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Master Seminar with President Choi
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The Master Seminar was a great experience, and the following highlights of the event
are for those who were unable to attend, and those who are interested in attending future seminars.
"If you know one thing through and through, then you will know everything"
With the above opening statement and introductions from Master Nichols and Master Wheatley, the Aug 2nd 2008 Master Seminar with President Choi kicked off into high gear at high altitude in Reno NV. In attendance with President Choi, were the highest ranking masters of ITF Taekwon-Do- Master Trevor Nichols, Master Robert Wheatley, Master Gordon Jue, Master Parm Rai, Master Terry Batch and Master Terence Geoghehan.
The morning session began with Master Jue leading warm-ups, stretching and various kicking exercises. Master Rai then led students in a combination of partner exercises, followed by patterns starting with Chon-Ji.
Every move and intermediary position is put into microscopic level evaluation by the masters. The main theme and messaging of the seminar is the accurate execution of General Choi''''s pattern with the focus on power and delivery. Power is achieved by using all parts of the body in one flow, utilizing sine wave with the Kihaps at the right places.
As Pres Choi explained, one''''s body mass is the "engine" and one must deliver TKD techniques with the acceleration, forward body motion, the hip rotation.
This is consistent and in-line with everything Master Jue has been teaching us regarding movements of large muscle groups, acceleration, reaction hands, all coming in at the last moment.
High ranks and color belts volunteer to perform their patterns in front of President Choi, the Masters and students. President Choi would break down each movement, make corrections, instruct re-dos while continuously emphasizing on using the body for power, the use of the mass, hip and continuous natural movements. The Patterns are first performed by the brave volunteers, evaluated, and then performed correctly by all students under watchful eyes of the masters. The fine level of detail which President Choi observes and critiques, reminds me of the Lexus slogan -" the relentless pursuit of excellence".
Master Rai and Master Wheatley would also demonstrate the correct executions, and the incorrect executions to drive the message home. The opportunity for every student to ask questions, and be provided definitive answers was invaluable. One such question was about the absence of low strikes in Taekwon-do, in which President Choi talked about General Choi''''s vision in the spirit of the martial art, the respect and honor for opponents, and warrior code.
After lunch break, the seminar resumed at 2.15pm, with a quick lesson by Dr Bernie Weinstock ( IV Dan) in the subject of defense against ground fighters.
With Mr. Reed (V Dan from Ottawa), Dr Weinstock demonstrated three basic techniques: moving side-to-side to avoid the takedown attempts,
sprawling and the clinch.
Patterns continued for the rest of the afternoon led by Mr. Reed and Master Rai under the watchful eye of President Choi.
Noteworthy techniques discussed and practiced in great details:
x stance backfist strike
Side piercing kick
Turning and side turning kicks
Knife hand strike, etc.
At 5pm, ending with the Toi-Gye pattern, a brief announcement is made to congratulate Mr. Reed in passing his testing and awarded his VI Dan. The class concluded with closing remarks by President Choi, and an update by Master Nichols. In July 2008, at the 10th World Taekwon-do festival in Korea, the ITF and WTF were united in the "WE ARE ONE" theme of the event. With Master Nichols contingent representing, the ITF presence at the festival marked a new significant milestone in Taekwon-do history. Students huddled to the panel desk to view the video of the event highlights on the computer screen.
More details of the festival is at the official site: http://www.tkdfamily.net/
After the photo sessions, the seminar was officially dismissed. Dinner at Francis'''' Asian Bistro was at 8pm, with many students, and families in attendance. While our members were taking more than half of the restaurant space, I am sure many other casual diners were wondering about the identity of the VIP (President Choi), from the scene of camera flashes, and standing and bowing. Mr. Mendes and I joked about President Choi having 40+ body guards at the restaurant. (For someone who does not need one)
The evening dinner concluded around 10pm, as members headed back to the hotel for more recreation and evening social fun.
Written by: Gordon Jue - 18th August 2008
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||Bob Borja (Taekwon-do Central)
: 19th August 2008, 10:40
Wonderfully informative article of another high caliber seminar.
Congratulations on your promotion, Mr. Reid.
Thank you, Master Jue.