INTERNATIONAL INSTRUCTOR COURSE
BARCELONA - SPAIN 2, 3 AND 4 OCTOBER 2009
The first weekend of October was a special occasion for ITF Spain who had the opportunity to host Master Nestor Galarraga (VIII) for Spain’s first International Instructor Course. The event was held in the city of Barcelona and was organised by Mr. Fernando Perez, VI, President of ITF Spain and Chairman of the ITF European Tournament Committee. There were attendees from eight countries (Ireland, England, Italy, Bulgaria, Argentina, Scotland, Wales and Spain).
Master Nestor Galarraga is the Chairman of the ITF Tournament Committee. He was assisted throughout the course by Master Jose Maidana of Argentina and Master Don Dalton of Ireland. The course was also attended by Master Isaac Harry (VIII) (Chairman of the ITF Disciplinary Committee), and Master David Brown (VII) of Scotland. The event was of historical proportions since it was the first IIC to be instructed by Master Galarraga. The Friday session started with one minute silence in honour of Mr. Todor Todorov and his wife Ms. Svetla Todorova of Bulgaria, who recently passed away in tragic circumstances.
The enthusiasm of the participants was plain to see throughout the course. The first day consisted of the practice of basic Tul. Master Galarraga placed great emphasis on body movement and also explained in great detail the technical aspects that are necessary in the performance of Tul. The participants demonstrated energy and fervour throughout, thanks mainly to the inspirational teaching of Master Galarraga. Upon finishing the session three candidates prepared for degree promotion. The test lasted for two and a half hours and consisted of Patterns, Breaking, Sparring, Self Defence and Theory. Ms Lisa Connolly of Ireland was testing for IV Dan, Mr. Mark Philpott of Ireland to V Dan and Mr. Alek Milanov of Bulgaria to VI Dan. The technical level shown by the three was very good and their successful results were announced during the official banquet of the evening.
The last activity of the day began at 10pm. During the banquet there was a demonstration of two full contact fights of the ITC (International Taekwon-Do Circuit). ITF Spain is now hoping to host further bouts of the ITC with the expectation that this exciting version of ITF sparring will expand rapidly throughout the European continent. The fights consisted of Christian Oriolani (Spain) and Hugo Reinoso (Argentina) and Leonardo Monreal (Spain) and Shane Fitzgibbon (Ireland). In the first bout, despite many tense moments, the Spanish competitor showed experience and technical capability to edge the fight in his favour. In the second fight the Spaniard began well but the experienced Irish competitor clearly turned it around in the final minutes. During both fights it was very apparent that ITC shows a new perspective of ITF Sparring which clearly appeals to both the top competitor and the spectator. The ITC demonstrates full contact sparring coupled with the beauty, grace and speed of ITF matsogi.
The second day of Seminar (Saturday 3rd) consisted of eight hours of intense training. This was the first ITF International Instructor Course which not only included fundamental techniques but also detailed training in free sparring and realistic self defence. The participants had the opportunity to learn from one of the most qualified teachers in the world. Master Galarraga had worked closely with General Choi Hong Hi for numerous years and also with President Choi Jung Hwa. His knowledge was vast and encyclopaedic throughout the weekend to the amazement of all present.
At end the second day, there was a formal meeting of the ITF Tournament Committee, under the supervision of its Director, Master Galarraga. The meeting included members of the European Committee, Master Dalton (Ireland), Mr. Mark Skyrme (England) and Mr. Fernando Perez (Spain). Master Jose Maidana was also present representing the American Committee and Master Michael Muleta (Australia), representing the Committee for Oceania was also present by video conference. Especially invited, was the General Secretary of the ITF, Master Trevor Nicholls. The Committee discussed many important issues including rule changes and the upcoming World Championships in Korea.
After six hours of intense work, the tournament committee meeting was terminated and the changes accepted by all members. It was a historic moment that will have a significant impact on future ITF tournaments.
The last day of Seminar (Sunday 4th), began with a review of the previous two days. Master Galarraga elaborated on the ingredients that are needed in order to create more power in the fundamental movements of Taekwon-Do. The power must be obtained from the understanding of one''s body and the appropriate use of the hips primarily. Master Galarraga clearly explained the significance of relaxation, backward movement, acceleration and concentration in the creation of power. He also spent a great deal of time explaining how to teach and correct ITF Tul. The day finished with some training in Ho Sin Sul including ground fighting. It was a revelation to spend three intense days of training with one of the world’s truly great Masters in what turned out to be a friendly and informative course. Many of the members were quick to ask about further IICs under Master Galarraga. Mr. Perez and ITF Spain would like to thank all the participants from the different countries that attended the special event. He would also like to thank those who came from the different parts of Spain- without you this would not have been possible.
“Thank you all for participating, for making history and for continuing to support and love Taekwon-Do with your passion.”
Written by: ITF Spain - 19th October 2009
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