Island Taekwon-Do Centre 26th and Sun Hapkido Academy 11th Anniversary Dinner

Island Taekwon-Do Centre 26th and Sun Hapkido Academy 11th Anniversary Dinner

After a robust competition at the Singapore University of Technology and Design for the Island Taekwon-Do Centre 26th Anniversary Championship, we joined members and guests at @ 29 on Carpenter Street for a feast – not just for our stomachs but also for our eyes and ears.

Master Daniel Sng opened the dinner with a speech that said “now that the competition is over, it is time to strengthen our bonds by sharing food and enjoying each other’s company.” He also said that “punching, kicking, and throwing each other may seem like a strange way to become better friends to people who have never done martial arts,” but that is indeed what we do, and once we “fight” someone, we just know them better.

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I totally agree with this as my best friends in Singapore are long-standing members of ITC who have trained and graded with me during my “formative years” as a Taekwon-Do student under Master Daniel Sng’s guidance. We have shed much blood, sweat, and tears together and the bond forged through that does not weaken even though I have since moved back to Japan and seldom get to train at ITC now. I can further attest to this as Mr. Kelvin Goh, III Dan, taught me 6 of the 9 colour belt patterns as I was coming through the ranks, and even though, for various reasons, Mr. Goh has not worn a dobok for a while, I still consider him my mentor and the Goh and Takagishi families have a strong bond that seems to get stronger over the years.

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As is the custom at ITC and Sun Hapkido Academy, Master Daniel Sng presented overseas guests with gifts. Supporters were also presented with plaques made of gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Because Sabum Jong Sa Park, VI dan, our Chief Instructor, was not able to make this trip, Mr. Yasuo Tsuda, III dan, received the gift for Sabum Park on his behalf, and I received the plaque and delivered it to him. Master Sng and ITC really make overseas guests feel welcome and give us mementos to tell us how much our friendship and support is valued. Even without such material gifts, we would still remain supporters and friends of ITC, but the gesture is appreciated.

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The entire ITF Hyogo JAPAN delegation was honored to be sitting at the table with Master Daniel Sng, Master Spiridon Cariotis from Australia, Mr. Laurence Wee and his lovely daughter, Miss Nicole Wee, and Mr. Ken-ichi Nonaka of ITF Matsumoto. We also got to see old friends at the other tables, and had time to exchange greetings and gifts of our own.

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The evening’s entertainment kicked off with a dance performance whereby the dancers’ mask kept changing with the flick of the head! That certainly had both the young and young at heart glued to the stage! After the initial performance, a dancer went to various tables and used the table cloth to make his moustache appear and disappear. This was certainly something we had never seen before and we were fascinated!

Madam Karen Yong kicked off the karaoke singing with Master Sng’s favourite song. She was joined on the stage by Master Sng, who was very touched by her performance and as usual, was not shy to show his affection for her. My children were very moved by the affectionate interaction between the Master and his wife. They get to see the strict, confident, and authoritative side of Master Sng in the dojang and the competition. But seeing his softer, more affectionate side made them admire this dedicated martial artist even more. “Mama, Master Sng is so nice! Now I won’t be afraid even when he sounds fierce,” my daughter said.

Mr. Yasuo Tsuda got up in an attempt to find a Japanese song to sing, but was unsuccessful in finding his song among the karaoke catalogue. So, to take his place, I decided to sing the one English song I can sort of pull off at Karaoke – the Beatles’ “Help!” In all my years of training at, and visiting ITC, I had never sung before. So I am sure it came as a surprise to everyone. I had to say to Sir at the end of the song, “Sir, the things your antique furniture does for you!” and he gave me a big smile of approval. Perhaps in the future, singing could be included in the grading process at ITC to dig up more talent.

There was more singing followed by Mr. Stephen Slater’s guitar solo. In fact, no Anniversary Dinner is complete without the treat of hearing Mr. Slater play.

Then, came the lucky draws. And we had a lucky winner of our own, Oozora Teodore Takagishi! He won what he thinks is the best prize of the night – a North Face duffle bag that holds all his training gear, including his head gear! “I am so glad I did not win the fryer or the vacuum cleaner!” he giggled.  

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There was plenty of excitement with other prizes for everyone else, too. So much so that the lucky draw was done in two parts. There was an air freshener, vacuum cleaner, and various vouchers for shopping and hotel stays. The varied and generous prizes are always an obvious sign of the calibre of supporters and contributors ITC and Sun Hapkido Academy have. And I am sure the lucky draw is one of the highlights of the evening for many.

I must also mention that no one is forgotten at the event, either. This year, we all received luggage tags as door gifts. My children and I put them on our bags as soon as we got back to the hotel! The gift instills in us a strong sense of belonging and pride as we show the whole world who we are associated with.

