On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April 2015, the ITFA hosted its 8th International Instructor Course in Sydney, Australia. Instructors travelled from New Zealand, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales to attend the two-day Taekwon-Do event. The ITFA is the only ITF-style Taekwon-Do group in Asia to hold these courses twice a year, meaning ITFA students are guaranteed Instructors who are current and up-to-date with their own knowledge and practice!
With Instructors arriving in the few days leading up to the course, Friday night was set up at the Merrlie Robertson Hall at Ascham School in Edgecliff. The course got underway on Saturday morning. Master Andrew K H Rhee, ITFA Chief Instructor, conducted the course and began with Fundamentals and the Theory of Power. Students from 2nd Kup to VI Dan were represented on the floor which lead to some great discussion and application of the points covered.
All colour belt patterns were covered on Saturday, both reinforcing teaching points and Master Rhee showing how he introduces the student at the grade to the pattern. Master Rhee had some handy hints for teaching centre-line turn amongst other techniques, to the child, the teenager and the adult. Master Rhee highlighted the need to understand the way the student learns and the intricacies of the movement and how best to get a result for the individual student. He discussed the need to get a movement working for that grade level and how some movements can develop in future grades as they progress.
There were plenty of questions from the floor which also lead to an in-depth discussion on 2 v 1 free sparring, it’s purpose and techniques that are and are not allowed. The 1st Kups who had applied to grade on Sunday did a great job in demonstrating this technique.
On Saturday night, the Black Belt Dinner was held at a local restaurant in Rose Bay. Mr Ian Britton, VI Dan and the most Senior ITFA Instructor attending the IIC, toasted the Founder to celebrate the 60th anniversary for Taekwon-Do. He also toasted the ITFA Patron FGMR and Master Rhee, ITFA Founder. There were plenty of stories and laughter exchanged over some good food!
The course resumed on Sunday morning with Black Belt patterns and Step Sparring. Each grade group was up on the floor together to run through their patterns and to ask Master Rhee technical questions about the content and application. The course finished with some practice and discussion on Step Sparring.
At the conclusion go the course, 4 FGMR International Instructor Certificates were presented by Master Rhee. Mr Ian Britton, VI Dan, Mr Doug Swain, V Dan and Mrs Katherine Britton and Mr Evan Pritchard, IV Dan were all successful in fulfilling the necessary requirements to be certified. FGMR International Instructor certificates are valid for two years to ensure the Instructors keep up-to-date and are attending courses regularly. ITFA student Miss Elaine Ogden, III Dan, was also presented with her National Instructor ‘A’ certificate and Mr Adam Collins received his National Instructor ‘C’ Certificate. All IIC attendees were then presented with an ITFA IIC Participation Certificate.
Then it was onto the ITFA Black Belt Grading. Five 1st Kups had applied to grade and were continually assessed throughout the IIC. Master Rhee, as the Examiner, had asked all the candidates technical and terminology questions as they arose over the weekend and he kept a keen eye on them monitoring their performance through the weekend.
Master Andrew Rhee was assisted by Mr Ian Britton, VI Dan and Mr Doug Swain, V Dan on the top table with Miss Marion Sherlock, V Dan, performing commands. All 5 candidates were nervous as the afternoon got underway starting with pattern. Master Rhee asked the students to perform their grade pattern Choong Moo as well as Hwa Rang and Do San. It was the onto 3 and 1 Step Sparring, followed by 1 v 1 and 2 v 1 Free Sparring. It was then up to the table for terminology followed by breaking. Tog race to I Dan, all ITFA students are required to complete 10 breaks of their choice. Matthew Stopic was the first candidate to perform his breaking and had a great performance. He set up all his breaks and with one measure, broke first time on all 12. His techniques included side kick, turning kick, reverse turning kick, elbow strike, knee kick and back kick on both his right and left sides, a comprehensive performance. Paul Rafferty was also impressive with his breaking including an array of hand and leg techniques, finishing with a side piercing kick through 2 FGMR breaker boards (red and green) not only demonstrating power but accuracy.
At the end of the grading the students were eager for the results and Master Rhee was happy to announce that all 5 candidates were successful! This made ITFA history as 4 candidates started their journey with the ITFA as 10th Kup White Belts and were they first cohort of students to be successful in reaching I Dan!!! After so many years and producing over 100 Black Belts including a VI Dan from 10th Kup in the UK, Master Rhee was also please to announce that Lauren Young was his first ever Junior Female Black Belt!
Master Rhee moved onto presented the FGMR Certificates and Belts to the newly promoted I Dans along with their FGMR Tie, FGMR Pin, ITFA Fist Pin, ITFA Black Belt Licence Cover and ITFA Black Belt Dobok – a true Taekwon-Do goodie bag! The students and parents were overwhelmed by the whole experience. Matthew Stopic, Lauren Young and Tyler Robertson all had their belts changed by Master Rhee and then it was time for photos!!
It was a great weekend, culminating in a great result for Master Rhee and the ITFA in only it’s 5th year of operation. We all offer our congratulation to:
Mr Paul Rafferty, I Dan
Mr Jack Keating, I Dan
Mr Tyler Robertson, I Dan
Mr Matthew Stopic, I Dan*
Miss Lauren Young, I Dan*
*denotes Junior Black Belt >13 years of age