4th September 2022, Kuala Terengganu – The 159th International Instructor Course (IIC), organised by the Malaysian Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), is the first in the South East Asian region since it was last held in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur and was attended by 178 participants from 11 countries around the globe. The course participants were greeted with a welcoming dinner and speech by the Organising Chairman & President, Master Najmi Abdullah, on 1st September.
|1st Gup – 3rd Dan||4th Dan – 6th Dan||7th Dan – 8th Dan|
The 159th IIC was officiated by the ITF President, Grand Master Paul Weiler (Germany) along with the ITF Vice President, Grand Master Michael Daher (Australia) on 2nd September 2022. The course was conducted by the representatives of the ITF Technical Committee – Grand Master Ung Kim Lan (Germany) & Grand Master Paul McPhail (New Zealand).
Before the course commenced, there were a series of interesting events that occurred and will forever be remembered by the delegates from the ITF. It started with delayed flights boarded by GM Daher & GM McPhail. Due to the flight delays, their luggage arrived only on 2nd September and was delivered after braving a 5-hour drive & thunderstorms. Similarly, the flight boarded by GM Weiler & GM Kim Lan was also delayed and they missed the connecting flight to Kuala Terengganu. Eventually, both had to put up a night in Kuala Lumpur before taking an early morning flight on 2nd September and made it just in time for the opening ceremony.
Despite the unexpected challenges, the Grand Masters graced the course professionally and imparted their valuable knowledge & wisdom with full dedication. Besides that, the participants were also understanding and cooperative throughout the course although there were space constraints as a lot more members had to be accommodated than the initially estimated 150 participants. The ITF Technical Committee also conducted the Master’s grading on the second day of the IIC whereby 4 candidates were promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt.
- Master Nandakumar P. N. Nambiar (Malaysia) – 8th Dan
- Master Balachandran Sangkaranayar (Malaysia) – 8th Dan
- Master Jayaselan V. Shanmugam (Malaysia) – 8th Dan
- Master Mariusz Steckiewicz (Vietnam) – 8th Dan
Later that evening, during the banquet dinner, the organizing committee presented each contingent from different countries with an appreciation plaque for their support & participation in the 159th IIC 2022. The attendees had the opportunity to socialise & interact with members from diverse backgrounds and exchange views. During the dinner, GM Weiler took the opportunity to convey his satisfaction with how MTF has progressed over the years and that it is very much aligned with his “Back to The Roots” initiatives. GM Daher also shared his plans to strengthen ITF in Asia again and how Malaysia could be an integral part of it. Throughout the dinner, the participants expressed their joy in attending IIC after many years and appreciated MTF for their hospitality, professionalism and well-organised event.
On the third and final day, the Course Instructors delivered the remaining modules in different groups before handing over the IIC certificates. The 159th IIC was then concluded by the ITF President, ITF Technical Committees and MTF President with congratulatory notes & a few words of appreciation.
As part of the final agenda after the closing ceremony of the 159th IIC, the ITF delegates and MTF committees headed to Istana Syarqiyyah, the official royal palace for the Sultan of Terengganu – H.R.H. Al-Wathiqu Billah Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah, who was a former student of Master Najmi Abdullah and also holds 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-Do.
During the visit, Grand Master Paul Weiler presented a plaque as a symbol of appreciation of the Royal Highness’s commitment to the development of Taekwon-Do ITF in Malaysia. The dignitaries had a wonderful time discussing Taekwon-Do and reminiscing their fond memories of the last time they were in Kuala Terengganu for the 1994 ITF World Championship. The officers in the palace were also very kind to share a very rare picture of the Royal Highness (who was the Prince back then) in 1992 with Gen. Choi, taken during the world championship flag handover ceremony in Pyongyang.
Following the success of the 159th IIC, ITF Taekwon-Do garnered national media coverage throughout Malaysia which highlighted the progress of the sports in Malaysia and the possibility of an Asian Championship in 2024.