The FGMR Black Belt Dinner was held on the eve of the IIC, on Friday 8th April 2016 at the Secret Garden Restaurant in Rose Bay, Sydney.
Traditionally, this meal has always taken place on the Saturday night but it was moved to the Friday night to enable all the IIC participants to get to know each other in a social setting before the event started and so that all the Grading candidates could attend – with the Black Belt Grading on Sunday, Candidates often chose not to attend the dinner in anticipation for the day ahead.
First Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha was the Guest of Honour and took time to personally have a few words with all the IIC participants after the meal was served. Accompanied by then, Master Andrew K H Rhee, stories and anecdotes were exchanged around the table. It was particularly great for our International and Interstate participants to have the opportunity to talk to a Taekwon-Do Pioneer.
At the end of the meal, FGMR spent some time recounting the events leading up to the formation of the ITF or the ‘International Taekwon-Do Family’. This year, we celebrate the Golden Jubilee (50 years) since this historic day. FGMR was really happy to see Taekwon-Do Practitioners from other Taekwon-Do groups attending the IIC, promoting friendship within the Art.
At the end of his address, FGMR presented his first ever Golden Jubilee Award to our ITFA Founder, Master Andrew Rhee. In receiving the Award, Master Rhee thanked FGMR for coming to Sydney again, for opening the ITFA Dojang and for presiding over IIC, Black Belt Grading and other ITFA events. Master Rhee paid tribute to his Father, who has dedicated his life to the Art and who continues to teach the Art as the Founder intended.
There were also presentations to FGMR and Master Rhee from the ITFA students and Mr and Mrs Britton, ITFA Beachlands, New Zealand.
It was a fantastic night and whetted everyone’s appetite for the knowledge that was going to be passed on over the weekend to come!
Photo credit: Jordan Condon