A hearty and heart felt congratulations to all our students at Chon's Karate who competed in the 2012 39th Annual CS Kim All Martial Arts Championship.
Also, a special congratulations to students from Shelton Martial Arts and Cherry's Karate, sister schools in the ATF.
Among the 30 odd students from these schools, many brought home trophies of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in color belt and black belt and masters forms, weapons, sparring, and breaking.
I can assure these students, both those who placed and those who did not, that all of their instructors are very proud of them and all of their efforts in preparations for and performance at the tournament this past Saturday.
Rather, a better motivation is the desire and will to better yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and morally. By continual training and study, it is the desire of every instructor to see their students grow in these ways, imbued with the spirit of the martial arts.
We hope that all of these students will continue to grow as young people and martial artists. We encourage them to continue their study and practice forms and drills, in and out of class, diligently, as well as their academic work from their schools. While competition can be a great motivator, and a good one, it is not the only one. It is not even the best one.
Train well. Train hard.
Often times karate is thought of as simply kicking and punching. Sparring is thought of a couple guys bouncing around, unrealistically, and trying to tap each other with those techniques. But, like boxing and wrestling, karate has its own style of dealing with things. That style is more than simple kick and punch.
I've pulled out an oldie, but a goodie, for this week. This is the final 14 minutes of the first Karate Kid movie someone posted on YouTube. I link to it below.
Points of reference:
1. Be a Black Belt; don't have a black belt. Mr. Miyagi goes to sign-in Daniel-san in the karate tournament. The tournament organizer wants to know Daniel's rank. Now, from a promoter's stand point, this makes A LOT of sense. You don't want people of terribly different skill levels facing off and someone getting humiliated or hurt. A black belt is suppose to indicate great skill.
Now, in this scene, Mr. Miyagi defends that Daniel is a Black Belt, but he is speaking to his true skill level, not what's around his waist. He then conveniently "borrows" a non-descript black belt. I don't recommend mimicking this at a tournament (or any place, for that matter- borrowing without someone's knowledge might be perceived as stealing).
2. Martial Spirit: The martial spirit is more than simply aggression and offensive mindset. A great fighter may also be a great jerk. Don't be this. The martial spirit, while intimately tied with fighting, is also one of respect and of courage. The locker room scene at the beginning demonstrates what I mean.
3. Sweep the Leg: In the montage you see a lot of the fights finished with a kick or punch point scored (and note, in this tournament they are real kicks and punches, not taps). But, you also see a great number of trips, or "takedowns." This speaks plainly to my claim above: karate is more than kick this and punch that.
After outlining these three points, please keep an open mind and open eyes. Look for scenes that speak directly to these three points. If you find more, please, put them into the combox (comment box), below.
Dan Testing. For those of you new to the terminology, Dan Testing is not a testing of a person named "Dan." Dan testing is for those students who seek to be admitted to the next rank of Dan. This may be for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. Dan is the Korean word for what we Americans call "Black Belts."
Dan testing is rigorous, and hard tasking of body and mind. Students are required to recall all learned techniques and forms over a three year period. They are expected to execute these techniques well, and with vigor. They begin their testing with White Belt training through Chondan-bo (the highest pre-black belt students).
This weekend students from the ATF gathered, judged by Masters of the federation, to test their mettle and worth as students. All students, some testing for first dan and some testing for higher degrees, put forth tremendous effort. Each student received commendation from Grandmaster K.H.Chon.
Other Masers from around the eastern United States likewise gave commendations to the students, and encouraged them to continue to work hard. Each students passing the exam was reminded that now was not the time to call it quits, but rather, now it was time to delve even deeper into their training.
Excellence. I don't mean the object of an often spoken, "excellent!" I am referring to true excellence. A true excellence comes from within, and is blind to style or school. It shines through the individual who seeks to better himself, continuously.
In the 1993 Movie (Rongguang Yu and Donnie Yen), the Robin Hood character, Iron Monkey, is excellent in the martial arts. The setting is 18th Century China where martial arts and the shaolin martial arts are the cream of the crop.
During the movie, however, you learn that the shaolin society has become corrupt, along with the government. Rather than seeking to right the wrongs in society, they aid a corrupt government and seek out to destroy the Iron Monkey. The Iron Monkey defeats two of the strongest shaolin warriors, simultaneously, without so much as breathing heavy.
Humiliating the warriors, mid-fight, with his skills, the Iron Monkey (Rongguang Yu) speaks to the shaolin. Artfully doging attacks and launching his own effective counters he says, "Pathetic." "This is what you call excellence?"
