Submitted by: Ms Mandy Tee Mieng, a participant
In 2010, when Master Leong first organized the Instructor’s Course, I was devastated when I found out I wasn’t able to attend because I had to sit for a St John’s exam. This year, I was more than ecstatic to find out that he had organized another one and I somehow managed to squeeze my way in without getting rejected albeit I heard that he had to reject quite a number of other students because there were just too many of them who applied for the course.
This year’s 2nd Instructor’s Course started at 9.00am and ended at 6.00pm. The venue (Taman Chi Liung Public Center) was less than desirable because although it could fit the 45 students who attended and also the instructors, which were Mr. & Mrs. Leong, Mr Tan Kien Tat, Mr. Yap Ping Soon and Mr. Yap Ping Hong, it was also quite crammed. If Master Leong were to take every student who applied, we would all probably be like sardines in a can.
The events however, were well planned out and the course started with a short speech by 2 guests, Master Lim and Mr. Eric Chong. Master Lim talked about his success story about how Taekwondo has helped build his discipline which helped him become who he is now- a successful businessman/multi-millionaire. He also taught us that our fighting spirit derived from Taekwondo would contribute greatly to our lives because with this spirit, we would never back down from any obstacles that we might face. Mr. Eric Chong, on the other hand, taught us about the roles and responsibilities of an instructor and what to do and what not to do as an instructor.
Unfortunately, both the guests had to leave early and were not able to join us throughout the whole course. After their small speech, Mr. Yap Ping Soon took over and taught us about the importance of limbering and warm-ups. He taught us many types of stretching exercises which could not only reduce any potential injury but could also improve our flexibility. I’m sure I’ll be achieving a full split soon enough with these stretching! 😀
After stretching for a full 30 minutes, we moved on to doing basic stances and hand executions led by Mr. Yap Ping Hong. This is because to be instructors, we would first have to perfect our basic stances and movements. It would be very troublesome if we were to teach kids the wrong basics when we become instructors because as Mr. Leong said, “It is easy to plant a habit but extremely difficult to change it”.
By 1pm, my stomach was growling and begging for food. That was when Mr. Leong said, “You know what? Let’s put lunch at 3.15pm instead of 1.15pm”. Seeing our horrified expressions, Mrs. Leong then quickly said that he was only joking and so, we had my favourite chicken rice for lunch at 1.15pm! Who doesn’t love chicken rice, right?
After lunch, we watched a video of stances used in Taegueks and learnt how to express stances in Korean words, like Ap Seogi (walking stance) and etc. Oh, we also learnt how to say “thank you”(Kamsahamnida) and “I love you”(Saranghaeyo) in Korean too! Anyway, after the video session, we did Taegueks, which was led by Mr. Tan Kien Tat. It was very tiring as it takes a lot of patience but I believe it is very important for us to master Taegueks. If we don’t, imagine how embarrassing it would be if our juniors or students ask for help in their Taegueks and we’d have to look at them sheepishly and say those dreaded words, “I don’t know..”
At about 3.00pm it was time for us to rest and have teatime! Mrs Leong had been very scrupulous in making sure that everyone had enough snacks to eat. She brought coffee as well but later found out that some students didn’t like coffee and preferred Milo so she had to buy Milo from a convenience store nearby. However, the coffee proved to be more popular, probably because it was brewed with love and care by Miss Mandy (that’s me, haha), Mr. Yap Ping Soon and Mr. Tan Kien Tat.
After tea, we practised our Taegueks for another 1 hour before we moved on to class simulation. We were all divided into groups of 9 people and in each group, one person had to act like an instructor while the rest of the group would pretend to be clueless little white belts. While the “instructor” teaches how to do punches or blocks, the “white belts” would make silly mistakes to see if the “instructor” would be able to spot and correct their mistakes. I think that was the best part of the whole course because we got to play around and learn at the same time.
I felt a bit heavy-hearted when the Instructor’s Course came to an end after taking some group photos. I had a really great time learning and laughing, meeting friends from other schools and drinking Mrs Leong’s Hazelnut White Coffee during teatime. I would definitely attend again if Master Leong plans to organize another one next year, and hopefully self-defence techniques would be included as well. 🙂
Ms. Mandy Tee Mieng, one of the participants
To view more pics, CLICK HERE.