The IIC hosted by the Irish Taekwon-Do Association (ITA), in Tralee, Ireland from January 28th – 30th was a great success. 138 people took part in the course from red belt to 8th Dan, including 50 4th Dan and above and 5 masters. Participants came from 9 countries; Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Ukraine, Spain, Jamaica, Belgium and Norway. The course was conducted by the ITF technical committee of Grandmaster Marano, Chairman of the technical committee, Grandmaster Trajtenberg acting President of the ITF and Grandmaster Bos, Secretary General of the ITF. The Grandmasters did an excellent jobover the three days of the course. They displayed fantastic knowledge that left participants with no doubt about the technical aspects of Taekwon-Do, inspired the participants with their passion and knowledge, and motivated everyone to train hard, stay in shape and always strive to put on the dobok and improve.
Arrival of participants
Upon arrival all participants were greeted by the organising committee and as they registered received their ID cards, free t-shirt of the IIC and free pen as well as an info pack containing information on the IIC and the local area.
The venue for the IIC was the Brandon Hotel, Conference and Leisure Centre, in the heart of the town of Tralee. Having the IIC and accommodation in the same building made the course more enjoyable and convenient for everyone. The IIC hall was very well decorated with banners of the ITF & AETF logos, pictures of the founder and of GM Tran, and large banners showing different aspects of Taekwon-Do. Outside the Conference Centre a large banner hung so that passers-by could take notice of the prestigious Taekwon-Do event being held in the town.
As part of the opening ceremony the organising committee wanted to make the Grandmasters feel at home so the mayor of the town officially welcomed the Grandmasters to the town of Tralee and presented each of them with the medal of the town, gold with the official town emblem engraved on it.
The IIC promised to be a great event and the Grandmasters did not disappoint. Over the three days all aspects of ITF Taekwon-Do were taught and every participant put in a big effort in their training, motivated by the Grandmasters. Some participants described the atmosphere during the IIC as “a family atmosphere” and the Grandmasters added to this by being very approachable and willing to answer questions and clarify any doubts. Grandmaster Marano astounded participants with his knowledge of the patterns as he referenced pictures and pages from the encyclopedia verbatim. Grandmaster Bos, as always inspired participants with his excellent physical shape, his motivating teaching style and innovative ideas on teaching all aspects of Taekwon-Do. Grandmaster Trajtenberg exudes positivity and wisdom and with his anecdotes of times with General Choi clarifies every question with technical and background information.
On the Saturday afternoon there was a promotional examination conducted by the ITF technical committee. Five people took part in the exam of which four were successfully promoted. Among them was a new Master for the ITF and Ireland, Master Patrick O’Rourke, who has been practicing Taekwon-Do since 1974.
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The banquet was attended by 114 people who enjoyed a three-course meal and had the opportunity to experience some of Irelands unique culture. A group of young and very talented musicians entertained the crowd with some traditional Irish music, dancing and singing. The crowd really enjoyed the entertainment and there was plenty of clapping, cheering and singing along with the music.
The IIC was officially closed on Sunday afternoon. During the closing ceremony the organising committee presented the technical committee with some gifts, including the IIC t-shirt, Official CD of the course (500 photos) and a very special gift of a personalized bottle of 12 year old Jameson reserve Whiskey. Each bottle was specially commissioned with the name of the Grandmasters engraved on the bottle.
The ITF Children’s program
During the IIC Master DonatoNardizzi from England and Mr. Fabian Izqueirdo from Argentina worked on the official ITF childrensprogramme. On Sunday afternoon they made a presentation to the Grandmasters of their work on the programme.
Feedback from participants
The feedback from the participants was extremely positive and all were complimentary of the work from the organising committee and the ITF Technical Committee.
A selection of photos can be viewed on the ITA website gallery at http://picasaweb.google.com/IrishTKD/IICIrelandSelection#.
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Some comments from the participants