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by Chris Tobin

Timaru Taekwondo instructor Peter Shaw has received another accolade.

The president of the Kukkiwon (the world taekwondo headquarters) Grand Master Choi Young-Ryukl has recognised Shaw’s contribution to the development and dissemination of the sport.

“I had no idea it was coming,” Shaw (61) said.

“I was just rung up and told the Kukkiwon Commendation Award award had arrived and to be in Auckland for the presentation. I’m delighted; it will open the door to others.”

Shaw was presented with the award by 8th Grand Master Kim Tae Kyung.

He started with martial arts when doing a carpentry apprenticeship in his teens and now holds the rank of 6th dan black belt. He has seen the martial art’s enormous growth over the years.

“New Zealand is lucky to have so many different styles available, with a lot of instructors who have a broad and sound knowledge of their chosen art.”

Shaw has a passion for teaching kyorugi (sparring) and ringcraft. Those he has taught have competed in world, European and Asian championships as well as national and many domestic tournaments.

Besides coaching, he has been active on the administration side of the sport and has held many national and regional positions.

The commendation award is not the first time he has been recognised.

In 2006, he received a prestigious Letter of Commendation from the Kukkiwon which was presented by the Great Grand Master Hae Man Park, who travelled from South Korea.

In 2011, he was inducted into the NZ Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

“These accolades look and sound nice but it all comes back to the grassroots taekwondo that matters,” he said.

“The achievements students make and the lifelong friendships I have made are worth far more than any award.”

Shaw started a funeral director’s business in Timaru four years ago. He has recently started instructing at the Timaru Olympic Taekwondo Club where he is being assisted in teaching traditional taekwondo by 4th dan black belt Jane Ji.