On September 10, 2023, I embarked on a journey towards my red belt in Taekwon-Do. The anticipation made me nervous, but my determination to give it my all prevailed. Watching all colour belts work hard and train for their grading filled me with excitement and curiosity. I am immensely grateful to our instructors, parents and everyone who offered their unwavering support.It was a fantastic opportunity to learn from our peers and witness their dedication.
Awesome job to everyone for giving their best, it was an unforgettable and truly awesome day.
Six days later...
On September 16, 2023, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the CHITF NSW Taekwondo Championship. It marked my debut in the Australian taekwondo tournament scene, where I competed in both pattern and sparring events. The experience was enriching as I learned from my opponents and made new friends along the way. While I was admittedly nervous during sparring, I reminded myself to stay calm and think strategically. I am immensely grateful to the coaches, hosts, parents, fellow competitors, and the enthusiastic spectators who made this event memorable. This tournament served as a valuable learning experience, and I'm thrilled to share that I clinched the gold medals in both pattern and sparring categories. The journey from quarterfinals to finals in pattern and the challenging bouts in sparring were met with excellence by all participants. It's a moment deserving of a resounding round of applause, and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.
Chloe Xin Ying Tan - 2nd Gup
he 153rd Tam Taekwon-Do Mudokwan grading was held on Sunday 10th September 2023 at Rockdale dojang.
Everyone was welcome to watch the grading. Parents and friends had the opportunity to see the progress of their family members in this belt test.
Altough nervous, most of the TaekwonKids performed very well. The most oustanding result was achived by Ava Tran and Lucas Sekulski. Both of these two white belts sat for double grading shown excellent pattern and sharpness of techniques executed. The youngest graded on the mat was Hendrix Kha. Hendrix being a very brave boy, graded alongside with his older dojangmates with lots of confidence.
TTM congratulates all who passed their grading and thank all parents, friends and black belts for their support in making this grading session a successful one.
9th Gup TaekwonKids White belt yellow-tip
Ava Tran, Rodin Gurung, Melvin BK, Ian Thapa, Trisha Gurung, Stefan Koulouris and Hendrix Kha
9th Gup White belt yellow-tip
Philip Korotiya and Lucas Sekulski
8th Gup TaekwonKid Yellow belt
Ava Tran, Annabelle Ni, Aiden Xia, Justice Talanoa, Moses Soukie, Harvey Chan, Marnie Chan, Olive Nguyen, Evelyn Ieong, Myf Choi and Kieran Chung. Minji Huang -graded on 13-9-2023
8th Gup Yellow belt
Lucas Sekulski, Scarlet Nguyen, Jayant Ghartimagar(probational-pending step sparring), Loukit Ghale(probational-pending step sparring) and Amberly Gurung(probational-pending step sparring)
7th Gup Yellow belt Green-tip
4th Gup TaekwonKids Blue belt
Elizabeth Le graded on 13-9-2023
3rd Gup TaekwonKids Red-tip
Nicholas Marcos, Tsubasa Uno, Misaki Uno(probational-pending sparring), Rianne Chan(probational-pending sparring) Evelyn Huynh(probational -pending sparring)
3rd Gup Red-tip
Mariam Ibrahim and Duc Vo
2nd Gup Red belt
Chloe Tan and Zaynab Ibrahim
1st Gup TaekwonKids Black-tip
Nathanael Chan and Bianka Lee
1st Gup Black-tip
Ryan Lee, Brandon Kidner and Marcus Tsui
What an achievement! Congratulations to Grace Wee for wining a Tul/Pattern silver medal in the Veteran 2nd Dan. You are the second best in the world in your division. Well done. You have done TTM, Australia and your family proud.
It is not a surprise to achieve great result in such a momentous championships. Grace has worked very hard on her pattern. She is hungry to win and trains in the dojang everytime she returns from working interstate without fail. Grace even trains in the hotel room when she is away for work. Her determinations along with video analysis of her pattern in preparation for the world championships produces excellent result.
Grace is sure to inspire to her dojangmates to follow her tenacity to train up for their goal...perhaps the next world championship.
21 June 2023
Lidcombe Training Session - Grading Philosophy and Approach
On Wednesday 21 June, GM Tam Fook Chee focused this class on kicking techniques followed by free sparring for the Black Belts and pre-arranged sparring for the color belts.
Towards the conclusion of class, GM Tam informed the class that the Blue belt has the highest exit rates, the reason given to the class was that from 10th - 4th Gup students are often eligible to grade in successive gradings a year due to a smaller syllabus and a lower degree of difficulty for lower Gups. However, the higher the grades the longer the minimum times along with the attendance requirements associated to become eligible with grading. GM Tam continued to explain that lessons should not be centered purely as grading rehearsal and preparation, because we are learning new techniques and new concepts daily whilst concurrently developing fitness.
