Monday, December 7, 2009


What seems like a long time yet still just yesterday, when I first started TKD, one of my friends commented about how I was more "flowing" than he expected.  Especially when he was comparing me to another mutual friend who was a 3rd degree black belt at the time (now a 4th).  He described it as being more reminiscent of aikido and tai-chi.   It's something that has always stuck with me yet I couldn't quite figure out how to correct on my own. 

A few months ago, when we were practicing for our poomse (forms) competition, one of the instructors took me aside and showed me how to perform my moves with power.   Specifically, there is a contrast between the chambering action of the move which was more soft and then the actual performance of the block and/or kick that you are about to perform.   Kwan-ja-nim Lee also had a whole class where he emphasized the idea of "finishing" each move.  In other words, perform the move with power, "stick the landing" (for lack of a better term), pause for a split second, move on to the next.

The effect is a lot more dramatic.  It shows you are in control.  You look more powerful.  From a practical aspect, you are performing the strike/kick/block with power which delivers more force to the action.

Katy and I did our belt tests last night.  I applied these very principles to all parts of the test, not just the forms.  I can't recall coming out of test feeling like I've expended as much energy.  In other words, I was more tired than the norm and I'm pretty tired today.  The grader's notes on my test had a repeated theme.  "Great Intensity". This was not the same grader that had worked with me nor Kwan-ja-nim Lee.

There's nothing more satisfying than working on a specific aspect of your training and having someone else recognize it.  

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