Our semi-annual seminar took place in October, but I simply couldn't find the time to discuss it in any detail. Each time I attend seminar, I have to take stock in the messages I receive from Grandmaster Saul Kim. He usually begins each workout with some pithy philosophical teachings. After seminar I asked him about the example and he indicated that these are classical Chinese Dao philosophy
I was particularly struck by the "cat and mouse" reference. He suggested that we must choose a life role. Obviously these were not his exact words, but merely my interpretation of the message.
Some people will chose to play the cat, that is one who seeks to be the aggressor or pushes the issue. Skillful, cunning, and very often fraught with peril. These Cats are very adventurous but are not always rewarded with a meal as a by-product of risk. On the hand, if you choose to play the role of a mouse... Well life is very different. Taking no risks, the mouse must always watch its back for it could easily become the meal of an aggressive cat.
The mouse is also very hungry but typically never gets enough to eat because it is forever nervous and fearful of death. Actually, there is another position which is even more precarious than that of the mouse or cat. This would be those that take no position or simply play the fence. Why is this so dangerous and careless? Well, consider the fact that indecisiveness never tends to advance any cause. In many cases people become unrecognizable or simply dismissed because they skate through live not willing to establish a role for themselves. Hell at least a mouse understands its direction or stage in life :-)
Yes, I really enjoyed this lesson. Once this brief lesson was shared we spent the next 1.5 - 2hrs working on hand techniques. Lots of punches, ridge hand strikes and sudos. We emphasized hip rotation and using the elbow for reverse strikes while the lead fist attacks. There was also much instruction in striking will stepping backwards. Tang Soo Do is a system of no retreat, but deception is quite advantageous.
2.5hrs into the seminar, I realized that I should begin taping my feet as I never seem to be able to avoid aggravating blisters on the balls of my feet. The carpet in the dojang is not very forgiving..
Well the next seminar will take place in March or April. I expect to have more to share.