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International Instructors Course Cork, Ireland March 24-26, 2006
40th Anniversary of the International Taekwon-Do Federation

We arrived on a wet, damp afternoon at the airport in Cork, Ireland to be welcomed by Mr. & Mrs. Dalton, our hosts for this auspicious event, together with many Masters and students. Notwithstanding the weather, their welcome immediately gave us a warm feeling such that one feels when rejoining his family after a long absence.

After checking in and catching up on events that had occurred around the world, we all proceeded to the training hall where the Masters led what was to be the first three hour session of the event. In attendance were more than 220 participants from the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany/Italy, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Afghanistan.

The first session was unique in that the Masters broke the group down into several small groups and each began to teach a particular movement, pattern or technique in self defense. The Masters present were Master Wheatley, Master Nichols, Master Sanders, Master Hogan, Master Harry, and Master Sahota.

The next two days featured our President Choi who as always worked on perfecting technique to ensure that maximum power was generated with every movement. He was assisted in this seminar by all the Masters, including the newly named Master Ogborne from the United Kingdom. The mood for the three days was intense given that we had the privilege of once again working with the son of the Founder. As a Federation, we are the only group that can boast to have this privilege and for those in attendance they were not disappointed.

On Saturday March 25, 2006, we attended the banquet celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the International Taekwon-Do Federation. The dinner featured a presentation on the life of General Choi with Miss Frances Tibollo singing My Way accompanied by Mr. Geoghan on the violin. The keynote speech was given by me speaking about how Taekwon-Do can make the world a better place. A copy of my speech will be posted upon my return to Canada.

The meal was followed by an announcement that three new categories of awards would be created and Master Nichols had the honor of naming the first recipients. The highest of these awards is the General Choi Hong Hi Life Time Achievement Award. This years recipient is Master Chew from Malaysia. There will be a full posting of the description of each award and the recipients in the near future. The actual awards will be presented at a ceremony in Australia at the Junior World Championships this September by President Choi.

On Monday, March 27, 2006, those that were able to stay, witnessed a Civic Ceremony where President Choi was presented with a plaque by the Lord Mayor Deidre Clune. The Lord Mayor acknowledged the important work of our organization in providing youth with opportunity to improve themselves and become exemplary citizens.

On a personal note, on behalf of our President, Federation, attendees and myself, I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Dalton in making our stay in Ireland unforgettable! Their attention to detail was unbelievable.

I look forward to my next week with them in Lagos, Nigeria where once again, the International Taekwon-Do Federation will make history. Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!

Michael Tibollo

Written by: Mr Michael Tibollo - 29th March 2006

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