Island Taekwon-Do Centre 25th Anniversary Dinner

Island Taekwon-Do Centre 25th Anniversary Dinner

Entering through the doors of the restaurant, a cool but musky breeze with a hint of familiarity greeted me. It was the same restaurant that I recognised so fondly, with its dim lights and dark oak brown partitions, reeking of archaic tradition, history and resilience, reminiscent of the ’80s grandeur.

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Roland restaurant has been in operations since 1985, and has been steadfast throughout the explosive growth of modern and exceptional eateries sprouting up in its surroundings. Correspondingly, Island Taekwon-Do Centre (ITC) and Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore (SHAS) have also come a long way, celebrating its 25th and 10th anniversary respectively through highs and lows, nurturing the lives of many, and establishing somewhat of a legacy in its wake. This resemblance is certainly a location fitting for the silver jubilee of ITC.

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The dinner comes after the success of the inaugural Taekwondo championships, held earlier in the day at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). A feat marked by a success parallel only to those of eminent martial arts schools, this marks a major leap forward for ITC, with supportive representatives from Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia.

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The excited chattering and occasional laughter which echoed the room, soon gave way to a hushed silence as the programme started with the customary bow to Master Daniel Sng, the chief instructor, followed by his opening speech. He kicked off the banquet with his signature “Sijak” (시작), which signified the commencement of our eight-course traditional Chinese meal.

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While mingling and listening to our emcee of the night, Jeremy, who is also the chairman for this year’s dinner, we were treated to performances by our members. We had Anne singing ‘Tomorrow’, as well as a mixture of Taekwon-Do and Hapkido members – Jonathan, Kenneth, Jimmy and Christie, coming together to perform a few classics.

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The theme of the dinner was undoubtedly that of openness, particularly offering an olive branch to former members who have left the fold. The attempts were manifold.

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Firstly, we had a screening of video featuring former practitioners such as Jiang Sijian, Calvin Eng and even current members, presenting well wishes for ITC on its special day. This was followed with a short clip on ITC and SHAS through the years, which I’m sure, every member present was in at least one photo. We were also treated to a video on the championship which occurred earlier in the day before this year’s anniversary dinner cake was rolled out.

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Secondly, long-serving members from both ITC and SHAS were recognised, by being awarded tokens of appreciation for their numerous years of training and loyalty. For ITC, they were Mr. Shaun Chua and Mr. Derrick Yong. Having been Master Sng’s most loyal and exceptional students, in and out of the dojang all these years. For SHAS, Mr. Detlef Geleick and Mr. George Goh were the most long-serving members, having been with Master Sng even before SHAS was formed!

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Lastly, a brochure inserted with the door gift outlining various benefits for those who wished to once again, pick up from where they left off.

Following in the footsteps of tradition, the dinner culminated in the most anticipated event, the lucky draw. Prices such as shopping vouchers, an action video camera, air fryer, etc. were bestowed on many lucky winners, both guests and members alike. For the others, they had the exquisitely custom-made name card holder door gift to bring home.

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Overall, the annual anniversary dinner is like a reunion dinner, celebrating strong camaraderie, however impalpable, and bringing people together. It definitely captivated all the hearts that were present. Thank you Master Sng for bringing us together.

Taekwon,
Matthew Lin

Written by Mr. Matthew Lin, 2nd Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2017

For more images from this year’s anniversary dinner, please click here to view and download.

Finally, some sentiments from this year’s organising committee:

“Without a doubt, this year’s anniversary dinner is a celebration of the past, the present and the future. Being 25 and 10 years old respectively, ITC & SHAS have both come a long way. It was definitely a joy to see every one of you, former and current members, reminisce over good times. I’m truly honoured to have the best committee, work hand-in-hand, to have made this event such a success.”
– Jeremy Tan, Chairperson

“It was a great honour and pleasure to be able to serve as a member of the organising committee for this year’s anniversary dinner especially since it’s ITC’s 25th and SHAS’s 10th Birthday. Seeing familiar faces at the event proves that learning martial arts such as Taekwon-Do or Hapkido, is more than just personal mastery. It’s about the friendship and memories of tough training and fun times. Here’s to many more anniversaries ahead!”
– Justin Gan

