Cabra Tigers Get New Stripes
Congratulations to the 21 boys and girls who were promoted to their next stripe, at last Friday’s grading under Senior Master Phelan (8th Degree). There were 16 promotions to red stripe (year 2) and 5 promotions to black stripe (year 1). The children are in the Taekwon-Do Tigers class (ages 6 to 8 years) which is part of the RITA’s children’s development programme and has a belt /stripe system which is unique to the programme. The Cabra school’s chief instructor, Senior Master Howard (8th degree), was there as a special guest, and the Tigers instructor Master Howard (7th degree) was also present and gave the commands. The Tigers were assessed under four categories; technical, physical and flexibility, kicking and jumping, and theory with Korean words, with the children showing improved performances in all areas especially flexibility and jumping. Both Senior Masters were very impressed with the children’s development and overall standard. As a result, the examiner had a very difficult job in deciding who to give the grading award to. To help in his decision he called 6 of the boys and girls to the floor again and had a second look at them. In the end he decided to give the grading award to Joyce Yu for her higher technical standard.
It was a busy year for the Tigers with their Christmas demonstration, Cabra tournament, and a trip to Athlone for another tournament. The grading was the final event in their calendar and the Tigers are now on their summer break and classes will resume in September. Master Howard would like to thanks all the parents for their support this year and looks forward to seeing them all again in September.
Photographs from this grading are available online here.
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International Technical Seminar - Holland
International Technical Seminar - Holland
Senior Master Hwang Ho Yong 8th degree
Master Robert Howard and Mr Conor Dunne (Athlone) attended an ITF technical seminar in Holland last weekend (13-15th May). The seminar was conducted by the ITF’s technical director Senior Master Hwang Ho Yong(8th Degree) and hosted by Taekwon-Do International Nederland.
The main theme of the three day seminar was on the composition of Taekwon-Do; fundamental movements, dallyon (conditioning, power breaking), patterns, sparring, self-defence, and how all five components feedinto each other. If you neglect any of the components then your
self-defence, which is the ultimate (physical) goal of Taekwon-Do won’t work.
With that message in mind SM Hwang started the seminar with instruction on fundamental movements. This included blocks, hand attacks and kicks. His kicking technique and leg strength put many of the attendeesto shame.
In the patterns he gave correction on Chon Ji to Choi-Yong (3rd degree), but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to do the higher degree patterns.
In the sparring the emphasised the importance of following the order of 3-step, 2-step, semi-free sparring, free-sparring, 1 –step. He said that if you learn and teach sparring in this order that you and your students will then be fully prepared for the final component (self-defence). He said that sparring is not the pinnacle of Taekwon-Do, self-defence is the goal.
He then brought the class through self-defence (release from grabs etc), defence against a knife (similar toone step), and knife sparring. It was clear for the logical progress from 3-step to 1 step that all the concepts (strong blocks, inside blocks versus outside blocks, logical counter-attacks, etc) for real self-defence are present. Unfortunately most students don’t see this and view these as just something which they must do to pass their grading. He said that it is important that instructor teach this very well sothat the students are really prepared for self-defence.
SM Hwang had a very relaxed and pleasant way about him and all the attendees were relaxed and found it very easy to learn and ask questions. The funniest moment was when he got the class to sing to encourage them use a group rhythm when doing a pattern in class as opposed to 70 individual rhythms.
He presented an ITF distinguished service medal posthumously to Senior Master Bart Stokhoff who sadly died last year. SM Stokhoff was the chief instructor to Holland and the medal was collected by his daughter.
The whole weekend was a great success. Aside from the fantastic Taekwo-Do training and instruction; the accommodation, food and organisation by the Dutch federation was excellent.