I joined my Sabum and members of the Matsumoto Dojang in what was to be our second annual visit to Island Taekwon-Do Centre in Singapore!
The trip was a very special one for me as not only was it my first ever trip overseas, but it also gave me the opportunity to study Taekwon-Do, an art I have come to love, outside of Japan!
My first impression of Singapore is that it is HOT!!! It was very strange to imagine what it is like to have summer all year round with no four seasons. In Japan, it is still so cold… and yet, how can a place only several hours away by plane be so hot?
And no sooner had we arrived then we had set off for the dojang!
As I do not speak English, I was worried whether I would be able to make friends, but whenever our eyes met, every single member of ITC welcomed me with wonderfully warm smiles!! Their welcome was as warm as the weather in Singapore!
I was also very moved to meet the great Master Daniel Sng in person.
The atmosphere at the dojang was one of warmth and fun – regardless of how tough the training is or how young or old the students are. Everyone was friendly and cheerful and encouraging and challenging each other to train up. And the wide range of exercises taught me a lot.
In all honesty for me, I really struggled to keep up with the physical training…
I would like to thank my new friends from ITC for their generous hospitality in treating us to dinner and lunch. At the dinner, everyone celebrated my birthday with me as well! I feel it was the best possible start to a new year for me and the best fathomable gift!!!
Singapore is a wonderful country and there were many interesting sites to see!
In particular, the observation deck at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel was most impressive! I thought such a view was to only be seen on TV as well as the spot itself, but actually physically being there and seeing it with my naked eye has made it something I will remember for life!
Perhaps one day I would be able to enjoy swimming at the famous pool overlooking the bay! (I did, however, manage to enjoy swimming at the hotel pool!)
I was also very much looking forward to the food, and there is such a wide variety of cuisine available in Singapore – Chinese, Indian, Arabic… I really enjoyed the meats served on Arab Street! And the alcohol was delicious, too!
In closing my report, I want to note that though I was in an environment where I could not converse freely, I came away with a powerful message and realization that Taekwon-Do is a universal language and art that enables us to communicate, meet, and bond. It taught me that hospitality and generosity can be expressed not just through words – a lesson that has marked me for life and for which I am grateful.
I hope to learn a bit more English by my next visit so that I can better express myself and my gratitude. I would also like to thank Sabum Ken-ichi Nonaka for enabling me the experience I had this trip.
I would like to close my report by sincerely wishing that both ITC Singapore and Matsumoto Taekwon-Do Dojang would continue to prosper and grow our friendly ties.
Matsumoto Taekwon-Do Dojang
Written by Mr. Shigeru Nasu, 8th Gup, ITF Japan – Matsumoto
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2014
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