Haidong Gumdo Sword Martial Arts
Well Yestarday was a pretty packed martial arts day i'd say. And not a single actual class. I wrote a paper about my Dojang, practiced a lot of candle snuffing at home, came to school and did an hour of sparring for the martial arts club, came back to my place and set up some paper cutting, then punched out a few candles to the extreme annoyance of my lovely girlfreind and then went to bed. And i think today i will practice the art of "Recovery" as my whole body hurts... And maybe somehow try to book hotel for the Haidong Gumdo Cutting Seminar on the 19th... Wish i knew some hotels in that area though...
Well, one thing is for certain Haidong is Awesome! I still can't get passed just how cool those pants are....I mean come on! There so damn comfortable. Anyways...classes has been pretty good. My forms are getting better and my stances are getting lower...so thats a good thing. However, my hip is killing me. The worst thing is it's not even from Haidong. Its because of Tang Soo Do...know thats a hard on your body. I'm hoping that it will get better, but i fear that i'm gonna have to go to the doctors. But we shall see.
I have a lot of karate pix now available on my yahoo photo album. :) If you want to check them out, just follow the link below to the Tang Soo Do/Haidong Gumdo album.http://photos.yahoo.com/cobaltbombshell
Tang Soo Do Now that is the hot item of the day. What an enigma that is, I find it so bitter sweet as it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and one of the most beneficial. I also find it all the more challenging because I have little to no natural talent for it at all. Sure I have all around sense and talent as in I can pick up on things and remember things reasonably quick and I am able to do whatever I really focus on, not saying I can do it good but I can at least do something. Haidong Gumdo was so much different than Tang Soo Do, first off I had some natural predisposition toward the art and also a fair if not a lot of experience with a sword in my hands so the beginning was only working with something I was already comfortable with.
Now Haidong Gumdo is a constant battle to balance speed, power, control and relaxation, to learn, re-learn, tweak and re-tweak. HDGD is very hard right now, but also very rewarding. Form #7 is extremely difficult for me though I know it will be worth it once my body adapts to what is needed for it. Also the rest of my forms are in transition stages as they begin to take on new characteristics, tweaking and refinement and mixing those characteristics with more experience and bettering technique. I feel like a lot of my forms have gotten worse, but I honestly am starting to think that it is because I am getting better and they are staying the same. I started to see that in class today as our guest Kyosanim walked us throw every form and pointed out a few things that needed improved upon. Although most of those things werent things I was doing poorly, but things I was doing wrong or not doing at all. This started to show me that my technique had started to reach a new point where I could strive for a new level of perfection because I have come upon a whole new list of problems that I was not yet ready or able to tackle a month or 2 ago. They are slightly more advanced problems and issues that arent critical when one first learns the forms and dont started to get tied up until the rest of the major issues get improved. This was both encouraging and discouraging at the time and for different reasons. 1 I had more problems to work on, 2 they were more advanced problems that one must reach a certain point before being able to tackle. HDGD in itself has become more difficult and demanding right now, but I am starting to see some improvement in myself and my techniqueor at least Im making myself think that.
Tang Soo Do on the other hand is sooo very different. I have no gifts or predisposition toward it, every new technique is extremely difficult to learn and most are impossible to get good at, at this point in time. I can do a kick a hundred times till my leg cant come off the ground and it will not improve the slightest bit in the 100 kicks. But I can kick 10 or 15 times, 3 times a week for 2 weeks and then my kick starts to look and feel a little bit better. It seems that the techniques only get better with time and some practice and dont really improve with only high intensity practice over short time. It just doesnt feel like it should. It is quite grueling sometimes to press so hard and still not see any benefit or improvement at all in some techniques and to just stand there and be bad and know you are bad and just have to accept that you arent any good and cant go home and do much about it, that it can only come with time and practice. And that hard work without patience wont yield much.
