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Grand Master Nicholls South Africa seminar and umpire course 2015
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It has been about three & half years since South Africa last hosted Master Nicholls now Grand Master Trevor Nicholls since he achieved that rank last year.  It is therefore also the first time our organization has hosted a Grand Master.

We picked him up at the airport in Johannesburg on the morning of 20 February 2015.  It was wonderful to have him back on South African soil again.  It is very important for us as an organization to host such an esteemed guest in order to keep us on track with world standard.

After dropping his luggage at the hotel, it was off to lunch to catch up and discuss TSA’s development.  From there we visited the Lion Park, a popular tourist destination.  Here Grand Master Nicholls and our group saw many species of herbivores in a natural environment setting as well as patted the Lion Cubs, hand fed giraffes and ended off with spending some quality time with & patting a three year old Cheetah.  It was an unforgettable experience for all of them.

The evening continued with dinner and an early night for our guest in order to prepare for the next couple of days.

The next day after a tasty breakfast at the Pallazo hotel in Mote Casino, it was off to the venue where  the students eagerly awaited for the Grand Master Class.

There was great excitement as the Grand Master entered the packed hall at the Wits Education Campus, followed by the customary introduction and start to the seminar.

The day was intense with a large focus on repetition of technique and correct execution including an emphasis on power generation as well as sine wave bow motion, dynamic and kinetic linkage. The seminar was divided into four parts, concentrating on various aspects in each.  It ended off with a sparring section with some excellent training exercises and concepts from this man who has trained many world champions in his time.  It was a fantastic experience for all.  As always his teaching method is energetic and motivating even demonstrating some kicking while he should still be resting his leg after a knee surgery.  We tried to let him know we didn’t what him to get worse on our account.

While most went home for a well deserved relax after a hard day of training, the most challenging part still awaited four of our members.  It was time for the Grand Master to grade them.  After a challenging grading as he is known for giving and after long periods of preparation, it was over, the four candidates all dug deep and pulled through after being tested on all of the aspects.  The day ended with the Grand Master saying he would give the results at the dinner that evening.

Later that evening the dinner was held at a Johannesburg themed Steak house for the Grand Master and the black belts.  It was a great evening of good food and socializing and a great opportunity for our members to get to know the man.

The evening ended off with the results being given for the grading earlier on.  Tanya Magua passed to Fourth Dan, making her the first female in our organization to reach expert level; Richard Girvin also passed to Fourth Dan, making him the first of Norman & Denis Magua’s  students trained from white belt to reach this level;  Fraser Du Toit passed to Third Dan level and Peter Stander  passed to First Dan level.  The brothers as instructors were very proud of their students achievements.

The next day was for the Black Belt members who all took part and completed an advanced ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation) Umpire Course.  There was much to be learnt and absorbed in this relaxed learning environment.  Grand Master Nicholls is also excellent at facilitating this course with slide show presentations, theory, practical and a test at the end.

After the umpire course we took Grand Master Nicholls for a late lunch before having to sadly start making our way back to the airport, as due to his busy schedule he had to get back.  As always it is very sad to see him depart and wish we could keep him here longer.

Written by: Taekwon-Do South Africa - 9th March 2015

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