The reasoning behind grading not always being a pre-set date and lessons not oriented towards grading is to distinguish sporting competitions from the notion of self-defense. The key disadvantage about pre-rehearsing and announcing grading is students would train hard towards the end to seek eligibility and to promote to their next grade, as opposed to consistent effort throughout the term. As such, this reflects the notions of self-defense as we are unaware of when dangers can arise at any given moment as opposed to competitions where we prepare for a set event that we elect to participate.
Furthermore, a holistic learning and development is not just oriented towards grading but exposure to all elements of Taekwon-Do.
Paul (2nd Gup)
Most of the grading jejas on 4th June 2023 at Rockdale dojang were TaekwonKids with a few adult amongs the group. Parents were invite to observe how their son and daughters have progress and ready to take on their new belt. It is a milestone for everyone passing the test and ready to learn new techniques for life; as the saying goes "Taekwon-Do for life"
All 1st gup black-tip jejas were required to be assessed in this grading session for their black belt grading. Their eligility to be graded is based on their performance and attendance in their dojang and will be informed in the coming weeks.
Congratulations to all jejanims who passed their grading.
150th TTM grading result:
9th Gup White Belt Yellow-tip
Harvey Chan, Marnie Chan, Evelyn Ieong, Myf Choi, Kieran Chung, Olive Nguyen, Justice Talanoa, Nafisa Sarah and Scarlett Nguyen
8th Gup Yellow Belt
Lester Pan and Xander Camilleri
7th Gup Yellow Belt Green-tip
Shuen Lee, Danny Wang, Hamza Ibrahim, Calysta Vlahos, Zane Cetindermir and Xavier Camilleri
6th Green Belt
Lucas Hua, Reilly Chan and Zackery Sekulceski
5th Gup Green Belt Blue-tip
Max Peng, Benjamin Marcos, Jacky Peng, Joshua Javier, Matias Piedrahita, Mia Cetindermir and Kartikeya Pathak
4th Gup Blue Belt
Tsubasa Uno, Javis Tan, Joshua Mears and Hussain Ibrahim
3rd Gup Blue Belt Red-tip
2nd Gup Red Belt
12 May 2023
On Friday 12 May, Grandmaster Tam Fook Chee dedicated this lesson on self-defense and step sparring in preparation for the upcoming grading.
GM Tam commenced the lesson with one-step sparring (ilbo-matsogi) with a transition from a rear-foot stance block to a walking stance high, middle and low attacks. After explaining the execution of the attacks, he then requested all color belt and black belts to come up with one question about the techniques demonstrated. I feel the reasoning behind this request is to encourage us as students to understand the rationale behind every defensive and attacking technique, as these techniques correlate to both self-defense and sparring respectively. On a personal level, particularly as I gradually transition from a color belt to a black belt, it becomes increasingly crucial as a practitioner to achieve maximum power as well as effective control. GM Tam then discussed key characteristics which differentiate ITF Taekwon-Do from WT Taekwondo by stating the front snap kick (Ap-Chagi) is delivered to the mid-section and not to high section, as seen in WT Taekwondo.
As the lesson proceeded, GM Tam asked the class the reasoning behind tying the belt at once, this served as one of the criteria to be eligible for promotion. This prompted me to read Encyclopedia excerpts online and search for the answer along with additional information. The ITF belt is tied once to signify concentration of one specific objective (ohdoikwan), devotion to one master (ilpyondanshim) and victory with one blow (ilkyokpilsung). Through, my personal research I understand the context behind the context of the belt, this is because Taekwon-Do was developed in the South Korean Army by General Choi Hong Hi and these concepts reflect the objectives of battle in the military.
Furthermore, on a personal level, one of the reasons I am particularly passionate about ITF Taekwon-Do is it fuels my inquisitive nature in an athletic, professional and personal context. Whilst, providing me a sense of identity and discipline in all aspects of my life.
Paul (2nd Kup)
Over the weekend of April 22, 2023, the 3rd Global Open Taekwondo Championships took place in Caroline Springs, Victoria, Australia, featuring a range of ITF and WT/Kukkiwon events. The tournament was organised by Master Michael Muleta and drew almost 300 competitors from 40 schools across the Oceania and Asia regions, including Australia, New Zealand, India, and Nepal. The event included team and individual sparring, patterns/forms, self-defense demos, and a Patterns/Poomsae category for Para/Special Needs competitors.
