Mr. Walsh’s Thoughts on the August 2011 Weekend Retreat

This weekend was a wonderful reunion of Hagsaeng  Naebu and our instructor, Master Pearson.  Some of us hadn’t seen each other for some several months, so it was very refreshing to see everyone again.  It brought me much joy to see the group together again. I won’t go into much detail about all the activities we did; you have the video blogs for that. There a few impressions I was left with though.

The observations we did in the mall showed me that there are certain skill sets we can improve on as martial artists.  In particular, working as a group under pressure.  Rapidly and effectively communicating is key, and, as I’m sure Master Shaffer will be glad to tell you, I left much to be desired in that department.  Still, I’d rather know what I need to improve on than not know at all.

Every technique has many details for correct execution

That being said, I was also very grateful for the detailed forms work we did at this gathering.  I believe that the precision with which we execute our techniques is critical to our practice.  Executing most Taekwondo techniques takes great physical coordination and focus.  Even “basic” techniques can require a lot of attention to be preformed correctly.  Furthermore, the precision with which a practitioner executes a technique is indicative of the mental knowledge possessed by that practitioner.  Putting the movements of a technique into words can easily take paragraphs to accurately portray.  There is seemingly endless detail to any technique: not to mention to any form.  The time we spent going over these technical details of our art was invaluable to me, and I am looking forward to bringing this knowledge onto the training floor.

It is my sincerest hope that I and the other blackbelts will have an opportunity like this again to really be heavily immersed in the technical details of our forms and foundation techniques.  I see this as a major physical medium through which we can develop not only our bodies but also our minds and spirits.  There are, of course, other mediums and processes through which the self can be developed in martial arts, but the physical technicalities of the techniques are readily accessible to a variety of students: perhaps more so than other methods. As stated before, the physical mastery of all the details of a technique cannot be achieved without an equally cultivated ability to focus one’s mind and spirit on the task and reality at hand.  The study of these technical elements will lead to far greater places than just the techniques themselves, and that is why I was so incredibly excited to be exposed to this precious information, and that is why I dearly look forward to when I may be able to so closely study this area again.

PS: It is a blessing to have a girlfriend who is supportive of my practice and my work here on this blog

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