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March 7, 2010 Wyoming Black Belt Class
at Master Martin's

Senior Master Martin opened class and led everyone through brief warm-ups. We began by working techniques down the floor. First we did walking stance, middle obverse then reverse punch, consecutive.
Front foot spot turn.
Next was middle side block with the outer forearm, reverse side block with the outer forearm, obverse punch, consecutive techniques. Sine wave is created by raising the rear heel off the floor.

Senior Master Martin asked for information on Walking Stance . . . shoulder width measured from the center of the instep. He noted that most people's stances were too wide. We should all take a serious look at ourselves and adjust the width. It may not feel so stable because it's not what we're used to. The length - one and a half shoulder widths - is measured from the big toe to the big toe.

He noted that our students watch and take in everything about our techniques, and that "Our stuff is hanging out" every time we do a technique. It's important that "Our Stuff" is always the best we can do.

Consecutive blocking: reverse block is reverse half facing, but the blocking lines remain the same; that is, sloar plexus line, chest line, and shoulder line. Once a movement starts the motion does not stop.

click on any picture to see a larger image

Punching: from intermediate hand position, the punching hand comes back to the hip, then up to the armpit and straight out toward the target, accelerating smoothly to the target.
Rear foot spot turn.
Walking stance, rising block with the outer forearm: the load is slightly half facing, the block is delivered full facing.

From L-Stance - Side strike with the backfist, spring style reverse punch. This is an exception to the punching rule, it does not come to intermediate hand position but comes up then straight out; the hip comes to full facing leading the punch, then back to L-stance guarding block. It's done this way so as not to telegraph the techinque; this is a sparring technique, not a patterns movement.

High side turning kick, set down L-stance, outward strike with the knifehand; pulling the front foot to bending ready stance A while executing guarding block with the forearm. (then set down L-stance guarding block). On the bending ready stance A, the knee is inward 15 degrees, and the footsword is parallel to the floor, foot palm turned inwards toward the knee. The way you tense your foot can be either big toe up, 4 toes down, or not. Whatever works for you so that the outside of the ankle is tight (no wrinkles).

We went through the information on L-Stance: length - one and a half shoulder widths from the tip of the toe of the front foot to the footsword of the rear foot; width - 1 inch from inside heel of the front foot to the back heel of the rear foot; weight is 70-30, feet are in 15 degrees. The back leg is bent so that the knee is over the ball of the foot.

L-stance back piercing kick: when the target is low, the heel-sole is the tool and the foot is mostly vertical. As the target becomes higher, the footsword is the tool.

In a double stepping motion, twisting kick.

Inward vertical kick with the reverse footsword: this kick comes through the CD line but not across the body.

Step hook kick: two applications - 1) to strike the head. 2) to hook around and pull your opponent in. This kick is used to hit a lighter weight target such as the head (as opposed to the torso) so that you can pull through the target and it won't stop your kick.

Senior Master Martin noted that when we teach we overemphasize the specific action to get our bodies to learn. As we become Black Belts the techniques get there faster; we become more efficient.
There is always maintenance to do on our techniques!

Inward downward kick: the kicking heel must come up very high to come down on the target. The primary target is the shoulder.

At this point Senior Master Martin sent Mr. Johnson, Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Sisco with Mr. Dubbeld and Mr. Gimmel to answer questions from the recent Class C Instructors Course.

The rest did 4-Direction Thrust. The technique is a 'thrust with the side elbow' (thrust with the back elbow would be from a sitting stance).

Then each rank did their testing pattern by count: Hwa-Rang, Choong-Moo, Eui-Am, Yoo-Sin, Yon-Gae. (No 1st Dans in attendance today)



Some comments:
In Yon-Gae, moves #4 and #15, make sure the mid-air outward strike is middle, not high.
In Yoo-Sin, on hooking block the hand position is just as it would be as you place it to grasp your opponent's punch. The waving kick is for an attack from the front, protecting your crotch.
In Eui-Am, the circular block with reverse knifehand, the blocking hand remains extended out as far as your stance.
All patterns need good sine wave.
Any open hand techniques, the hands are closed while in intermediate postition.

Three reasons to retract a side kick faster than it goes out:
1) power stays in the target, it doesn't rebound back into you.
2) prevent opponent from grabbing your foot.
3) most important reason - balance recovery: be ready for the next technique.

Each rank then did their pattern for the class. Some were just learning their new patterns after testing last month - good job, gentlemen!
We went through the ranks again and then again, Black Belts doing another test pattern, 1st and 2nd Gups going down one level.
The seniors rejoined the group in time to do Se-Jong.

2nd Gups, Four-Directional Thrust, and Hwa-Rang
1st Gups, Choong-Moo, with some help from Senior Master Martin teaching the last few moves.
II Dans, Eui-Am
IV Dans, Yon-Gae
II Dans, Choong-Jang
2nd Gups, Toi-Gye
1st Gups, Hwa-Rang
II Dans, Ju-Che
IV Dans
VI-VIII Dans, Se-Jong

Mat Chat:
Attendance: Each school is required to produce attendance records for Black Belts from Jan-March 2010, to be presented to Mr. Sisco prior to the Region 2 Workshop in Thornton, CO. All Wyoming Black Belts are required to attend the Region 2 Workshop. Any absences must be cleared ahead of time through your instructor and Senior Master Martin.

Senior Master Martin talked about how important it was for him to attend courses in Denver to get instruction since much of the time he was the highest rank at home. It is important for instructors in remote areas to attend the courses to stay up to date. Also for other senior instructors so they can help him remember as much as possible and to support one another.
Furthermore, it lights a fire, and you come back with a new energy to train and to share information that you learned.
It's necessary to go to these courses for resources to maintain the high level of people and schools in Wyoming, so that we can keep the quality up and carry on teaching the best Taekwon-Do in the country.

The next Nationals will be in Denver in 2011. At the recent Referee's Course in Broomfield, out of 50 attendees, only 3 or 4 raised their hand that they were planning to attend Nationals. This is as close as our USTF National Tournament has ever been and it is a great opportunity to participate and support our National event, inexpensive in time and money because it's right next door. Wyoming should have a GREAT turnout at this tournament!

We can improve attendance at tournaments by training together, being involved in our classes. There are almost two full generations of spoiled students who do not realize the sacrifices, struggles and growing pains that it has taken for the USTF to evolve into the quality organization that it is. Those seniors who know about that and have been a part of it need to ignite that spark in our younger students, fan the flame, and keep it burning.
Tournaments are run very professionally to insure that every competitior has the best possible experience, to test their skills and enjoy the company and comraderie of their Taekwon-Do brothers and sisters.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Grand Master Sereff, we must keep his legacy alive. Senior Master Martin says we can all help do this by training and attending events like Nationals, and Courses that the USTF offers, Black Belt Classes in your area in addition to your regular class training. We are a brother/sister organization and there are dynamite people all over the country just like we are. We all have Taekwon-Do as a common interest. Let's get ready.

Wow, that was a great talk, leaving us a lot to think about!
When all was said and done, there was a presentation:
Mr. Gimmel presented Senior Master Martin with a bottle of homemade honey-plum wine . . . the plums came from his back yard, and he made the wine.


March 2010 Wyoming Black Belt Class
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