I just now got back from our meeting, and I am exhausted. That was the first 10 hour physically focused class I attended, and while my body was certainly tired at the end, my mind seemed to be even more fatigued towards the end of the eventful day. It had been a highly anticipated meeting on my part, and I was not let down. I would even go as far as to say that this was one of the most illuminating martial arts meetings I have ever attended, and it’s a lot of things.
It would be wrong for me to say that this meeting had a highlight that stood out to me. I honestly feel like every little detail of this meeting harmonized together as if part of a grand orchestra to create its final and greater meaning. The focal point of the meeting for me was Master Shaffer reporting on her finding in a book she had read called A Killing Art: The Untold Story of Tae Kwon Do by Alex Gillis.
Currently, I feel that I cannot comment too much about the content of the book. Since I have only heard a summary about it, and it is all rather new to me, it is something that I don’t understand well yet. It must be the case as well that this is a very controversial history of Tae Kwon Do. I don’t think it in any way discredits Tae Kwon Do or what our group is practicing. It does however totally shatter the pastoral view of the art’s history that one may have, and in its places offers a much more detailed and at times disquieting narration of where the art came from. The book certainly provides much food for thought: especially for us Taekwondo-ists. I need to personally read this book at some point.
Master Shaffer went over this book around lunch time, and the thoughts of this book stayed with me throughout the rest of the classes and seemed to color everything in a new light. More than ever, I feel blessed to be part of this martial art book and to be a student of Master Pearson’s. If there is anyone who could successfully navigate the troubled waters of this history to arrive at a higher martial truth, it would be a dedicated and talented martial artist like Master Pearson.
I am simply speechless at the possible repercussions that this book’s knowledge will have for me. Before anything else though I need to read it myself and take everything in. Like I said before, it’s definitely much food for thought.
As is the case with any such obstacle though, the discovery of this unknown history only spurs me on to stick to my practice and to dive in deeper to see what I will find. I certainly want to read up a lot more on the history of Tae Kwon Do and other arts.
Everything this meeting was very enlightening, and this book was very illuminating and put many things about our history into perspective. I look forward to reading the full book myself and to seeing how it affects my practice.