Sunday, July 15, 2007

End and a Beginning

I've spent almost a year learning taekwondo at my university. Its always been a rather bussinesslike relationship with my teacher and fellow students. In the sense that I haven't gotten on very friendly terms with anybody. My teacher knows me, but nothing about me. So I couldn't exactly say goodbye to anyone, even though I did want to. I went to my last class, with nobody knowing that I would just stop showing up. Its on to new things now I suppose.

I did a pretty thorough search for taekwondo schools in Berkeley (as far as you can do these things over the net), and though I've got a few schools in mind to check out, there hasn't been anything which I just instantly knew I could join (except the UCSF tkd, but its out due to distance constraints). One reason is that I wanted to continue in the particular style that I practice, but also its a bit difficult to tell without seeing a class whether the atmosphere is to your liking. For example, maybe I am prejudiced, but at the moment, I would like to be learning in a class with adults, and not, say teenagers.

Anyhoo, I have been looking into other arts, and there is a dojo which particularly appealed to me, at least when I read about it on the net. I'm visiting Berkeley in the next few days, ostensibly to look for an apartment, but I'll scout around some MA schools as well.


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Colin Wee said...

Good luck with your search.


Little Cricket said...

Thanks Colin, I'll try to post about how it goes.

- LC

Mad Dog said...

LC: Relocating and finding a new dojo is always difficult. My aikido progress has suffered quite badly over the years because of this problem. Having said that the Bay Area has a huge number of martial arts schools and you should be able to find one that will suit your TK style. Good luck with the move and your quest...

Lenore said...

I love your blog! I can so relate to your thoughts and emotions. It's like you are reading my mind. I'm 43 and started TKD (after wanting to do it for 20 years) in February. Discovered your site while searching for knee inuries and TKD. So far I've injured a calf muscle twice and injured my knee about a week ago. I ordered the book Mindbody Prescription that you talk about. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for recommending it.

My e-mail:

Little Cricket said...

mad dog:

Thanks. I'm not looking forward to dealing with moving again in a couple of years only for this reason. Bay area -- I too thought it would be easy to find a TKD school in the same style, but its been rather frustrating. There don't seem to be organized resources for finding this sort of thing out. However, I bet nothing is as hard as finding a reasonably priced and decently located apartment in the Bay area -- its cutthroat out there!



Wow, thanks, its so cool of you to say that!

Congrats on starting TKD. I think it will prove especially fulfiling when you look back at all the hurdles you overcome to keep pursuing it.

Our bodies are much stronger than we realize and are taught to believe. Injuries are tricky to deal with. It can be hard to tell whether the pain is lasting because there is still damage to the area or whether your fear of reinjury/fear of irrepearable damage to the part is perpetuating it.

I try to give myself a bit of rest when I am injured, but not from daily routine activities. I try hard not to let fear dominate my thoughts, and it also helps not to keep focusing on the physical. Your body will heal in its time.

Reading MBP with an open mind (as its theories are a bit different from conventional medical ones) was very helpful to me in realizing the above. I do hope you find it useful!


Lenore said...

Thanks for your positive thoughts and kudos to you for mastering the challenge of school and TKD at the same time. Hope you can continue.

Do you know of anyone that continued TKD after recovering from a partially torn ACL? I'm really struggling with this one. I'm not ready to give up TKD but it sounds very likely I'll injure it again even after going through months of PT. Yes, fear is going to play into this big time. Every time I do a double roundhouse kick (the landing is when I got injured) I'll be thinking about it. Fear is not dominating my daily thoughts but frustration certainly is.

Kadiddly said...

Thanks for the comment. I hope you find a new home for your MA training!

Khakra said...

very interesting! i'm actually in San Francisco, the city, also trying to look for a new martial arts school. Unfortunately my timings don't match with most schools (work ends at 6PM!).

I'm going to try out a new karate style, Seigokan, on Tuesday to see how it is. I tried some taekwondo classes, it just doesn't satisfy -- either contracts, or the classes are just way too big (it's kind of hard being a little blip on the floor!), or class timings.

I can tell you this -- Berkeley's university program is excellent, a safe bet in any martial art you select. It's genuine training, and university folks are always fun to train with than a commercial dojo. They have a specific martial art I've never heard of: Yongmudo, it's a hapkido/taekwondo mix, and I'm just dying to give it a try. One of these days perhaps....

Then, there's Hwa Rang Kwan in San Francisco, it's a good studio with friendly folks (the timings are terrible!). Highest rated Tae Kwon Do program around here is Stanford's program, WTF-based, Olympic style sparring.

Then there's a style called Cuong Nhu in Berkeley, which I'm not so sure about, but perhaps worth trying out (It's a Vietnamese style, I'd prefer to stick to Japanese or Korean).

Avoid these: West Wind (somewhere near Berkeley/Oakland), or any ATA taekwondo school. ATA asks to sign 6-month contracts (or more). I tried both, and if you're in for some serious training, an absolute waste of time.

There's also some good karate schools out there: An informal isshinryu school run by a guy named Dan in Berkeley (got one positive feedback). I've also heard a ton (I mean loads) about Suigetsukan Aikido which is near Lake Merritt in Oakland. I got one recommendation from a New York friend about a Seido Karate for which there is a related school. I haven't tried it, you might want to check it out. (

But of course, your decision is final! My honest-to-goodness background is in Kendo, but I'm still searching schools. I'd love to try taekwondo especially, but there's nothing in the city. It's kinda fun trying different styles, shows you the difference. I've been doing this for 2 years now, about time I settled on a school!

Must also say...your background's mighty interesting too, we're very similar. I was born in the US, and then my parents moved back when I was middle-aged. Couldn't believe my eyes when I read that. We're a rare breed of desis! Drop me a note if you have questions, i'll be glad to help:

Khakra said...

so you know, heard from a friend, the free taekwondo trials at berkeley begin the end of August...

Khakra said...

if you're willing to go a little distance for ITF training, there's Harding Taekwondo in San Ramon. It appeared in some CL listing. Don't know good it is, but they are posing as a mixed martial arts school too, so I'd be careful...g'luck