Island Taekwon-Do Centre 26th and Sun Hapkido Academy 11th Anniversary Dinner

After a robust competition at the Singapore University of Technology and Design for the Island Taekwon-Do Centre 26th Anniversary Championship, we joined members and guests at @ 29 on Carpenter Street for a feast – not just for our stomachs but also for our eyes and ears.

Master Daniel Sng opened the dinner with a speech that said “now that the competition is over, it is time to strengthen our bonds by sharing food and enjoying each other’s company.” He also said that “punching, kicking, and throwing each other may seem like a strange way to become better friends to people who have never done martial arts,” but that is indeed what we do, and once we “fight” someone, we just know them better.

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I totally agree with this as my best friends in Singapore are long-standing members of ITC who have trained and graded with me during my “formative years” as a Taekwon-Do student under Master Daniel Sng’s guidance. We have shed much blood, sweat, and tears together and the bond forged through that does not weaken even though I have since moved back to Japan and seldom get to train at ITC now. I can further attest to this as Mr. Kelvin Goh, III Dan, taught me 6 of the 9 colour belt patterns as I was coming through the ranks, and even though, for various reasons, Mr. Goh has not worn a dobok for a while, I still consider him my mentor and the Goh and Takagishi families have a strong bond that seems to get stronger over the years.

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As is the custom at ITC and Sun Hapkido Academy, Master Daniel Sng presented overseas guests with gifts. Supporters were also presented with plaques made of gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Because Sabum Jong Sa Park, VI dan, our Chief Instructor, was not able to make this trip, Mr. Yasuo Tsuda, III dan, received the gift for Sabum Park on his behalf, and I received the plaque and delivered it to him. Master Sng and ITC really make overseas guests feel welcome and give us mementos to tell us how much our friendship and support is valued. Even without such material gifts, we would still remain supporters and friends of ITC, but the gesture is appreciated.

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The entire ITF Hyogo JAPAN delegation was honored to be sitting at the table with Master Daniel Sng, Master Spiridon Cariotis from Australia, Mr. Laurence Wee and his lovely daughter, Miss Nicole Wee, and Mr. Ken-ichi Nonaka of ITF Matsumoto. We also got to see old friends at the other tables, and had time to exchange greetings and gifts of our own.

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The evening’s entertainment kicked off with a dance performance whereby the dancers’ mask kept changing with the flick of the head! That certainly had both the young and young at heart glued to the stage! After the initial performance, a dancer went to various tables and used the table cloth to make his moustache appear and disappear. This was certainly something we had never seen before and we were fascinated!

Madam Karen Yong kicked off the karaoke singing with Master Sng’s favourite song. She was joined on the stage by Master Sng, who was very touched by her performance and as usual, was not shy to show his affection for her. My children were very moved by the affectionate interaction between the Master and his wife. They get to see the strict, confident, and authoritative side of Master Sng in the dojang and the competition. But seeing his softer, more affectionate side made them admire this dedicated martial artist even more. “Mama, Master Sng is so nice! Now I won’t be afraid even when he sounds fierce,” my daughter said.

Mr. Yasuo Tsuda got up in an attempt to find a Japanese song to sing, but was unsuccessful in finding his song among the karaoke catalogue. So, to take his place, I decided to sing the one English song I can sort of pull off at Karaoke – the Beatles’ “Help!” In all my years of training at, and visiting ITC, I had never sung before. So I am sure it came as a surprise to everyone. I had to say to Sir at the end of the song, “Sir, the things your antique furniture does for you!” and he gave me a big smile of approval. Perhaps in the future, singing could be included in the grading process at ITC to dig up more talent.

There was more singing followed by Mr. Stephen Slater’s guitar solo. In fact, no Anniversary Dinner is complete without the treat of hearing Mr. Slater play.

Then, came the lucky draws. And we had a lucky winner of our own, Oozora Teodore Takagishi! He won what he thinks is the best prize of the night – a North Face duffle bag that holds all his training gear, including his head gear! “I am so glad I did not win the fryer or the vacuum cleaner!” he giggled.  

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There was plenty of excitement with other prizes for everyone else, too. So much so that the lucky draw was done in two parts. There was an air freshener, vacuum cleaner, and various vouchers for shopping and hotel stays. The varied and generous prizes are always an obvious sign of the calibre of supporters and contributors ITC and Sun Hapkido Academy have. And I am sure the lucky draw is one of the highlights of the evening for many.

I must also mention that no one is forgotten at the event, either. This year, we all received luggage tags as door gifts. My children and I put them on our bags as soon as we got back to the hotel! The gift instills in us a strong sense of belonging and pride as we show the whole world who we are associated with.

