Establishment of a new committee

Dear all,

Some weeks ago we informed you on the willingness to establish a new commitee, the Coach Committee under guidance of Nicholas Taylor, as Coach Developer.

The deadline for the application of candidates is over, and we are proud to inform you that with Nicholas two members are joining the committee and it’s due to be established, both of them VI° degree, both of them with a lot of experience as coach, as instructor and as competitor: Patrick Crevecoeur and Hans Rombaut.

We wish all three of them a lot of success and are looking forward to their input.

We will hear about their plans at the General Assembly of January 21st 2024.

With kind regards,

For the board,

Master Annick

Initiation lessons Taekwon-Do for people with psychological vulnerabilities

Report by Master Eddy Van Damme:

On Saturday 09/09/2023, I gave an initiation lesson Taekwon-Do in Sportshall Driebeek in Gentbrugge. It was for about 15 people with Autism during 1,5h. The question came from the Flemish Organization ‘Sterkmakers in Autisme’, who regularly organize sport activities for people with Autism. Because I already did some volunteering work for the ‘Flemish Autism Association’, and they knew about my thesis “Opportunities in Taekwon-Do for people with Autism”, they asked me to give this course.

I explained some history, the oath and the greeting, then we did some warming-up exercises, individual basic movements and pre-pattern-movement exercises. Some easy punches and kicks for a start, and to give them an idea about the movements. Then I performed Yon-Gae tul in a demonstrative way, in order to give them an impression about what a pattern looks like. Then we did some basic sparring exercises on pads, a few easy breaking moves, ending with a cooling down and a small meditation.

I explained them that I am also on the Autism Spectrum, and that I was as nervous as they were, and that was a catalysator to make things easier and to make a better connection. On the other hand, my 33 years of experience in Taekwon-Do reassured them that they were in safe hands. I illustrated the opportunities for balance, proprioception and body awareness with some simple exercises, then I explained the psychological, mental and social chances of this Martial Art with my own perseverance throughout the years. In that way, I could pass through a few of my own life experiences to them by example. Despite the level of performance, these beginners were very enthusiastic and interested by asking many questions afterwards. They quickly felt safe to do that. It was a positive exchange for everybody.

On Thursday 28/09/2023 in the afternoon, I gave more or less the same introduction lesson for a group of 12 internees in a forensic-psychiatric hospital in Zelzate.

There I started to explain that we were not going to fight today, because I wanted to show them the strength of Taekwon-Do on moral level (to win over oneself), instead of the physical level (a lot of people struggle with an aggression problem). So the meaning of self-control in daily life as a central part of their problems, was an issue that was very important to talk about, before we started with about the same initiation program.

The emphasis was put on pleasure in movement, without any physical contact because of safety reasons. Afterwards, everybody seemed to be happy and relaxed, and they came to me to ask some more questions about Martial Arts.

ITF-Belgium Inclusion Committee

Report by Benito Martinez

The ITF-Belgium Inclusion Committee was created in March 2022. It is made up of Sabum Benito Martinez as chairman, Boosabum Alice Vrinat and Melanie Mahy as members, and Master Eddy Van Damme and Boosabum Sophie Ardenoy as external consultants. The committee had the approval of the federation board. The people involved in this project have, in one way or another, professional or personal experiences of contact or work with people with special needs and expressed enthusiasm and interest in the inclusion program and adapted Taekwon-Do.

The tasks of the Inclusion Committee are: 1)To create possibilities for athletes with physical or intellectual special needs to fully take part in trainings, seminars, competitions and all other activities of our federation as a tool of personal and social development together with all other participants; 2) Be updated with all scientific information and studies relative to the different issues and have regular education by participating specialized seminars and courses organized by ITF and AETF; 3)Follow very closely all the politics, methods and programs issued by the ITF and AETF Inclusion Committees, and do the best to develop them at the national level.

On June 19, Sabum Benito Martinez, who is also member of the European Inclusion Committee, introduced the Taekwon-Do adapted program to the participants of the National Instructors Course, celebrated in Lokeren, headed by Grand Master Frank Vanbergen, and Master Annick Van Driessche. At the course, the participants were informed of the steps given by the committee and the future projects; questions and comments followed.

Three members of ITF-Belgium, Master Virginia Dionisi, Sabum Andreea Musca and Sabum Esther Meulemeester participated in the recent course on Adapted Taekwon-Do in the context of the IIC in Cluj Napoca, Romania, presented by Master Leo Oros Duek. Master Annick Van Driessche and Master Eddy Van Damme participated during the IIC in Ireland earlier this year, while some members followed the online courses in 2021. For the return to activities after the summer, the committee will prepare an internal plan to identify the characteristics and needs of our athletes likely to be included in the program and we must work on the development of the first concrete actions to carry out our objectives.

Master Virginia Dionisi invited in Argentina

Report by Agustina Correa, VI°degree, Federacion Misionera de Taekwon-Do

Master Virginia Dionisi, AETF Vice-President, was invited by the AIT (Academia Internacional de Taekwon-Do) of Misiones, led by Senior Master Carlos Méndez VIII Degree, to conduct a Master Class and participate in different activities.

On Saturday 5th March, the annual instructors meeting took place in Posadas, where more than 90 black belts from all over the province participated. Master Virginia shared her work experience on the development of Taekwon-Do in Europe, highlighting in this event the large number of women instructors present.

On Sunday 6th March Master Dionisi conducted a Class in support of two local institutions (the children’s home Sagrado Corazón, and the Fatima parish which carries out community work ). The Class was a celebration of Taekwon-Do, with a focus on the inclusion of practitioners in the broad sense of the concept. Children, juniors, adults, seniors, and practitioners with special capabilities from all grades were present. More than 80 participants from all over the province of different ages and categories enjoyed this special day. It was a success, despite the weather conditions that forced the organisers to change the venue at the last minute.

On Thursday 10thMarch the Honourable City Council of Posadas, through its representative Facundo López Sartori, declared of municipal interest the Class and the visit of Master Dionisi, who was honoured and received an award at the end of the institution’s session.