On Sunday 23rd February the Irish Taekwon-Do Association hosted a free umpire workshop for all members aged 14 & older. The workshop was run in conjunction with the national team training camp which was taking place over the weekend in the Marino Institute of Education. Master Pat Barry, VII Degree, ITA Umpire Chairperson delivered the course which covered all aspects of the ITF tournament rules & protocols including the patterns competition scoring system, centre refereeing and corner judging, the role of the jury president as well as use of the electronic scoring system for sparring.
The course also included the role of the ring assistants, including equipment checks as well as information on the ITA tournament scheduling system. The course was well attended with over 50 students from colour belt up to 7th Dan Master level from all parts of the country in attendance. This included many beginners to umpiring as well as experienced national & international referees. It was a great advantage to run the workshop alongside the National team camp, as it allowed for some top level patterns & sparring competition, giving the new umpires a very realistic experience.
The workshop was very practical, with most of the time spent on the mats, looking at real-life sparring & patterns matches. Master Barry and the experienced umpires were able to offer examples from their own experience of competition & umpiring which was very helpful to the less experienced umpires in attendance. This course was well-timed with a large international contingent expected for the upcoming Dublin Open, the ITA was ensuring our umpires are fully updated & trained to allow for an excellent tournament in April. Another umpire course will be run in the near-future in another region of the country and all members are encouraged to attend.
Report by Carl Smullen, IV Degree, ITA PR Officer...Read more
The 14th ITA Cork Open took place in the Neptune Stadium in Cork City on the 15th & 16th of February. The tournament was attended by 620 competitors from 35 clubs from Ireland, Scotland and Germany over the 2 days including many of the Irish National Team from last year’s World Championships including Senior World Champion Dylan Fitzgibbon, junior world champions Ellen Ince & Dylan Murphy as well as many other medallists and experienced internationals.
As with all ITA tournaments, the blackbelt sparring sections where conducted using a pool & requalification system where competitors fight everyone else in their section. This made for some very competitive high-quality matches. Rostik Ivanchuk took gold in the senior -57kg sparring section, while Luke Woods, Dylan Fitzgibbon & Richard Forde took gold in the -70, 78 & 85kg sections respectively. In the female divisions Katy Laffan, Sarah Lehane & Sarah Barry took first place in their sections
The best senior competitors at the tournament were Eddie Dillon (2 Gold & 1 Silver) & Katy Laffan (1 Gold, 2 Silvers) while the best overall junior titles were awarded to Maeve Magee (2 Golds) and Dylan Murphy (1 Gold, 2 Silvers)
On Sunday there was a very high standard on the floor in the under 13s competing in patterns, sparring & special technique across eight rings. Notable performances on the day came from Eve Ince from Killester & Cian Barrett from Cork ITA who took two gold medals each, while Ciara Fitzsimons from IMAA & Liam Kervick from Waterford both won treble gold, taking first place in patterns, sparring and special technique!
Overall the 2014 Cork Open proved to be a very successful tournament, for organisers, competitors and spectators alike. Gratitude must be expressed to the ITA tournament committee of Mrs Laura Ryan, Mr Mark Buckley, Master Pat Barry, and Mr Stephen Ryan for their work in the lead up to the tournament and over the weekend of the Cork Open. We now look forward to our next tournament, the Dublin Open which takes place in Dublin in April.
Top Ten Clubs at the ITA Cork Open 2014
1st Integrity Martial Arts Academy 100 points
2nd Cork ITA 89 points
3rd Cork Taekwon-Do North Mon Carrigaline 85 points
4th Mahon/Bandon 36 points
5th Blanchardstown 35 points
6th Quin TKD 33 points
7th Waterford/Tipperary ITF 31 points
8th Newlands TKD 30 points
8th Killester 10th 30 points
10th Kingdom TKD 24 points
ITF England held it’s second ever Umpires Course on Sunday 26th January 2014 at the Royal Masonic Girls School in Rickmansworth. The session was conducted by Mr. Matt Gibb and Mr. Ken Chesterman, overseen by Master Anderson. The purpose of the course was to give the 43 participants a chance to qualify for either their Class ‘B’ or Class ‘C’ Umpires Certificate.
The one-day course ran from 10am until 5pm and consisted of a mixture of a Powerpoint presentation, Q&A and practical work. Mr. Gibb went through the rules and regulations for all competition disciplines; sparring, patterns, special technique, breaking and team events. The make-up and role of each member of the judging panel for each event was discussed, as was the general procedure. Rules and how they could be interpreted and applied was discussed extensively, with input from various participants who had knowledge and experience of international competitions.
2 rings had been set up so that following the patterns and sparring theory, the group could attempt to put what they had learnt to put into practice. Participants took it in turns to take on the roles of judges and competitors, with the competitors performing patterns with pre-determined mistakes to test the groups scoring and observation skills. To put into practice the sparring theory, volunteers did short rounds of sparring with deliberate offences that would elicit fouls and warnings, letting participants put into practice what they had learnt about the roles of centre referee, corner judge and jury president.
