Enjoyed a very intense seminar, which certainly vastly improved from our previous program. What I have observed in recent seminars is a greater emphasis on developing our Gups (junior practioners, non-black belts), and rightly so, as these junior members represent the vitality of our organization. Nonetheless, the seminars are an opportunity for _everyone_ to learn, teach and polish their techniques. So, if you're a Dan member and you spend a great deal of time sitting on the hard concrete floor, that isn't much fun.
As I stated earlier, yesterday was a big improvement, and I do hope it continues. We worked on more focus drills, that is we paired up with a partner and practiced kicking techniques to various parts of the body. Light and controlled contact was the order of the day. Only the Dan members (black belts) were permitted to engage in these drills. Ahp chagi, Dwi chagi (front and back kicks) and eedahn yup chagi were the predominant techniques in these focus drills.
Actually, we also used the spinning back kicks. Perhaps my worst kick. I never really learned that technique very well, and we simply do not practice it much. Frankly, I don't believe I would ever use such a kick on the street. Though, if executed properly it looks fabulous during tournament. I've not seen many people get hit with that technique, I think it simply takes too long to develop.
Another interesting aspect of the seminar was the idea of fighting two opponents. Yet another drill which we do not practice very often, but I really enjoyed it (despite the bruises). Luckily one of my assailants was a student who trains at my dojang so I had a pretty good idea about what techniques he typically uses. The other assailant, was a 3rd Dan, who I'd seen at previous seminars. So I focused on pressing him. I believe I took a few shots, but I'm sure I also delivered too ;)
During our free sparring segment (one opponent, not two), I was again paired up with a student who trains at our dojang. Yes, it was fun hitting him too :) Actually, both of the students from our dojang are much younger than I, but they're old enough to take a blow. With youth comes speed, so I suppose everything balances out fairly well.
Basically, it was a very good seminar, and I do plan to share my enthusiasm with my instructors and GMK in March. GMK spent considerable time discussing the politics of the organization name change that I discussed in a previous entry. I'm clear that he is still bothered by the whole ordeal. Very unfortunate. We've always been told to embrace Soo Bahk Do, as it is traditional and we are of the same family. Having been forced to strip the name Moo Duk Kwan from our crest and remove the fist was very painful to everyone. I do hope that one day Hwang Kee's son and Jae Joon Kim can bury the hatchet. I do not believe the late Hwang Kee intended for Tang Soo Do to fracture in this way.
Last item, both young girls showed up at the seminar and did fairly well at the black belt test.
One did far better than the other, but much of the problems were do to nervousness. I do think they were prepared, but the fact they had never experienced a black belt test or seminar probably caused them uneccessary duress. Hopefully, they decide to continue the journey, as they are now officially students :)
Tang Soo !