IIC Scotland Report
The 73rd IIC was held in West Lothian College, Livingston, Scotland from 11th to 13th May, hosted by Master Sheena Sutherland VIII Degree. This event was conducted over 3 days by our ITF Technical Committee, Grandmaster Hector Marano, Grandmaster Willem Bos and Grandmaster Ung Kim Lan. There were 120 participants with 11 Masters from 13 countries, Scotland, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway and of course, Ireland supported this event. ITA was represented by 2 of our 3 Masters; Master Kenneth Wheatley and Master Patrick O'Rourke as well as 15 members: Mr. Adrian O'Mahoney, Mr. Pat Barry, Mr. Paul Delea, Mr. Ken Leahy, Mr. Niall Jones, Mr. Stephen Ryan, Mr. Declan McMullen, Ms. Laura Cullen, Mr. Derek Hanlon, Mr. Carl Smullen, Mr. Stephen Smullen, Mr. Ross Smith, Mr Rodney Connolly, Ms. Jeanne Byrne and myself, Mr. Hong Looi.
Other Irish representatives were Master Brendan O'Toole, Master Val Douglas, Mr. Brian Behan, Mr. John Moffit, Mr. Tony Maguire, Ms. Gwen Maguire and Ms. Lenka Marsikova.
A very early morning Friday 11th May, ITA members departed from 3 main cities; Dublin, Cork and Shannon to Edinburgh. There are also some members, who had left the night before. Livingston is about 20 minutes taxi ride away from the Edinburgh airport. Most of the ITA members were accommodated in the Mercure Hotel, which was 20 minutes walking distance to the venue. The positive outcome with the 20 minutes walking distance was that we got to enjoy Scotland's largest indoor shopping centre with 155 shops and 20 restaurants along the way.
The IIC Part 1 began slightly earlier than in the official invitation schedule on Friday afternoon 1pm with a fresh looking opening ceremony with all participants paying salute to late General Choi Hong Hi with Parallel Ready Stance with Heaven Hand as in pattern Kwang Gae Tul. Grandmaster Bos started with some dynamic warm ups as well as showed us how to perform some tough stretching poses. Grandmaster Marano proceeded next to cover the common techniques in colour belt patterns from Chon-Ji up to Joong Gun, which Taekwon-Do practitioners make mistakes. Some examples include the position of forearm low block and knife hand low lock, the chamber and finish position of rising and knife hand rising block. He was also using several members to show the difference in fast, normal, slow, natural, connecting, continuous motions and quick motion. He was stressing on how a technique can be improved when one understands and applies the application during execution of the technique. On the 2nd part of the IIC Part 1, Grandmaster Lan was showing the application of side kicks during sport sparring. He was stressing on the importance of timing, application of unexpected movements, and eventually how one's training progressed from routine to eventually intuition. On the 3rd part of the IIC Part 1, Grandmaster Bos gently touched on the sport sparring rule change and was opening a discussion forum among the senior members.
The IIC Part II started Saturday morning at 9am with Grandmaster Marano covering patterns from colour belt pattern Toi Gye up to 1st degree black belt Gae Baek. After every pattern finished, he opened up to the floor for any queries or confusions to any of the movements in the previous pattern. He gave an example to show the application of the movement as well as calisthenic exercise to go with it so that everybody understands how perform the movement and chamber properly. On the 2nd part of IIC Part 2, Grandmaster Lan was demonstrating some unarmed self-defense techniques on random and multiple attacks from either arms or legs. He was stressing the importance of protecting your vital organs. For example, if someone grabbed you on the shirt, you should not be focussed on the release of him or her grabbing your shirt, instead, you should be focused with the other arm potentially striking your head.
The IIC Part III started just after lunch at 1pm with Grandmaster Bos covering patterns from 2nd degree black belt Eui Am up to 3rd degree black belt Choi Yong. Once again, he would open up to the floor after every pattern finished for any queries or confusions. The 2nd part of IIC Part 3 continued with Grandmaster Bos running through 3-step, 2-step and 1 step sparrings. He was mentioning that we need to give more focus on this section of Taekwon-Do, and how this multiple step sparring techniques would eventually combine together to give you our sports traditional sparring. In Italy, he mentioned that there are numbered step-sparring combinations in the colour belt and black belt syllabus.. He got his student Master Santaniello, to demonstrate some step sparring combinations. The evening was ended with the senior grading examinations whereby Master Val Douglas (Ireland) was promoted 8th Degree, Mr Marko Lieke (Finland) promoted to Master 7th Degree and Mr Tomi Taskila promoted to 4thdegree. In the evening, we had the official banquet at the Kaim Park Hotel, Bathgate.
The IIC Part IV, final day, started with Grandmaster Marano covering patterns for 4th degree black belt Moon Moo to 6th degree black belt Tong Il. Grandmaster Lan was covering more sparring syllabus with 3rd degree right through to colour belt. When Grandmaster Marano was covering 5th degree black belt patterns and above, Grandmaster Bos was sharing his personal feelings on his past experiences with grandmasters in the earlier days and how he and his fellow grandmasters wanted to make the relationship they have have with fellow practitioners more personal and transparent now. The 73rd IIC was brought to a close with a small gift presentation to the three Grandmasters and group and personal photo sessions with the Grandmasters.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Grandmaster Hector Marano, Grandmaster Wim Bos and Grandmaster Ung Kim Lan for their continual knowledge and wisdom. We would also like to thank Master Sheena Sutherland for their warm Scottish hospitality as well as to all Masters, fellow black belts and colours belts who had made our IIC experience one to enjoy and remember.
A big well done to all ITA members who participated in this event and we also like to wish senior members; Mr. Derek Hanlon, Mr. Carl Smullen, Mr. Stephen Smullen, Mr. Ross Smith and Mr. Hong Looi best of luck in their preparation towards the upcoming ITA Black Belt Summer Grading in June.
Hong Looi IV DanPosted by Stephen Ryan