Even the most enjoyable events must come to an end – and so the dinner was over and we all shook hands and said good-bye.

But the overseas guests were treated to an after-party at Clarke Quay! As Mr. Tsuda only got one hour of sleep on the flight to Singapore the previous evening, he was struggling to keep his eyes open after one mug of beer. And with the time difference, so were our young friends from Australia, too. The only thing that kept some of the youngsters awake was Turkish ice cream from a vendor next to our table!

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As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so we got our fun to fuel the hard work we must now resume in our training!

Last but not the least, I would like to congratulate Mr. Stephen Slater, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Anniversary Dinner, and his Committee for putting together an amazing entertainment program and a fabulous event! May Island Taekwon-Do Centre and Sun Hapkido Academy live long and prosper!

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Taekwon,
Jules Takagishi

Written by Mdm. Jules Takagishi, 3rd Degree Black Belt, ITF Hyogo JAPAN
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2018

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

Island Taekwon-Do Centre 24th Anniversary Dinner

Island Taekwon-Do Centre 24th Anniversary Dinner

The highlight event of the year took place on 19th March at Wo Peng Chinese restaurant at Furama Hotel, to celebrate the 24th anniversary of Island Taekwon-Do Centre and 9th anniversary of Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore. Ably led by Chairperson Joel Mok Sir with his merry band of men and women for an evening of fun, festivities and friendship on an international adventure. Good food and good company what more could you ask for? Fancy dress? Entertainment? Quiz? Door gift? And who could forget the lucky draw? The evening had the lot! We were spoilt for choice.

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The evening opened with a short address by Master Sng thanking everybody for their support over the year and wishing them a very special and enjoyable evening. The event was officially open and it was on with the celebrations! Emcee Madam Carnation took it in her stride to guide us through the evening’s programme, Singapore’s got talent eat your heart out. A sumptuous 8 course Chinese banquet was the cuisine of the evening and didn’t disappoint, an excellent menu and plenty to go round, no chance of going hungry tonight!

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The entertainment was kicked off by Dominic who gave a fantastic performance of the theme from Jurassic Park on his trumpet, it was like you were back in 1993 listening to it in the movies being chased by a T-rex. Remarkable was that Dominic had on been learning the instrument for 1 year, plenty to blow your own trumpet about! Next up was quiz master Beow Sir with Part 1 of know your club members, a series of searching questions designed to test us all. Who would have thought that Jeremy Sir wanted to be a doctor but was scared of needles and Shaun Sir had a dream that monsters were attacking him? Crazy stuff!

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Following on was Justina with a heart-warming rendition of Aunty Karen’s favourite song, The Scientist by Coldplay, which she had heard while watching the movie Wicker Park. A superb effort and one worthy of an X-Factor finalist place it had the whole room on the edge of their seats. Wrapping up the entertainment was Part 2 of Beow’s quiz,

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The hotly contested fancy dress, well couldn’t have been more hotly contested, a grand effort by all who entered with a truly international flavour. Appearances included dress from China, Japan, India, Singapore, UK and a tenuous Thai entry (Derrick sir it was noted!). A frantic voting period ensured where lots of mingling took place with those entering trying to get those last few votes. A few new names to faces were also confirmed, some still opted for the descriptive… lady in the union jack dress! After a tense count each category was narrowed down to 2 people with a head to head on stage with a panel of 3 judges deciding from the better of 2 poses.

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This year’s winners were: Best Junior Female – Scarlett, Best Junior Male – David, Best Adult Female – Emma and Best Adult Male – Shaun. Notable was that David successfully kept the crown for the 3rd year running and there was even a royal appearance during the judging!

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Full of sumptuous food what more could you ask for? Lucky draw of course. Many fabulous prizes were on offer for some lucky members of ITC and SHAS. There was even a subconscious recruitment drive with one SHAS member winning a Taekwon-Do Master Class DVD (hope to see you in class soon)! A special thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes for the lucky draw, your support was greatly appreciated.

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The event was rounded off with the traditional anniversary cake where everyone was able to share in the chocolaty goodness. Some could have been fooled that the cake should have gone into orbit with the size of the candle strapped to the top of it.

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A big thank you to Master Sng for his guidance and for keeping ITC & SHAS up and running all these years. Also to the organising committee for this year: Joel Mok (Chairperson), Derrick Yong, Shaun Chua, Justina Sun, Yuki Fung, Carnation Chai and Leng Weng Heng. A special mention to Justin Gan who helped organise but was unable to attend due to prior commitments, something about playing with boats and defending a nation!

I had a wonderful time and I look forward to next year’s dinner!

Taekwon,
Mark

Written by Mr. Mark Glendinning, 2nd Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2016