Cayman Islands Purple Dragon Martial Arts instructor and student Mario Dadal has been selected to accompany professor Don Jacob, the founder of the Purple Dragon martial arts system, on his current grading tour.
This is a huge honour for the 18-year-old Caymanian and for the Cayman branch of Purple Dragon as a whole.
While local dojo chief sensei Floyd has previously accompanied Jacob on such a tour, this is the first time a Caymanian student has been asked.
Dadal, who was a student at St Ignatius and is now studying business studies at UCCI, has been enrolled in Purple Dragon for 12 years and become an instructor as well as holding the distinction of three purple stars at the most recent black belt grading.
Dadal teaches beginner as well as advanced students at the dojo in the Mirco Centre in Industrial Park and is a role model, especially for the younger boys, according to sensei Floyd.
“We are so proud that instructor Mario has been chosen for this prestigious event,” he said. “He is an excellent example of how martial arts can positively influence young people.
“His energy, dedication, level of responsibility and hard work are inspiring for all of our students, young and old. We at the dojo have nominated Mario for the Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports ‘Proud of Them’ program.”
Dadal said he is delighted to be able to participate in the month long North American tour.
Grading sessions will take place in Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Mississippi, New York, British Columbia and Cayman.
The tour will continue on to other Caribbean countries with Purple Dragon branches.
Each will see karate students of varying levels tested before a panel to progress to the next level of their training, which is indicated by an exchange in their belt colour.
All Purple Dragon grading events are overseen by grand master professor Jacob and a grading committee of senior ranks.
Jacob, who is a martial arts Hall of Famer, world martial arts champion and recipient of one of his country’s highest awards, – the Humming Bird Gold Award, introduced Don Jitsu Ryu in 1970, on which the Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts is based.
Instructor Mario said a key part of his reaching such a high level in his Purple Dragon training has been the tremendous support he has received from his family for his martial arts endeavors.
“I would like to thank my family for supporting me all the way,” he said. “They have appreciated the incredible benefits a young person can receive from undertaking a Purple Dragon martial arts program and I am thankful that they have always been right behind me. In fact, my mother recently started training as well and is now a purple belt herself, so I am very proud of her.”
Purple Dragon is the longest running martial arts school in the Caribbean, with 45 schools in over 11 countries, and thousands of students worldwide.
Anyone interested in further information should contact the Purple Dragon dojo on 946-1241 and [email protected]