International Taekwon‑Do Federation
On 17th & 18th October 2020 the Republic of Ireland Taekwon‑Do Association hosted a very special International Instructor Course and International Technical Seminar.
ITF Grandmaster Francis Barrett IX Dan conducted the event online live via Zoom from Blessington Taekwon‑Do School in County Wicklow.
There had been more than 60 attendants from 11 countries.
Master Floyd Keane VIII Dan has been providing online classes each week since May, open to all RITA members. Indeed here we have been lucky enough to have training available online often six days a week with Masters and Instructors across Ireland.
Both Master Keane and Mr Brian Murray II Dan were on hand to assist in stepping through fundamental movements and patterns, and assist in person with demonstration of techniques and their applications. They ensured the dojang was well prepared to host the event with screens, remote microphone and protective equipment.
While the remote nature the seminar precluded most attendees from practicing with a partner, it was an opportunity for Taekwon‑Do colleagues around the world to participate from home or their local dojang without the requirement to travel - although this meant our 9am local start time translated to 3am and 4am for attendees from Colombia and North America!
Grandmaster Barrett emphasised that Taekwon‑Do is an art of self-defence. In a real-life confrontation you cannot expect your opponent to attack with the same Taekwon‑Do punch we routinely practice with partners in the dojang - an attacker may wield a weapon like a bottle or a knife.
This mindset intensifies the importance of instinctively selecting an appropriate defence and counter-attack, or combining both into a single efficient response to a real threat.
We often repeat the same conventional sequences of movements we learned since early colour belt, so Grandmaster Barrett challenged all of us to consider the purpose and application of the techniques we have been developing for years, and he explored some of those techniques in isolation and as they are performed within our patterns.
Grandmaster Barrett solicited the opinions of the other Masters and Instructors on the background and application of these techniques and there was lively discussion throughout.
It was fascinating to hear GM Barrett and other experienced participants recall the Founder's own feedback to their questions in past IICs and how aspects of Taekwon‑Do have evolved over time.
The current pandemic has forced us to adapt teaching and learning - it will be interesting to see how these changes and technology can complement traditional methods in the future.
Thank you to Grandmaster Barrett, Master Keane, Mr Murray and our Taekwon‑Do Family around the world for a very enjoyable and informative weekend.
REPORT from Mr Robert Doyle, 1st Degree (RITA Stillorgan Taekwon - Do School)