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ITF 48th Anniversary Malaysia Master Class & Elite Taekwon-Do Academy Penang Open Championships 2014
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On the 20th March Mr Matthew Brunger and Student Ryan Hamdy travelled out to Penang, Malaysia to conduct a days Master class on behalf Of ITF Secretary General Master Trevor Nicholls. After an exhausting journey it was a pleasure to be met at the airport by Master Lau and the event organisers who were willing to bend over backwards to ensure we were happy and well looked after throughout our stay. After arriving at the hotel we sat down with master Lau to discuss the weekends proceeding and enjoy a couple light-hearted stories before retiring to our rooms.

As day broke we were up and raring to go. After a quick bite to eat and introductions to country representatives we were chauffeured off to the venue to conduct the Master Class. As Students began to enter the hall it was exciting to see all in attendance so enthusiastic about the art and eager to learn. After introductions made by Master Lau and a short speech representing the thoughts and ideas of Master Nicholls, it was time to begin!

After a high paced warm up, the students were given time to regain their focus and prepare themselves for junior tul work. Step by step we broke down each pattern, identifying individual movements, discussing and correcting technique before moving on.  After a short and well-earned water break we reformed our lines and the students set themselves for the next section of the class. The second section of the class set to identify and improve correct kicking lines and understanding their application in a self-defence scenario. With an emphasis on base techniques; front snap kick, side piercing kick and turning kick students were instructed to first perform the kick by count, landing into guarding stance progressing to a more relaxed free sparring techniques.

As mid-day arrived and to the relief of those in attendance, it was now time for a well-earned lunch break, giving everyone a chance recovery after a morning of hard, non-stop (yet enjoyable) training. On returning it was time to present the Kup grades with their Master Class certification and celebrate the ITFs 48th Anniversary with a commemorative cake and happy birthday sing along. With the Kup grades watching from the stands, we swiftly moved onto degree tul, again breaking down the pattern and drilling individual movements. After performing both first degree and second degree patterns we had our final water break and prepared for the final workshop of the day. Under strict orders from Master Lau to make them sweat we instructed a sparring workshop aimed at improving footwork and co-ordination whilst attacking moving forward and in defence moving backward. To end the session we finished with some effective sparring attacks working of the lead leg and some quick counter ideas to combat them.

It was a long and tiring day, but one of excitement and enthusiasm which shone throughout the Master Class. After closing speech we retired to the hotel for a short rest before freshening up and heading out for a nice meal. Once again the hospitality of master Lau and Host representatives was second to none. The evening had a relaxed feel and with the drinks and conversation flowing we all had an amazing evening. To round the night of Miss Sharon Chan (who never stood still the whole weekend) was treated to a surprise birthday celebration!!

Sunday morning, and again up early for the Penang open Championships 2014 which we were very much excited to be attending. Representing Master Nicholls, I along with Master Lau, Master Dantes Poon and the event sponsors took to the stage to officially declare the Championships open and watch the very impressive opening ceremony. The Competition ran exceptionally well with umpires and officials working tirelessly throughout the day and competitors supporting and cheering along fellow team members.

As we said our goodbyes and began our journey home, we had the opportunity to reflect on the emotional weekend we had just had, full of laughter, joy and excitement. We had the opportunity to meet some incredible people along the way and the hospitality we received from Master Lau and his team was beyond excellent.  We hope to see you all again soon.

Taekwon

Written by: Matt Brunger - 8th April 2014

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