13th International Harmony Instructors Course
  6th Sep 2019

The 13th International Harmony Instructors Course took place in Lublin last weekend (30.08-01.09.2019). 41 participants from 5 countries (England, Finland, Poland, Russia and Slovakia) met in the gym of the Lubelskie Centrum Kształcenia Zawodowego i Ustawicznego to learn how to teach Taekwon-do classes for the elderly.

The lecturer of this course was Mr Gaston Casero VI Degree, chairman of the ITF Harmony committee. Mr Gaston conducted the course in English and his translator was Master Jerzy Jedut VIII Degree, who translated content into the Polish language.

The course began with a traditional bow and a short introduction of the lecturer. Mr Gaston Casero from Argentina was invited to create the Harmony program by the former president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, Grand Master Pablo Trajtenberg. Thanks to cooperation with doctors, trainers and specialists of other scientific fields, and based on experience, Mr Casero managed to create a program called "Harmony". The name is referring to the harmony between body and mind that practitioners achieve during the program. 

The harmony program goal is to improve physical health, coordination, memory, quality of life and sense of security for Elderly people. 

Mr Casero told a story about one of his students, he said that he asked all of his students a question - what made you come to this class? The answer of one of the ladies moved him very much: "I am a lonely person, my children live abroad, my husband has been dead for many years, the only place where I do not feel lonely are Taekwon-Do classes because here I have friends and company." This story not only touched Gaston but made him realize that the program does not only provide health benefits but also has great importance in socialization, counteracting marginalization and creating very valuable interpersonal relationships.

In addition, he talked a lot about body awareness of the elderly, anatomy and their needs, he mentioned that we need to realize that people at this age cannot do many things because of physical and health obstacles. Falling down or losing balance can be a great threat to such a person.

He also noted that the Harmony program is based on the traditional Taekwon-Do program adapted to the characteristics of the target age group.

Then Mr Casero went to the practical part, he demonstrated many exercises and activities,  in which all course participants were happy to participate.

He showed exercises for stretching, coordination, balance, organization, improving memory, perceptiveness, fitness and many others. He also demonstrated how to train with older people. In addition, when performing exercises, he paid special attention to changing positions from lying to standing and back, and to the need to work with a partner or support in the form of a ladder or chair.

Participants of the course, apart from the enormity of knowledge and ideas, had the opportunity to meet the remarkable student of Taekwon-Do from Finland. Ms Salme Nummela, who is 78 years old and has a blue-red Taekwon-Do belt, is a wonderful example that "growing up is compulsory but ageing is optional." Mrs Salme did all the exercises with a smile and positive energy. Being an example that anyone can train Taekwon-Do effectively. 

The course was extremely informative and interesting. Mr Gaston Casero, as a great teacher, conveys knowledge in a concise and transparent way. Everyone who missed the course missed great fun and a great dose of inspiration.

Below you can see few links to galleries from this event. Make sure to see them. 

Pictures Waldemar Dolecki:

Pictures Izabela Łoboda:

Pictures Jerzy Jedut:

We recommend organizing a harmony course around the world, as it is an extraordinary opportunity to develop yourself, expand your workshop and meet with the great teacher Mr Gaston Casero.

"It's never too late to start training Taekwon-Do."