Renewed Spirit

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We had an outstanding Tang Soo Do seminar yesterday last weekend. Though the attendance was slightly less than our October meeting, I would have to believe that this one was perhaps the best in recent years. The late Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim used to lead all of our seminars and Dan(black belt) examinations. However, his son, Saul Kim has done a very good job of adding certain nuances to the traditional format. We typically conduct Ho Sun Sool (Self-Defense) and Il Soo Chee (one-step sparring), along with several basics (punches, kicks, blocks) up and down the training hall.


Though I arrived shortly after the noon start time, I did notice some of the new faces. I am grateful that our Tang Soo Do family is still growing, as we continue to embrace new groups of TSD practitioners. In fact, there were some students who traveled from Ohio to participate in this seminar.

It does appear that Grandmaster Saul Kim is open to subtle change and perhaps even some nuances that perhaps did not exist during the beloved Jae Joon Kim era. For instance, during one-step sparring he mentioned that certain techniques may not have been at the root of Tang Soo Do, but adaptation is possible. Another example of this point occurred during our hyungs (forms). He told everyone not to get so "caught-up" in the technical definition, but instead understand the application. If you wish to know the origin of that technique, you'll need to find the originator of the form? Seems logical and amusing too.. For some years we had been taught to execute the Naianchi Forms (Cho-Dan, Ee-Dan, Sam-Dan) separately. There was not very explanation as to why they were taught separately. During seminar Saul Kim linked them together, and did so quite well. He emphasized that these forms were at one time linked. He also made sure everyone new that Bassai and Nianchi forms were animals forms. Cobra and Horse respectively. He also mentioned the lineage to Shotokan. I really enjoy listening to philosophy of TSD and the Grandmaster is more than willing to indulge us. In my mind, this is very important, and not something that I am exposed to everyday. Hopefully, I will be able to sit down with Grandmaster Saul Kim and learn more of the history and TSD philosophy.
Probably, need to make arrangements to train at his school in Florida.

As usual we spend time working on focus drills.. One of my favorites is the flying side kick directed at the face of your partner. The exercise teaches control and distance. Both areas which I clearly need to improve. For whatever reason, I still seem to pull back on my techniques. Perhaps this because I'm worried about injuring myself or my partner. Must get better.

We did a fair amount of calisthenics, finger tip push-ups, squat thrusts, sit-ups, jumping jacks. The people who were participating afterwards in the Dan testing were sufficiently warmed up during the 2.5hr seminar. Regarding testing... I witnessed what happens when you attempt to break petrified or sap ladened boards. Luckily for me (as the photo suggests) I got standard pine. Some of my senior instructors weren't so fortunate. Lots of cuts and bruises.
We had just been told about the importance of conditioning our hands. Not sure how much this would have helped on this day.

Perhaps one of the most lighthearted moments was watching the sparring during the Dan testing. There really are not very many female practitioners in our school; hopefully this will eventually change. Nonetheless, many of them train very hard. In this particular instance we had male and female sparring. Apparently, the guy began to strike her harder than expected. So during the contest the guy made a fatal mistake by getting his leg caught by the female student. You can only guess what happened next... *Thwack* to groin area, with a well-placed front kick. I felt his pain and I was watching at a safe distance. Hopefully, he had the common sense to wear a cup. Let's just say his strength and chutzpah was diminished.

Once I resolve a disk space shortage, I will post pics to the photo journal and flickr.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on March 16, 2008 2:57 PM.

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