Summer Camp Report
The ITA Summer Camp took place from Friday July 12th to Monday July 15th in Newtown School, Waterford City. This year the camp took place in a new venue, which saw major improvements in terms of accommodation, food, facilities and training space. 130 people attended the camp from ITA clubs across Ireland ranging from yellow belt to 7th Dan Master and from age 10 up to the oldest participant, showing great indomitable spirit by completing all training sessions at the age of 72. The camp participants were divided into 2 groups, with those aged 12 and under in one group and those 13+ in the other. The training started on Friday afternoon with sparring sessions being led by Mr. Stephen Cooley VI Dan and Mr. Mark Buckley VI Dan, who had the senior group, with Mr. Adrian Byrne V Dan assisted by Mr. Luke Laffan II Dan teaching the junior group. In the evening Mr. Stephen Ryan V Dan taught a class to seniors on technical kicking and ITF Patterns while Mr. Niall Jones VI Dan taught the same topics to the junior group. In the evenings the camp participants had the opportunity to work one on one in consultations with the camp instructors and despite the heat and tough training during the day there was plenty of demand for the evening workshops.
This year we decided for the first time to invite a special guest to our summer camp and Saturday morning saw the first sessions under the tuition of Mr. Stephen Tapilatu V Dan. Mr. Tapilatu is one of the great icons of ITF Taekwon-Do having won the World Title in ITF 2 times, King of Taekwon-Do title 2 times and also a silver medal in the WTF World Championships. Mr. Tapilatu led 2 sessions with the seniors on both Saturday and Sunday and 1 session with the junior group each day. The camp participants were put through their paces in the intense heat but all thoroughly enjoyed the training with Mr. Tapilatu over the 2 days. The feedback from the camp participants was very positive, with each group commenting on how they came away with lots of new ideas and how they really enjoyed Mr. Tapilatus training philosophy. In between the sessions with Mr. Tapilatu each group trained in other areas of ITF Taekwon-Do with Mr. Byrne and Mr. Jones leading a session with the seniors on Team Pattern and Ms. Kinsella V Dan and Ms. Cullen IV Dan leading team pattern with the junior group. The senior group also got to enjoy the junior groups performances at the end of their team session. Each group also had an extra session on patterns and kicking with Mr. Ryan and a self-defence class with Mr. Cooley and Mr. Carl Smullen focusing on breakfalls, rolling, tumbling and defence against various chokes. The juniors also enjoyed a special technique class where the emphasis was on kicking targets with two feet simultaneously, resulting in some very spectacular techniques.
In between the training sessions the camp participants had the opportunity to use the sports facilities on campus such as the tennis courts and all weather football pitch but the swimming pool proved to be the most popular way to cool down between training. The pool, which had qualified lifeguards on duty, also has a diving board, which was in constant use by participants of all ages.
The ITA would like to thank all of those instructors and students who attended the camp, to the camp organisers Mr. Mark Buckley and Mr. Stephen Ryan and of course to our special guest Mr. Stephen Tapilatu for the excellent training sessions he conducted. The presence of Mr. Tapilatu really added a new and exciting dimension to our camp and we intend to keep the tradition of inviting a special guest going next year.
Next years camp will take place in the same venue and details will be available soon.
List of participants: