Soar TSD Training, Week of 17 Feb.

Hyungs are essential to the art of Tang Soo Do. They are worth the dedication of study and continual practice. Once you feel you have learned the form and applied each movement, you realize that you have only scratched the surface of applications. As you move through the Hyungs be conscious of your weight. Where are you pressing into the ground? Where else do you feel it in your body? How and when do you shift your weight to move? 

BREAK IN TRAINING: Most importantly, I am very grateful to the support and leadership provided by Mrs. McConnell over the last few months. THANK YOU! With that said, due to Mrs. McConnell’s advancing pregnancy (Praise the Lord!), next week will be our final class until I return home this summer. With Brigade reintegration and block leave, I do not yet know our new start date. I will continue to provide a weekly workout through this same blog. Please do not hesitate to send your questions.

The Soar Weekly Challenge

Daily challenge for the week. Training hard. 

  • 50 pushups 
  • 50 sit ups/ab routine 
  • 50 squats 
  • 10 minutes of planks in 2 series.
    (1 min elbow, 1 min side, 1 min side, 1 min high, 1 min elbow)
  • 50 jumping jacks 

You may break this challenge up into as many sets as you need throughout the day. Go for it!

Meditation for the Week

In fighting choose with sense and honor – Remember last week’s meditation? I talked about battle. What is the difference between “battle” and “fighting”? A Battle is a confrontation you did not agree to; it’s non-consensual, or something you would prefer not to engage. A “fight” is a consensual conflict like sparring or debate. The challenge is to maintain your self-control, humility, and respect during the “fight” – that’s fighting with sense and honor. As Paul instructed Timothy, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12). You should be proud of your actions and reactions after the fact. Paul continued his exhortation to Timothy by saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul was content with the manner in which he lived, and at those points he was not, Paul rested in the Grace of Christ. There is a large bit of overlap between our fourth and fifth codes of Tang Soo Do, still I want you to understand the differences. Each of you will be forced into a variety of conflicts, either battles or fights, therefore you must decide now and practice how you will respond and engage. You will do without think that which you practice.

Attitude Requirements to Master Tang Soo Do

1. Purpose of training should be the enhancement of mental and physical betterment.
2. Serious Approach.
3. All out effort.
4. Maintain regular and constant practice.
5. Practice basic techniques all the time.
6. Regularly spaced practice sessions.
7. Always listen to and follow the directions of instructors or seniors.
8. Do not be overly ambitious.
9. Frequently inspect your own achievements.
10. Always follow a routine and training schedule.
11. Repeatedly practice all techniques already learned.
12. When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.
13. When you begin to feel idle, try to overcome this.
14. Cleanliness is required after training. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean.
The obvious application is to keep your body, your home, your school or work place, and your dojang clean, but how else might you apply this to your life? 

13 Hyung Interpretation Principles

1. There is more than one proper interpretation of any movement. 

“Do” in Tang Soo Do means “way or art.” Tang Soo Do is an art of body movement and mechanics. It is organic. The actual combat application derived from the hyung transcends the artificial construction of the form as a training tool. It becomes error to say there is only one sound application of a specific tactic found in a hyung. To limit the practitioner to a single application for a single movement within the hyung limits the growth of the student just as much as it limits the art itself. The practitioner is free to be creative with elements of the hyung, and creativity finds its fullness within a community of martial artists because of the variety of physical characteristics, body types, and mental and emotional approaches to combat. What works well for one person (i.e. the 215-pound semi-pro male athlete) may not work well for another student attempting to apply the interpretation in the same way (i.e. the 125-pound female teenager). On the other hand, the serendipitous discovery of a new interpretation and application might work even better than what was developed individually. This first principle requires an open mind. 

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Soar TSD Training, Week of 10 Feb.

Jok Ki (Kicking Techniques) are the bread and butter of Korean Martial Arts. In the world of karate, Tang Soo Do’s differences are most apparent in kicking – dynamic, high, and arial. A flying side klick is on our association flag and seal! This week, I want you to concentrate on combination and consecutive kicking while “Crossing the T.” Combination kicking involves both legs while consecutive kicking is multiple kicks with the same leg. “Crossing the T” is nothing more than changing the angle of attack to gain the advantage of while placing your opponent at a disadvantage.

The Soar Weekly Challenge

Daily challenge for the week. Training hard. 

  • 50 pushups 
  • 50 sit ups/ab routine
  • 50 squats
  • 10 minutes of planks in 2 series.
    (1 min elbow, 1 min side, 1 min side, 1 min high, 1 min elbow)
  • 50 jumping jacks

You may break this challenge up into as many sets as you need throughout the day. Go for it!

