.

The Cayman Islands grading was part of an extensive grading tour also covering the United States and Canada. Professor Jacob was accompanied on this trip by Shihan Thompson.

Grading is the process by which karate students of varying levels are tested by Professor Jacob before they can progress to the next level of their training, which is indicated by an exchange in their belt colour.

An impressive total of 97 individuals successfully upgraded their belt with ages ranging from six to 51, including three white (bar two), 19 yellow, 23 orange, 10 green, 14 blue, six purple, eight red and 14 brown belts.

Cayman Islands Purple Dragon Martial Arts instructor, Sensei Floyd Baptiste, was very happy with how his students performed.

“I am very proud of the performance of all our students – young and old,” Sensei Floyd said. “We look forward to seeing all of our students develop further within the Purple Dragon family. It is especially pleasing for us to see young students who started as small as four and five years-old obtain their brown belts training hard for their black belt grading at Purple Dragon World Headquarters in Trinidad. But perhaps more importantly we can see them developing into young leaders in this community and beyond.”

Sensei Floyd also wanted to give thanks to the other instructors that helped prepare the Cayman students for grading. They are Sensei Geddes Hislop, Sensei Karen Baptiste, Sensei Cindy Moore, Sempai Pitta, Instructor Benjie and Instructor Leonard. Gratitude is extended to the management and staff at Camana Bay for the use of the Heliconia Centre in which the grading exercise was conducted.

For the record Purple Dragon is the longest running martial arts school in the Caribbean, with 45 schools in over 11 countries and thousands of students worldwide. Purple Dragon is the only school in the Caribbean which hosts grand tournaments around the globe.