On the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October, Master Meyour and multiple European and World Champion title holder Miss Mira Sjövall were invited to the school of ITF Haute-Savoie in Douvaine, France by Sabum Jonathan Morris and Boo Sabum Claire Morris.
Saturday morning started with the children’s course for ages 6 to 8. Instructors from French schools Nîmes, Brest, Margencel and Douvaine were also present to profit from the experience. Master Meyour introduced several pedagogical games and exercises to help with teaching the younger students. As expected, the children reacted with enthusiasm to Miss Sjövall during her sessions and were impressed by her international achievements at such a young age.
The next course for children aged 9 to 11 years old was again shared between Master Meyour and Miss Sjövall. In addition to some more warm up games to engage the children and capture their attention, several sparring drills were introduced with specific adaptations and learning aids for children. Sabum Dovin and Sabum Morris also assisted with the class making corrections to the children’s techniques where necessary.
On Saturday afternoon the adults and adolescents had their sparring and fundamental techniques training classes. Miss Sjövall’s warm up for the adults was one of the highlights and the students very much appreciated the focus on injury prevention and improving mobility.
Each movement and exercise was explained with specific explanations concerning the correct alignment of joints, balance, coordination and landing and absorbing impact after jumping techniques. It was noted by the instructors present that for such a young athlete Miss Sjövall has a great appreciation of scientific training methods and injury prevention.
The sparring session introduced several techniques to help with dodging and counter attacks. Master Meyour also used Point Sparring exercises to develop speed and reaction as well as making a change to normal continuous sparring rounds that the students are used to. The attending students finished the afternoon satisfied from their exertions and leaving with new sparring techniques to work on.
The additional session on Sunday morning was provided by ITF Haute-Savoie for the benefit of all French instructors and coaches. Given that Master Meyour had worked with Miss Sjövall since she walked into his dojang as a child Beginner and he helped her develop into a European and World Champion, the aim was to transmit some of the knowledge about how this was achieved with the hope of replicating this development in France.
The session produced many interesting discussions about strategies to improve the competitive level in France and among many other subjects, the mental aspects of competing and how important it is for students for their development. This final session was greatly appreciated by ITF France members and has already stimulated the first national team training session to be held before the 2019 World Championships with continued ITF France developments and further collaboration with Master Meyour and Miss Sjövall expected for the future.
To bring the weekend to a close the organiser Sabum Jonathan Morris and his wife Boo Sabum Claire Morris took Master Meyour and Miss Sjövall to a traditional French lakeside restaurant in the historic village of Nernier for one of the most famous dishes of the region - filets de perches (Perch fillets).
Following the weekend in France, Master Meyour and Miss Sjövall continued on their way to Sibiu, Romania for the Mightyfist Children and Cadets Cup and European Cup where Miss Sjövall won gold in patterns. Congratulations to Miss Sjövall and her esteemed instructor and coach Master Meyour!