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Malaysia Taekwon-Do Tournament 2005Malaysia Taekwon-Do Tournament 2005 and the Establishment of ITF Asia Pro Temp Committee
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INO68 Malaysia hosted its annual national competition in Genting Highlands from 19 through 21 December 2005. The event attracted more than 500 participants not only from Malaysia, but also from Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Singapore, reflecting Malaysia’s role as one of the pioneers and leaders in promoting Taekwon-Do in the Asian region. Each visiting delegation performed demonstrations during the Opening Ceremony as part of the friendly exchanges among the countries. Hong Kong performed self-defense and special techniques, Singapore demonstrated self-defense, and Japan performed patterns including two by Mr. Lee Jong Mok, VI dan.
The Competition also embodied the breadth and depth of Taekwon-Do as the youngest participant was a 7-year old boy and the eldest was a 51-year old lady.
“As the Competition is very popular with the children as well as older practitioners, we changed the dates to December to coincide with school holidays. We wanted as many people to compete without worrying about missing classes or exams,” said Mr. Bobby Teo Tam Hock, IV dan, Organizing Chairman, of the change in dates from May the previous year. However, this decision proved so popular that participation was restricted not by school commitments, but by the number of rooms available for accommodation. Already, the Organizing Committee has requested for next year’s dates and additional rooms with the venue.
Grand Master Choi Jung Hwa, in a letter to INO68 Malaysia on this occasion wrote: “General Choi often referred to Malaysia as the “second home” of Taekwon-Do as it was the first country aside from Korea to adopt Taekwon-Do and establish a formal nationwide Taekwon-Do training programme.” “Malaysian Taekwon-Do practitioners must understand the significance of their place in the history of Taekwon-Do and endeavour to uphold the true spirit of the art.”
True to the Grand Master’s words, the Competition, which represents the nature of the efforts undertaken by INO68 Malaysia in promoting the art, shows dramatic improvement over the previous year every year in both the quality of its participants, management of the event, and the breadth of participation.
The venue of recent years, the Arena of Stars, is a multi-purpose event hall complete with spectators’ stands and audio-visual facilities, enabling many supporters to enjoy the event as well as participants.
INO68 Malaysia enjoys the official support of its government, and the event is opened every year by a distinguished Member of Parliament. This year, the guest of honor was Y.B. Dato’ Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Deputy Minister of Finance, President of the Malaysian Chinese Women’s Association, and proud mother of two distinguished Black Belt holders. Her opening speech told the story of how one of her sons won the respect (and fear) of bullies in a boarding school not by retaliating with force, but through perseverance and self-control and the accidental discovery of his black belt in his locker by bullies. She also shared how she endeavors to have the Taekwon-Do community in Malaysia work with her organization in empowering women against domestic violence.
Another highlight this year was a demonstration sparring match held between INO68 Malaysia representatives Messrs AVS Bathi (IV dan) and Wee Lai Der (II dan), and ITF Japan’s Mr. Lee Jong Mok (VI dan) on the second day of the event. The match was officiated by representatives of Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore as a demonstration of the friendly ties among the countries. It was the first time in the Competition’s 11-year history for senior instructors to give such a demonstration.
“This demonstration physically showed all participants that ITF sparring is about speed and technique, not force. There are many ways to guide students. Showing them a prime example is one very effective way. I hope many students will take this good lesson away from this demonstration,” commented Master Chew Teck Seong, after this event.
It was also a very memorable demonstration for Mr. Lee Jong Mok, as it was at the World Championships held in Malaysia in 1994 that he received his Gold Medal in Individual Patterns and Bronze Medal in Heavy Weight Sparring.
“This is the first time I have returned to Malaysia after 11 years. The people are still as hospitable as I remember and the food is fantastic! It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to perform both patterns and sparring in Malaysia again. ” Mr. Lee said.
The Competition produced another very historical by-product: as the representatives from the INOs of Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Singapore convened, the event also gave birth to the Pro Temp Committee for the establishment of ITF Asia, a subgroup to be formed under ITF to enhance exchanges and the technical level of students and instructors in the Asian region. The initiative is also fully supported by Mr. Oh Chan Jing of ITF Korea, whose message was personally delivered by Mr. Lee Jong Mok of ITF Japan. The two INOs have held seminars monthly since the World Championships in Daejong last year, and the idea was hatched that such exchanges can and should be expanded beyond the two INOs.
The Pro Temp Committee unanimously selected Master Chew Teck Seong, VII dan, of INO68 Malaysia as its Advisor, and Mr. Daniel Sng, VI dan, of ITF Singapore as its President. The Pro Temp Committee will continue their work and next meet when Grand Master Choi Jung Hwa visits Malaysia for the International Instructors Course in Ipoh scheduled for March 2006.
Written by: Jules Takagishi - 3rd January 2006
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