Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why I Choose to Study in the Martial Arts (Tae Kwon Do is not only for Kids)

   White Belt Essay by Cherie Durgin

When I am asked a question regarding the reason I chose a certain decision or direction for my children, the answer is typically not difficult to answer.  I simply state what was on my mind at that time and how it would benefit my child.  However, the question regarding why I chose Martial Arts for myself is not as easy an answer as I had anticipated.  People have asked me why I decided to join, and my answer was never clear.  My initial response has been along the lines of, "I am not really sure.  I guess it was to join my children in this challenge."  I was not really sure how to express the exact reason I chose to study the
  Martial Arts for myself that does not include the unoriginal answer of it "providing a               mental and physical challenge." It just felt right at the time. This uncertainty bothered 
  me.  Staring at a blank page without thoughts overflowing was unexpected.  However, the       more I  thought about it, the more I realized why.  As parents, our children come first.          
The choice to put my children into Martial Arts was easy.  I realized the benefits it would provide them.  As years went on, I have seen individual growth in different ways.  Each child has strengths that are being enhanced and weaknesses that are being challenged. The benefits I predicted that Tae Kwon Do would offer them have become a reality, plus more.  They continue to grow each time they attend class.   Every class I was able to watch, I was intrigued with what they were learning.  I was disappointed when I was unable to stay as I needed to be somewhere else.  Little did I know that this was a growing urge of wanting to participate in something that I simply thought was an enjoyment in observing. 
After some time, it dawned on me that the benefits my children were gaining out of Tae Kwon Do were things that I realized I could use in my life, as well.  The meditation helps them remain still and focused for a period of time, reflecting only on the present and mentally preparing for what was ahead of them in that hour.  The physical movements of stretching and forms help their balance, coordination, mental processing, and concentration.  The self defense skills benefit them to become more agile and aware of the unexpected challenges (physical or mental), they will face as they grow.  Their spirit, perseverance and confidence only increase as they work toward their next belt.  The appreciation of the Korean culture and history is naturally something that I feel my children need.  The vocabulary and lessons learned in class help them to recognize and appreciate the Korean culture which, of course, is already part of their identity.  It is difficult to pinpoint each and every reason why Tae Kwon Do is such a beneficial practice as the list is endless.  It improves the whole body and mind.  I enjoyed watching my children receive these benefits through Tae Kwon Do, and I finally realized something that surprised me:  It was my turn.  
As most parents would agree, our children are our priority.  They come first in every important decision we make.  It does not come natural for us to think about ourselves or especially to take time to ponder what benefits us in our decisions.  It is not natural for us to dissect the reason of why we choose to make a commitment, if we even make them at all.  Joining Tae Kwon Do looked like a quick, "on the whim" decision.  Friends were surprised when I joined as was my husband.  In actuality, the desire was always there but the justification to do it was not.   I realize now, and especially after attending a number of classes, that joining Tae Kwon Do is a life changing decision.  It is absolutely something I enjoy sharing with my children.  But, most importantly, it was a personal decision to commit to something that would ultimately benefit, challenge, change, and improve...ME.  It is my turn.    


Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" Gamja Saelleodeu

"Mrs. Pyke Eats Korea" can be seen every month
in the Chosun Taekwondo Academy newsletter
This column is from the June, 2016 newsletter

    Here’s a fun Korean dish that would go well with any cookout this summer. So in honor of Memorial Day Weekend here is a recipe for Gamja Saelleodeu, Korean potato salad.

I first tasted this dish at a fabulous lunch we had after training with Grand Master Lee. We entered a beautiful post and beam farmhouse style restaurant and were seated on the floor in the traditional style of dining. The table was filled with a plethora of Banchan, the small side dishes that accompany any Korean meal. One of the dishes was Potato Salad. I thought it seemed odd… potato salad is so American. Well I was in for a surprise!! The Gamja Saelleodeo was so icy cold and soft. The potatoes were more mashed than chunky and the dressing was super sweet due to the fact that some sugar and apple are added. A great compliment to the highly spicy and fermented Banchans on the table. Everyone at our end of the table gobbled it right up! I recall we asked if there was any more potato salad at the other end of the table and if there was to please pass it down!!
Gamja Saelleodeu is served at every Korean restaurant here in the states. So don’t hesitate when you see it!
Here is a recipe from my new favorite Korean cookbook, KOREATOWN for Gamja Saelleodeu.

2 eggs
2 large russets, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 apple (Fugi or Gala)
½ cup drained canned corn
1 medium carrot, cut small dice
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon Biofeel or Yakuitt yogurt drink(optional)

1.          Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add eggs and boil for 12 minutes. Run them under cold water to cool, and then peel. Separate the whites from the yolk and small dice the whites. Crumble the egg yolks and reserve them for garnish.
2.      Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes till fork tender.
3.      While still warm, mash the potatoes with a fork, leaving a few larger chunks for texture.  Place the potatoes in a bowl and mix in the sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
4.      Core and cut the apple into small dice. To the bowl with the smashed potatoes add the egg whites, corn, carrot, mayonnaise and the yogurt drink and mix well. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the crumbled egg yolks.

Enjoy and have a fabulous summer. And remember don’t be afraid to try new taste sensations!!

Haeng bog meogneum !!

Pamela Pyke

The Chosun e-newsletter Archive Volume 7 #6 June, 2016

June 1, 2016
Chosun Logo_trans_large_noglow_red_dkgry jpeg
   News   Events   Updates
Dear Martial Arts Enthusiast,

Welcome to the June edition of the  Chosun Taekwondo Academy e-newsletter! After the flurry of opening events in April, we took a short breather and then on to the summer schedule of events at CHOSUN. Taking advantage of the great outdoors, don't miss our annual Summer Training in the Warwick Town Park, Youth Training and Korean Arts & Crafts and the third annual Chosun picnic.
Please take note of Chosun 2016 Summer Schedule which will included in your July invoice and online as of July 1, 2016

View the 2015 Chosun Taekwondo Academy Retrospective 

Kamsahamnida,                                                                                                            facebook button
Patty Cook, Editor
Happy Father's Day!

                                                                                                                                        Chosun Taekwondo Academy celebrating 19 years!

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