For many people like myself, Taekwon-Do is not so much a hobby, as it is a guiding principle of morality, of self-improvement, and a way of understanding the limits of one’s physical and mental capabilities. It is an artform and a lifestyle that I have dedicated myself to for over 43 years. To honour the 65th year of the naming of Taekwon-Do, like many of my fellow instructors and practitioners of this long enduring art, I would like to reflect on my ITF journey.
The globalisation of Taekwon-Do was spearheaded by the late General Choi Hong Hi, and Malaysia happened to be the 2nd country to which he brought the art outside of Korea in 1965 to be introduced to the public. As a young boy, I was inspired by my own father, a professional boxer, to take up martial arts and looked to Taekwon-Do at age 14. At the time, Grand Master Low Koon Lin was the Malaysian pioneer of the art, under the tutelage of General Choi, as well as my first instructor; this made me part of the 2nd generation of students in the lineage of General Choi’s international spread of ITF. Along with GM Low Koon Lin, I was privileged to learn under the coaching of Master Tan Eng Kiat and GM Yeow Ching Wat. Their teaching structure was extremely innovative, with each instructor teaching 3 different aspects of training – sparring, pattern and self-defence. Importantly, they did not forget to instil in their students the true meaning of Taekwon-Do which was the moral culture. With the guidance of these inspirational figures, I accelerated in my learnings and was promoted to assistant instructor 1979 and became instructor in June 1980. I had the privilege of being graded by General Choi himself, for my promotion to 5th Dan in Maroochydore, Queensland before his sad passing.
I began participating in tournaments since attaining yellow-tip. My tournament career endured until I was 6th Dan, with a highly successful rate of achievement. The competitors I have had the privilege to fight have come far and wide across the globe. Some of my notable achievements include gold medals in sparring, pattern and power breaking, silver in team sparring in ITF World Championships. As a veteran tournament participant, I also have had great success and was the first person to be awarded the Overall World Champion title in ITF’s 1st Veteran World Championships. I retired from tournaments in 2005 when I was promoted to 7th Dan. On top of partaking in tournaments, I have also coached and trained a number of students to successfully win national and international championships. Among other cherished achievements, I was awarded the prestigious ITF Outstanding Instructor Medal and ITF Order Medal in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
My post-tournament life saw myself heavily involved in the expanding and publicising of ITF to the world. With the help and support of ITF officials, I have organised and run national tournaments, with the goal of building friendships, exchanging ideas and promoting the art to the general public. I have also been involved in running seminars as a part of the ITF Technical and Education Committee, to aid the constant progress and evolution of Taekwon-Do.
Sasung Tam Fook Chee
A small group of jejas were fortunate to be graded on this very special day in conjunction with the commemoration of the founding of International Taekwon-Do Federation by Taekwon-Do Founder General Choi Hong Hi. It is also a memorable grading due to the Covid-19 restriction level imposed by the government the day after the grading where all classes were closed until further notice.
We look forward to the day we return to dojangs to celebrate the presentation of colour, black belt and international instructor certificates. In the meantime stay home, stay safe, do the right thing and keep training with the pre-recorded home training videos on the Member page. Video grading will be conducted for those that eligible and qualified. So, all jejas are encouraged to be training at home during this unprecedented time.
Train Hard Train Smart
Congratulations to all jejas who passed the grading.
9th Gup White belt yellow-tip
8th Gup Yellow belt
Isaac Lin, Hugo Bergman, Arthur Gray, Frederick Gray, Vu Pham
7th Gup Yellow belt green-tip
Evelyn Huynh, Clarke Huynh, Anthony Abouhanna, Wendy Song
5th Gup Green belt blue-tip
Camille Lin, Bianka Lee, Kyan Aung, Danny Hu(Probation)
3rd Gup Blue belt red-tip
Kaloyan Vasilev, Henry Bergman, Annette Fallon
2nd Gup Red belt
Rayden Chan, Jessica Dang
1st Gup Red belt black-tip
TTM students taking part at the CHITF NSW Championship in Goulburn.
Thank you to Sabum Craig Harmer for the invitation.
This year there was a big restructure in the Hills.
Epping dojang and West Pennant Hills dojang has been merged at new venue - West Pennant Hills Community Church 41-43 Eaton Road West Pennant Hills
Winston Hills dojang moved to 1st/2nd Blacktown Scout Hall Bungarribee Road Blacktown
There is a lot of new thing coming up our way at Tam Taekwon-Do Mudokwan. If you want to be a part of it join us at our new venues!
Keep an eye out on Mayah.
Want to be great? Come and join us.
After a great year of training in the newest TTM dojang on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Eva Neil and Rory Neil received "Most Dedicated" and "Most Improved" trophies from Grand Master Tam at the annual awards ceremony.
Reuben Luong was awarded his red belt and admitted he was "proud to train hard and put a lot of effort into my grading"
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