3rd Annual Everest Open Championship 2018

3rd Annual Everest Open Championship 2018

In September 2018, Island Taekwon-Do Centre was honoured to participate in the 3rd Annual Everest Open Championship and Master’s Seminar in Nepal. Arriving in Kathmandu’s small airport, we were caught up in a whirlwind of activity. We were warmly greeted by Ang Temba and Ngima Sherpa, friends and supporters of ITC, in Nepal.

Our new friends whisked us expertly through the busy airport and, together, we began our journey by car to Dhulikhel to meet our competitors and hosts. As we drove, we climbed up, and out of the Kathmandu valley in the dark of night. Ang Temba and Ngima taught us a few Nepali phrases and gave us a bit of history about their small nation. When we finally arrive in Dhulikhel, we collapsed into our beds after our long journey from Singapore, which was two time zones ahead.

On our first day in Nepal, we were greeted by a stunning 180-degree panorama of the Himalayan range. As we wandered over to enjoy a hearty breakfast with Ang Temba and Ngima, chanting and incense from the Buddhist ashram filled the air, next door. The four of us enjoyed our coffees on the hotel balcony, as eagles wheeled in the air and clouds rolled over the mountains. Our Nepalese adventure had barely begun and we were already spellbound!

After breakfast we changed into our doboks and proceeded to the function hall where we were greeted by Mr. Basnet, President of ITF Nepal, Master Yogi Chand, who had come from the UK to lead the seminar, and our fellow competitors from Nepal and India. When the 200 or so of us were called to attention and shouted “Taekwon!” the excitement in the room was palpable.

Master Chand started his seminar with patterns and proceeded from lower to higher-ranking colour belts. Black belts and international instructors performed the patterns with each group of colour belts giving other color belts an opportunity to work with a range of instructors and to receive guidance. By the end of the morning, the colour belts had completed their patterns and the black belts had been put through their paces.

After lunch, Master Chand moved on to three-step and two-step sparring before dismissing the colour belts and continuing with black belts. The seminar offered valuable knowledge about techniques and served as an opportunity to meet and train with fellow Taekwon-Do-ists from dojangs in Nepal, India and the Netherlands. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, the children were especially interested in us newcomers, and over dinner we even had the chance to get to know our fellow competitors better.

On our second day in Nepal the competition began. Once we had our breakfast, we climbed the hill on which the Mirabel Hotel is built, and arrived to see a breathtaking marquee tent, gleaming golden in the sun. Around 150 children from all over Nepal had come together that day and each and every one of them awed us with their enthusiasm and dedication as they sparred and performed patterns.

Nepal 2018 (5)

While I was umpiring with the other adult black belts, Tabatha made friends with the local children, learned their names and practiced patterns with them. When the children were done with their category, the adult colour belt category commenced.

Nepal 2018 (1)

As Tabatha performed Dan-Gun, her new friends cheered her on. We broke for the day as the sun began to set behind the mountains and the shadows crept long over the tent. At dinner we relived the day’s excitement and got to know each other a bit better over a delicious Nepalese meal.

Nepal 2018 (3)

On day three, it was the black belts’ turn. As the experienced competitors wowed the tent with their techniques, enthusiasm began to build. By lunchtime, as the under 14 black belts were finishing up, the tent was abuzz with excitement.

Dylan performed Yoon-Sin for the patterns portion of his competition and, as he readied himself for sparring, clouds rolled in and the sky darkened. As if on cue, a storm swelled as the adult black belts walked onto the mat for the first sparring match. Dylan opened the match with a dramatic display of technique and as he did, the crowd leapt to their feet cheering! The spectators’ cheers continued as the match grew more thrilling, and the rain pressed everyone into the tent. Thunder and lightning made a dramatic soundtrack for the last match, which was followed by a show of traditional Nepalese dancing.

