The event had over 80 students in attendance and from all corners of the globe.  Students were present from Alaska, Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Sweden, United Kingdom and the USA.  We were also blessed to have a number of masters in attendance too, Master Robert N. Wheatley (VIII) – President of  ITF - Éireann, Master Trevor Nicholls (VIII) - ITF Secretary General, Master Hans Forgbert (VIII), Master Isaac Harry (VIII), Master Neil Franks (VII) and Master Henry O’ Neill (VII).


Master Wheatley commenced the IIC on Saturday morning from 10am sharp.  The session began with a light warm-up session, followed by a several Tul’s.  Participants performed Hwa - Rang Tul to begin with.  Master Wheatley was looking for correct delivery and execution of technique with lots of power.  GM Choi was introduced to the attendees.  He was accompanied by Master Nicholls.  Master Wheatley swiftly moved on to high degree Tul’s; So - San, Se - Jong and Tong - IL. These were performed by 8th, 7th and 6th degrees. 

Throughout the day, GM Choi emphasised the need for repetition within Taekwon-do.  He stated that even though we practice a technique 10 times or 100 times it is not enough; we need to do each technique 10,000 times before it can be perfected.  Techniques were repeated to improve power and technical content.   Also stated was the fact that we need to be more humble; do not brag or boast about our achievements or abilities.  Taekwon-do is to be used to make us better citizens, and by making us better citizens we will end up with a more peaceful world.  Also GM Choi got students to demonstrate the differences between a turning back side kick and a back piercing kick.  Emphasis was placed on the different positions of the knee of the kicking leg; the different foot angles of the kicking foot and also the head position during both kicks.

Following lunch, Master Nicholls got all students to perform kicking & blocking combinations, with emphasis on sparring, i.e. attacks and counter attacks. 

Later that night, there was a banquet held in the presence of GM Choi and the masters.  Presentations were made by ITF - Éireann Secretary Mr. Liam Corkery, to GM Choi and the other masters.  During Master Wheatley’s speech, a special thank you went out to the ITF - Éireann Executive Committee for organising an excellent event.  The atmosphere was excellent and it proved to be a fun night for all.


Sunday morning proved to be an early start.  It began at approximately 7.30am, so as to facilitate a black belt degree tests.  Testing candidates were as follows: Henk Zonsveld (Netherlands) tested for 7th Degree; Llauger Castillo (Puerto Rico), Adrian White (Ireland) and Clyde Beatley (Ireland) all tested for 5th Degree.

The testing panel was headed by Master Wheatley (VIII) who was also joined by Master Henry O’ Neill (VII).  All candidates were put through a rigorous Tul test, Taekwon-do theory, destruction and sparring.  Master Wheatley discussed the importance of step sparring and the Composition of Taekwon-do.  The Composition of Taekwon-do is made up of Fundamental Movements, Dallyon, Patterns, Sparring and Self - Defence.  He also stated that if we do not continually practice all of these elements, then we are not doing the true art of Taekwon-do.  We cannot leave out any one part; it is a total package within Taekwon-do.

Congratulations to all the candidates who were successful in their quest for their new grades.

Shortly after the grading, the seminar recommenced with Master Wheatley in the driving seat.  During this part of the morning, he went into the importance of correct stances, i.e. the correct measurements and foot positions.  Ge-Baek was covered in great detail.  Time was spent on the L - Stance X - Knife Hand Checking Block; the combination of Sitting Stance, Scooping Block followed by a Middle Punch and finally a High Front Strike with the Back Fist; and the Low Twist Kick.  Students were asked to demonstrate the low, middle and high twist kicks.

The seminar concluded that afternoon with a couple of minute’s meditation with GM Choi.  Once all had bowed out of the seminar, there were photo opportunities with GM Choi and the other masters.

ITF – Éireann Executive Committee would like to thank all attendees for their loyalty and support.


John Hackett

ITF – Éireann PRO