173rd Taekwon-Do IIC held in New Zealand. ITFTKD

The 173rd International Instructors Course was held in Auckland, New Zealand from 1-3 March 2024. This IIC also marked the 20th anniversary of IICs in New Zealand since the death of its founder, General Choi.

The course was conducted by International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) Technical Committee members Grand Master Hector Marano, Grand Master Paul McPhail, Master Jurek Jedut, and their special guest Grand Master Michael Daher. The three-day course was attended by practitioners from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Master Gray Patterson, ITFNZ President, officially welcomed the IIC participants and gave a brief history of the IIC from past to present. 

Although the duration of the course has been shortened from what our pioneer instructors had to do, the aim remains as to ensure consistent competence for Taekwon-Do instructors. After the Heaven's Hand Salute in honour of ITF founder General Choi, the course was officially opened by Grand Master Marano.

Grand Master Marano then led the first pattern session from Chon Ji to Yul Gok. Master Jedut returned to take us through self-defence from the end state take down through to the first contact and counterattack. He also shared some teachings for our younger members. The day ended with Grand Master Marano for the rest of the gup patterns and some invigorating group exercises.

Saturday began with Master Jedut's warm-up with familiar exercises, but in an unconventional way. This was followed by line work on basic movements and first dan patterns. Grand Master Marano took the 5th dan and above group on patterns while Grand Master McPhail took us through step sparring. He covered the precision of distance and footwork in three-step, vital spot as target in one-step, and bonus extra in model sparring. After lunch we had a sparring session with Master Jedut covering upper body movement, leg strengthening, whole body movement, and footwork drills. 

The final day saw the division into grade groups for patterns, sparring and conditioning. The 4th Dan group broke off for a pattern session before rejoining the main group for a final session on stretching by Grand Master Daher. The 6th Dans also had the unique opportunity to have a Q&A session with GM Marano and also learn the "lost pattern" Woo-Nam. The opportunity to train under such knowledgeable Grand Masters and Masters was an invaluable experience for the athletes. The dedication and passion of the Technical Committee was evident in their polished delivery. The sessions were both informative and inspiring to the students in many different ways for their Taekwon-Do journey.