Examiners Conference Report
The ITA annual Examiners Conference took place in North Mon Taekwon-Do, Cork City on Saturday September 15th 2012. The conference is a key event on the ITA calendar as it is a forum for the senior grades of the association to meet, discuss and improve the structure of the ITA black belt exam, black belt syllabus and other technical matters in the ITA. The conference was attended by 18 examiners from 4th - 7th Dan black belt, with ITA's three masters; Master Kenneth Wheatley (ITA President and Technical Director), Master Patrick O'Rourke, and Master Neil Franks all in attendance as well six 6th Dans, seven 5th dans and two 4th Dans.
Key decisions taken at the meeting included giving more weighting to free sparring in the black belt grading. This decision will see a general improvement of this discipline throughout the ITA. It was also decided to retain the minimum age for 1st Dan black belt in the ITA at thirteen. The ITA weighted scoring system was given a general review and the terminology and scores assigned to different areas were amended in several cases, including increasing the weighting of the self defence section. The amount of attempts given to candidates for pattern, breaking and special technique was also decided as well as adding in the possibility of a suspended speed break and twin hand and foot breaks in the special technique sections. A guidelines document will be written for those preparing for the black belt grading, advising on the structure of the grading as well as the key areas and how they are scored. Key principles for self defence are to be written and a Dan grading syllabus from 1st to 5th Dan is to be completed by the ITA technical committee by the end of 2012. During the conference newly promoted 4th Dans Mr. Stephen Smullen and Mr. Carl Smullen were presented with their ITF 4th Dan and International Instructors certificates and Mr. Hong Keat Looi was presented with his ITF 5th Dan certificate by Master Wheatley.
The conference was a great success and the atmosphere was very positive, everyone was afforded opportunity to air their views and opinions and all ideas were carefully discussed before decisions were taken.Posted by Stephen Ryan