Monday, May 16, 2011

Intensity Equals Success

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Recently in class at the Golden Taekwondo campus, the subject of intensity was brought up. It was explained that as a MSK martial artist, you must be able to turn on or off your intensity at will. This is a learned behavior and like many of the opportunities discovered in training, it is not usually easy to do. The subject is very important.  Intensity adds power, shows indomitable spirit and provides focus. This is also why it is just as important to be able to turn off your intensity and control it from the moment you turn it on.

In a sparring match, you must have focus, you must be intense and not let your opponent see any weakness. They must be hesitant to move in.  One of the best expressions of this is through your kihap.  A kihap can startle or throw an opponent off if done correctly.  As you throw a punch, block or kick, it must be done intensely and with intent, but just at that last moment you must hold back with cotrol.  The same is true in poomse.  You must think about smashing a board or target with each move.  Each move must be deliberate and with the proper intensity. Kihaps should make people in the cro
wd jump a little.

Using Intensity to Break a 4 Boards!

These concepts start in class with basics.  Imagine how strong your poomse, breaking or sparring would be if you started, maintained and ended each class with intensity.  In jumping jacks, rather than falling into a rhythm, can you add difficulty by slapping harder, counting louder, spreading your feet past your shoulders and focus all of your thoughts on the task at hand?  It can be exhausting!  Then just when you thought you could not give any more, you are into stretching.  Can you go that extra inch, push your self just a little further and still be aware of what is too much?  

These concepts also are useful outside of MSK Taekwondo. While they may not be physical in nature, you can be intense in school and at work.  Focus intensely on the work at hand.  Do your best and explore opportunities for improvement.  If we all put our best effort into each and everything we do, we can celebrate our accomplishments at the end of the day, and set new goals to achieve tomorrow.

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