Ruminations on teaching… or businesses… after my “business meeting”…

After my first let’s say “sparsely attended” class at the City Health Club I had a meeting with a small-business advisor this morning. I have much to think about now, here is what I am thinking-

I want to teach Taekwondo; to people who are interested; I don’t want to spend a lot of time and money trying to convince people that they are interested. (I don’t have a lot of time or money to spend). It is possible that with time more people will start to come to my scheduled classes (7:15 pm Thursdays @ the City Health Club in Ithaca). Which would be good- I guess the question is if I should keep having “classes” if no one goes to them? You may have heard Master Pearson in our (awesome) Shin Ho Kwan Youtube ad- “a long time ago one of my instructors said something to me that would inevitably change my life. He said, “if someone whispers the truth in your right ear, and some one comes up and asks for that truth from your left ear, you have an obligation to share it.”” This is highly significant to us as his students, as he doesn’t have the option to hold back things from us just because he doesn’t feel like sharing. This piece of history has led to the birth of Shin Ho Kwan and the sharing of the curriculum to any interested school, for free. What I was thinking about it today, though, is “maybe no one is asking for the truth from me,” maybe I don’t have any obligation to share if no one is asking. (Course it would be fun to have people to practice with). Depending what my motivation is, I guess, maybe it fulfills my personal mission to offer classes, and if no one comes to be taught then I figure I offered and my mission is fulfilled.

This leads to the question; what is my mission? I guess in my own small way I think it would make the world a better place if I shared the “truths” I have learned through my practice of martial arts. “Truths” about the potential of the human body- to work harder than it does on an everyday basis, to be an efficient tool of self-defense, to learn new ways of moving that are more efficient in terms of energy used, to protect itself in the event of falling, etc. Sometimes I think if learning martial arts as being similar to a video game, only in real life. I don’t understand why people spend so much time learning to do things in computerized universes when they could be learning things that are really actually applicable in real everyday reality. Maybe I can put something like that in my pamphlets I’m thinking about making. Perhaps people are trying to get away from “reality” rather than experience it more fully. Sure “reality” can be difficult, but, people have the power to make it better for themselves- perhaps this is another “truth” I have come to understand through martial arts as well as Tracker philosophy.

What happens in your day to day “reality” might not be up to you- but even if it weren’t, how you react to it is up to you.

Other notes- my short classes at my daughter’s 2nd grade are going well, though I only have about 15 minutes, which is about enough time to bow in, do front kicks, do wrist locks and that’s it. They’ve been paying attention better. This last week I didn’t have much voice (I’d been sick) so they really had to listen well. I think that standard wrist lock is really important, so much self-defense we do depends on knowledge of joint locks in general and with even a knowledge of standard wrist lock one can defend oneself from many kinds of grabs and strikes. Front kick was the first time I did a kick with the class and of course we have to get a kick in, this is Taekwondo and we have so many interesting kicks (over 1,000)!

I’ve been fortunate to be able to practice the 5 element forms with Master Shaffer and I think I am getting them down, though I made a few mistakes last night, it’s good we’re getting the mistakes out of the way here at home and not at the next meeting- Master Shaffer’s class was as always fun and enlightening, (as fun and enlightening as being attacked by two soft sticks and realizing my blocking-soft-stick technique needs work!) and knife defenses too, which are always good to refresh, are good in teaching how to move generally, and might save my life someday- also I’ve been watching Master Shaffer teach. One thing I am realizing is that a lot of things she does + says while teaching come directly from Master Pearson. We are lucky to have such a good example of how to teach, and as I look at drills online and get information from our website I learn over and over how lucky we are to have an instructor who is so good at writing things down (and posting things online!)
Thank you again Master Pearson,

Thanks everyone-


  1. OK so more like so he can’t hold everything back- of course he can’t teach us everything all at once! I’m sure he uses his judgement but we are much more likely to learn more (if we ask the right questions)- since he has this obligation. I admire your ability to ask questions that lead us all to more knowledge!

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