For the weekend of the 25th and 26th of November a number of us from TUK including our President Mr Archer and Vice President Mr Ridley headed off to Paris for the 114th IIC. For some of us it was the first one we had ever attended and so were very much looking forward to training again under Grandmasters and Masters and in a room full of amazing athleticism, skill and individuals with passion for the same art.
There were around 270 attendees from different parts of the world ranging from 1st degree Black Belts up to 9th Degree Grand Masters and from 18 year old upwards.
Taekwon-Do ITF France did a very good job of organising the event. Providing the opportunity for students to finalise registeration on the Friday afternoon minimising the waiting time on the Saturday morning. The venue INSEP (National Institute of Sport) on the South East side of Paris, located in the grounds of a wooded park was a fantastic venue for this size of event.
We started on Saturday morning, 8:15 AM line up when Grandmaster Lan, Grandmaster Marano and Master McPhail entered the hall.
The first part of the first day started with Master McPhail putting us through an intense warmup of the mind and body. Including doing patterns in the opposite direction to the way they are usually performed!
This was followed by performing patterns as a group and then having individuals perform them in front of the team while being analysed and discussed by Grandmaster Marano. Lots of questions, corrections and clarifications from all degrees of Black Belts.
After lunch on the first day we did some self defence and sparring drills with Grandmaster Lan. We then finished in the afternoon with the 1st Degree Black Belt patterns.
There was also an examination at the end of the first day for some of the 6 and 7 degree Black Belts. I understand all were successful so a massive congratulations to all of them.
The second day started in a very similar fashion with a good intense warmup with Master McPhail, followed by predefined 1,2 and 3 step sparring.
Grandmaster Paul Weiler took over the analysing and breaking down of the Black Belts patterns up to third degree. While we then broke off to a separable hall, the 4th degrees and upwards continue to have the patterns analysed.
We finished off the second day with Grandmaster Lan for sparring drills talking both physical preparation and skill as well as mental.
This is a very brief summary of a very intense, fun, inspiring and educational weekend. It was also really nice to meet Taekwon-Do practitioners from all around the world.
Looking forward to attending the one in Manchester in 2017.
Mrs Mirfet Hassan-Spiller (III)