But the good news is that I am seeing improvements in my techniques, my kicks are all still bad, but they have definitely been improving and arent as bad as they were a month ago. My punches feel stronger, my balance and stances are getting a little bit better, flexibility is slightly increasing and my knowledge base continues to slowly grow. I definitely feel improvement since I started, much improvement relatively speaking. Though I still feel at the bottom of the totem pole, not jus the bottom but the totally bottom, under the ground bottom. Not so much in rank as in skill. I see a greenbelt do a kick, I feel it when it hits the pad Im holding and knocks me back. First off I cant even do the kick, second I couldnt aim it if I could do it, third if I could do the first 2 then I still wouldnt have enough power to push someone backward.
I just feel like such a novice, and I am, but I feel like I cant compete with anyone, and I cant, but normally I can at least disillusion myself that I might be able to force myself onto par with some of my peers, but that is just not the case here. I feel totally terrible and the only way to fix that is with time. I feel good though because I know that because it is so difficult that the rewards are all that much greater, and I also feel good because I have much confidence in Haidong Gumdo and I can use that as my mental outlet to bolster confidence. I also feel that both arts go hand in hand with each other and compliment each other extremely well. Though I will say this, I love the Haidong Gumdo Uniform and I hate the TSD uniform. But I doubt any normal fight you find yourself in would be in clothes you are so comfortable in so the TSD uniform probably teaches you to be comfortable in anything. It is also nice that TSD can actually be practically implemented in everyday life where Haidong Gumdo is not so likely due to the lack of sword duels and battles in this day and age.
Whats up everybody? So I must say Haidong is become more fun every day. I love it! Today was a great day for Haidong because my good friend and I both were promoted to Green Belt. Orange belt was cool but Green belt is even better! Now starts the fun forms. We started learning form number 7 today and thats pretty sweet, I just can't wait to learn the rest of it. Well so far i would have to say form 4 and 6 are my favorites but its looking to be changing in the next month...
We had Color Belt Testing on saturday... Half the students from my Dojang that were on the list to test didn't even bother to show up... That is just a little bit of a kick in the face when it comes to respect and spirit wouldn't you think? When a master tells you that you are to come and test and to represent the Dojang at that test and you just don't bother coming without giving a reason why, how much worth can you really have? My test went very well, but i am still appauled that half our students never came or said anything about why they didn't come. Tuesday should be an interestig class....
What is Haidong Gumdo?
Not the full definition, not the dictionary definition, not the essay you write for first dan. Just in a few short thoughts, what is Haidong Gumdo to you today, right now. In 500 words or less lets say.
It is striving to be the very best but without overcoming anyone but yourself...
It is loving going to class, hating being there after the five hundreth pegi, wishing it was longer, and believing in yourself and knowing that even your off days teach you and shape you through persiverance...
It is striving, reaching, hopeing, dreaming, working, respecting, sweating, fulfilling, and recovering...
It is life, it is dicipline, it is honor, it is art, it is war, it is peace, it is pride, it is confidence and respect in and for yourself...
It is the path with a geat destination, though the true treasure is the journey itself...
Can anyone else share a few sentances of what Haidong Gumdo means to them?
I Officially begin my Tang Soo Do training tonight... Wich means this week I must drive 1 hour each way to the Dojang 6 times... But it's worth it... Tang Soo Do should do well to compliment my Gumdo training, or at least that is what i've seen.
My school's web site
On the Open House page, I'm the purple belt with the live sword who botched his bamboo cutting attempt during the demonstration (I got 16 of the 20 I was supposed to cut, but of course the picture's of one of my mistakes!).
I learned Form number 6 in class today, wich was nice since it's been a fair while since i learned anything new. I suppose that makes me and scarp some of the first orange belts to know 6 forms and 8 Kiyuck Gums with another month or two until the next test. But when you look at it, we attend almost every class, i've only missed 3 classes since my training began those many moons ago and with our attendance now we've actually been to more classes total than a fair few of our senior belts. And so the training continues, and continues very well, though i have to admit a huge portion of my success comes from going to class very often. There is almost always a direct corralation between how good a person is and how much they come to class. I've noticed this since i've been to more of my classes than any one of my instructors since august, but what cha gonna do. I think i'll be sore tomarrow, and i think that will be nice.