Mr. Mal Tweedie arrived in the Solomon Islands on the 27th of February to start an eighty week deployment as a RAMSI PPF advisor.

A black belt in the martial art of taekwondo (TKD), Mal didn't waste any time in meeting the local TKD club to train and offer his services.

Mal's offer has been taken up by Mr. Philip Afu, the senior TKD instructor in the Solomon Islands, who holds the rank of 1st Dan black belt, who has asked Mal to act as an assistant instructor and help train the club.

Mr Afu says Mal will assist with preparing the elite squad for tournaments such as the Solomon Games in Malaita in June this year, and a grading to be conducted by 6th Dan, John Wilson from Queensland in August this year, with the financial assistance of the Solomon Island TKD federation. This will be the first grading in over 12 months.

Now every Wednesdays Mal and Philip coach 40 students, 38 men and 2 women ranging from white to black belt, and aged between 15 and 25 years of age at the basketball courts in the Honiara Multi-purpose Hall.

Mal, who is presently working at Rove Police Station, has been involved in TKD for over 10 years with the Yun Hap TKD club in Brisbane, while both his daughter and son are 1st Dan black belts and former Australian National Champions. Mal is proud to be involved with Solomon Islands TKD Federation.

"I feel very privileged to be a part of the sport and I'm keen to impart the knowledge I have by assisting Mr. Afu with the TKD team", he said.

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that is practiced by an estimated 30 million people in 188 countries. The Solomon Islands TKD Association was confirmed as a member of the World Taekwondo Federation in 2000. The SI is one of 13 countries in the Oceanic TKD Union.

Taekwondo is a physical martial art that places emphasis on spectacular high kicks; however it also instills respect discipline and control, and encourages self confidence and spiritual development.