The Unbreakable Chain of Taekwondo Knowledge and Wisdom
Excerpt from 4th Dan Black Belt Essay by Lisa Ehrenreich
"From the moment I stepped in front of a class it felt good, it felt right, it felt like I had to do it - for myself, for the students, for Chosun and for the future of Taekwondo. It was a huge responsibility but one I had to take on. My goal as an instructor is not only to learn the entire curriculum (still working on that), and not just to teach good technique - but also to share how Taekwondo can become a metaphor for life at every turn. I want to share how the focus, patience and perseverance needed to execute a proper low block (ari maki), a knife hand (sonnal) or a front kick (ap chagi) can be the same focus, patience
and perseverance needed to achieve all your greatest desires and dreams. I believe we must make a concerted effort in our lives to live in the present moment, which is really all we have. So often our minds are reliving the past or contemplating the future. Traditional Taekwondo allows us the practice of being fully present."
Path to the Stone Buddha Golgulsa Temple
The Difference Between Practicing Martial Art and Martial Sport
Excerpt from 2nd Dan Black Belt Essay by Elissa Maynard
"By removing some of the dangers that self-defense driven Taekwondo training offers, sport Taekwondo produces fast, natural, reflexive movement by emphasizing speed, technique, and completion of techniques which can help in self-defense situations. In this controlled and competitive environment, the practitioner learns how to react in difficult unpredictable circumstances. These situations can prepare the martial artist for similar situations in real life and enable them to realize and expand their potential as martial artists.
It is important to understand that sport Taekwondo competition is not the same as a fight in the CVS parking lot but is closer to a combat situation than any other style of training. These benefits only hold true and are effective if the practitioner doesn't lose sight of the true goal, which unfortunately is most often the case. When that happens, winning and losing becomes too important and interferes with the training process. In addition, as a result of point driven competitions, techniques that are deemed “ineffective” are soon abandoned and the focus shifts to skills that can procure points. This is a major downfall to the sport side of Taekwondo because so many useful skills are left behind."