Imported From The Original Academy Blog 2011-2016
Re-Release 10 of 14 -- First Posted - March 23, 2014
"TKD Testing March 23rd - 2014"
Today was our academy's first belt grading for 2014. A few of my senior youth students tested along with many others. I have to say that my student's dedication, efforts and achievements leave me humbled... happy for our academy, and excited for our future. Today offered a great display of skill, power, grit and depth of character. What a great day. I look forward to posting pictures as I receive them.
Each test I prepare a few words for my students, just as I grew up listening to my father do. Usually my notes are scribled on post-its, but this is one that I happened to type out....
Someone asked me recently, what I believed the essence of martial arts to be. This is a tough answer to whittle down, but in my experience it would have to be, Integrity…. doing the right thing. Integrity as the essence would be all-inclusive:
hard work… earnest consistent actions free of excuses or blame
modesty… letting our actions speak for us rather than our words
courtesy… being polite and respectful and treating others as we would like to be treated
discipline and self-control… cultivated skills that allow us to consistently make responsible promoting choices
perseverance and courage… it is not meant for us to give up or be stunted by fear
"Each of us has his cowardice. Each of us is afraid to lose, afraid to die. But hanging back is the way to remain a coward for life. The Way to find courage is to seek it on the field of conflict.” ~Mas Oyama
The road to black belt is a long and challenging one. We should remember that all of it is a process… a process that relies on the sincerity of our commitment to training. We should be diligent and patient. We should expect to face moments of weakness, temptation, physical pains, boredom, fear… but to work through these obstacles is to be one step closer to mastering ourselves. This is the road, and this is the process. This is a formula for developing powerful life skills.
"We will be relentless in our pursuit for perfection. We won't ever be perfect - but in the process we will achieve greatness." ~Vince Lombardi
So what about the kicks and punches…. as martial artists we must develop an effective ability physically to defend ourselves and to fight for what’s right. This is also a demanding process. We cannot expect to earn a black belt without developing this ability. To earn your ranks, you must be a good student and learn all that is required of you at each level of your training.
Tae Kwon Do is a martial art
It’s a way of life
It’s a practice, a tool, a vehicle
Tae Kwon Do is a teacher and a great provider of balance…
Lending an upper hand to the underdog
Self-control to the quick-tempered
Humility to the vain
Patience to the perfectionist
And, focus to a mind’s racing thoughts
To train both mind and body through Tae Kwon Do is a metaphor for life.
I've found that the martial arts as a lifelong journey offers many wonderful benefits. I’m 41 now and have roughly 30 – 35 years of experience… and thankful that I am able to continue learning and teaching. I’ve had the privilege to train with pioneers and champions. I’ve taught thousands of people under varying and unique circumstances, and yet still think of each individual student as my own family. I share in your accomplishments and disappointments. <Today I share in your accomplishments.>
"A man who goes fishing in the deep sea respects the sea greatly. It is vast and powerful, and demands that the man feel humbled.
A man who goes fishing in a still pond feels superior to the pond. In it, he sees no danger and therefore finds it soft and powerless.
Life is the sea; deep and mysterious with strong currents that demand respect.
Be as the fisherman before the sea - respect life and be humble before it. Only then will you be able to fish its depths."
~Grandmaster Hee Il Cho