Update on restrictions Covid-19

As from June 8th on, gyms can reopen the doors for indoor training sessions, however with the same restrictions as before: e.g. without contact, without the use of dressing rooms, toilets, showers, in groups of maximum 20 persons (instructor included), without the use of general used material, with respect to social distancing (except for children up to 12) etc.

July 1st more will be possible again: contact will be allowed again, groups can extend to up to 50 persons, changing rooms will reopen etc. Of course it’s still necessary to wash the hands, use desinfectant materials and so on.

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National Instructos Course via Zoom

The yearly NIC for instructors and assistant-instructors had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, but as alternative on May 21st ITF-Belgium hosted a Zoom version of the seminar. The concept was a little different: the seminar was a bit shorter (2 hours instead of 3), and zoomed in on details. In the first part the topic was Hwarang tul, with some of the techniques explained and practised into detail before practising the tul in general and handling questions concerning the pattern. In the second part there was time for other questions concerning technical Taekwon-Do issues.

As the NIC is always a moment to be together amongst instructors, the group also took some time to listen to the concerns and the general feeling during these strange times.

The feedback was very positive, and the suggestion was done to hold more of these Zoom sessions for instructors, and to get into detail of only one or two patterns, even when the virus has left. So for sure we’ll take a look at this possibility.

It was absolutely nice to see the motivation and enthusiasm of the participating instructors, training hard in their garden, garage, living room or kitchen!

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Zoom sessions Kids Day & Day of Taekwon-Do

In December 2019 the date for the 2020 Kids Day and Day of Taekwon-Do was set, in February the program was agreed on. And then corona came and all events had to be cancelled…..

One evening Master Virginia Dionisi called me with the proposal to have an alternative for the seminar, and so the idea of having Zoom sessions was born, with some adaptations to the regular classes: the seminar would be shorter (45 minutes for the Kids Day, 2h for the Day of Taekwon-Do), the Day of Taekwon-Do would be split up in a session for the Dutch speaking part and one for the French speaking part of the country, as otherwise we would loose time in translating, and to be able to have more connections and of course the program would be adapted to smaller environments. The program consisted of warming-up, fundamental movements with the focus on kicks, sparring drills, theory: the secret training of Taekwon-Do and stretching.

It was a succes: 139 persons were subscribed, members ITF-Belgium (with even one member, Tomaz, logging in from France where he’s living for the time of the quarantine), members ITF Luxembourg and a special guest from Argentina, Agustina Correa, V° degree.

It was great to notice your motivation, and the sweaty faces.

Many thanks to the instructors: GrandMaster Frank Vanberghen, Master Virginia Dionisi, Master Annick Van Driessche, Patrick Crevecoeur, Benito Martinez, Erik Van Hoeck, Esther Meulemeester, Nico Tunyck and Omar El Ferkhani.

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E-ToUrnament

May 7th-14th 2020 an online championship in tul was organised by ITF Germany, with the participation of 248 competitors, 41 clubs from 10 countries (with even Malaysia). Amongst them 9 members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent and the instructor, Koen Hoerée.

Koen made a report: once the tournament started, each competitor had 24 hours to send in a video with their performance, the next 24 hours the referees had the time to give their decision. To be sure the competitors only took those 24 hours, a new code was send to them each day. A link to the video had to get the stamp ‘approved’ to be sure it fulfilled all restrictions. I was both competitor and referee, judging was not so different as in ‘real’ competitions: scores were implemented in Sportsdata after watching the video once, scores appeared after all of the referees had scored.

The level of the competitors was high, some even had the chance to performe their tul in the dojang. This was not the case for the belgian competitors, as the restrictions are still severe.

Two members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent made it to the final, Sakina Khajou and Imane Mouselli. Sakina won the category. Her impression: “having an online competition is a very good idea, at least we’re still doing Taekwon-Do this way. There’s no stress, not like in real competitions, and you’re not aware of the level of your adversaire when performing. Really nice to be able to compete against persons from all different countries”.

Imane: “After 2 months of quarantine it’s nice to be able to perform Taekwon-Do, even if it’s in a virtual competition. Normally I have a lot of stress, so I make mistakes or performing to fast, but now the focus was there. I would do it again”. Angeliki Kourtesi: “I would definitely do it again, with less stress and being able to perform several times until you have the best possible video”.

I would really recommend other members to participate if more of these events would be organized. Staying busy with Taekwon-Do in a different way, feeling connected (online) with others worldwide for a week, a sense of competition and striving for perfection.

Stay strong!

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