Meditation for the Week

No Retreat in Battle – While the immediate meaning is likely clear, the word “battle” is  significantly more. Primarily, “battle” refers to self-defense or non-consensual conflict. This may be a verbal or a physical altercation. Either way, we are to train in such a way that we do not retreat and have no need to retreat. That means studying and training for all possible circumstance to the best of our ability. When done so properly, out fifth code comes in to play: “In fighting choose with sense and honor” – more on that next week. In a more metaphorical sense, we are talking about determination, perseverance, duty, and courage. We all have our personal battles to fight in our jobs, in our relationships, and even in our character. We are challenged not to retreat from these personal battles, not to ignore the difficult, to keep pushing forward to attain our goals, and to become the people we were designed to be.

  James, in his New Testament letter to the church, addresses this very principle in dealing with our spiritual growth and our exposure to the Gospel. In James 1:23–25, James writes, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

  The one who heard and walked away is the one who retreated when faced with the glory of Christ in the Gospel. The one who is honorable, who courageously perseveres is the one who recognizes his/her deficiencies, and seeks to conform the image of the Son of God. This is part of the application to which Paul referred to when he said we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Attitude Requirements to Master Tang Soo Do

Attitude Requirements to Master Tang Soo Do

1. Purpose of training should be the enhancement of mental and physical betterment.
2. Serious Approach.
3. All out effort.
4. Maintain regular and constant practice.
5. Practice basic techniques all the time.
6. Regularly spaced practice sessions.
7. Always listen to and follow the directions of instructors or seniors.
8. Do not be overly ambitious.
9. Frequently inspect your own achievements.
10. Always follow a routine and training schedule.
11. Repeatedly practice all techniques already learned.
12. When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.
13. When you begin to feel idle, try to overcome this.
God expects fruitfulness. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Laziness and idleness mindsets oppose fruitfulness.

14. Cleanliness is required after training. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean.

13 Hyung Interpretation Principles

13. A lock, hold, or throw is not a primary fighting technique. 

Iain Abernethy, author of Bunkai Jutsu, wrote, “In my dojo we use the phrase ‘blow before throw,’ to remind us of the importance of striking and weakening the opponent before throwing.” Abernethy goes on to describe the throw after the hit is only necessary if the strike did not incapacitate the opponent. In other words, the throw is a finishing technique… if necessary. Therefore, maintaining Kedrowski’s basic assumption of a two to five move series, a lock, hold, or throw (LHT), cannot be the first technique. Even practitioners of grappling arts, like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Judo, cannot simply walk up and apply a lock, hold, or throw on an unwilling opponent (principle 7). Disruption is a key task (principle 3) to successfully apply any LHT technique. It is far safer to incapacitate the opponent with an initial strike or combination and only apply the body-to-body contact required for a LHT when further control is required.

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Soar TSD Training, Week of 3 Feb.

Last week we focused on Hyungs and this naturally leads to Soo Ki (Hands) techniques. Keep working and thinking through the angles of attack. Learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy of each technique. Close quarters self-defense is what our Hyungs (forms) are designed to teach. Use your hand techniques to move around your opponent to change the angle. This gives you the advantage while placing the opponent at the disadvantage. We have 30 Soo Ki one-steps designed to teach us these vary concepts. 

The Soar Weekly Challenge

Daily challenge for the week. Training hard. 

  • 50 pushups 
  • 50 sit ups/ab routine
  • 50 squats
  • 10 minutes of planks in 2 series.
    (1 min elbow, 1 min side, 1 min side, 1 min high, 1 min elbow)
  • 50 jumping jacks

You may break this challenge up into as many sets as you need throughout the day. Go for it!

Meditation for the Week

Honor Friendship – The third code of Tang Soo Do. Like many things, the notion of friendship differs from country to country. In many Middle Eastern countries, people consider themselves “friends” the minute they meet, in some European countries, continuous contact is required in order to maintain friendship, and in the United States, both distances and caring are necessary for two people to be considered friends. Koreans place high value on trust and do not trust people unless they are affiliated in some way. Affiliation differs from person to person in Korea. Some people require that their friends belong to the same big organizations: company, school, church etc. Others consider that smaller organizations like clubs, cafes or housing can be considered as a common affiliation.

Attitude Requirements to Master Tang Soo Do

1. Purpose of training should be the enhancement of mental and physical betterment.
2. Serious Approach.
3. All out effort.
4. Maintain regular and constant practice.
5. Practice basic techniques all the time.
6. Regularly spaced practice sessions.
7. Always listen to and follow the directions of instructors or seniors.
8. Do not be overly ambitious.
9. Frequently inspect your own achievements.
10. Always follow a routine and training schedule.
11. Repeatedly practice all techniques already learned.
12. When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.
Not only do you pay attention to the effects a new technique has on an opponent, you must also learn how you are moving your body. Then discover how that same body movement can be applied in myriad of situations. A low block can be a block, a throw, a capture, a strike, or a push. Learn thoroughly.