The day was very successful, with all participants coming away with a thorough knowledge of all competition disciplines, new ITF rules and practical experience in all of the different umpiring roles. The delivery of the course was informative and fun and will hopefully result in more umpires from ITF England clubs at international competitions in the future.
ITF England members who qualified to B classMr Daniel Lammin, Mr John Emm, Mr Scott Pidgley, Mr Richard Hutcheson.ITF England members who qualified to C classMr Mark McLaren, Mr George Hadrys, Mr Callum Clark, Mr Hayden McCarthy, Mr James Padula, Mr Jason Ogden, Mr Umesh Vijapura, Mr Vishaal Vijapura, Ms Bhavini Vijapura, Mr Thomas Taylor, Mr Nick Edmunds, Mr Simon Doucly, Mr James Singers, Mr Richard Muscutt, Mr Kevin Richardson, Ms Laura Musins, Mr Chris Jones, Ms Natalie Moore, Mr Steven Small, Mr Lucus Small, Mr Carl Norman, Mr Nikolai Savinkin, Ms Julia Tagg, Ms Laura Fox Longdon, Mr Stuart Fox Longdon, Ms Alex Haymes, Ms Jade Wilson, Mr Luke Warner, Mr Craig King, Mr Larry Wienszczak, Mr Lewis Early, Ms Katinka Blauw, Ms Chorlene Biron-Monnier, Mr Alan Soutar, Mr Andre Kljajic, Mr Ian Kelly, Mr Colin Howley, Mr Daniel Davies, Mr Paul Adams, Mr Malik Ayman.
Laura Musins...Read more
A clear blue sky. A magnificient winter sun reflecting its rays in Oslo Fjord. Thus was the background for the towering building of the Norwegian Ballet and Opera House. A venue combining the harsh, snowclad mountains of Norway with modern art and architecture.
It was the perfect environment for introducing the RADIX project of combining techniques from our traditional patterns with comprehensive self-defence techniques.
Housing international artists of ballet and opera the Opera House was the perfect setting for this seminar also bringing international practitioners together. Participants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and England joined the seminar lead by International Instructors Roberts Boer VI degree from Netherlands and Roy Rolstad IV degree from Norway.
The first part of the seminar introduced a thorough historical background of the instructors and their experience with self-defence and applied Taekwon-Do techniques. Also the historical background of Taekwon-Do was outlined with respectful references to the legacy of not only founder Choi Hong Hi, but also of the martial arts influencing the early developement of our unique art of self-defence.
But theory alone stands weak, so of course participants were to practice new ideas and applications for self-defence. After powerful and aware repetition of patterns Chon Ji and Dan Gun with primary application discussions individual techniques where pinned out and applied in realistic self-defence situations. Thus all participants suddenly found themselves being able to adapt and improvise multitudious applications of low blocks and rising blocks.
An important part of self-defence and the RADIX approach is awareness, readiness and concentration. The intuitive and awareness approach was brilliantly demonstrated by Mr. Torfinn Katla Opedal from Norway. Being utterly blind he attended the seminar with the assistants of his father. Unprepared he was suddenly ask, if he would kindly perform pattern Hwa Rang. Without hesitation he rose and found the centre of the gym without assistance and performed a concentrated and accurate pattern. If not being told none of us would have thought him to be blind. It was an impressive and awe inspiring moment.
The second day of the seminar consisted of awareness training and teachings on stress levels, heart rates and the effect on motoric skills.
After an intense practice of awareness during performance of pattern Chon Ji, individual techniques from higher degree patterns were chosen and applied in various self-defence scenarios. All scenarios were practiced with intensity however within a 1-10 scale of speed and power, thus making it possible for all to improve and learn both simple and complicated graps and releasing motions. Emphasis was put on proper stance such as walking stance, L-stance and sitting stance. Also all techniques implied skills towards sine wave, breath control, reflexive training, personal readiness and how to judge safety environments.
An outstanding example of breath control was shown by Mr. Huw Raynolds, originally from England, who is a stage performer and member of the choir at the Opera. On request he sang the most beautiful song, resonating into the gym a sense of selflessness and proper breathing. When he ended several participants admitted to having the goose bumps.
The RADIX project is not regarded as a separate system, but merely a project to make practitioners and instructors capable of applying traditional pattern techniques in actual self-defence. It is inspiring and positively thought provoking as it helps us as instructors to think out of the box and act creatively and intuitively.
A weekend and a seminar with happy, dedicated and investigating practitioners in our wonderful Taekwon-Do family.
On behalf of the Danish delegation I recommend and thank Mr. Robert Boer and Mr. Roy Rolstad for this project and seminar
ITF Denmark...Read more