On the 21st of March 2014, Mr. Ken-ichi Nonaka, a 5th Degree Black Belt under ITF Japan – Matsumoto, along with two of his students, Mr. Shigeru Nasu and Mr. Hiroaki Suzuki visited Island Taekwon-Do Centre.
Mr. Nonaka was invited by Master Sng to train with as well as teach the students at ITC. Although there was a minor language barrier at the start, we were lucky to have Dennis Sir to translate for us.
Throughout the class, Mr. Nonaka emphasised a lot on the importance of accurate technique and the proper execution of strikes by explaining the meanings and demonstrating examples. Though the flow of the class was sometimes slowed by unfamiliar communication, it was still a meaningful and fruitful lesson.
The next day, ITC held its Annual Taekwon-Do Championships 2014, where Mr Nonaka attended as our Guest of Honour and umpire. His students also came to watch our championships, and we are very grateful and lucky to have support from overseas! At 7.30 p.m., our Japanese guests and a few ITC members gathered at 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro for dinner. It was my first time meeting some of the other members of ITC as I had only recently joined Taekwon-Do. The lively and hearty atmosphere, the friendliness of the group as well as the delicious food made the dinner a fun and enjoyable one.
On Sunday, their last day in Singapore, instead of taking time to explore the sights and sounds of Singapore like regular tourists, Mr. Nonaka and his students arrived at the dojang at 9am to train and conduct a class. While his students participated in the warm-up with the rest of the class, Mr. Nonaka received a lesson from Master Sng in stick patterns, after expressing earlier on that he was interested in it.
When Mr. Nonaka later took over the class, he demonstrated and taught us some basic sparring skills. Before the lesson ended, Mr. Nonaka as well as his students participated in a game with the class and it was evident that everybody had fun.
Although it was a very short three days that Mr. Ken-ichi Nonaka and his students, Mr Shigeru Nasu and Mr Hiroaki Suzuki were in Singapore, it was needless to say a rewarding experience for us. I find our Japanese guests very inspiring as they spent much of their time every day practising or teaching Taekwon-Do with us! I hope to be able to train and learn more from Mr. Nonaka again, and would also like to thank Master Sng for inviting and letting Mr. Nonaka share his experiences and skills with us.
Written by Mr. Jervis Chong, 9th Gup, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2014
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