Friday, July 27, 2012

Sharpen Yourself

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Receiving a family heirloom can be bittersweet.  Heirlooms generally have been in the family for several generations and each item has a different story.  The more the item was used, the greater the stories behind them.  Each item shows wear in a different way depending on how often it was maintained.  For example, a pocket knife handed down generation to generation has been through many uses.  If properly maintained, it can be sharper than the day it was forged.  Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is similar to the pocket knife.  We have been given an heirloom that was brought to the United States by Lee H. Park in 1969.  MSK Taekwondo has been practiced, honed, sharpened and passed down year after year and it has spread to thousands of students across the US..

Our Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo skills are like the knife in that they must be maintained.  Remember back to when you first started class.  Every move you were given was an adventure.  If you are like me, you took that new gift home, practiced it daily and sharpened your new skills.  The new move or poomse was a prize that you cherished.  That same ferocity must be maintained throughout your MSK Taekwondo career. Like the pocket knife, if you allow your moves to become dull, collect dust and become rusty, it will take two to three times longer to refine them back to where they need to be. When this happens to a knife, it requires the removal of more metal from the blade, making the lifespan shorter.

Every day sharpens or dulls your skills.  You are either one step closer to your next belt or moving one step further away.  An extra class a week or an extra 5 minutes of practice a day at home will have a huge impact on your skills and progression to black belt.  Taking a significant amount of time off can require extensive rework on skills you may have previously mastered.  To aid in this progression, it is helpful to maintain a training chart with all of the skills and poomse you know.  your routine from week to week to maximize your efforts.  Concentrate on improving one or two skills in each class. For example, you might want to concentrate on proper chamber hands and looking before each move in basics and poomse.

Finally, it is not enough to keep these skills to yourself.  Your training is enhanced through demonstrations, assistant instruction and becoming a Moo Sul Kwan instructor.  You will learn to take more pride in your work and have a stronger desire to properly maintain your skills.  The passing on of the heirloom will also push you to refine and better understand MSK Taekwondo.  One of the best opportunities you have available to you from day one to help this progression is the CTI Black Belt Club.  This extra class a week expands on the basic skills you learn in your regular class and prepares you for the next level.  CTI BBC classes also provides the opportunity to join Lead team on Saturdays and prepares you for your Black Belt test.  Each day holds a new opportunity for you to maintain the gift you have been given.  Seize each day and use it to its full potential.  Take 5 minutes a day to work through your poomse, sit-ups and push-ups.  You will not be disappointed in the results.

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