T-UK host ICC No. 4 !! - 1/12/2015

4th ITF ICC Course, Stratford-Upon-Avon, 21st to 22nd November 2015


On the 23rd November 2015 I woke in absolute agony and only appeared able to walk in a style that resembled John Wayne. Normally, that would be a bad situation. In his case it wasn’t; let me explain why:

On the 21st and 22nd November 2015, T-UK were proud and humbled to be able to host the 4th ITF ICC Course on behalf of ITF England. The course was to be conducted by Grand Master Bos,
Master Willy Van De Mortel and 6th Degree World Champion, Mr Tomaz Barada.

On the Saturday morning attendees all gathered in the hall with eager anticipation. Our honourable guests entered the hall to a rapturous welcome and were introduced by Mr Archer. Grand Master Bos explained the structure of the course and expressed the wish that everyone trained hard and enjoyed this experience.

The course was going to be 4 sessions of three hours, each hour being conducted by GM Bos, Master Van De Mortel and Mr Barada respectively. I have had the privilege to train with Grand Master Bos on a number of occasions and knew what to expect when the fitness and conditioning work started. The levels of motivation were amazing and I have to confess I always seem to perform at my best when Grand Master Bos is taking the session.

I haven’t previously had the pleasure of training with Master Van De Mortel or Mr Barada before and was extremely impressed as the session continued with shield and focus-pad work with Master Van De Mortel. We completed kicking and punching drills that were informative, effective and most of all great fun. Master Van De Mortel explained how important it was to give full commitment to all training drills and also explained how important the students were in the motivation of each other. Master Van De Mortel’s techniques and explanations were first class and full of enthusiasm. What a great session.

Mister Barada then finished the morning session with sparring drills and movement etc. Within seconds you could understand why Mr Barada had achieved all he had in the World Championships over the years. The movement and techniques were simply breath-taking. I have never known three hours pass so quickly and yet been so tired and yet enthusiastic at the end of it.

The course continued in a similar manner for the other 3 sessions, covering pattern detail with Grand Master Bos, which was extremely useful and informative for the more senior students. GM Bos also covered traditional sparring, explaining the history and took everyone through the systematic approach of a creating and performing routines.

Master Van De Mortel explained the procedures and technicality of competition breaking and specialist breaking, which again was extremely informative and covered all aspects of competition and practice.

Mr Barada covered more free sparring drills and techniques, which was of course coupled with loads more shield/pad work and now expected fitness routines.

I have never seen so many people train as hard with smiles on their faces. From juniors to some of the old school, it was an absolute pleasure to witness.

The Saturday evening was spent with friends sat around a table in a local restaurant listening to our guests talking to Mr Archer about ITF history and the way ITF has developed over the years. It was fascinating to sit and listen to practitioners of our art who have been training to this level for decades and the history they possess. It also made me very proud of the fact that our own President not only knew details of many of the events that were discussed but was actually present at a good many of  them ! History.

On Sunday afternoon, certificates of attendance were presented to all students. Grand Master Bos thanked all for attending and the efforts they had put in prior to Mr Archer closing the IIC.

I would like to conclude by thanking Mr Archer and his team for organising the event. Super job. I also would like to thank all out TKD friends for their support but most of all would like to thank 3 ITF super stars who conducted the course with such dynamism, enthusiasm and technique. It was a privilege and a pleasure to train in such esteemed and dynamic instructors.

Thank you Grand Master Bos, Master Van De Mortel and Mr Tomaz Barada…….we all simply loved it and learnt so much.

Tomorrow, the aching may have stopped and I will have forgotten about the pain.

I seriously doubt however that I would ever forget about my first ICC.

Ian Ridley VI

Vice President & Secretary General to T-UK