Friday, September 2, 2011


Black Belt Team Hotel in Germany
By Eric Evans, 1st dan

Perfection.  It is something we all strive for in some aspect of our life, but never seem to achieve.  Just when you reach the summit of a goal, you realize there is another hill to climb.  It is the continual drive that moves us to better ourselves and those around us.

From the moment we are born, everything we do requires practice.  We are not born knowing how to crawl, walk or run.  The same is true with MSK Taekwondo.  We must first gain knowledge, then practice.  But it not enough to just practice, it must be perfect practice.  As we grow in  Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, our definition of perfection, or what is good enough for our current ability, will change.  A front kick performed as a white belt has key features that must be understood and attempted thousands of times. As the student progresses, the little items become apparent.  It is no longer good enough to just kick above our heads, we must now focus on an imaginary target in addition to foot position, knee position, balance and a dozen other items.

The number of aspects a student could focus on in one front kick is astounding. So how do we achieve perfection, when there seems to be something we can continually perfect?  A front kick must be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals.  It may start with eye position or balance with a bent knee in the supporting leg. After these aspects are honed, a student could examine knee position, rubbing the knees together and bringing the kicking knee high above the belt before releasing a snappy front kick.

Whatever the move, we must follow a few general guidelines when practicing:

1. Gain the knowledge of what the move is suppose to look like.

2. Examine where the move could be broken up into smaller more manageable goals..

3. Start slow at first then gradually increase speed as confidence and a repeatable result increase.

4. When learning advanced moves such as the step spinning or jump spinning round house; start with the basics, a round house from a sparring stance.

5. Take the time to examine your effort. What went well? What needs to be improved?

6. Have patience. It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated effort to master anything.

7. Practice Perfectly, this does not mean the move will be perfect every time, it does mean that you use every opportunity to improve what has already been done before.

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