Summer Camp Report

Summer Camp Report

      The Irish Taekwon-Do Association held its annual Summer Camp in Mt. Melleray Scout Centre, Co. Waterford from Friday July 15th to Monday July 18th 2011. 90 participants ranging from yellow belt to 7th Dan black belt attended the camp, and some extra participants popped in to visit, for example Master O’Rourke VII Dan one of the ITA’s most senior members attended the first day of the camp just to enjoy the training. The participants arrived on Friday morning, dorms were assigned and the participants were divided into 2 groups, 10 to 12 year olds in group 1 and 13 years and older in group 2. The camp was also attended by several of the national team who used it as an opportunity to commence pre-season training for the upcoming European Championships. Over the 4 days there were many exciting and varied classes. To read the full report click more below.




Mr Paul King, current World Silver Medallist in -63kg sparring conducted a class on sparring where he imparted much of his philosophy on training methods and sparring tactics. Mr Adrian Byrne, member of the Irish National Coaching Panel, taught classes on sparring and used the “games for understanding approach” to sparring. This method involved building up a competitive game, where there is always a decision to me made, rather than the drills approach, this competitive games approach meant the students were constantly engaging the brain and using tactics for the whole session. Mr Byrne also conducted classes on plyometric and special technique. He taught exercises to increase the explosive power of the legs and jumping ability.


Mr Stephen Ryan, current World Silver Medallist in 4th – 6th Dan Pattern, conducted classes on Patterns and fundamental movements. The theme of the class was using the training secrets to improve the pattern performance; there was a big focus on using the sine wave properly to create maximum power, keeping the limbs in motion throughout the movement etc. Mr Ryan also conducted sessions on kicking and exercises to improve the balance, core and leg strength for kicking performance.


Mr Carl Smullen III Dan conducted classes in self-defence; Mr Smullen is also a qualified Krav Maga instructor and his expertise in this area made for very enjoyable and informative training in this discipline. The Krav Maga methods of training compliment the Taekwon-Do philosophy very well as they are both striking arts and all participants really improved their self-defence skills over the 4 days.


Mr Mark Buckley VI Dan also conducted sparring training; his sessions proved to be perhaps the most physically demanding of all over the weekend but were thoroughly enjoyed by all, Mr Buckley used the assistance of Mr Dylan Fitzgibbon, 2 times World Champion in sparring, for his classes. Mr. Rigney V Dan, National Team member also conducted classes for the junior group in pattern and sparring, assisted by Mr Luke Laffan II Dan. Mr Terry Donnelly VI Dan, a very experienced competitor, also conducted a class on sparring for the junior group.


Master Wheatley VII Dan, ITA President, visited the camp on the Saturday and Sunday. He conducted classes in Pattern and fundamental movements and he really focused on the detail in each pattern ranging from Chon-Ji up to Tong-il.


This year we also wanted to raise the profile of women in Taekwon-Do and show that we value the female participant in what is a male dominated sport and so two female instructors were chosen to conduct classes at the camp. Ms. Laura Cullen III Dan, conducted classes in pattern and team pattern for the junior group and Ms. Sabina Mason III Dan, well known international athlete and medallist, conducted classes in sparring for the senior group. All participants enjoyed the classes being led by a female instructor.


In the evenings there was plenty to keep the participants entertained including a mini-tournament in Olympic handball, tag rugby and a Nintendo Wii competition in the games room and a campfire outside.  Also in the evenings Mr. Ryan and Mr. Byrne conducted pattern consultations and despite the tiredness of participants from the days activities the consultations were very well attended.


Thanks to all participants for their effort over the 4 days and to the instructors who gave up their time to teach and impart their knowledge.      

Posted by Stephen Ryan