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Seminar in Swindon
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On the 21st of May 2006, members of the UKITF from the Imperial and PUMA associations made the journey to Swindon to train under Masters Gayle and Ogbourne with Master Nicholls as the special guest of the seminar. With all proceeds going towards funding the Junior UKITF members travelling to Australia, the three masters and the assistances present gave up their valuable time to teach and coach the members at the seminar.

Once entering the hall, the magnitude of the event was realised. The phenomenal fact was that the seminar was open to all ages and consisted of the full range of grades from 10th Kup belts to 8th Dan Master. No matter your walk of life, we all follow the way of the Do. The support for the juniors competing in Australia this year means so much to so many groups within the UKITF as the cost per person can run into the hundreds therefore contributions for the juniors helps every little bit.

When you assess the level of experience and knowledge available, you soon realise that the small contribution towards the cause cannot justify what you take away from the seminar.

To start off the seminar, an introduction of the masters was given, to which a deserving applause for each present master. For the first half, Master Nicholls took the colour belts ranging in all ages and grades through the technical side of Taekwon-do. Before running through the technical side, Master Nicholls passed on his words of wisdom and knowledge on ITF Taekwon-do and the way it has affected the world. For many people the history of the ITF is partly clouded but fortunately Master Nicholls and his close relationship to the President of the ITF, Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa of which both men have been around to see the changes, big and small and know a great deal of history.
The techniques covered consisted of how to add power to patterns, for example Dan Gun and spinning into the knife hand strike. For many people, including black belts too, we simply place our strikes and kicks, the perfect performance but limitations of power. The Technical side proved that even the best kickers that can hold kicks still need power in which Master Nicholls discussed further how to add that power to strikes and kicks without losing the control.

On the other side of the hall, Masters Ogbourne and Gayle ran through useful sparring drills starting from the basics of how to move and stand through to how block, move, counter and attack your opponent. Clearly the difference in heights between both masters is a common problem for most smaller or taller competitors and key tips such as leaning for punches and strikes to catch out your opponent were highlighted by the masters. After one hour and thirty minutes, the colour belts and black belts switched around and ran through the second half of the seminar in which Master Nicholls covered the same points but in greater detail and Masters Gayle and Ogbourne ran through sparring and drills with the colour belts.

In closing, the masters rounded off the seminar with Master Nicholls discussing more of his knowledge about the ITF.

A big thank you to all the juniors, seniors and masters of all ages and grades present who gave up their time to help support the Juniors for this summers World Championships and the seminar proved that Taekwon-do unites us no matter our differences, our individual associations form the UKITF community, part of the ITF family.


Written by: Joel Wilson - 31st May 2006

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