125th Dan Promotions and Seminar (Revisited)

Seminar and testing was quite good, despite the fact that the number of attendees continues to dwindle due to a very difficult economy. In fact, we only rented half of the training hall for our activities. It was strange not having the entire room for the seminar. Subsequently, the workout was not as strenuous, as there was far less distance to cover. I seem to recall the blisters that grew on the balls of my feet from last seminar, as the carpet is not very forgiving. I came prepared with athletic tape, but after a few minutes into the seminar I ripped off the tape because it felt very uncomfortable and the tape was actually pinching me. In retrospect, I didn't actually need it as we were not traversing the entire training hall. So, my feet were pleased that we did not use the entire space.

I arrived about 11.30a, so that I could stretch and get warm. Seminar and testing is quite a long day. Kwan Jang Nim brought someone who I mistakenly thought to be his brother Nam (whom I have never met), but apparently it was another family member. Perhaps nephew or cousin. This gentleman did not stick around for seminar or testing, so I gather he may live in the area and was just dropping by to say hello.

Though we had a smaller group, it was good to see some of the old faces. The groups which come from Western MI and Dayton OH are becoming regulars. It is good to see the consistency in their participation. As I have stated previously, our federation will only get stronger by having new gups attend seminar so that we can continue to spread the word of Tang Soo Do!
We probably had roughly nineteen seminar participants and six people testing for Dan.

The seminar began with hand techniques Ha Dan (lower part), Choong Dan (middle part), and Sang Dan (Upper part) basics. Our federation President, Grandmaster Saul Kim stressed the importance of understanding the application of each. We lined up using the width or shortest distance of the dojang (East to West) to run some of our basics. I had to be careful not to end up in the spectators laps, as I do tend to take long strides. Spectators were lined the adjacent side of the dojang, so that we could add more seating.

Grandmaster Kim made it a point to thoroughly dissect Bassai, as it is one of our most complex forms. When it is executed correctly, it also one of our most beautiful. He specifically wanted everyone to understand that Bassai is one of our animal forms, it resembles to cobra snake. In fact, the double fisted strike imitates the fangs of the snake.
We also spent a fair amount of time with Naihanchi forms, as they are the third set of animal forms that are taught in our system. Naihanchi represents the horse, as the all three forms are done in horseback or keema jase. Emphasis was made on the fact that people will execute the forms differently, but the application is still the same. Perhaps a departure from years past? Basically most of the practitioners in our federation execute forms in a very similar manner, only with slight modifications. These days Grandmaster Kim seems open to subtle modifications.

There was some light sparring during the seminar, and we spent time on focus drills. That is, yup chakee or side kicks to an open area on your partner. Because we had such light attendance and dearth of higher ranking gups, I was paired with a very small student. My kicks would clear his head quite easily, so I was forced to modify the height of the techniques. Overall the seminar was enjoyable and quite useful. Good spirit all around.

The Dan testing ran a bit long, as I was one of last students testing. I was paired with a someone testing for 2nd Dan. We sat for awhile, so I did get a bit stiff. The hard floor isn't very forgiving. Once we were called to begin our exam, it did move rather swiftly.
I made one mistake, well maybe two. I'd forgotten the Korean term for "reverse", thus I did not execute some basics correctly. When I was asked to execute a flying side kick (Yi Dan Yup Cha Kee) I didn't break on the boards on first try. This has never happened in on any of my exams. Of course I did break both boards on the second try. I will post the breaks and some pics of the exam as an update to this entry.

I was quite happy to done with the exam, as the day is quite a long one. It is remarkable that I have been training for roughly 11yrs. 4th Dan is an achievement indeed. I will wear the next rank with honor and pride. I will continue to spread the word of Tang Soo Do where ever I train.

Tang Soo!!

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on May 1, 2010 7:16 AM.

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