Monday, April 5, 2021

Hello Poomse My Old Friend

 By Amy Krupp, 1st dan, CTI Instructor

Kids karate students and instructor posing after martial arts class in Conifer Colorado
One of the most rewarding things about training in Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo is the opportunity to become a well rounded martial artist.  We don’t focus our training in only one area.  We spar, we break boards, we train in self defense, we constantly push our bodies to higher levels of fitness and endurance.  We perfect our basic techniques of punching, blocking, and kicking.  Everyone has their favorite aspect of training.  Mine is, without a doubt, poomse (korean for "pattern movement").  Poomse is a very individual aspect of training that allows you to work on your basics, your form, your power, your balance, your cardiovascular fitness, your grace, and your technique.  There’s also something very beautiful about performing that perfect poomse, when everything is working for you.  You stick every stance.  Execute every punch, block, and kick with maximum power and technique.  You’re in zone- everything in the world fades away other than you, in that poomse, in that moment. 

Training in poomse also keeps you honest.  Poomses are like friends.  You have your old friends that you’ve known since you were a little kid (or a white belt).  They stick with you.  Throughout your training, you’ll do four directional punch hundreds, maybe even thousands of times.  You’ve spent so much time with it that you’ll never forget it.  Just like that old friend you’ve had since elementary school.  It’s an old, trusty friend that will never let you down. 

Then you have the friends you’ve known since middle school (blue belt).  They were in all of your classes with you, you ate lunch with them, and talked to them in the hallway between classes.  You spent a lot of time hanging out with Taegeuk O Chang; you thought they were really cool with their sweeping hammer fists and elbow smashes.  They’ll always be your friend, right?

Then you have your new poomse.  The one that you’re learning now.  It’s new, and fun, and exciting.  It has jump 360’s and flying side kicks in it!  You want to spend all of your time with this awesome, new friend.  You hang out with them all the time, spend all of your free time with them, and really work on strengthening that friendship.  You even think they may become one of your best friends (I mean… not your very best friend. No one will ever replace Four Directional Punch. But this new friend may be a close second).  Pretty soon you spend so much time with this new poomse, that you start to forget about Taegeuk O Chang.  You step into chumbi.  You of course remember the sweeping hammer fists, but… what move comes next again? 

This happens to the best of us.  You become hyper focused on your new poomses, and forget about those middle ones.  Don’t neglect the To Sans, Taegeuk O Changs, and Chung Guns.  If you don’t get a chance to do them in class, practice them at home.  Don’t get stuck mid-poomse, forgetting what comes next.  Be well rounded, not only in your Moo Sul Kwan martial arts training, but in your poomse training.  Poomses are trusted friends- with a little bit of love and attention, they’ll always be by your side.