Hong Kong Invitational Tournament and Seminar
27-28 December 2014
December 27-28, 2014 marked the 5th Annual Hong Kong Inter-School and Asia ITF Taekwon-Do Invitational Tournament held in Tai Wei. This was my first trip to “Asia’s world city” and I was very excited and honored to represent Singapore. Other participating countries included Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Australia.
The first day, Saturday, 27th of December, centered on a Masterclass seminar hosted by Master David Lau and led by Grandmaster Nicholls (9th Dan), Vice President & Secretary-General of the International Taekwon-Do Federation. This was my first Masterclass which I attended as 1st Gup. I was initially surrounded by a sea of black belts from 1st to 4th degree, feeling like a little fish in a big pond. Later as we lined up I noticed other colored belts as well, but not many, though.
Never having been to a Masterclass before, I envisioned that it would be a watch and learn seminar but it was full participation. The main focus for Grandmaster Nicholls was the side-piercing kick and a review of the turning kick and back-piercing kick. Master Dantes Poon (Hong Kong) and Master Daniel Sng (Singapore) also led portions of the day’s events, which encompassed 5 hours of kicking with partners up and down the very long gym floor. The seminar was very helpful and Grandmaster Nicholls shared that while there is a text book way to deliver a side-piercing kick, not everyone will deliver it in the same way as there are a lot of variables to consider including the person who is delivering the kick and the situation in which the kick is being delivered.
I was incredibly fortunate to have great support for me at the tournament, particularly Master Sng and Mr. Andrew Kung (5th Dan), Australia, who coached, encouraged, and translated for me throughout the tournament weekend. Mr. Kung introduced me to Grandmaster Nicholls, under whom he had studied for two years in the UK, and I proudly cherish the photo memory of that moment. It was a day I will always remember.
The seminar was followed by a traditional family-style Chinese meal which included many delectable dishes including my personal favorite, sweet and sour pork. It was the perfect end to a very rewarding day which allowed me the opportunity to visit with old friends and meet new ones.
Day Two welcomed the annual tournament, a one day competition consisting of sparring, patterns, and board breaking. There were almost 200 competitors and even more spectators, including my wife and son, who also made the trip to watch the competition.
I participated in board breaking using a reverse punch, which was a lot more difficult than I thought, but I managed to take second place. I also competed in patterns, performing Choong-Moo, taking third out of four competitors. As I learned, it’s not about winning. In the end, it’s about taking from each event all that it can teach us as a way to learn, grow, and continually improve.
I would like to thank Master Daniel Sng and Ms. Carnation Chai (Team Manager, 2nd Dan) for all of their hard work in putting everything together, and to Master Sng for letting me accompany him to the competition.
I would also like to thank Mr. Andy Low, Mr. Alvin Wong and Mr. Andrew Kung for their help and guidance throughout the trip. A competitor could not have better coaches than you.
Lastly, I would like to thank Grandmaster Trevor Nicholls and Master David Lau for their hospitality and the wonderful opportunity to learn from them. It was a great honor and I look forward to seeing you both again soon.
There were a number of my fellow peers from Singapore who were greatly missed and I wish all of you could have attended. The seminar was excellent, the tournament was outstanding, and the experience to learn and compete at the international level was spectacular.
Written by Mr. Gordon Lodewyk, 1st Dan, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2014