Meditation of the Week: When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.

  We all like to learn something new. It’s exciting. When we first began to learn karate, everything was new and engaging. As we progress and become more familiar with Tang Soo Do techniques and body movements, things can become mundane. We must continue to discover possible variations and applications of all our techniques. The “simple” Ahp Chagi is a perfect example. Can you perform an ideal front kick at all heights, to all angles, and to any target point you choose? Can you perform the technique with all variants of jumping (switch, pumping, 360º, etc.)? On target? How about a fading kick twisting to the rear? There genuinely are an innumerable number of possibilities. Boredom with a technique is a creativity problem. When we examine blocks and defense techniques, the applications become exponentially greater and more complex. 

  Solomon, the writer of the book of Proverbs in the Bible, has a little something to say about the process of learning and its bottomless depths. 

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, 
and the one who understands obtain guidance, 
to understand a proverb and a saying, 
the words of the wise and their riddles.

Proverbs 1:5-6

  The scholar, Bruce Waltke, concluded after observing and literary and grammatical structure of this passage: “Since by nature the wise hear and obey, each new hearing of the proverbs increases their corpus of knowledge.”1 Every time we read a passage, even a familiar selection, we are to expect to learn and increase in knowledge and wisdom. 

  You are also to apply this same principle to your Tang Soo Do training and practice. Every class, even a class that reviews the basics, is an opportunity to learn and increase the corpus of your Tang Soo Do knowledge. 

1. Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 1–15, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004), 179.

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