ITF SCOTLAND MASTERS SEMINAR & BLACK-TIE DINNER 2023
On Saturday 7th October 2023, the Dunblane Centre, Dunblane was the setting for the first ITF Scotland Master’s Seminar which was the first part in a day of celebration of ITF Scotland members’ notable achievements of recent and historic times. Later in the evening the first Awards Dinner was held to officially recognise the occasion.
During the morning before the seminar was due to start, one month’s rainfall fell which caused flooding to many arterial routes. The start was delayed by around half an hour but eventually all those, bar a few, who had registered for the event made it through and the training could commence.
The seminar was led by Grandmaster Gordon Wallace IX Degree, along with Master David McNairn VIII Degree and Master Garry Shaw VII Degree. Master Dunbar and Master Gilmour had also agreed to assist with the seminar but were unfortunately prohibited from attending due the weather conditions and car problems. We were pleased to see other Masters and senior grades training at this event, along with ITF Scotland Chairman, Mr Adam Paterson IV Degree.
GM Wallace opened the day and started the session with some fun warm-up games and drills followed by hip mobility exercises and leg dynamics to prepare for kicking exercises that were to follow. The session followed by a focussed discussion and drills on Side kicks and Reverse Turning kicks when used in pattern and technical kicking sequences for grading requirements. The exercises and drills were performed both by individual and partnered segments. The session then broke for a short break.
The second session was Ho-Sin Sul led by Master McNairn with assistance from Master Shaw. This segment was to show some typical attack situations which may occur in daily life, and how these can be countered and dealt with whilst remaining calm and focused inn a stressful situation, utilizing well known and practiced Taekwon-Do techniques.
The methodology behind the techniques demonstrated were:
- Defend against the attacking tool.
- Mindset change.
- Take-down and create an avenue of escape.
In each scenario, the defence techniques and subsequent counter attacks were demonstrated in slow motion so everyone could see the techniques being applied, then slightly faster, culminating in full speed as would be done in a real-life situation.
After a short break GM Wallace announced, that as the day was centred around a day of reflection, he wanted to share his experiences of the old pattern Ko-Dang which he performed many times during his time as a competitor. He also described the time when Juche was introduced to Europe at the 1984 European Championships in Budapest and performed by the late GM Park Jung Tae. After a brief discussion of the history of Ko-Dang and the man behind the pseudonym that would be returned several times as the session unfolded, he demonstrated and described the 39 movements. The remainder of the segment was the group practice of Ko-Dang.
After a short break, GM Wallace concluded the seminar using Reverse Turning Kicks in a competition scenario and emphasised the importance of the sequence practiced in the technical drills that need to be transferred to the sparring scenario if the kick is to be successful in reaching the target and delivered effectively.
GM Wallace then closed the seminar and hoped everyone would manage to negotiate the flooded roads and return for the Awards Dinner a few hours later.
A few hours after the seminar, ITF Scotland hosted it’s first Awards Dinner in the Hilton Dunblane Hyrdo in Dunblane. The evening began with guests meeting in the main foyer for drinks, with canapes being served before moving into the function suite to start the celebrations.
ITF Scotland Chairman, Mr Adam Paterson IV Degree opened the event with a welcome speech where he introduced our guest of honour, the Honourable Grandmaster MacCallum along with Grandmaster Wallace and the Masters in attendance. GM MacCallum was presented with a small gift to thank him for his attendance.
The first award presentation was for the members of the Scotland National Team who were successful in becoming European and World Champions in 2023. This year was a hugely successful year for the National Team with the highest medal haul at a World Championships with 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 6 Bronze medals as well as 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 7 Bronze medals at the European Championships. All those present, were awarded with a personalised plaque to recognise their achievement.
The presentations continued with a COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD for Mrs Jackie Timoney V Degree. In October 2022, a remembrance tournament was held for Mr Paddy Timoney 5th Degree and the proceeds from this event were very generously donated to the British Heart Foundation and ITF Scotland with each receiving just shy of £3000. This donation provided ITF Scotland with substantial funds to enable them to give the opportunity to all instructors to gain important lifesaving skills.
Next, a GRATITUDE AWARD to thank Mr John Munro V Degree who is responsible for much of the work that goes unseen at ITF Scotland events, such as dismantling equipment days in advance to transport it and is most often the first man setting up for national events and the last man to leave.
An award was then issued for NEW CLUB OF THE YEAR to Force Taekwon-Do Instructor Mr Ethan Donnelly III Degree. This club has successfully broken onto the Taekwon-Do scene this past year or so and have become a familiar face in the competitive circuit.
