It’s a long time since I wrote in my taekwon-do blog. I certainly haven’t quit taekwon-do or lost any enthusiasm for it. In fact my last 6 months has been totally immersed in taekwon-do related activity. I have been more involved in the administration of the school, especially related to school programs, and I have also spent quite a bit of time reading in the areas of psychobiology and cognitive neuroscience with a view to how they relate to the practice of taekwon-do. I hope to write some entries on this in the future.
I have also been re-visiting all that I’ve learnt over the past 2.5 years in preparation for my black-belt grading. Basically I see the black-belt grading as consolidating all the information from gup level so that it is a firm foundation for the real journey in taekwon-do which takes place through the Dans.
It has been interesting to re-examine each gup pattern and to try to perfect each movement focusing on visualising my opponent for each movement, ensuring that each stance is correct, and checking that the pattern begins and ends at the same position. As with most things, the more I study, the more I become aware of what I don’t know …
I have also been working with my training partner, Fiona, trying to “feel” the movements in 1-step sparring and self defence. I have noticed that the male students spend a lot of time “playing” with movements, testing out different ideas of how to move, and always going beyond whatever movements are being taught as a natural way of expressing themselves physically. The female students have more of a tendency to stick to what is being taught, and to try each movement tentatively rather than vigorously thereby losing a lot in terms of being realistic. We also tend to freeze under pressure, something that will need to be overcome before our grading !
All in all, I feel like I’m at a stage of growing into my taekwon-do, but I have less to say about it because the more I know, the less qualified I feel to write about it. When I started taekwon-do, I went to classes, read widely on the web and from a number of books, and everything seemed pretty similar in terms of content although it may have been expressed differently here and there. However now I can see that so much of what I am learning in my classes goes beyond anything I have read on the web and comes directly from my own Instructor from his personal depth of knowledge of martial arts and his personal study of Taekwon-Do as created by General Choi. It is a privilege to learn from an instructor who himself is always ready to continue studying and learning from other masters of the art.