IIC 94 – Report from Newfoundland

94th International instructors course (IIC), St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, CANADA June 27-29 2014.

The 94th International Instructors Course (IIC) was successfully held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, CANADA on June 27-29 2014. There were a total of 115 participants from three countries (Canada, USA and Jamaica). Newfoundland is an island off the east coast of Canada and St. John’s is the oldest city in North America.

The three Grandmasters (Marano, Bos and Lan) of the ITF Technical Committee were greeted with loud applause and the participants were hungry and eager to learn from the Grandmasters. Participants received instruction in all 24 patterns (with 4th Dans and up separated from the rest of the group at different times during the seminar) and given the opportunity to perform and then ask questions regarding the technical aspects and practical applications of the fundamental movements. It was amazing and awe-inspiring to watch the grandmasters perform and share their knowledge and technical skill in patterns, step-sparring, free sparring and self-defence. In addition, the Saturday afternoon session was conducted by Master Nardizzi from England. His 3 hour session focused on the ITF Kids program with strategies and information on teaching young children age 4-7. Master Scott Downey, organizer of the event, received many positive comments regarding the IIC from the participants including the many positive interactions among participants, the friendships that were forged, and the knowledge gained from the Grandmasters.

The Grandmasters and Masters (Norman, Laquerre, and Nardizzi) were also treated to the well known Newfoundland hospitality and  traditions, including the customary “Screech In” for “come from aways” (people who are not from Newfoundland). The official ceremony for the Grandmasters, Grandmaster Marano’s wife (Maria), Master Norman and Master Laquerre was held at Master Downey’s house. The ceremony involves (1)  re-stating some Newfoundland phrases such as “Long may your big jib draw”, which means “May there always be wind in your sails”, (2) Eating traditional Newfoundland food such as bologna, dried caplin (fish), drinking some Newfoundland Screech (Rum), and kissing a raw codfish. At the end of the ceremony the participants are officially declared “Honorary  Newfoundlanders” and presented with a small bottle of Newfoundland Screech and an official certificate.

The Grandmasters were also treated to ice-berg and whale watching and visits to historic Newfoundland sites such as Cabot tower located on historic Signal Hill, where the first transatlantic communication took place. The Grandmasters were also amazed with the landscape (rugged mountains and ocean), where the “Mountains meet the Sea”.

During the event there was also an examination conducted by the IIC technical committee with Kenneth Rattet from the USA promoted to 7th Dan (Master), Peter Clair from Canada promoted to 7th Dan (Master), and Master Scott Downey promoted to 8th Dan (Senior Master).

A sincere thank you to Grandmaster Marano, Grandmaster Bos, and Grandmaster Lan for an informative and inspirational IIC. Many positive memories that will never be forgotten.