David Mooney’s nickname, Nails, is derived from the phrase, “As tough as nails.”
Nails was, indeed, tough. His black belt test preparation was, arguably, one of the very best in KIA history. Actually, David began prepping for his black belt at the second brown level when he was approaching third brown. Amazingly, the day after he passed his third brown test he was in the studio preparing himself for his black belt test in six months! He didn’t even take a day off.
Nails was definitely a man on a mission. As an example of his training regimen, he would go through all his katas at full speed, from #1 to #9, plus weapons and then reverse the process from the top down, again blistering his way through every move of every form. And then, as if this were not difficult enough, he would do the same regimen again on another day but use rubber arm bands as resistance. It was something to behold. Mr. King had never seen any student work so hard and prepare so well. Ken “Ramjet” Rogers was the only person who came close. As the sayings go: “Preparation is the key to success,” and “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” David Mooney was having nothing to do with failure and his gargantuan preparatory regimen served him well. His Black Belt test was one of the best ever. Thanks to his wise but arduous work ethic, Nails sailed through his Black Belt test, never tiring, and giving a quality performance throughout. To this day, David “Nails” Mooney set the mark for all Black Belt aspirants to follow and wise they would be if they, indeed, followed his demanding and driven preparatory regimen. It paid great dividends for him and it will, likewise, pay enormous dividends for anyone with the discipline and determination to walk the same road to Kiado-Ryu success.