Master Manning VIII
Master Manning commenced his training in October 1977 under the instruction of Mr. Tiru Maniam 2nd Dan from Malaysia. Mr. Manning, as he was then, had an outstandingly successful tournament career as a colour belt student in the elements of sparring and destruction. He finally gained his Black Belt in the August of 1980. He continued his tournament success in the black belt divisions, and this, in the days before they had weight categories.
Master Manning won his first European title in Germany in a combined ITF/WTF/all styles tournament; which he considered was a high point of his development. A low point came when his instructor left the UK shortly after Master Manning progressed to 2nd Dan. Being left without an Instructor he spent a period of time training on his own and entering all styles tournaments: full contact, Thai boxing, Karate etc. He then joined the TAGB under the instruction of Mr R Dennis 4th Dan, who encouraged and supported him in opening his first school in Hemel Hempstead in March 1986. The dedication to his chosen art saw him travelling a total distance of 200 miles every week to train under his adopted Instructor Mr Dennis, who was based in Northampton and Coventry.
Master Manning joined the BUTF as a 4th Dan in August 1990, along with 17 of his students who he had nurtured to Black belts status under him. He took to the BUTF with it's’ impeccable standards, like a duck to water but, unfortunately, his Black Belts found it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to adapt, finally leaving him one by one. Along with the schools of Hemel Hempstead and St. Albans which he brought into the BUTF when he joined, he opened new Schools in Harrow and Pinner.
Adopting Master Choy VIII Dan as his mentor in Taekwon-do, he continued to proceed up the ranks. Though his commitments as a successful Instructor meant that his competition involvement had to be drastically scaled down, he still managed to add yet another European Sparring title to his trophy cupboard and, for the first time in his competition career, Pattern titles, following careful re adjustment to the interpretation of his pattern performance by Master Choy.
Master Manning continues steadfastly his dedicated service as a pivotal member of the BUTF family and is part of its hierarchy. More importantly, in keeping with the aspirations of one of its most dedicated Instructor’s, and in continuance of the never ending quest of maintaining the quality that the BUTF is renowned for, he continues to produce quality Black Belts. Countless numbers of them, current and past, good, bad, indifferent, loyal, and finally disloyal, owe their expertise in Taekwon-Do to his tuition. He now proudly attests to the fact that there are three generations of his family training with the Federation and maybe one day there will be a fourth generation (a great, great nephew or niece), but that day has yet to arrive.
He is another of the wondrous band of BUTF human enigmas who is able to continue his Taekwon-Do achievements despite having to pack it into an overflowing program of activities such as Family life; father of two, Profession; that of being Head of Training and Development in ‘Goldsmiths’, part of London Universities Group, Studies: first gaining his Bsc., then Msc., and finally MA. Religious; Church work and finally Music; his affinity of music and his working ability in it as a session guitarist.
Master Manning’s contribution to the Federation has been consistent since he joined it. As a member of the Executive, his input has been invaluable wih a constant eye for improvements, both practical and asthetic in the structural make up of the Federation.
Though excelling in the field of competition, both Nationally and Internationally, by gaining the ultimate in all the elements at various stages in his career, his legacy in this his chosen art will lie in his schools, through which he continues to perpetuate BUTF ideals of teaching pure, unadulterated Taekwon-Do by producing students of impeccable credentials.