listening to Master Maidana's instructions. After about 20 minutes Master Maidana stopped the group for some light stretches and further dismissed everyone for five minutes break to grab a drink.

Master Maidana resumed the class for the main activity of the workshop and explained that in Argentina Sparring is broken-down and each part practiced separately and then combined.

Therefore, the first part was the use of stances in sparring. Stances are key not only to sparring but also in all areas of Taekwon-do because according to the theory of Power (Him Ui Wolli) by keeping the body always in equilibrium (Kyun Hyung), that is, well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. On the other hand, the unbalanced one is easily toppled. The stance should always be stable, yet flexible, for both offensive and defensive movements. However, Master Maidana asked the group to suggest different stances they use in sparring. Master Maidana managed to identify four important stances. The class practiced them up and down the dojang after forming a long line in twos. What was interesting was how Master Maidana moved forward with great speed while maintaining the shape of his stance and the balance of his body when demonstrating.

However, the second part was the use of kicks in sparring. Master Maidana instructed everyone to find a partner and get in twos. Master Maidana demonstrated a few useful kicking combinations using his assistant's Mr. Don Dalton 6th Dan hands as focused targets. He also distinguished competition kicks from self-defence kicks or what he refers to as 'traditional' kicks where the feet is formed accurately and aimed correctly at the target. He explained that when using competition kicks its essential to use one's full reach because it helps keep your distance, and body away from counter attacks by the opponent. With their partners students performed the kicking combinations in turn and changed after a few minutes.

The third part was the use of punches in sparring. Master Maidana showed a number of different punches that can be used when sparring. He again used Mr. Don Dalton's hands as targets to demonstrate the punches. With their partners students practiced the punches.

What I personally liked about Master Maidana's teaching was his constant smile and enthusiasm when he is demonstrating a move. He illustrates that though Taekwon-do is a martial art; it should be fun and enjoyable. With his relaxed approach he makes the techniques look simple and easy to perform. Myself along with many of the students that attended found this very motivating.

To end the workshop, the students combined and practiced all the stances, kicks and punches they learned, up and down the dojang in twos changing attacker each time after a few minutes.                
On Tuesday 1st of November 2005, my Instructor Mr. Stuart Anslow 4th Dan, Assistant Instructor Mr. Vikram Gautum 1st Dan, Mr. Farhad Ahmed 1st Dan and Senior students Tomasz Kubicki, Lyndsey Sainsbury, David Lane, Colin Avis and myself, pravez Sultan from Rayners Lane Taekwon-do Academy, South Harrow were among the many clubs like London Panthers Taekwon-do from Kilburn and TKD Power from Thanet, Kent who attended the Sparring workshop hosted by Mr. P. McCarthy 6th Dan at St. James Catholic High School, Great Strand, London.

Master Jose Maidana, the National Coach for Argentina since 1993 presented the sparring workshop. Master Maidana is recognised as one of the greatest coaches in Taekwon-do today. It was nice to hear one of the students on the night refer to him as the 'Mourinho' of Taekwon-do. There was a great turn out on the night, more than 60 students of all ages and grades were there along with a few spectators sitting at the side. They seemed excited and looking forward to seeing what makes the Argentinean fighters so successful in the ITF. 

The workshop started at 7:30pm and it was to last for about 2 and half hours. With the focus on sparring, the workshop kicked off with a light warm-up where the whole group ran in a big circle
Master Jose Maidana, 7th Degree
Sparring Workshop
by Parvez Sultan, 1st kup
The seminar concluded all too quickly, meaning many we're eager to train more under Master Maidana. We finished the session with some group photographs and I look forward to the next visit by Master Maidana.

Thank you to Mr McCarthy for hosting the seminar.