Here, a young, solitary master overcomes centuries of shaolin training. Why? Because he studies and practices and seeks to, continuously better himself. The shaolin warrior portrayed in this movie do not. "They are shaolin." If their name alone is not enough to instill order, their skills are.
No one watching the movie should say, the shaolin arts are totally worthless. But, in comparison to the excellence of Dr. Yang/Iron Monkey (Rongguan Yu) and Wong Fei-Hong (Donnie Yen), they are sub-par fighters, almost novices against the trained and honed skills, and excellence, of the movie's heroes.
Tournament season is ramping up, again. Here, at Chon's Karate, we plan to next attend GM C.S.Kim's Annual Tournament in Monroeville, PA It is a great experience, if you haven't been there, yet.
I need to say something about the tournament experience as a traditional martial artist. Competition is not the center of martial arts. Again, competition is not the center of martial arts. It is a crucial teaching tool, ground for experimentation, and means of communication and communal solidarity. But it is not the heart and center of martial arts.
Why do I stress this? I stress this because it is very easy to get caught up in the competition spirit. Tournaments require preparation, both physically and mentally. They also require an investment of resources. And once you've been to a few tournaments, you think economically. You prepare yourself for one, then you want to maximize that preparation by attending more than one tournament in two months.
There is no problem with this. In fact, there is a great advantage. By better yourself, then competing, you get a chance to see yourself through a new set of eyes. You also have a chance to learn from every person at each tournament you attend. Your tournament fee, in a way, is like paying tuition for a giant class/seminar! There is no problem here.
The problem comes in when competition is the heart and soul of your martial arts experience. It can be your primary outlet, but when you practice, just to do better than the other guy, you've missed out. You've missed out on the very fruitful and important benefit of self-improvement.
The martial arts are designed to better your as a person, in the context of building up a good social network with others. While competitions do that well, we have to keep them in perspective in our minds.
And with that, I would like to share an excellent video of a breaking competition with you.
About a year ago I made a post about Anthony "Showtime" Pettis. Love him, hate him, or happen to be his hair-dresser, there is one things about him I'd like to highlight. His "wall kick."
For those of you new to the phrase, a wall kick is a double jump maneuver into a kick (roundhosue or back). The first jump is from the ground, the second is off a wall, poll, person, or some other upright fixture. The jump ends in landing on another human being with the execution of a kick. Anthony Pettis utilized this off the Octagon's wall, to, literally, devastate an opponent.
Why I would like to highlight this episode in mixed-martial arts history. Mixed martial arts is primarily two things: a laboratory and a gladiatorial arena. Anthony Pettis clearly uses as both. He makes it a point to utilize "low-percentage" techniques in his training and in the Octagon. He never says that it is easy, or that everyone can or should do what he does. But, by his determination and effort he makes everyone else "one-in-a-million" shot his million dollar shot- and he makes 'em count.
Enjoy. Train Hard.
This week we, in the north-western hemisphere, will be greeting a welcome friend. Spring time! While this is a time to be outdoors and walk about, it is also a time to get in shape for summer.
As Chon's Korean Karate we maximize our time for fitness in every class. While we keep a continuing karate curriculum, we are sure to arrange each element of class to maximize your workout in the time you have with your instructor. In this way, we are can help each other get fit and stay fit.
Our program is designed to allow you to get the skills you need. We don't believe in sacrificing learning just to get a workout, and we don't believe in sacrificing your workout just to learn a couple moves. After all, what good is being fit if you can't defend yourself (and what good are self-defense skills if you're struggle to breathe in a fight)?
Good morning!While this is not directly related to TangSooDo, it is directly related to martial arts. While Judo is a sport, it is also a fundamental self-defense of throwing and joint locks. I am posting this for all of you who may be interested in the wider world of martial sport, but might not have seen this, as of yet.
Also, Judo is related, in many ways, to Hapkido. Some elements of karate also merge well with Judo's application (such as certain throwing techniques). While we do not engage in sparring that includes throwing (or rondori) at Chon's Karate, we do learn to break-fall.
Welcome to the new virtual face of Chon's Karate.
This website is many years coming and launches new excitement for us, here, at Chon's Karate.
Please browse our site. On our front page, you may notice a section at the bottom right hand corner for your email address. By putting in your address you can begin receiving newsletters that will be digitally published, along with this blog.
There is no place to input your personal information, other than your email address. There is minimal responsibility. In fact there is only one, a sacred pact, if I might: I promise to write, that's my part. You read.
For easy streaming, add our blog to your RSS feed to see any all updates, as they happen. It's not that we don't want you to visit our website, but we don't want to bore you, either.
Enjoy your visit, and hope to see you in the Dojang.
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