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Master Wheatley Conducts Specialty Seminar in Historic Cashel, Ireland
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Master Robert N. Wheatley from Reno, Nevada, USA, travelled to Cashel, Ireland, October 13, 2007 to conduct a Master Specialty Seminar and black belt testing.  Master Wheatley is an VIII Degree International Instructor & Tester, President of the U.S. ITF. In 2006 he received the ITF Award for outstanding contributions in the areas of instructions and service. Master Wheatley is highly sought after worldwide for his superbly crafted, dynamic, informative and inspirational seminars. Simply stated, he is a „standards bearer“ for the ITF led by Grand Master Choi and a leading Taekwon-Do Master in the world.
 
Master Wheatley, an Irishman originally from Co. Wicklow arrived home to the Emerald Isle on Thursday before the seminar where he spent time with friends and family before traveling to Cashel, on Friday evening where he was met by his host Mr. Ruairí J. O’Brien IV Degree and President of Redking Taekwon-do. Mr. O’Brien, a member of the Taekwon-do Alliance was accompanied also by  Mr. Kevin O’Sullivan V Degree, Mr. Liam Corkery III Degree and Mr. Trevor Fradgley IV Degree. Over dinner at “The Bailey” all enjoyed a sumptuous feast upstairs in the restaurant.  Discussion involved current events in the ITF locally and globally. Master Wheatley and Mr. O’Mahony retired before midnight leaving the Alliance members to ponder the latest goings on in the ITF world

On Saturday, Master Wheatley took an early morning walk around the beautiful and historic town of Cashel, where he visited “The Rock” and got a feel for the early morning peace of the town. Later, Mr. O’Brien met with Master Wheatley at the hotel restaurant for breakfast. At 8:30am Mr. O’Brien with assistance from some of the students and parents made the final preparations for the Grading exam at the venue. The panel of examiners consisted of: Master Wheatley VIII, Mr. O’Brien IV, Mr. Corkery IV, Mr. O’Sullivan V, Mr. Fradgley IV, Ms. O’Kelly IV and Ms. Quinlan I.

A total of 10 hopeful applicants lined up for testing before the panel, eight of which were from Mr. O’Briens Cahir and Cashel clubs while two hailed from Mr. Corkerys Kinsale Club. The students were given a paper to complete which tested their knowledge of the theory of Taekwon-do. After a warm-up, the applicants were divided into three groups and tested vigorously on TULs and Technique. Next came the free sparring test, followed by self-defense, 1-step and 3-step sparring. Master Wheatley declared that the final aspect of the test, “the Break test” would be carried out in the seminar part of the day. When the grading was over Master Wheatley announced that all students had passed and had earned the title of I Degree.

After the photos and a brief lunch break the Seminar started promptly at half past one. There were forty-one participants ranging in age from 6 to 42 years old, from 9th Gup to 5th Degree. Three 4th degree black belts, one 3rd degee black belt and one 5th degree black belt travelled from Cork to participate. Various group formations and the fast tempo in which to get into those formations were explained and rehearsed. Jumping kicks were made while running in a big circle formation. An assessment of techniques in selected Tuls finalized the seminar outline and thus made training for the day more specific to the needs of the participants. Master Wheatley emphasized that maximum power generation should be behind all techniques. Blocks, and not just attack movements, should be performed as powerfully as possible to maximize the probability of disabling an attacking opponent after just one bodily contact. Methods of power generation, given various situations of feet movement restrictions, were explained. The finer points of dodging were explained and
demonstrated. The optimal dodging method was defined as quickly moving away from the opponent’s line-of-attack, while maintaining eye contact upon the opponent, and simultaneously counter-attacking. Throughout the session, questions were encouraged. Numerous tips for testers, trainers and students on breaking were given as well as kicking techniques and correct targets. Black belt Tuls rounded off the training day by 5:30 p.m... Master Wheatley was delighted with the disciplined and well-conditioned children who lasted with energy and concentration throughout the four hour seminar. All received a uniquely colorful participation certificate signed by Master Wheatley and Mr. O’Brien. After the certificates were distributed, Master Wheatley graciously signed souvenirs and posed for photographs with thankful participants. Mr. O’Brien was delighted with the addition of eight new 1st Degrees to the ranks of his clubs and thanked all participants of the seminar for their support of the event.

The eight Redking Taekwon-do students promoted to first degree were….

Paraic O’Donoghue, Mandy Lonergan, Paul Hewitt, Niamh Hewitt, Lisa Lonergan,
Kate Murphy, Nathan Magee and Craig Lonergan,

Written by: Carol J. Van Zile - 20th February 2008

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