Con Halpin

Con Halpin - 6th Dan WTF

former British Champion & ex-GB Team member

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Background History 

Con started training in February 1974 at the 'Brotherhood & Sisterhood Hall' in Harrow. It was this hall that gave rise to the name for the 'Brotherhood TKD Foundation', officially formed in 1981.

Although, like the majority of beginners, he was not a naturally gifted martial artist, he became engrossed in the training and having the benefit of being part of a club with a very good standard, & under the guidance of an instructor with the best of qualities (Audric Begg), he soon began to progress through the grades. The group of clubs with which his Instructor was associated, which were under the leadership of Master F.Lee, were beginning to produce excellent Taekwondoin and these first generation UK, WTF practitioners, can be credited with the quality of student that eventually followed from these clubs.

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above:  training outdoors in 1977                                  and at the Alperton dojang, 1983

 

  

  

Just 6 months after attaining 1st dan black belt and at the age of 17, Con's instructor fell ill and it was left to him and another (older) black belt (Mick Sutherland) to keep the club running. This was his first experience of teaching and he quickly discovered that a students loyalty was not always to the club, but often to the individual running it. After a 'fallow' time, a period of rebuilding followed at the club, which culminated in a merger with another club within the same group run by Michael King, which operated in close proximity. This arrangement suited all parties, as the training/teaching could be shared and a bigger pool of students was available. Shortly after this, Chris Sawyerr was invited to share the coaching responsibilities, a move which further strengthened the club and would eventually lead to the formation of the Brotherhood TKD Foundation.

 Subsequently, Con would take up teaching at a club based in Kings Cross, whilst still training at the Brotherhood Hall.

Competition History: ~

Kyorugi (Sparring):

During the early years of training, much emphasis was placed on Full-Contact WTF sparring and the Brotherhood clubs had a very strong core of fighters, which for many years would form the backbone of the British team. Even if you didn't compete at full-contact events, you trained that way regardless! And to a large degree, you strived to stay with the best fighters in the club, or you got left behind. Consequently, it was this method of training that produced so many great British fighters and it is this mentality that Con credits with the success he enjoyed as a fighter.

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above: 'Harrow Observer'' report on Brotherhood Hall TKD Team at the 1979 British Championships.

British Kyorugi Championship results

Gold   -  
1978 & 1979  (Bantamweight), 1981  (Lightweight), 1988  (Featherweight)


Silver  1982  (Lightweight), 1983  (Featherweight)


Bronze  1984  (Featherweight) 

 

 

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 above left: Con Halpin receiving the winners trophy from Jim Elkin (Chairman, Martial Arts Commission) at the 1979 British Championships in Nottingham. (on right of photo, Dave Heatherington, Chairman of the British TKD Association)

(centre & right): Combat magazine (August 1979) showing Ian Lennox (now 7th Dan) v. Con Halpin in the bantamweight final.

  Poomsae (patterns/forms):  

With the advent of European Championships for Poomsae in the early 1990's, the emphasis of competition changed for the Brotherhood, and for Con in particular. As a member of the first British Poomsae team, he found himself inspired by the outstanding performances of the best European competitors and sought to replicate this both in competition and in day-to-day training.

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British (BTCB) Poomsae Championships results

Individual

 
Gold  -      1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003/4*, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009. 

Bronze  -   1994, 20082010

*(2003 held late, with 2004 event)

TKD ChungDoKwan Gt.Britain - British Championships

Gold - 2010

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above: TaeKwonDo & Korean Martial Arts Magazine(March 1997) report on the 1996 British Poomsae Championships held in Preston, which saw the Brotherhood once again take many major titles, including overall Team winner.

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1998 British C'ships  (l. to r.) Master David Ward (3rd), Con Halpin (1st), Master Des Day (2nd)


British Poomsae Championships - Grand Champion* -- 

    1995, 1996, 1997, 2001 & 2004

*(each British Champion plays off in a sudden-death grand final to establish an overall winner)

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 1997: Con Halpin receives the President's Cup (Grand Champion), from BTCB Chairman K.Hornsey at the British Championships

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  1997 - The male Grand Final was contested by the 4 British Champions (all current or former GB team members at the time),

(left to right in 1st picture) Ian Lennox, Con Halpin, Adam Gale & Andy Andreou    (covered in TKD/KMA magazine June 1998)

British Poomsae Championships - Syncron Team

 

 

Gold 1994  1995         Silver - 1996  &  1997

 

 

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1994 - the Brotherhood 'Z' Team  (L - R: Con Halpin, Jason Borg, Fraser Bradshaw) take Gold in the Black Belt synchron division.

Kyupka (Power Breaking)

British Championships

          1998  -  Silver

          1997  -  5th

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TKD/KMA magazine (July 1998) covered the 1997 British Championships, including competitors such as Con (above)

GB Team Member,   1993 - 2006

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2001 - at the European Championships (Olympic Ice Stadium, Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany); a disappointing 4th place finish

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GB Poomsae Team 2001 - Con Halpin (middle row, far left side)

  

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  above: in competition at the 1997 European Championships, (in Turkey) which earned him 6th place.

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 with the 1995 GB Poomsae Team in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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1993 European Championships (Austria) - the GB Poomsae Team (L-R) Fraser Bradshaw, Con Halpin, Grand Master Park Soo Nam (President, BTCB), K.Hornsey (coach) & Kevin Williams.

  

 


International Open Championships   

2009   -   Gold  (UTF British Masters)

2006   -   Silver   (Portugal) 

2005   -   Bronze  (Belgium) 

2005   -   4th   (Denmark)                          

2003   -   Bronze (Belgium)

2002   -   Silver  (Gt. Britain)

2001   -   Gold   (Gt.Britain)

2000   -   Silver  (Gt.Britain)

1999   -   Bronze (Gt.Britain) 

1996   -   5th   (Gt.Britain)

1994   -   Gold   (Scotland)

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1999 GB International Open Championships.from left: Ata Alavi (Holland) -silver, Ky Tu Dang (Denmark) - gold, Con Halpin (Great Britain) - bronze

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 Grading History

2007   -   6th Dan   (Grand Master Park Soo Nam, Coventry Sports Centre, Coventry)

1995   -   5th Dan   (Grand Master Park Soo NamJohn Penrose Sports Centre, Middx)

1988   -   4th Dan   (Master T.K.Loh, John Penrose Sports Centre, Middx)

1985   -   3rd Dan   (Masters Y.G.Han, T.W.Shin, J.H.Yoon, John Penrose Sports Centre, Middx)

1981   -   2nd Dan  (Master F.Lee, Brotherhood Hall, Middx)

1976   -   1st Dan   (Master F.Lee, Brotherhood Hall, Middx)

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Above: undertaking power testing, demonstrating strikes on tiles and blocks using the wrist and back of hand.

Teaching Taekwondo

Con's first experience teaching, goes back to 1977 (see notes in 'Background History) and he taught at his 'home' club in Harrow until 1979. It was at this time that he was asked to take over the running of a fellow instructors (Mick Sutherland) class in Finsbury Park, North London, as he was emigrating to Canada.

The club moved to Kings Cross in 1980 and continued until 1989, when the premises ceased to be available. Classes in the area were continued at new locations, by Con's black belt students (Clive Mongelard, Alan Kean & Tony Robinson) from the Kings Cross club and he began sharing teaching responsibilties at a club in South Ruislip, founded by Wayne Gates.

His clubs are now situated in a number of locations in and around the Ruislip, Northolt, Eastcote & Neasden areas and he and his fellow instructors, enjoy the support of a strong and loyal membership. He currently teaches all levels and ages.