School News

Grading for Tigers and Dragons

Sunday 12th June 2016

The final event in the Tigers and Dragons Taekwon-Do development programme for the year is their grading for their stripe or new belt. The grading will be held on Sunday the 12th of June in St Joseph’s School for the Deaf, Navan Road, Dublin 7. The grading times are arranged according to the class group and are shown below.

Please give Master Howard photograph, licence etc by Saturday the 28th of May?

All Tigers and Dragons should have received a sheet with everything they need to know for the exam. They will need to be able to perform the physical aspects of the test and know all their Korean words, goals and the code. Parents please help them to do a little bit of practice every evening.  These sheet are also available in the members area of this site.


Grading times

10-11-30am - Saturday morning Tigers class

11.45 am – 1.15pm - Tuesday evening Tigers class

2.00 pm – 3.30pm - Friday afternoon Tigers class

3.30 – 5.00 pm - All Dragons


Please note the following

Wear a clean ironed dobok for your test. Only wear a white t-shirt or vest underneath (no colours).

Arrive 10 minutes early.

As this is an exam you will need to be quiet while the other children are being examined. It may not be suitable to bring younger siblings to the exam as they will be expected to sit still and be quiet for a long time.

Finally, classes will continue until Friday 24th June.

Please contact Master Howard if you have any questions

Congratulation to all the students who travelled to Waterford to compete on Sunday 8th May. It was a very successful visit with our competitors being successful in both patterns and sparring. The results are below:
Senior Master Howard
Pattern Results
Mr McSherry Gold
Max Gold
Finn silver
Sofia silver
Seoidin silver
Eoin gold
Shane silver
Sparring results
Finn gold
Max gold
Eoin gold
Shane silver
Seoidin silver
Sofia bronze
Results of RITA's colour belt squad who competed today at Mr Pat White's All Ireland Open today.
Individual patterns: 
Gold Max,
Gold Finn: 
Silver Abbie, 
Bronze Sofia, 
Bronze Emmett 
Bronze in team pattern 
Gold Finn
Silver Emmett
Silver Abbie
Bronze Max
Bronze Sofia 
5 competitors, 11 medals in total. 
3 Gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze.

ITF Ireland Cup


On behalf of the RITA Tournament Committee please find the invitation to the ITF Ireland Cup, hosted by Watergrasshill Taekwon - Do School on Saturday 9th April.

Information pack is available for download here

Individual forms for instructors are available here

We looking forward to bringing as many students as possible to compete.


Senior Master Robert G. Howard

Very good article for the students at Grandmaster Howard's Dojang, where we have 9th, 8th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd degree instructors.

 “Instructor,” “Master” and “Grandmaster”: An Explanation of the Titles Used in ITF Taekwon-Do

After my recent post on the three Korean terms (Moosool, Mooye and Moodo) used to describe the combat arts, it reminded me of one of my first submissions for Totally Tae Kwon Do, in which I describe the differences in meaning between "instructor," "master," and "grandmaster" in ITF Taekwon-Do. Since that essay was never actually posted on this blog I decided to do so now, below — expanded with hangeul and hanja.

What does it mean to be a master? In truth, it depends on the style one does. Most Korean styles like Tang Soo Do, Hapkido and WTF Taekwon-Do attribute the English title master to a practitioner with a 4th Dan (4th degree black belt) or higher. The Korean term used is sabeom or sabeomnim (sometimes spelled “sabum” or “sabom”) , which basically means coach or respected coach, respectively. The suffix “-nim”  is an honorific that is added to denote respect.

Depending on the system a 1st to 3rd Dan is considered an assistant instructor, or junior instructor, and a 4th Dan and higher level practitioner is considered a full instructor or master level instructor. In Korean such differences as instructor, master and grandmaster are not made. In Korea all instructors are called sabeomnim , regardless of their Dan. A special term, kwanjangnim , is used for instructors that own their own academies.

ITF Taekwon-Do, however, uses different Korean terminology for 1st-3rd Dan instructors, known as boosabeom , 4th-6th Dan instructors, known as sabeom , 7th-8th Dan masters, known as sahyeon , and lastly 9th Dan grandmasters, known as saseong . In all cases the suffix “-nim”  can be attached for added respect.

The terms “sahyeon” and “saseon” were created by the founder of ITF Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong-Hi. To understand these terms better, including the terms “sabeom” and “boosabeom,” it is useful to look at the Korean root words from which they are formed.

Sabeom, meaning instructor, is made up of two root words, “sa”  and “beom”  The first syllable “sa” comes from the term “kyosa”  which means teacher. The second syllable in sabeom means “model”. The sabeom or coach is therefore a teacher after which the student should model him or herself. In other words, the student should try to emulate the techniques of the instructor.

The prefix “boo-”  in boosabeom literally means assistant. A boosabeom is therefore considered an assistant instructor in ITF Taekwon-Do. This title is used for 1st-3rd Dan practitioners in ITF Taekwon-Do, especially when they teach under a sabeom.

At master’s level (7th-8th Dan) in ITF Taekwon-Do the term sahyeon is used. Again, “sa-” means teacher. The syllable “-hyeon”  is related to virtue, wisdom, prudence, or good sense. A wise mother, for instance, is called “hyeonmo.” The implication is that the Taekwon-Do master is not merely a technical teacher, but also a teacher of morality or virtue. Hyeon can also mean “the present” . Understood philosophically, the Taekwon-Do master is a teacher of the moment. This might suggest a Zen understanding where the master teaches their practitioners to “be in the moment” or to bring the principles taught in Taekwon-Do into their everyday lives. While a sabeom could literally mean coach and be restricted to mere physical training, the sahyeon is definitely more than a coach. The sahyeon—master—nurtures both the body and mind of his or her students.

Lastly, the 9th Dan grandmaster is called saseong . Once again “sa-” means teacher. Seong , here, means “sage.” A sage is a mentor in spiritual and philosophical topics, with wisdom gained through age and experience. In ITF Taekwon-Do, it is implied that the grandmaster is not merely a technical teacher (body), nor just a moral teacher (mind), but also a teacher of philosophy (spirit); someone that can guide you on your life’s journey and give you insight into the deeper truths in life.

While practically all Korean martial arts use the term “sabeom” to refer to instructors, ITF Taekwon-Do is the only one to use the terms “sahyeon” and “saseong.”* General Choi Hong-Hi created these terms and included them into the ITF system to indicate that Taekwon-Do is not merely a combat sport and Taekwon-Do teachers are not merely sport coaches. The terms “sahyeon” (moral-teacher) and “saseong” (sage-teacher) suggest that Taekwon-Do is an ascetic activity; an activity that ought to lead to moral and intellectual improvement. The idea that Taekwon-Do is a means towards character development places a great responsibility on Taekwon-Do teachers. Hopefully instructors, masters, and grandmasters will live up to the implied responsibility imbedded in their titles.