The inaugural World Taekwondo Education Centre ITF course was held on the 9th and 10th of July 2010. Entitled General Choi Hong Hi and His Art, it was the first Taekwon-Do seminar I have attended. Consequently, I was uncertain of the way it would be conducted. Unsure as I may have been, I am now sure that I will jump at the next oppurtunity to attend a seminar when presented.
The first day kicked off to a flying start with the charismatic Master Rudolph Kang from Russia going through the fundamentals of Taekwon-Do techniques, focussing on power and the use of mass and acceleration in developing it. He followed this by sharing with us some mistakes commonly displayed in Tul.
Masters Nestor Galarraga and Jose Maidana then guided us through various techniques and combinations, showing the details required in their execution.
The participants were then taken up into the mountains, where we enjoyed a delightful lunch, and a leisurely stroll through a historical site. We had a photo session, before vying for the chance to take individual photos with the more esteemed members of ITF.
When we arrived back at the WTEC dojang, the ever humourous Dr. Zibby Kruk took us through a refreshingly different lesson, ‘Kicks and Sticks’. He taught us the basics of using sticks and made us practise in pairs. I did get more than I bargained for though, when my partner managed to strike me with his bamboo stick.
Before retiring to our various hotels and dormitories, we were treated to a wonderful dinner. We had a good time, although we did without the usual accompaniment to merriment.
Day two began with Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa refining our techniques by going back to basics. It was a lively session, with the Grandmaster and Masters correcting and rectifying our errors.
Lunch proceeded this, followed by Master Michael Muleta demonstrating different ways of conducting a class, while explaining them. He actively used us as students. In effect, he used the class to teach itself. Towards the end, he taught us a several self-defence techniques.
Master Don Dalton then went through some sparring techniques, and Masters Galarraga and Maidana of Argentina continued by answering our queries regarding sparring and competition in general.
The course concluded at a Chinese restaurant, where the participants were presented with certificates. Several countries received banners. Singapore was among the quartet. For this, we have none other to thank than Ms. Chen Weiling and her efforts.
This may be but an objective description of the seminar, but on a more subjective level, I found the seminar to be thoroughly enjoyable, in addition to to being extremely informative and beneficial. For this experience which filled me with wonderment, there is a single word which describes all the people whom I am obliged to thank. Everyone.
Written by Mr Shameer Yaqin, 1st Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2010