“I felt that this year’s anniversary dinner was very entertaining. Until today, I am still stunned by Anne’s singing and have been rocking to the songs of the Beatles performed by our members. I had a good time working with the committee members and found our strength is most definitely in unity – like a bundle of chopsticks, impossible to break but when divided, they break with ease.”
– Joel Mok

“My son and I are very happy to be a part of the ITC and SHAS family. Master Sng has been a great teacher of the arts of Taekwon-Do and Hapkido. I hope to see even greater growth not just in the number of students but also in our reflection of the spirit of patience and perseverance that Master Sng has imparted to us.” – Sim Chai Heng

“For over 40 years, Master Sng has been teaching and training students in Taekwon-Do and Hapkido. His passion and love for martial arts still burns bright today. It’s not only the amount of effort that he puts into teaching, but his genuine care and concern for the well-being of each and every one of his students, is what sets him apart from other instructors. I’m sure all the familiar faces I saw that night will share the same sentiments, and I am deeply honoured to have been a part of the celebrations for ITC’s silver jubilee and SHAS’s 10th anniversary.” – Justina Sun

7th Hong Kong Inter-school ITF Taekwon-Do Invitational Tournament and Grandmaster Class

7th Hong Kong Inter-school ITF Taekwon-Do Invitational Tournament and Grandmaster Class

It was a great opportunity to be invited by Hong Kong Original Taekwon-Do Council to attend the Grandmaster Class and the 7th Hong Kong Inter-school ITF Taekwon-Do Invitational Tournament on 17th and 18th December 2016. Dennis Sir, Carnation Mdm, Russell and I departed for Hong Kong on 16th December afternoon.  Due to a flight delay, it was already 11pm by the time we reached our accommodation, EAST Hotel. Time for a good rest before the Grandmaster Class the next day.

As the Grandmaster Class would only commence in the afternoon, we went for a little shopping in the morning (just a little!). The organizer picked us up, and instead of sending us directly to the class venue, they invited us for lunch with other overseas teams from Australia and Japan at East Harbour Restaurant at Chai Wan, near the event location.

1Lunch in Hong Kong Style – Dim Sum and Seafood!

When we arrived at the event hall, all participants quickly changed into our doboks to get ready. Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen circumstances, Grandmaster Trevor Nicholls was unable to join us for the seminar.

2Getting ready and waiting for the class to start

The seminar kicked off with warm-ups conducted by different overseas instructors – Jodi Stanton Mdm from Australia, Kenichi Nonaka Sir from Japan, Derek Ma Sir from Hong Kong, to name a few,  while Master Daniel Sng guided us with fundamental movements and patterns up to Choong-Moo.

3We-fie with overseas teams in between breaks

After the break, Master Poon lead the class for kicking drills while Master Sng focused on self-defence techniques. Participants were particularly excited when several dagger self-defence techniques were demonstrated. Afterwards, we paired up enthusiastically to practice the techniques.

4Dennis Sir did a spectacular job as Sir’s partner during the self-defense demo that so many participants approached him for guidance

Although it may be just a short few-hours seminar, I am sure all participants had a great time and brought back with them a lot of valuable knowledge and memories. The Grandmaster Class ended at 6.30pm, and we were invited again by the organizers for dinner at Cheers Restaurant (Pier 88) at Heng Fa Chuen.

5(Photo credits to Kenichi Nonaka Sir)

On 18th December, the 7th Hong Kong Inter-School and Asia Taekwon-Do Invitational Tournament was conducted at the same venue. There were four rings set up, accommodating more than 300 participants. There were many exciting matches between different countries, and it was a pity we had to leave before the tournament ended as we had to catch our flight that evening.

6Besides Patterns, the Sparring matches also drew lots of attention from the spectators

Personally, it was my second overseas trip with ITC. The trip may be short but I have gained valuable experience and learned a lot from different instructors.  More importantly, I have made many new friends! I hope to see more and more ITC members join us for future overseas trips.

On behalf of ITC, I would like to thank the organizers, especially Master Lau for taking care of us and extending his great hospitality. I would also like to thank Master Sng for initiating the trip, and Carnation Mdm for coordinating our arrangements.

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8Grandmaster Class Certification Presentation on 8th and 10th January 2017

Taekwon,
Yuki Fung

Written by Ms. Yuki Fung, 2nd Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2017