Even the most enjoyable events must come to an end – and so the dinner was over and we all shook hands and said good-bye.

But the overseas guests were treated to an after-party at Clarke Quay! As Mr. Tsuda only got one hour of sleep on the flight to Singapore the previous evening, he was struggling to keep his eyes open after one mug of beer. And with the time difference, so were our young friends from Australia, too. The only thing that kept some of the youngsters awake was Turkish ice cream from a vendor next to our table!

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As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so we got our fun to fuel the hard work we must now resume in our training!

Last but not the least, I would like to congratulate Mr. Stephen Slater, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Anniversary Dinner, and his Committee for putting together an amazing entertainment program and a fabulous event! May Island Taekwon-Do Centre and Sun Hapkido Academy live long and prosper!

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Taekwon,
Jules Takagishi

Written by Mdm. Jules Takagishi, 3rd Degree Black Belt, ITF Hyogo JAPAN
© Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore 2018

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Farewell Dinner for Mr. Detlef

21st of July was a time when we bade farewell to Mr. Detlef as he prepares for his next milestone in life – Retirement. Mr Detlef has been with SHAS for 16 years! His iron forearms and iron legs are testament to his years of training in and out the dojang.

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The farewell party was held at the Jungle Bar in The Swiss Club. It was wonderful to be in the company of members, past and present, come together outside of dojang, and spend a beautiful Saturday evening enjoying the food and conversations.

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As the night came to an end, Master Sng presented Mr. Detlef with a farewell gift prepared by Ms. Angie and members of SHAS.

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As Mr. Detlef prepares for his departure, we wish him all the best in his future endeavours, and look forward to him visit us in the near future!

As a wise senior once said to Mr. Detlef, “You can always train with us via Facetime!”

See you soon!

Written by Mr. Calvin Eng
© Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore 2018

Sun Hapkido Academy 9th Anniversary Dinner

I have been a student at Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore for about 4 years and its safe for me to say that SHAS is an excellent place to learn Hapkido, make great friends and keep fit at the same time.

Every year they have an anniversary dinner to celebrate the club’s birthday. I missed last year’s but I made it a point to attend this year’s, and I definitely did not regret it. The food was great. The company was great. The fun and games were even better!

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The setting was at a traditional Chinese restaurant, Wo Peng Cantonese Cuisine, located in Furama Hotel. I arrived early and saw that the organisers were ever so kind to ensure that everyone had a view of the stage. Master Sng even requested a change of tables to make that happen.

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The dishes were delicious and filling. Everyone at my table agreed the chicken was very tasty! Emcee Carnation was particularly good at rousing the crowd during the lucky draw events.

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Some of the events that wowed the crowd were the trivia quiz session, which saw many people being very sporting and participated well. The kids were shouting for the answers and trying their luck. It is heartening to see them being so involved in the programmes as well.

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I am also amazed by the performances of our ‘local’ ITC members as I didn’t know that they had such hidden talents! Dominic Van Zelm performed the Jurassic Park theme song on the trumpet and Justina Sun sang her version of Coldplay’s The Scientist.

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It was a fun-filled evening and the most exciting part was certainly the lucky draw. Everyone was on the edge of their seat and hoping that they would be taking home the 1st prize – an iPad mini, at the end of the night. Carnation, our lovely emcee, said that as a ‘forfeit’, the winner would have to dance through the crowd to claim their prize. Nonetheless, nobody was deterred by this and when the winning ticket number was called out, I found myself dancing through the crowd to get to the stage to collect my prize.

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Overall, the organising committee put everything together really well, from the games to the lucky draw to the performances. I’m sure everyone had a great time! I especially would like to thank Master Daniel Sng, Chairperson of this year’s anniversary dinner Mr. Joel Mok, Emcee Carnation Chai and the rest of the committee for their hard work.

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Thumbs up and I hope next year’s dinner will be even better!

Written by Mr. Abel Ang
© Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore 2016

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Guest Visit: Master Joe A. Ingrati’s visit to Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore on 13 January 2016

We were once again honoured to have Master Joe Ingrati in our dojang last Wednesday evening, 13 January 2016, to conduct a self-defence workshop. Master Ingrati, who is the Director and School Owner of JAI Martial Arts in Sydney, Australia, came to share some of his experience in over 15 martial arts!

We started off with basic self-defence drills with partners; Master Ingrati demonstrating, explaining and guiding us through each technique carefully. We practiced defence against the four most common attacks: punches, kicks, tackles and grabs, with careful pointers on foot positioning and movement.

