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Mr Carr and Mr James Kinnear of BDTKD both travelled to the ITF TaeKwon-Do camp held in Ireland by Master Paul Cutler VIII - Here is our diary of a brilliant weekend.
Mr Carr with Master Cutler picture taken by Liz Dobson:
"This image captures a lot of things that are symbolic in TaeKwon-Do. What is not obvious however is that practitioners of the art view themselves to be part of a large family. Here we see someone from Nepal (with his back to the camera) with Mike Carr (III degree) and Master Culter."
5am seemed like a good time to get up and head towards the airport for our 7am flight, but low and behold thanks to the closure of the Birkenhead Tunnel we missed our flight and had to go on a later flight, nevertheless we arrived at Belfast Intl airport at approximately 10am - leaving us plenty of time for a full English Breakfast before finishing our journey to Crawfordsburn Forest park, where the camp would be held.
We got aquainted with our rooms and got a good bit of socialising done, then it was straight into TKD training - Master Cutler welcomed the 35+ attendees, including 3 guys all the way from Nepal! The training session covered the movements of the legs in stances, the importance of core strength and how to develop it, and really REALLY testing if you know your pattern by performing it backwards. At 8 oclock the session ended and we all enjoyed a chippy tea after a toast to General Choi - this was followed by an evening of breaking which went on until midnight.
Mr Kinnear being corrected by Master Cutler on the beach
The following day we were up at 6am for a 1.5 hour stretching session - Master Cutler described how relaxing these stretching sessions can be, and how important regular stretching can be. The morning routine was followed by a 3rd and 4th Dan patterns seminar, the practicality of the movements was discussed in depth and the difference between a choreographed set of movements and an ITF pattern became clear. We were then split into 3 different groups for some abseiling in the rain - great fun! At 4pm we became one group again to discuss the pressure points and vital spots, more importantly how to use them to disarm an attacker peacefully. That evening we enjoyed a BBQ and got our finest grass skirts on for a Hawaiian themed evening! Everybody was dressed to impress, but the board holder was once again too tempting and breaking continued way into the early hours.
MC and laura - "Friends that kick together, stick together" - Master Cutler
Another day, another 1.5 hour stretching session at 6:30am. We were put through our paces on the assault course, complete with rope swing over pond and monkey bars. Leg conditioning was the order of the day as Master Cutler worked through various kicking excersizes to improve strength, focus and balance - the next session was purely question and answer time, we discussed the important ettiquette and protocol we should follow in TaeKwon-Do. After another BBQ dinner it was time for our "TaeKwon-Do got talent" where each of the 3 teams put on a rendition of their favourite film with a TKD twist - we watched the Silla, Koguryo and Baekje teams show off their moves as they went over 'The Tuxedo' 'Topgun' and 'Blues Brothers'.
After our morning stretch we headed down to the sandy beach to practise patterns and step sparring, it was fantastic practising in the natural environment performing patterns in unison. After a quick photo shoot it was time to go home - back to Belfast Intl airport.
Mr Carr and Mr Kinnear would like to extend their thanks to everybody who made our time at the camp so memorable, particularly Master Cutler - whose modesty, humility and awesome knowledge made a weekend in Ireland unforgettable.  

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