Thursday, May 31, 2007


I admit it ... I like attention (but I'm shy). I just mean I like to be given feedback during class. Sometimes a whole class goes by with not too many comments from my teacher, like today. Other people had to do their forms and get corrections. I can't be doing everything right?! Maybe he overlooks me a LOT more than other people :). Only a correction to my step punch and a block during Chon Ji and Yul Gok. No comments while sparring. I think about whether I am just too bad, and my teacher doesn't want to waste his time with me or if its just by accident.

Taking taekwondo has certainly made me better about my insecurities. But if this is where I am now, I was in pretty bad shape before.

I should just focus on the class.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Yul Gok

Homework: Go read about Yul Gok and practice a lot.

Favorite parts:
* The 'falling sidestep' before the second sloooow punch.
* The arc hand blocks
* The jumping backfist - that has a kind of flair to it :)

I practiced my step punches in Chon Ji and Dan Gun quite a bit today. I think I am getting the hang of how to step onto my knee while lunging forward.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


That's a sigh of satisfaction. The first class of the summer. I didn't do much training over the break. I felt really springy and was kicking and stretching higher than before. I totally believe the people that say after repair, the body becomes stronger than before. I've heard that's the principle behind working out with weights. You tear some muscle when you lift weights and when that repairs, its stronger than before...then you lift more weights, I guess.

I started learning Yul Gok. Today's class was spent almost entirely on Chon Ji. My teacher emphasized the following

- When preparing for low blocks, back knee is very close to ground with weight evenly distributed, NOT over front knee. This can be achieved by tilting the knee just a fraction up and outwards, like riding stance, but in the prep position.

- Look towards where you're blocking.

- On middle blocks, keep line of arm straight almost till last instant. Do most of the turning with hips, not the arms.

- Step punches, the idea is to start by moving body forward, putting weight onto front knee, not stepping 'outwards'.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


If all goes well, I'll be moving to sunny California in the fall. I'll be living in Berkeley. I'd love to know if anybody has any thoughts on where to train in Taekwondo or martial arts in general in that area. I would prefer to continue in the style of Taekwondo I do now -- we call it Traditional Taekwondo or Korean Karate, and do the forms starting with Chon-Ji. I'm still not sure entirely which *TF it is. But I am definitely open to other styles and arts. I guess what I am looking for most is a rigorous studio with roughly the same style so that I don't feel like I am starting right at the beginning again; I would love to continue with the same set of forms. I'm ok with the above conditions not being satisfied if its a very good studio. I would also like a place which gives equal emphasis to drills, sparring and forms. I like all three aspects very much and wouldn't want to give up on any of them.

Aaaa...I am so resistant to the unfamiliar! What I definitely am looking for is a teacher who has a good self-interpretation of the art. I.e., not someone who just regurgitates the things they have learnt without thinking about it.

I will be checking out the TKD program at UC Berkeley. Has anyone had any experience there or heard of anyone who trained in TKD there?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I'm close to deciding what I'll be doing after graduating. Fortunately it looks like there will be time for taekwondo, but its going to be much harder to make time. We'll see. I started writing my thesis. And I'm considering doing some climbing instead of tai chi over the summer. Less stuff to memorize. I'm swamped.