Last week was one full of training and testing. We had the semi-annual visit from the World Haidong Gumdo Federation’s Head Master, Kwanjangnim Jeong-Woo Kim, who continues to help us grow and develop in sword skills and life success.
It was a challenging week. We worked really hard and gained more knowledge in our curriculum. The master’s training was intense work that reviewed all of the gup (colored belt) material and all of the Chodan (1st Dan black belt) material. It is important to note that reviewing the gup material is highly valuable as it gives us a chance to remember the things that we “thought” we knew.
This specifically refers to all the little things that change as we train. Something as simple as which stance should you be in. While working with him during the last training…six months ago…that stance was a sodose (kneeling stance) and has now devolved into an ugly Jayunse (Walking stance) without even recognizing that you’ve changed it.
The biggest benefit of reviewing the gup level material comes from the opportunity to hear deeper lecturing about the mechanics and application techniques. This makes the students better in performing required material. It also creates the depth of understanding to allow physical application of technique to work and be able to apply the principles beyond the physical training.
During the student seminar, Kwanjangnim Kim had students working on understanding where the “pauses” are in a gumbub (form). These “sword stances” were typically places where the student takes a moment to aim or challenge an opponent without actively cutting or defending. These are important points in training. The recognition that staying still is an active application of a principle can change the outcome of an encounter.
This could be illustrated beyond training when you choose to not respond to a comment and wait to see where it goes next. The initial comment may only be frustration showing up and if you respond to it, the rest may get ugly. I’ve done that recently while discussing a future event with a master from a partner school. I should have waited to hear the next portion before responding. It would have given me greater understanding and not caused any undue tension/conflict.
Yes, the week training with Kwanjangnim Kim re-enforced that we must always remember to train the basics and apply the principles.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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