Visiting Island Taekwon-Do Centre and the Special Joint Training Session on 11 March 2018

It was a great honour to be invited to the Island Taekwon-Do Centre Anniversary Championship and 26th Anniversary Dinner again, as I truly enjoyed the opportunity last year, representing ITF Matsumoto.

The Championship was quite a spectacular event, growing bigger than last year. It is a wonderful opportunity to exchange technical expertise as quite a number of different ITF organizations from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan were present.  

The Anniversary Dinner is always a delightful experience with many friends and family gathering to celebrate together. There is always fun events and delicious food that adds to our conversations that we never want to end, and time always feels too short.

The following day, on 11 March, I went to the ITC dojang from midday and was joined by Mr. Yasuo Tsuda, III dan, and Ms. Jules Takagishi, III dan, as well as Ms. Takagishi’s children. Master Spiridon Cariotis from Australia was also present as many ITC students of all ages and ranks gathered for the joint training session from 1 pm.

I was told that on normal Sundays, ITC students train from the morning, but as it was the day after the Championship and Anniversary Dinner, the training was combined into an extended afternoon session.

Master Daniel Sng invited Master Cariotis, Ms. Takagishi, and I split the class into three parts to share some of our training exercises with the group. It was my honor to take the second session.

The first session was led by Ms. Takagishi of ITF Hyogo JAPAN. The Chief Instructor there is Sabum Jong Sa Park, VI dan, who unfortunately could not make the trip this time. She led the class in stretching and various exercises focusing on keeping one’s balance with kicks and punches that were very well thought out and thorough. I observed that all the students were using their whole bodies and warmed up nicely, working up a healthy sweat. Ms. Takagishi’s enthusiastic guidance was very good as spurring everyone on. “Put your heart into it!” she shouted as we all kicked and thrusted.

I had the next session. I drew on what I observed at the Championship the day before and what I see often at overseas competitions – lots of punching. So I introduced exercises to train the eye to see the punches and to react quickly with blocks. The exercises were done in pairs, and we asked the adult students to keep changing partners so that they could continuously be on alert and not get too used to their partners.

I was impressed that everyone understood the objectives well and were able to execute the drill well. It was obvious that the ITC students train hard and well regularly, and they are able to focus on the objectives to get the most out of the sessions. Their solid foundation enables them to enjoy new challenges and master new skills quickly.

My English continues to be terrible, so I was grateful that Ms. Takagishi, who is fluent, volunteered to interpret for me. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to her for not just interpreting what I said, but supplementing my words so that subtle nuances were not missed. (There are so many people at ITC who are studying Japanese, I am never deprived of help. It destroys any incentive I may have to learn English, but I am very grateful for the support I receive from such ITC members as well.)

Last but not the least was Master Cariotis’s session.

I heard that Master Cariotis is a gold medalist in Special Techniques at a World Championship.

The session covered a wide range of topics including sparring techniques with emphasis on the importance of positioning, and many self-defense applications of the movements we learn in patterns.

I felt that every instructor not only shared his/her knowledge and experience, but also shared so much energy, passion, and sense of enjoyment. The explanations were thorough, and as a result, we went over the scheduled two hours by another hour!

I am working on sharing what I learned on this trip with my ITF Matsumoto members as I was able to take back many new ideas and exercises.

I am very grateful to Master Daniel Sng, who makes sure that we have the precious opportunity to learn from each other every time I visit. I would also like to thank all my friends at ITC from the bottom of my heart for making me feel welcome every time. Such experiences reinforce my great joy in sharing the journey of studying Taekwon-Do, this wonderful common path, with such generous people.

Taekwon,
Keni-chi

Written by Mr. Ken-ichi Nonaka, 6th Degree Black Belt, ITF Matsumoto, JAPAN
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2018

ITC & SHAS Get-Together BBQ

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“Is the meat cooked??”
“When can I start eating?!”

It was definitely an evening worth sweating for as members of Island Taekwon-Do Centre (ITC) were treated to a barbeque feast hosted at Sabum Shaun Chua’s place on 9th November 2015.

Prior to the event, it was raining and my siblings and I were hoping that the rain could stop so that we would have an enjoyable evening. Luckily, the rain stopped and we made our way to the event as planned excited to meet our fellow Taekwon-Do members from ITC.

Shortly after arriving, I was tasked to help grill some prawns. As it was my first attempt trying to cook over a barbeque pit, I wasn’t quite sure about what I was doing. Thankfully, I have my buddies Dominic and Sheng Hao to be the “quality control” for my prawns. I’m sure everyone enjoyed our prawn skewers!

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Glendinning on the other pit were Master-chefs who spent most of the evening ensuring that all of us filled our stomachs with delicious meats prepared in British style. I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you Sir and Ma’am!

The barbeque gathering was also an avenue for us to interact beyond class time. I had the chance to talk to students who attended classes at different time slots and got to know them better. My younger siblings had the opportunity to play “catching” with the other fellow younger members. It was a night where we really got to let our hair down and have fun out of dojang!

On a personal note, I would like to thank the organisers, Shaun Chua, Justin Gan, Beow Qi Zhao, Joel Mok and Gordon Lodewyk Sirs for a successful barbeque gathering and also making sure that I did not burn or undercook the prawns! In addition, to everyone else who contributed in one way or another, thank you Sirs and Ma’ams!

Taekwon,
Maximilian Wee

Written by Mr. Maximilian Wee, 1st Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2016

CP Skips For Good Food

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On the 23rd of May 2015, members of both Island Taekwon-Do Centre and Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore participated in the 2015 edition of “CP Skips For Good Food”, held at OneKM Shopping Mall Atrium, from 9:30am to 9:30pm.  The event is a community campaign organised by South East Community Development Council (CDC) and sponsored by CP Foods to raise and provide food assistance for the needy living in the South East District. CP Foods has pledged to donate $90,000 worth of food hampers to this campaign collaboration that aims to garner five million skips. The event consists of two different categories, one being where a large group of people skipping together to contribute to a combined number of skips, whereas the other group will be attempting to break the ‘most number of skips by an individual in a continuous 12 hours relay’ which formerly stood at 35,000 skips according to the Singapore Book Of Records.

Although the event started at 9.30am, several members of ITC and SHAS were at OneKM mall by 9.00am so as not to miss out on the opening ceremony, where the Guest Of Honour, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman, Mayor of South East District, made a short speech. As the buzzer to start the event sounded, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman and his entourage were already busy skipping away. Away from where most of us were skipping, there was another group skipping furiously away as they were the ones trying to break the Singapore record for most number of skips by an individual in a continuous 12 hours relay. Mr. Jeremy Tan, member of ITC and SHAS was part of the latter group.

The group skipping was done in different rows of five which would continuously rotate every 5 minutes, while those trying to break the individual record would continuously skip for an hour before allowing themselves a few moments of rest. Towards the later half of the skipping event, fatigue started to set in, but instead of giving up, Jeremy Sir persevered on in the name of charity and did not even think about trying to break the record anymore. He thought about trying to get more skips so as to be able to help those people in need more. This is a true example of perseverance and indomitable spirit, which are both tenets of Taekwon-Do. Towards the end, the Guest Of Honour, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman gave a short speech and awarded medals to the participants who had tirelessly skipped for 12 continuous hours.

Overall, it is certainly heart-warming to see that many people are willing to sacrifice their time and effort to help those in need, and I am glad that ITC & SHAS had given me a chance to participate in this event.

Taekwon,
Jervis Chong

Written by Mr. Jervis Chong, Red Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2015