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Title [ICM's Pick] Comments from Members of the UNESCO ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team
- Capoeira / Sidney Santos Dias Da Cruz
It is fun performing demonstrations and connecting with people, and I am also happy to show an audience something that I can do well. Martial arts are tools learnt from a revered master to promote one’s physical, personal, and social growth. Therefore, more people should be encouraged to participate in martial arts as a hobby and a sport.
As a capoeira instructor, I want to spread the knowledge of Capoeira as far and wide as possible. One of the ways to do so is to travel around to further develop Capoeira and then transfer that knowledge to people who wish to open their dojo all over the world.
I feel that the International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement under the auspices of UNESCO (ICM) is deeply meaningful for all those involved in martial arts including practitioners, masters and instructors, and I also think that there should be a central organization like the ICM on every continent to serve a pivotal role in martial arts. I believe that this would help everyone who practice martial arts as well as alleviate social problems such as human trafficking, violence, and murder to some extent.
As we already know, martial arts and sports can change people’s lives and personalities. For this reason, I believe that the wonderful ICM and similar organizations should exist all over the world. In this context, the ICM is a meaningful and astonishing achievement for all martial artists.
This has given me the determination to deliver the highest standard of Capoeira in every performance as a member of the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team. I hope that all of you will support and look forward to the great performances to be staged by the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team, which promises to be unprecedented in the world of art.
– Capoeira / Douglas Rodrigues Felippe
While preparing for demonstrations, I felt the mixed emotions of nervousness, happiness, anxiety, and fear toward making mistakes, but above all, my heart was overwhelmed by the joy I felt for the opportunity to perform Capoeira.
In addition to various benefits including health and enjoyment, I believe martial arts are valuable to the global society in that they also enhance mental health and the sense of happiness.
The greatest wish I harbor as a martial artist is to promote the value of martial arts to the world and bring happiness to all people around the world.
The ICM is an incredible organization with a crucial mission that can bring enormous benefits to the world. If ICM branches are established around the world, I believe and sincerely hope that they would contribute to improving the mental and physical health of many alienated youths.
I appreciate this meaningful and important opportunity for me to become a member of the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team.
- Pencak Silat / KIM Jun Woo
As number of confirmed cases for COVID-19 continues to increase each day, subsequently raising social distancing levels, outside activities remain restricted amid mounting concern and anxiety. Under these circumstances, a wonderful opportunity has been created to promote a range of world martial arts in a safe and enjoyable manner through the activities of the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team. I would like to express my gratitude for this precious opportunity.
The martial art that I demonstrate is Pencak Silat, a traditional martial art of the Malay people that is widespread across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and Malaysia. The term Pencak Silat, in Indonesian, means “to defend artistically.”
True to its meaning, many silat movements are artistic in their visual nature. For this reason, Pencak Silat is used as an inspiration for action scenes in many films, yet not many people are familiar with the martial art.
That’s why I felt happy and proud when this opportunity came up to promote Pencak Silat to more people by performing with the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team.
I promise to keep working harder to give wonderful and improved performances in demonstrations and filming activities in the future.
Lastly, the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team is using online and offline channels to provide various world martial arts demonstrations and experience programs that are otherwise not easily accessible, and we humbly ask for your interest and support toward such activities. Thank you.
- Taekwondo / JUNG So Hee
As I became a member of the UNESCO ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team, I came to encounter and learn each country’s martial arts that I didn’t know before, and therefore I felt that joining the team was a very helpful opportunity. Without people who are interested, most martial arts end up becoming forgotten. In order to preserve certain martial arts that have been alienated from many people around the world, I believe that the practitioners of such martial arts themselves should make various efforts to sustain them.
Learning martial arts comforts our body and mind, and when we are over thinking, practicing martial arts can be useful in emptying our minds, even if only for a while. Just as the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team engages in a range of activities under the slogan of “planting peace, and embracing the world,” I will double and redouble efforts to promote martial arts until the day when the world is united by martial arts and peace is achieved. It’s all about passion, passion, passion!
Through the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team, I encountered unfamiliar martial arts and new people. I learned and practiced a number of martial arts that I have had never experienced before, ultimately working together to stage demonstration performances. I learned other styles of martial arts and also taught my own demonstration art of. Because I was using muscles that I hadn’t used before and movements that I wasn’t familiar with, I suffered from muscle soreness and went through many difficult moments, but I feel that we were able to create such wonderful performances because we understood the value of new experiences and helped each other as we practiced. I’d like to thank my teammates from the demonstration team, who were there to support me during difficult times. To all our UNESCO ICM family, who cheered us on while standing firmly by our side, thank you.