Five athletes participated in the tournament, with four representing Tam's Taekwondo Mudokwan (TTM) and the fifth a guest from Germany (Emilian Boettger). The athletes gave an impressive display with Elaine Li winning two gold medals in 2nd dan patterns and sparring. Emilian Boettger took home a gold medal in patterns and a silver in sparring, while Grace Wee obtained a silver in 2nd Dan patterns and Paul Zhang, a silver medal in men’s senior sparring. Kevin Quach won two gold medals in 3rd dan patterns and sparring and also received Overall Male Champion. Elaine, Kevin, and Emilian also performed in team patterns and won gold, showcasing Eui-am tul. In the junior division, Mayah Yeung won a silver medal in patterns and a gold medal in sparring.
The 3rd Global Open Taekwondo Championships brought together athletes from different countries, and the effort and dedication put in by each competitor was evident. The Para/Special Needs category was particularly impressive, and the tournament was a successful event that showcased skilled athletes from around the world competing in different categories.
Results summarised below:
• Grace Wee – Silver in 2nd dan patterns
• Elaine Li – Gold in 2nd dan patterns, sparring and team patterns.
• Emilian Boettger – Gold in patterns and team patterns, silver in sparring
• Paul Zhang – Silver in sparring
• Kevin Quach – Gold in 3rd dan patterns, sparring and team patterns. Overall male champion.
• Mayah Yeung – Silver in 1st dan patterns and gold in sparring
In total: 9 gold, 4 silvers
We had a great time at the KTAA (Korea Taekwondo Assoc. of Australia) 18th Tournament in conjunction with the World Composite Martial Arts Federation Cheon Gong Cup on 5-3-2023
Last week, I was given the opportunity to participate at the 18th KTAA Tournament. This was quite a unique experience as this competition was not ITF rules. Nonetheless, Tam’s Taekwon-Do Mudokwan was invited to participate and I thought that this was a brilliant opportunity to spar opponents with very different sparring styles. It was also an opportunity to showcase ITF Tul to an audience that was unfamiliar with ITF Taekwon-Do… Which I believe was very well received.
The preparation for the competition was an interesting experience as I had to make some adjustments to my sparring. The rules were quite different to what I am typically used to. The biggest adjustment was definitely not being able to punch the face; it was almost like fighting an instinct which I’ve been conditioned to naturally do. I was also not allowed to kick to the head… Although that may have been a blessing in disguise.
Another interesting factor which I had to account for was that I was competing in a weight division that was two classes above my own. That was definitely a challenging aspect as my competitors were much bigger than me. That meant I had to focus on footwork - working on angles and distances to avoid being caught by their naturally longer reach, but also being able to score. I also wanted to avoid taking too many hits from my opponents because they were so much heavier than me!
Overall, it was a good experience. I felt that the other students and instructors were welcoming to TTM even though we do not practice WT style. It was also a big learning experience; how scores were taken in this tournament is rather different to what I’m used to in ITF Taekwon-Do tournaments.
In any case, I felt that I was able to achieve my purpose; TTM was able to demonstrate a powerful performance, and I was able to spar and challenge myself with many opponents.
I’m looking forward to participating in more tournaments as I prepare for the World Championships in Kazakhstan this year.
Please show your support to my fellow dojang mates, Grace and Kevin, as are also preparing for this big tournament.
Grandmasters, instructors and members from WT and spectators thoroughly enjoyed our ITF pattern Kwang-Gae performed by Sabum Mayumi Tam, Boosabum Vanessa Ly, Musk Chow, Kevin Quach, Emilian Boettger, Elaine Li and Mayah Yeung.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all jejanims and parents.
Wishing you, your family and your love one a very Happy New Year. May 2023 fill you with success and happiness.
Classes are all closed now for the festive season and school holidays. Please see below respective dojang reopening dates except Bondi Dojang to be confirmed soon as Bsb Mark Balfour is away.
The COVID – 19 pandemic had put a significant hold on local and international competition, but, much to our excitement, Australia had its first nation-wide squad training in Melbourne, hosted by Sasung Danny Kordanovski, on 26th November after three years of lockdowns and restricted travelling.
This day was also an opportunity for students to be selected for the World Championships held in Kazakhstan 2023.
Black belt students Elaine Li, Grace Wee and Kevin Quach represented TTM on this day and gained a fantastic opportunity to train with other black belt students from Australia after three years of physical absence.
It was a long day of training, starting with patterns at 8:30AM, then moving onto sparring, and then finally finishing off at 4:30PM with power breaking and special technique. Competitors and instructors from all over the state who have years of World Championship experience in all areas of competition were also able to share and pass on to up and coming competitors.
The results for the World Championships Selections are expected to be announced in January 2023. Wish us the best and stay tuned for more news.
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