After the matches, we had the medals ceremony, which was a joyous occasion as the rain pounded the tent. The national minister of forestry presented the awards to the winning competitors and the local press took photos and videos. We were very proud to have represented Singapore and we both took home medals; Tabatha won a silver for patterns, her very first competition medal, and Dylan won a gold for sparring, gold for patterns and a trophy for best overall male player.

Nepal 2018 (2)

After their speeches, Mr. Basnet and Master Chand closed the ceremony by calling us all to attention. Together in one voice, several hundred of us bowed and shouted “Taekwon!”.

Dinner at The Mirabel that evening was relaxing and cheerful as we traded contact information with the other teams. On the following morning, Mr. Basnet took us to visit the beautiful Thrangu Tashi Yanftse Monastery, high on a hill overlooking the valley. As we toured the monastery and explored the trail across the ridges, we learned about the site’s history; a 6000 year old Buddhist legend. Of course we also posed for pictures with our new friends and even performed some patterns by the stupa at the top of the hill!

Nepal 2018 (4)

We were honored to visit Mr. Basnet’s home, where we had the most delicious spiced tea, and then returned to Kathmandu where we were treated to momos and other home cooked Nepalese food by Ang Temba and Ngima. We were delighted to visit their home and hear their stories of growing up in the shadow of Mount Everest.

Our last few days in Nepal were spent as tourists. Although we saw many amazing temples and museums, the most memorable experiences of the trip were those spent with the friends we had made at the competition and seminar. We look forward to the next Everest Open!

Taekwon,
Dylan

Written by Mr. Dylan Coughlan, 3rd Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2018


Check out Dylan’s sparring match here: Adult Black Belt Sparring FINAL Match (SG vs IN)

International Instructor Course & Master Class 2018

International Instructor Course & Master Class 2018

Master Sng, Shaun Sir and I wanted around the area near our hotel the night before the seminar, to look for some interesting food. We found a small market festival where we had some local dishes, and listened to a pair of local radio comedians entertaining a crowd. After our meal, we headed back to the hotel to rest.

The next morning, we met at the hotel to travel to the seminar venue together. Shaun Sir’s uncle graciously drove us all to the training hall. Upon arrival, we all had to register and Master Sng introduced us to many of the other clubs’ instructors and members, particularly from Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Hong Kong. We also took some photos with these clubs and it was great to meet so many new people before the seminar began.

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There was about 500 people that attended the seminar and once the main procession arrived, we greeted Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa, Grandmaster Trevor Nicholls and the other arrivals. Once they were settled in, we were bestowed with welcome speeches. After which, the visitors were presented with gifts from the host club, and everyone assembled for a group photograph afterward.

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With the greetings done, the seminar began. The warm up was done by Master Poon and fundamental movements was taught by Mr Martin. Once these were completed, the two GrandMasters arrived after changing into their doboks. Almost immediately, they took notice of the movements of the participants and started instructing them on the proper way of executing the technique. There was a lot of discussion about application of power by using body mass effectively. This pervaded all the subsequent exercises, and by lunchtime, our muscles were exhausted from all the exertion. We wrapped up the first day of the seminar and headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner. We left the hotel together and traveled to the dinner venue. It was an appreciation meal that was organised by Grandmaster Dato Sabree Salleh, for all members to gather and mingle with the other clubs.

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The next morning, everyone was a bit late showing up at the training hall, recovering from the previous day. Today’s training focused more on patterns and we went through a lot of the fundamental issues; such as sine wave and application of power. At the end of the training session, all participants were presented with the attendance certificates. With our certificates, each country lined up together for one last group photograph.

Finally, we travelled to the airport and with a few hours to spare, we were able to squeeze in a hearty local meal and discuss everything we learned. We arrived back in Singapore late at night, quite tired but happy, with all we learned and experienced.

Thank you Master Sng and Shaun Sir for your guidance on this trip!

Taekwon,
Dylan

Written by Mr. Dylan Coughlan, 3rd Degree Black Belt, ITF Singapore
© Island Taekwon-Do Centre 2018

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