- Taekkyeon / Jung Yejin
Among the demonstration arts of the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team, Taekkyeon is a UNESCO World Heritage and a National Intangible Cultural Heritage of Korea. Despite such inscriptions, Taekkyeon sadly remains a lesser known martial art, which prompted me to join the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team.
I was pleased to encounter the opportunity to try new martial arts and take on new challenges through the demonstration team. The performances that I helped to create alongside other team members, directors and staff members who contributed significantly to the process are sure to remain as incredibly precious memories for me. While representing Taekkyeon in the demonstration team, I made various endeavors to convey the appeals of Taekkyeon that drew me to the art, and among those, I was most proud of the time when participants of the hands-on experience program expressed their interest and enjoyment.
Although we were unable to stage as many in-person performances or participatory programs as we had planned due to constraints caused by COVID-19, we sought to promote martial arts toward the general public in other ways, and the public attention brought on through various networks provided us with a renewed sense of motivation. Through this motivation, we promise to work harder in order to increase the public’s accessibility to Taekkyeon and other martial arts more easily, even if they are unable to attend our performances in person.
- Kali Arnis / LEE Jun ho
I was a big frog in a small pond before joining the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team so the experience felt hugely appealing and as an interesting opportunity. It was a valuable experience spending time alongside people who were good at sports that I had never tried before or couldn’t try before, while furthering my own prowess. I was also intrigued by the thought of taking on a new challenge.
To be honest, the first month was difficult for me. I was practicing movements that I hadn’t tried before, using muscles I hadn’t used before, and I was even practicing my usual Arnis moves with greater enthusiasm than usual, so I was extremely tired and my body was aching. However, the sense of anticipation toward trying something new and showcasing my strengths and talents helped me to overcome my fatigue and pain.
Now we are over halfway to the end. While I still have two months left, which isn’t a long time, I’d like to continue participating with the same enjoyment and passion that I had at the beginning. Sometimes, I feel five months are far too short period of time so I decided to try harder when I faced difficulty and above all, I tried to have fun during the given time. Each person feels differently about a situation, but for me at least, this was a truly excellent opportunity and an enjoyable endeavor. I’d like to leave with as few regrets as possible. I’m certain that I’ll be able to do so if I have fun working hard at the meaningful institution of the UNESCO ICM and return home satisfied.
- Taekwondo / NAM Ki Jun
As a Taekwondo practitioner, I already had firsthand experience in choreographing Taekwondo demonstration performances and prepared past performances using only Taekwondo. That’s why I doubted whether different styles of martial arts could be brought together to create a single diverse demonstration performance. However, after staging such a demonstration through much training and practice, I realized that a combination of different martial arts styles in addition to Taekwondo had the potential to create incredible performances. In addition, as I learned various martial arts styles that I hadn’t heard of or experienced before, I felt that joining this demonstration team was an incredible opportunity for me.
As a member of the UNESCO ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team, I feel that our utmost efforts must be dedicated to creating a successful performance. Despite the limited time, I believe we should keep working to improve our skills to showcase wonderful techniques and manage our health so that we can complete each performance without injury. I hope all of you will continue to support the demonstration team until our very last performance. Thank you.
- Pencak Silat / KIM Jung min
I have experienced various martial arts competitions as a Pencak Silat practitioner, but I had never thought of performing a demonstration. As I joined the ICM Martial Arts Demonstration Team, I came to know and learn various types of martial arts, which I think was a great experience. At first, I wondered if it was possible to create a harmonious performance by practitioners who each practice a different style of martial art. As we prepared, practiced, and staged a demonstration performance together, it became apparent that I was wrong. We were each able to present techniques from our respective martial art in a fun way, and as we put our efforts together, our different martial arts styles were blended seamlessly with one another to create an incredible performance. I’ve decided to strive harder to produce a performance that will entertain and encourage the audience at our performances during our short remaining time. Lastly, I hope that all my teammates who are performing alongside me will be able to deliver a successful performance without any mistakes or injuries until the end.
- Arnis / JANG Chanwoo
As a member of the demonstration team, I felt a lot of things while practicing world martial arts I’ve never encountered before. Personally I had a lot of fun learning Capoeira, because the movements required the usage of all parts of the muscles and seemed fundamental and exquisite.
Taekwondo was also a new martial arts for me. All of its movement was filled with strength. Wushu was difficult for me because of the movements that required me to stay in a lower stance but the diverse weaponry techniques were intriguing. Taekkyeon steps (Poombalbgi) were simple but difficult at the same time. The unique kicks of Taekkyeon created its own shape which was attractive. Peancaksilat consisted of movements that were similar to those of animals and was also attractive. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to take chance in so many different martial arts and to perform them. Not many people are familiar with the martial arts I perform, Arnis. I’m very proud to be introducing Arnis to others as member of the demonstration team. I will try to perform sincerely, so that I can convey happiness and strength through our performance. Thank you.