The COMPETITIVE CLUB OF THE YEAR was also recognised – Braveheart Martial Arts, who not only won the overall award at the ITF Scotland Championships in 2022, but they also went on to win again in 2023 with the highest number of gold medals.
Between the speeches, guests were treated to a delicious three-course dinner along with some entertainment from magician and compere Mr Peter Kinney. This was a great addition to the event.
As this was the first event of its kind for ITF Scotland, it provided the ideal opportunity to mark some long-standing achievements at this special occasion.
The first category was for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS, where Miss Katrina Carr III Degree was recognised for her successful competitive career. During this career, she achieved one-time World Champion, one-time Senior European Champion, four-times Junior European Champion as well as two-times Junior World Cup Champion.
Mr Mark Boydell V Degree was also recognised for his INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS in producing multiple World & European Champions from his club Boydell Blackbelt Academies. He and his students have been equally successful in most of the disciplines in ITF competition, including individual sparring, patterns, team patterns and pre-arranged free sparring.
A PIONEER AWARD was then presented to Master John McIlvaney VII Degree for the development of Assisted Support Needs Taekwon-Do in Scotland. He has served as a member of the first ITF Worldwide Adaptive Committee for the past 4 years, promoting inclusion in Taekwon-Do to instructors worldwide and is highly involved in delivering and championing sporting opportunity to everyone regardless of their ability or disability.
An INTERNATIONAL UMPIRE RECOGNITION AWARD was the presented to Master David McNairn VIII Degree, who’s International Umpire career began after being selected to officiate at the ITF World Championships in New Zealand in 2011. To date he has participated in Ten ITF World events which is a fantastic milestone.
We then moved on to a LIFETIME RECOGNITION AWARD for Miss Julia Cross MBE VI Degree, who in her career, achieved a record yet to be surpassed to this day by any other ITF member – 6 times World Champion, 15 times European Champion as well as many more World and European Silver and Bronze medals. Also inducted into the ITF and AETF Hall of Fame, then honoured with an MBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to Taekwon-Do. This event could not go past without recognising these outstanding achievements and the dedication in all she has done throughout her Taekwon-Do career.
A special recognition award was then presented for Master Sandy Dunbar VIII Degree for 30 YEARS INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTION. Starting as an International Umpire in 1992, this career has now spanned over 30 years. For two decades, he was recognised as one of the ITF’s top centre referees; umpiring in many World individual and Team finals. Later he became a member of the ITF Tournament Committee, working alongside Grandmaster Bos for over a decade in organising and running the world championships for the ITF. He then retired from this role and began actively working with the AETF Umpire Committee in the position of Chairman – a role which he continues to this day.
All award winners received a personalised plaque to mark their achievement.
The final award of the night was the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in recognition of promotion to Grandmaster 9th Degree which was presented to Grandmaster Gordon Wallace. We were delighted to finally be able to celebrate this fantastic achievement at this special event.
This impressive career began in 1977 at the age of 17, to receiving Grandmaster at the age of 63. A career that has spanned from colourbelt, blackbelt, national competitior, international competitor, world champion, instructor, national coach, full-time taekwon-do gym owner, kids Programme developer, master, tournament organiser and developer, international umpire, ITF committee member, international umpire course presenter, to Grandmaster. In this time, he has also generously passed on the experience he has gained to members of ITF Scotland to help make our events more professional.
The list of achievements and contribution was simply too long to go through, but we were lucky enough to source a pictorial review of his life in Taekwon-Do. This was an excellent way of showing highlights of this journey spanning 45-years from where it began in 1977 to his 9th Degree promotion in 2022.
Following this, Grandmaster Wallace received a standing ovation and was presented with a recognition plaque from the Honourable Grandmaster MacCallum IX. In addition, an engraved bottle of whiskey was presented from Master David McNairn VIII which had been kindly gifted from Mr Andy Lister IV Degree to commemorate his promotion.
The presentations were concluded, and guests were then able to socialise and enjoy the music until late in the evening. Photographs of all award winners were then taken, and the impressive cake was enjoyed.
The event was a great success and something that we hope to continue hosting in the future.
Many thanks to the Dunblane Centre, Hilton Dunblane Hydro, Catriona McRoberts for capturing photographs of the presentations, CupcakesbyJen for the amazing cake for Grandmaster Wallace and Llillyroseballoons Dunblane for the ITFS bubble balloon. Everything was excellent!!