13. When you begin to feel idle, try to overcome this.
14. Cleanliness is required after training. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean.

13 Hyung Interpretation Principles

12. Use both hands. 

Both hands are used simultaneously through the hyung in bilateral balance. A push and pull concept is often described to maximize body mechanics allowing the center of gravity to remain stable while the extremities move in orbit whether the practitioner is applying an offensive or defensive technique. John Kedrowski (The Lost Art of Tang Soo Do) makes the assumption that every two to five movements should place the practitioner in a superior position. Additionally, don’t forget to pay attention to the hand that has pulled back to the ready position. That hand likely has something in it like an arm, leg, sleeve, or lapel. Sensei Victor Smith, 6th degree practitioner of Isshin Ryu karate, asserts, “the hand returning to chamber after a block simply slides down the arm to grab it and yank backwards, or locks an arm in place.” Recognizing the ready-hand’s role when learning to interpret and apply the hyung begins to open innumerable applications. The practitioner begins to see the depth of what is actually contained in the hyung. Moreover, this principle to use both hands exhorts the student to learn the techniques from the hyung on the typical right side as well as the left side creating a balanced Tang Soo Do practitioner. 

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Soar TSD Training, Week of 27 Jan.

Hyungs are the textbooks of our martial art. Without the hyungs, we are just kicking a punching without a unification of purpose. The hyungs teach us to connect various techniques together, however, the hyungs are not scripted combat drills. Some techniques within the hyungs naturally move from one to the next, but that does not mean in application you can’t reverse the order or mix up the order across several hyungs.  The 12th attitude requirement speaks directly to this, “When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.” If we truly understand the body mechanics we are learning in the hyungs, we will never struggle with the application of those techniques. Go practice, explore, experiment, and practice some more. 

The Soar Weekly Challenge

Daily for the week: 

  • 50 pushups 
  • 50 sit ups/ab routine
  • 50 squats
  • 10 minutes of planks in 2 series.
    (1 min elbow, 1 min side, 1 min side, 1 min high, 1 min elbow)
  • 50 jumping jacks

You may break this challenge up into as many sets as you need throughout the day. Go for it!

Meditation for the Week

Obedience to Parents – In the code, “Parents” implies father, mother, teachers, elders, and instructors. It is respect for others, esteem, honor, and appreciation. In many ways this is a given, still this is a code that must be retaught regularly because of our inclination to to disobey and do our own thing (also known as sin). God commands us in Exodus 20:12 to “honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” This is the first of the 10 Commandments with a promise. The Apostle Paul picks up this theme in the letter to the Ephesians telling us to obey our parents because it is the right thing to do (Eph 6:1) and in the letter to Colossae, obedience pleases the Lord (Col 3:20). Adults, don’t dismiss this code believing it only applies to the youth. We have just as much a responsibility to those placed in authority over us. The code is a transferrable principle. Seek to show obedience through your attitude, your personal honor, and a desire to glorify God in your thoughts and actions.

Attitude Requirements to Master Tang Soo Do

1. Purpose of training should be the enhancement of mental and physical betterment.
2. Serious Approach.
3. All out effort.
4. Maintain regular and constant practice.
5. Practice basic techniques all the time.
6. Regularly spaced practice sessions.
7. Always listen to and follow the directions of instructors or seniors.
8. Do not be overly ambitious.
9. Frequently inspect your own achievements.
10. Always follow a routine and training schedule.
11. Repeatedly practice all techniques already learned.
Just like any other skill or exercise, lack of practice dulls the senses and atrophies the muscles. You can always improve the technique. The goal is to be better than you were the day before.

12. When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.
13. When you begin to feel idle, try to overcome this.
14. Cleanliness is required after training. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean.

13 Hyung Interpretation Principles

The kiap accomplishes multiple tasks. It helps to focus the attack and counter-attack.

