The first and only woman in the world to be awarded the title of Technical Director of Qwan Ki Do (Quán Khí Đạo or the Way of Vital Energy) in Great Britain is from Romania.
Read this article in Romanian: Irina Adam, singura femeie din lume Director Tehnic de Qwan Ki Do
Irina Adam’s journey is interwoven with devotion, gratitude, hope, love and eminence, which all led to a dream being turned into a wonderful success story. In less than seven years the young Romanian has managed to revolutionise one style of Martial Arts in the UK and promote England among the best countries in the world at the World Championship of Qwan Ki Do in 2011.
“When I decided to set up the first club of Qwan Ki Do in London, I was only driven by a dream and a very powerful will to continue what I had started back home in Romania.”
It all began in a training room in Bacau which Irina, who was only eight years old at the time, recalls as being called “the playground” by all the kids in the neighbourhood. “I can’t say I was passionate about Qwan Ki Do, but I’ve grown fond of it as practising this sport brought along many happy experiences and dear friends. Thus, when I was 16 I achieved the Black Belt and became an instructor myself.”
Irina has never given up on her passion. Not even when she arrived in the UK and realised that few had ever heard of Qwan Ki Do. Au contraire, it motivated her even more and made her dream of opening her own school. Her dream finally came true in 2009, three years after achieving the 1st Dan Black Belt. It was then that Master Pham Xuan Tong, founder of Qwan Ki Do, sent her a letter of recommendation and gave her the title of Technical Coordinator, thus offering her the possibility to set up a school of Qwan Ki Do in the UK.
Dream come true
In March 2009 Irina started the first trainings at a school in Chalk Farm. At first it was just her and a few friends, but she soon started receiving emails from practitioners that were living in London and were willing to resume their trainings. By the end of the year she had already brought together a group of 10 students, which was enough to enable her to found a federation. Now, after almost three years, she teaches more than 60 students in two schools and she is opening a third one in March. All her school are recognised by the “British Council for Chinese Martial Arts” as federation of Qwan Ki Do.
“Ever since I decided to follow this path and found a federation of Qwan Ki Do in England, it has been quite a journey. In April 2011, when the World Championship was held in Morocco, England was represented by seven of my students. At the opening festivities, when our delegation was introduced, I was completely overwhelmed with emotions and felt so very proud for having fulfilled my dream. The Championship was an unforgettable experience as we managed to win two third places in semi contact.”
After achieving the 2nd Don Black Belt, Master Pham Xuan Tong awarded Irina the diploma and title of Technical Director of Qwan Ki Do of Great Britain. Thus, she was to become the first and only woman in the world to be awarded this title.
“At the moment I am training the Youth National Team for its first participation at the Junior European Championship of Qwan Ki Do that will be held in Berlin on the 14th of April. In November we are planning to organise the first Junior Championship in England and we also hope to open more schools is London and outside the capital.
To all those who still need convincing to practice Martial Arts, Irina tells that sport in general brings benefits to our bodies and our mind as well. Moreover, practising Martial Arts also brings along added confidence and helps us evaluate our own strengths and limits. Self defence techniques can prove useful to anyone, as we don’t only make use of them in the event of an attack, but they also make us more aware of the danger around us and of the way we can avoid it.
”Martial Arts, a way of life”
All those interested in practising this sport, are welcome to give it a try by attending a free session in one of Irina’s clubs located in Hendon and Enfield. Irina’s youngest student is only four and a half and has already achieved the first level in Qwan Ki Do.
Training sessions are carried out at:
Hendon Club – 413 Hendon Way, NW4 3LH
Opening Hours: Children – Tuesday and Thursday 16:00-18:00 / Adults – Tuesday and Friday 19:30-21:00
Enfield Club – Houndsfield Primary School, Ripon Road, N9 7RE
Opening Hours: Children – Monday and Wednesday 3:30-4:30
Training sessions are being held twice a week for each group and a monthly subscription costs £40 for children and £50 for adults. The first session is free of charge.
The training sessions are suitable for a wide range of ages, children being accepted from as young as four. Moreover, the trainings are divided into age groups, 4-7 years old, 8-11 years old, 12-16 years old and adults.