When I first stepped into White Tiger Martial Arts 5 ½ years ago, I was looking for something more than just working out. Having been a competitive athlete, it got very boring just working out to work out. I needed a purpose for the workout to have meaning and the purpose had to be bigger than ‘staying in shape’. I had thought about martial arts before but wasn’t 20 any more and the idea of hitting or being hit wasn’t all that attractive any more. I was picking my teenage daughter up from a local dance and saw a friend of hers waiting at the curb. I asked if he was waiting for his parents? He said yes, I have to get to my sword class. Of course, I asked ‘what is that all about?’ He said it is the study of how to use a sword in combat. I asked if it didn’t hurt getting hit with one? He said while we can spar, he likes the motion and physical activity of the drills and forms best. I asked what it was called? He said ‘Haidong Gumdo’ or the Study of the Korean Sword.
I was intrigued.
I spoke to him about it off and on for a few months whenever I saw him. He said:
‘You should just call Master Frankovich, my Master. He is a nice guy and will let you
use his equipment to try it out for a month to see if you like it. After that, you can
decide for yourself if you want to continue. That way you don’t have to be out a bunch
of money if it isn’t for you.’
Finally I decide to show up at a class session. I found out it had a lot more to offer than just physical activity in an activity I might like. It incorporates purposeful activity, cardiovascular, flexibility, mental stimulation, camaraderie, history, and more all at the same time I was doing an activity I liked doing.
Today I am working toward testing for my 3rd Dan (or 3rd degree black belt). Seems like yesterday I walked if for the first time. many have asked if having had hip replacement surgery creates a problem? Surprisingly, it has actually been of great benefit. My surgeon is amazed at how fast I recovered from the surgery and how my range of motion is actually better and more stable than it was way before my hip started bothering me.
While the Haidong Gumdo as an art has helped me physically and mentally, I am also very happy to have been referred to Master Frankovich. In my 5-6 years of working with different Instructors and Masters, I feel he has the greatest depth of knowledge in understanding not only the movements, but WHY you are moving that way.
Not limited to the Study of the Korean Sword, Master Frankovich also actively teaches Taekwondo, Aikido, personal Defense and others.
If you are interested in looking into any of the martial arts, or just looking for a fun activity to stay fit, I strongly recommend contacting WTMA – White Tiger Martial Arts of MN.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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