Report by Mr Geoff Chapman I Degree
The 100th International Instructors Course (IIC) of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) was hosted by ITF Scotland and held in Aberdeen from the 13th - 15th March. This momentous occasion was attended by 23 countries from as far afield as Canada and Australia and a little nearer from Greece and Spain to name a few. Attendees were in excess of 320 black belts from first degree to Master and Grand Master with training under the International Technical Committee of Grand Master Marano, Grand Master Bos and Grand Master Lan.
This event was also celebrating the 60th anniversary of the foundation of ITF in 1955 by General Choi Chong Hi, and the event was formally opened by Aberdeen Lord Provost and Counsellor George Adam.
This three day event began with all participants training Friday afternoon with a warm up and stretching techniques from Grand Master Bos and then with kicking techniques, followed by Grand Master Marano who focused on body movement and stances which was then implemented into some of the coloured belt patterns.
Saturday began with “An Audience with Grand Master MacCallum”, who began his Taekwon-Do training back in 1969 at RAF Changi, Singapore. He recounted tales of his life and times with General Choi. The talk was interwoven with some fascinating stories along with some very amusing anecdotes that gave an insight into the persona of our founder and his determination to promote Taekwon-Do globally.
Saturday morning was led by Master Norman who led the first technical session going through first degree patterns, followed by Grand Master Bos with a fast paced kicking session and drill work. After the break the group split, with Grand Master Lan leading second degree patterns and Master Norman directing the first degree group on the coloured belt patterns with a focus on sine wave and Master Norman’s ABC process.
The afternoon session was led by Master Nardizzi with discussions and demonstrations about the ITF Kids Programme. This involved groups of mature students acting out role play of kids! As a mature student it was evident the gap in imagination and attention between adult and child is vast! Although some of the mature students clearly had not lost some of their cheeky behaviour.
Saturday evening was a traditional Scottish banquet with a greeting from a piper as we entered Aberdeen FC, Pittodrie Stadium and with most guests in traditional highland attire. The evening dinner was in tribute to Robert Burns which was then followed by a Scottish Ceilidh.
Sunday began with a group warm-up with Grand Master Bos, and then the groups split with first and second degrees with Master Norman, Grand Master Bos taking third and fourth degree and Grand Master Marano taking fifth to ninth degree to go through technical details of patterns.
The latter part of the morning was then spent with Grand Master Lan, with the first and second degrees going through kicking combinations, sparring drills and take downs, demonstrating the importance of speed, accuracy, recovery and correct tool for the target.
The event was brought to a close after lunch with a group photo of all participants, Masters and Grand Masters with the official Aberdeen toast, “Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again – Bon Accord!”