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Master Ingrati emphasized on simplicity of technique and realistic situations, yet keeping our training very safe – I found this a hallmark of great instruction. He urged for all martial artists to develop a strong foundation of skills; as we progressed and learnt the more advanced techniques, they should serve to strengthen our core few basics; that we must keep in practice as the most reliable tools in times of real need.

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He also mentioned a piece of research that I found really interesting: when faced with a live situation on the streets, everybody – regardless of experience levels – will suffer a drop of 50% in their ‘usual’ skill levels due to the way the brain and nervous system reacts when under the intense kinds of pressure that life-threatening situations give. In these situations, any sloppy or more complicated techniques will be either more easily forgotten or badly executed, reducing the effectiveness drastically. Thus the most reliable and effective self-defence techniques are still definitely the basic few ones that have become already muscle memory and instinctive reaction.

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We went on to practice several variations of techniques with the basic few situations; Master Ingrati showing that there are more options to take down or incapacitate the opponent depending on how the opponent also reacts. He then guided us through a Kenpo Karate drill to strike different areas of the body in quick succession (8 strikes), with the idea that if one or a few of the attacks were blocked or not effective enough, there would be more than ample to make up for it.

Thereafter, he shared some drills from Wing Chun and Filipino martial arts which taught us to deflect and react against incoming strikes in close range, training our reaction styles and distancing.

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The last portion of Master Ingrati’s workshop was dedicated to knife drills and defence. Similar to what Master Sng has taught us, Master Ingrati mentioned that to learn defence against a knife (or any other weapon), you must first learn how it attacks. We went through the most common 5 knife slashing and stabbing techniques, before learning techniques against a knife threat. Master Ingrati was intuitive to make sure we handled the knives correctly, as well as how to properly transfer them to your partner, citing examples of small mistakes leading to terrible consequences.

Unfortunately, time was too short and Master Ingrati ended off with impressive demonstrations of advanced self-defence techniques as well as sharing about knife fighting martial arts in other cultures.

On hindsight, we learnt so much from Master Ingrati in just the three hours: joint-locking, take-downs, Kenpo Karate, Wing Chun, Filipino martial arts, knife self-defence, and a whole lot of practical advice for real-life threat situations!

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All the Taekwon-Do and Hapkido members who attended Master Ingrati’s class on Wednesday would sincerely like to thank him for his useful and fun workshop! We’d also like to thank our Chief Instructor Master Daniel Sng for inviting him to share his knowledge with us, and definitely look forward to more classes and insights.

Written by Mr. Shaun Chua, Red/Brown Belt
© Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore 2016

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CP Skips For Good Food

CP Skips For Good Food

On the 23rd of May 2015, members of both Island Taekwon-Do Centre and Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore participated in the 2015 edition of “CP Skips For Good Food”, held at OneKM Shopping Mall Atrium, from 9:30am to 9:30pm.  The event is a community campaign organised by South East Community Development Council (CDC) and sponsored by CP Foods to raise and provide food assistance for the needy living in the South East District. CP Foods has pledged to donate $90,000 worth of food hampers to this campaign collaboration that aims to garner five million skips. The event consists of two different categories, one being where a large group of people skipping together to contribute to a combined number of skips, whereas the other group will be attempting to break the ‘most number of skips by an individual in a continuous 12 hours relay’ which formerly stood at 35,000 skips according to the Singapore Book Of Records.

Although the event started at 9.30am, several members of ITC and SHAS were at OneKM mall by 9.00am so as not to miss out on the opening ceremony, where the Guest Of Honour, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman, Mayor of South East District, made a short speech. As the buzzer to start the event sounded, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman and his entourage were already busy skipping away. Away from where most of us were skipping, there was another group skipping furiously away as they were the ones trying to break the Singapore record for most number of skips by an individual in a continuous 12 hours relay. Mr. Jeremy Tan, member of ITC and SHAS was part of the latter group.

The group skipping was done in different rows of five which would continuously rotate every 5 minutes, while those trying to break the individual record would continuously skip for an hour before allowing themselves a few moments of rest. Towards the later half of the skipping event, fatigue started to set in, but instead of giving up, Jeremy Sir persevered on in the name of charity and did not even think about trying to break the record anymore. He thought about trying to get more skips so as to be able to help those people in need more. Towards the end, the Guest Of Honour, Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman gave a short speech and awarded medals to the participants who had tirelessly skipped for 12 continuous hours.

Overall, it is certainly heart-warming to see that many people are willing to sacrifice their time and effort to help those in need, and I am glad that ITC & SHAS had given me a chance to participate in this event.

Written by Mr. Jervis Chong, Red Brown Belt
© Sun Hapkido Academy Singapore 2015