AMSTERDAM, 26.01.2019 – Sometimes you go to a seminar and pick up one or two nice ideas. When Master Thierry Meyour came to town with his protégé Mira Sjövall, our heads exploded with insights every minute. If anything, the seminar was a love poem to the joy of movement. A report on the Amsterdam edition of the “Finnish Magic Tour: Power in Patterns”.
A little background story first. I’ve come to know Master Thierry and Mira from the annual get together at the Ukrainian Fight Evolution Sparring Summer Camp, organized by the wonderful Oleg & Katya Solovey. And of course, as it goes in the ITF family, you see each other at numerous international competitions and other events. A friendship started to grow and one of the cool ideas we had, was a seminar. A seminar on Power in Patterns.
At last year’s incredible Coaches’ Conference in Ireland – one of the best ITF events I’ve ever attended, hopefully, it will return! – Master Thierry showed me some amazing stuff he picked up from a dance master. It had to do with manipulating the center of gravity and activating more muscles in order to generate more power with less effort. Almost like magic… Finnish magic!
Master Thierry (7th degree black belt) is the kind of instructor that looks inside and outside the realms of ITF Taekwon-Do – or even martial arts – for inspiration. He is a professional Physical Education teacher and holds the highest level of coaching according to the European Qualification Structure. His approach is progressive and innovative. Piecing together the puzzle over his years of experience, he’s been retraining his students with the latest of the greatest.
During the warm-up, given by multiple European and World title holder Mira (Tampere Sports Academy), we immediately got a taste of what that looks like. Deceitfully simple exercises that engaged your complete body and mind. It felt like we had been using only 50% of our body up to now.
And what a difference that makes. By activating the posterior chain (muscles on the back of the body) you could instantly feel and see the effect: super stable stances, bodyweight coming in like a train, striking like a canon. Even basic sparring movement changed dramatically from “ok” to “intimidating” after a 30-second routine to manipulate the center of gravity.
Three hours went by like an hour. Every new layer of information and instruction was greedily guzzled up by all attendants.
Not just because it was extremely interesting, but also because of Master Thierry’s teaching style. He can bring down complex issues to comprehensible steps and leads you through the story in a fun and exciting way.
This was the first time Master Thierry had put together all the pieces of his new puzzle outside of Finland. So this was a nice primer for Amsterdam! The feedback we got was one hundred percent positive. We will definitely have some more Finnish Magic before the summer…
After the seminar there was some time to explore the city and reflect on the experience over some good Chinese food – we ate Peking Duck, and bought a squishy toy duck with a black belt to compensate.
We, as a club, are proud to have had some of the greats of ITF in our dojang: GM Bos was here and took over the class once, we had multiple incredible ITF Radix seminars with Master Robert Boer and Roy Rolstad, Master Jedut was here for an inspiring sparring seminar – and now a good dose of Finnish Magic with Master Thierry Meyour and Mira Sjövall.
Next up: Kalah Seminar with Idan Abolnik (which is a completely different kind of cookie than ITF Taekwon-Do, but not to be missed if you want to learn what self-defense training should be like!).