5 - 6 May 2012 - ITFM organized the 2012 National Umpire Course in Hillcity Hotel, Ipoh. It was attended by Black Belt members from Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor, Melaka, Penang and Perak, of course. Turnout was less than 50, but it was actually a blessing in disguise as any more participants would mean less space to move in the hall and less attention from the facilitators.
The 2-day course began with a Welcoming Speech by SM Azwan Khoo as the organizer. Without wasting time, the course then continued with Individual Patterns and Sparring judging....with proper Protocol emphasized. Facilitators of the course were known other than the familiar faces at various World Championships....namely SM Tan Chek Si VIII, SM Azwan Khoo VIII, Master Ong Siong Wee VII, Ms Lee Sock Cheng VI & Mr Lee Yu Jin VI.
Then came judging for Power and Special Breaking, Team Patterns & Sparring and last but not least, Self-Defence Routine.
Previous experiences of ITFM Umpire Courses were dry and boring, but not this one. Facilitators did their best to increase the participation of the participants. Participants not only listened, but also got to experience first hand on the judging. And not only that. The facilitators realized that the participants would be returning to their home states to teach their students/juniors what they have learned, so they were given a lot of time practising the techniques. SM Azwan Khoo led the participants in practising basic techniques and patterns.
After the Course, participants were given feedback sheets. I myself wrote 2 pages of feedback. I definitely see improvement in this Course compared to previous ITFM events. Kudos to ITFM! It is hoped that in the future, ITFM will take more aggressive steps in improving the events and the association even further.