10. Don’t forget to breathe. (Part 2)
The Tang Soo Do practitioner uses a short quick breath often combined with a yell, grunt, or kiap. The kiap accomplishes multiple tasks. It helps to focus the attack and counter-attack. When hit, the practitioner can yell to dispel the painful impact—it is the warrior’s cry. The use of the short quick breath also constricts the abdomen firming the core of the body, which allows the kinetic energy generated in the legs to transfer more easily to the upper extremities. The practitioner who simply punches without a proper kiap and without constricting the abdomen is only punching with the shoulder and arm. The practitioner who breathes correctly, tightening the abdomen, and produces the natural kiap will more quickly learn how to use the legs (i.e. the stances) and connection to the ground to strengthen both a strike with the upper body as well as strikes with the legs. Slow deliberate breathing is also required when transitioning from one stance to another and when applying pressure for a joint lock, a throw, or a clinch. A slow intentional deep breath can also prepare the body and the mind for the explosive action about to occur. Hyungs are an essential tool in teaching the student how to breathe in different ways in concert with controlled predictable body movement. The astute instructor assists the student in making this connection between the hyungs and the dynamic application of tactics and techniques learned from the hyungs

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Soar TSD Training, Week of 20 Jan.

Number 14: To the pits.
This is a straight line

Ho Sin Sul (Self Defence) is is the topic of the week. This is always a fun week of concentration. Up front, I am telling you to be care, deliberate and slow. You can really hurt someone while manipulating joints and performing throws. While remaining mindful of safety, begin asking yourself, “am I moving in a straight line or on a circular path?”

Moving in Circles or Straight Lines: Through joint manipulation, you can force your opponent to move in a straight line or in a circular path. Number 5, Horse and Saddle, is an example of a straight line movement. After pinning the wrist and securing the elbow, you drive the arm up in a straight line into the shoulder forcing pressure into the elbow. Number 6, Belt, is a perfect example of a circular path, where you make a small circle while pinning the opponents arm and forcing your opponent to travel on a larger and longer circle just as fast as your are turning on you shorter and smaller circle. Know whether you are causing your opponent to move in a straight line of a circular path. Then, make those lines and paths more efficient. Practice and experiment, but be careful. 

The Soar Weekly Challenge

Daily for the week: 

  • 50 pushups 
  • 50 sit ups/ab routine
  • 50 squats
  • 10 minutes of planks
  • 50 jumping jacks

You may break this challenge up into as many sets as you need throughout the day. Go for it!

Report on how your workouts are going in the comments below. What are you doing? What are you challenges? Let’s encourage one another.

Meditation for the Week

Loyalty to Country – The first of the Five Codes of Tang Soo Do. Irrespective of whether one is a born citizen, or whether citizenship is gained later in life – having loyalty to country allows one to truly appreciate and love one’s homeland.
   Rebellion and treachery against a just government have always led to crippled societies. This is because rebellion or acting against the state is a threat to the peace and security of a nation. Indeed, where internal rebellion or opposition occurs, then it fans the flames of external opposition and encourages outsiders to take advantage of the internal disorder. We have seen this happen throughout history causing the destabilization of nations. Hence, the consequences of disloyalty to one’s nation can be far-reaching and extreme.
    It is important that this relationship is symbiotic and mutually respectful. Governments should put policies in place that establish and protect mutual respect. Any action that hurts the sentiments of others or causes any type of harm should be avoided.

Hear the word of God through the Apostle Paul in Romans 13:1-7

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Attitude Requirements to Master Tang Soo Do

1. Purpose of training should be the enhancement of mental and physical betterment.
2. Serious Approach.
3. All out effort.
4. Maintain regular and constant practice.
5. Practice basic techniques all the time.
6. Regularly spaced practice sessions.
7. Always listen to and follow the directions of instructors or seniors.
8. Do not be overly ambitious.
9. Frequently inspect your own achievements.
10. Always follow a routine and training schedule.
Self-discipline is essential for all tasks. When it’s hot, when it’s cold, when you’re busy, when you’re feeling lazy, stick to a schedule. Miyamoto Musashi said, “you can only fight the way you practice.”

11. Repeatedly practice all techniques already learned.
12. When you learn new techniques, learn thoroughly the theory and philosophy as well.
13. When you begin to feel idle, try to overcome this.
14. Cleanliness is required after training. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean.

13 Hyung Interpretation Principles

10. Don’t forget to breathe. (Part 1) Breathing is essential for life; no surprise there. For all types of athletes, correct breathing is essential for maximum efficiency of body mechanics. Muscles need oxygen to work properly. The runner learns to breathe with the rhythm of her steps. She maintains a steady and methodical breathing pattern. So does the swimmer, but the martial artist uses his body differently. Sudden explosive power is necessary and quickly followed by slow deliberate movement to control a situation. Because of the wide variety of arhythmic body movements, the martial artist learns to breathe in different ways.

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Training for Soar TSD, 13 Jan

Hey folks training hard. Working your Hands one-steps this week. Use the same principles of last week by “Crossing the T” and gaining the advantage of the angle.

I’m traveling the “country side” and not able to give a proper update. I continue to pray for you all and miss training with you. May God keep you and me as we move about and are separated.

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