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Mr LeGrow in Australia
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After the flying visit to Australia as the assistant to ITF President Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa, Canadian World Championship Coach Mr Steven Le Grow wanted to return to Australia to get a real feel for the country

After the flying visit to Australia as the assistant to ITF President Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa, Canadian World Championship Medallist Mr Steven Le Grow wanted to return to Australia to get a real feel for the country. Mr Christopher Galibert and Mr Steve Weston decided it was too good an opportunity to miss and invited him over to do a series of workshops in Queensland and Tasmania. Since January in Canada is rather cold (sometimes getting down to minus 42 degrees centigrade) it was decided that this would be a good time to hang out in the land of sunshine and beaches. He started his visit in Queensland with Mr Galibert running workshops in Mt Nebo and on the Gold Coast. His proximity in Canada to Grandmaster Choi and Mr Mike Morningstar has allowed Mr LeGrow to develop a really good understanding of the latest ITF technique and his conditioning drills are the result of the world class competition training that occurs in Canada and is reflected by their medal tally at World Championships.

He brought these skills with him to the first two workshops in Brisbane, working the participants hard but giving them a real sense of the power of the techniques. Mind you it wasn’t all hard training, with serious fun on the agenda at Queensland’s fantastic theme parks, including “Movie world” of which Mr LeGrow is now a big fan.

But then to change the pace a little he flew down to the more sedate climes of Tassie to train with the Southern ITF Taekwon-Do students of Mr Steve Weston. So now we had the confusion of Steve and Steve to contend with. Although after Mr LeGrow explained that in Canada because of the historically high numbers of Korean Master Instructors who moved there in the early days of Taekwon-Do, it is abnormal to refer to instructors by their first name and so during classes it was either Mr LeGrow or Mr Weston. When Steve Weston asked Mr LeGrow to visit Tasmania it was on the understanding that he would run a couple of workshops on the weekend to pay for his airfare and costs (Mr LeGrow insisting that he did not want to be paid for his time but merely wanted to cover his costs of visiting Australia) but Mr LeGrow in his inimitable style was keen to get in and join in as many classes as possible whilst in Tassie. So for the week the two Steve’s worked together team teaching with the students now benefiting from the combined experience of close too fifty years of Taekwon-Do instruction. In particular the tournament skills of Mr LeGrow really shone through with his range of sparring Drills and special technique strength building methods being an eye opener for many of the students. It also became clear that the dedication needed to be a World Championship medallist was something that is not easy to attain and in Mr LeGrows case was truly well deserved and earned through a lot of hard work and commitment. One of Mr LeGrow’s greatest strengths is his motivational style of teaching and it ensured that during the week he spent in Tassie everyone always left the classes feeling like they had really pushed themselves harder than they might usually and consequently had felt that increase in skill and ability. The classes always involved a solid warm up to initially get the heart pumping using some fun games to increase dodging and speed ability and then moved into some full on stretching techniques. It is clear that these techniques work well given the full front and side splits Mr LeGrow easily demonstrates. He emphasises the need to feel the stretch so that you never want to lose the flexibility you have gained having worked so hard to achieve it. But it is not only the fact that he is very flexible that impresses, he is also very strong and has the ability to hold a high side kick seemingly without effort for a very long time. This sort of strength comes from some serious hard training for a long time.

But it was not all hard work and training. Mr LeGrow is also passionate about another pastime, one that is shared by Master Choi Jung Hwa. He just loves to get in front of a microphone and Karaoke. It helps that he seems to have a photographic memory for words of songs and indeed even the scripts of many situation comedy shows. In fact he had many of his entourage during the social outings in fits of laughter with his ability to mimic the lines of shows such as Black Adder, Black Books (there seems to be a theme here) and Monty Python skits. He has also been known to mimic some well known Master Instructors with great accuracy although in a very respectful manner of course.Unfortunately all good things have to finish, and too quickly Mr LeGrow had to wing his way back to his homeland of Canada, but not before a promise was extracted to return to Tassie in September to renew old acquaintances and pass on some more useful skills.

Steve Weston
Vth Degree senior instructor
Southern ITF Taekwon-Do

Written by: Steve Weston - 23rd March 2006

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