Friday, October 5, 2012

Setting the Example

By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Setting an example for others is a key aspect of being a Moo Sul Kwan martial artist.  It requires a black belt attitude at all times and in all situations.  Leading by example is not reserved for Moo Sul Kwan Instructors and Black Belts alone. It is a requirement at all belt levels and is a task that must be continually refined. Setting the example is what we should all strive for in and outside of class.

Traveling back to Missouri each year for the AMASEA National Conventions is always exciting. I look forward to meeting new instructors, students, exploring St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.  I also look forward to the Great Grandmaster Shin workouts. The workouts consistently push me beyond what I thought I could achieve.  I remember the first time we were told that we were going to warm up with chops. In my mind I thought, "No problem" as chops were a normal part of my daily workout routine. Then Great Grandmaster Shin told us that we were starting with 300 chops. Start? What had I gotten myself into? A wave of doubt hit me at first, but then something extraordinary happened. As we were performing the exercise I looked over and saw that Great Grandmaster Shin was doing them with us. Even after he had taught two or three other classes, he was still the example. This rejuvenated my spirit. He was giving us his best effort and that in turn pushed me to put forward my best effort, pushing myself further than I ever had before.

This attitude is repeated time and again through our CTI Instructors. Our instructors lead by example in and out of the dojang. They actively participate in the workouts with us and never ask us to do anything they are not willing to do themselves. MSK instructors and black belts are also students. They attend extra training classes to learn new ways of instruction. I believe this is one of the key reasons our organization is so strong and offers invaluable life long lessons to each and every student.

The Colorado Taekwondo Institute strives to develop leaders who help to enrich the program in their own unique way. Becoming a person that leads by example requires individual dedicated effort.  Being an effective leader is not a characteristic that can be taught but applying basic CTI techniques can help a student advance.  For example, when we learn to perfect our poomse it helps to breakdown the individual elements.  In addition to learning the actual moves we must also learn what the moves are designed for, what the meaning or pace of the poomse is and how we can improve ourselves. Each individual component of the poomse must be broken down and improved. Each move must have an intended target, power, an impact point and focus.

In comparison, to learn how to become a student that leads by example it is helpful to break down the dedication that it takes.

We must display integrity so the organization can display a positive influence and enrich the lives of families in our community.

When we are in class we must pay attention and dedicate 100% of our effort.

We must set the example of how to act through our words, our thoughts and our execution of techniques. Responding with a loud, crisp 'Yes Sir!' is just one example that invigorates the class and helps them push harder. A new white belt has the promise of hope when they see a fellow student persevere through difficult techniques or poomse they have just learned.

We must apply extra effort through attendance of advanced classes such as black belt club and events such as the tournaments, CTI Expo, Camp MSK and demonstrations.

Each student should seize the opportunity to complete the monthly homework and write articles on subjects that interest them. The articles enrich the life of the author but more importantly provides students an additional opportunity to continue to learn.  

Students should also journal their thoughts and experiences. This will allow them to reflect back on how they progressed through training and the effort they put forth to became a Moo Sul Kwan Martial Artist.

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."
- Albert Schweitzer

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