A Quick look at Patterns

In these shorter videos, Grand Master McPhail steps through the ITF Patterns movement by movement. They are a supplement to the longer coaching videos in our patterns section.

So if you haven’t learnt your new pattern yet, or you would like to be reminded of the key points, these videos will be of benefit to you in a quick and easy way.

Related Articles

Do we need core stability training in Taekwon-Do?

Course stability training has been a trend in the exercise world for a decade or more. But what is the core, does it need strengthening and what is core stability training? And more importantly, do we need to do it in ITF Taekwon-Do?

These are the questions Sanna Rantasaari answers in this video, giving you a thorough understanding of the anatomy and function of the core, as well as providing you with some great core stability exercises.

The video is very entertaining as Sanna presents the topic in a fun way.

Snippets of amazing old footage

DON’T FORGET TO WATCH No. 10 – Paul McPhail performs Juche forwards and backwards

For my 5th degree black belt grading in 1993 I thought it would be a cool idea to perform Juche Tul forwards then backwards for General Choi.

The plan failed miserably as I started the backwards part… I hadn’t even considered the possibility that General Choi would take offence to it. He turned his head and refused to watch. I figured… well… I may as well carry on now and struggled through to the end.

I passed the grading so I guess the General had forgiven me by the day the results were announced.

Here is the footage of the pattern at the grading.

Relaxation : the key to power and performance

Spend any amount of time in a dojang  and you will see some guy (and it is more often than not a guy) whose moves look, well, clunky. They have a tense stiffness about them, a forced attempt to generate power. Trust me I know I was that guy (and still am on occasions).

Instructors faced with the clunky guy almost invariably say “try to relax”. Of course as soon as anyone tells you to relax you are likely to find yourself completely unable to do so, in fact, you are likely to actually stiffen up more. Akin to the experience of being told not to think of a pink elephant, the first thing that pops into your mind is a pink elephant.

ITF Technical Seminar On-line

In December 2020 the ITF Hosted an On-line Technical Seminar. We had well over 1000 participants from 60 countries take part.

Here is a bit of behind the scenes background… and some new videos to come out of it.

This course came about due to Covid19. Around the world we were starting to get a backlog of people who wanted to grade for higher degrees but couldn’t, due to the requirement to do an IIC. So originally the idea was to do an on-line IIC.

After some discussion it was decided by the Technical Committee and the ITF Board to do a qualifying course for gradings… but it would be different from an IIC (obviously), so wouldn’t be called one.

The plan was for each of the technical committee members to create videos of our subject matter, and use those videos in conjunction with live Q&As. So we all set about doing that – only to find on our first practice that the videos would be too unreliable to use. Depending on the connection, they could be shaky and with bad audio.

So two weeks out, and already 800 registrations, we had to change our plan.

So we each then had to find people to work with, either in person or remotely, to demonstrate the patterns and do corrections with them. Master Judet and GM Lan were able to do that in person, but the rest of us had to work with people in remote locations.

In a way it worked out well as our sessions took on a different feel as we brought in some of the best pattern performers from around the world. I got to work with some world champions from Argentina and it was nice to meet and practice with them on-line.

Leading up to the seminar I have to tell you we were nervous. How would Zoom cope with 1000 participants… and how would we? With the help of the chairman of the Communications Committee we practiced being able to find the people in Zoom, Spotlighting them to full screen and so on. I also used some slides to try and make the most of what Zoom can do.

In the end we were happy with the way it all went. Everyone was so positive and we hardly had anyone drop off over the four hour sessions each day.

So some of the videos I prepared that didn’t end up being used, so I have uploading those for Members to watch.

This videos ended up being quite different from the Live version so should be of value even if you were at the seminar.

Classic IIC : Gen Choi in Jamaica 2001

Over a decade has now passed since the Founder of Taekwon-Do passed away. Every now and then I reflect that most of the people in my classes, even senior black belts, never got to meet and train with General Choi. That is a great pity as he was certainly a legend – an amazing figure and source of incredible knowledge.

In April 2002, practically on his death-bed, Gen Choi travelled to the United States to fulfil his promise to Grand Master CE Sereff to teach a course for his students. That was considered his last IIC. The previous September was the last full course, held in Jamaica shortly after the devastation of 9/11. As you will hear him say at the end of the video, the world was chaotic and people were afraid to travel. But 30 fanatical Taekwon-Do students gathered in Jamaica regardless to learn from the man himself.