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May 4, 2014 Wyoming Black Belt Class
at Master Martin's

Instructor: Senior Master Martin

Senior Master Martin opened class, then we warmed up with little hops, jumping jacks; ankles; toes; hips. Leg raises from L-stance, L-stance 1-2 punch...
He said "Look around, see who's missing. Tell your brothers and sisters and students to get to Black Belt Class!" Why - it makes us better but beyond that, it shows a commitment, a willingness to sacrifice. Black Belt Class is more responsibility than just a class. It helps us as instructors, helps build Taekwon-Do, keeps Wyoming strong and together.

Senior Master Martin commented that the recent testing in Rock Springs was small but very good quality. He found some weakness in breaking however. Breaking is inportant. You must challenge yourself to see what you can do. Senior Master Martin said Taekwon-Do is the hardest thing he has ever done.

* Front - side - turning - back, kicking combination. Lift and turn on your center axis (vertical axis). Do not throw your shoulders down or around. You will see your target better if you are upright. Also, recovery is faster.

* Back kick - back kick, combination. Pay attention to body alignment: heel, hip, shoulder, chin. The power band of the kick is only a couple of inches short of extension. Some testing students were making contact too close to the boards, or mis-aligned from the boards. Break more in class. Work on it so students are prepared at testings! The tool at contact is also important. The proper tool should be the first thing to contact the board. The body has to be positioned correctly so you present the proper tool, so that it will be the first thing to reach the board/target.

Click on any picture to see a larger image.    
Kicking combinations
Watch how you line up the kick -
this is off-center
Make a straight line from
Pay attention to angle and distance. If you're too close the knee will be too bent. Contact the target with the tool a couple of inches from full extension.

* Timing on combination kicks - we need to recover, set down to be prepared for the next kick more quickly. Recovery time is tied to where you set down. Make sure it's not too far forward, set down naturally to pivot and turn. Also your upper body must rotate on your vertical axis without leaning over.

* When the setting of a conflict changes, or your environment changes, your tool bag is much different. Senior Master Martin told us that his instructor had him do his techniques in the laundry room, in the bedroom or living room, at the bar among the tables and chairs, to become familiar with performing techniques in cramped spaces and among obstacles.

* Reverse hook kick, then reverse hook kicks in combination.

Reverse hook kick combinations.
Reverse hook kick is not delivered in an upward motion, but slightly downward at point of contact.

* Middle outward vertical kick - hit the target at 90 degrees, not at an upward angle.
* Inward vertical kick - you can use body rotation, momentum, leg swing. Pop (or snap) the hip, engage the hip, to increase the power with momentum. LOOK at the target!

Outward vertical kicks.
Inward vertical kick demonstration.

Red belts: Toi-Gye or Hwa-Rang.... High red and Black Belts: Choong-Moo. By count.

Hwa-Rang, Toi-Gye
Watch the back heel stays down, drive the heel into the floor, and push it out slightly to maintain full facing.
Choong Moon by count.
Use the mirrors, see the difference between middle and high.

5th and 6th Dans out, 1st through 4th Dans performed Choong-Moo. Comments: Good cadence but hand speed (acceleration) is lacking, so that it looks like the techniques are formed into their final position, not executed. Use realism! Second time through was better. but it still needs work.

Red Belts performed Hwa-Rang. Comments: The cadence got faster, then slowed again towards the end of the pattern. Second time through - Senior Master Martin noted that group patterns often fall out of time at the kicks, because of different retraction and recovery times.

Red Belts

Team training - Senior Master Martin spoke about how hard it can be to put a good team together. It requires a big commitment from everyone, to extra time, extra workouts, an understanding of what that commitment to the team entails. Team = ONE. In patterns, it is the kicking / recovery time that is the hardest part of staying together.

Dallyon training - Light tapping will develop callouses over soft bone. Then a hard break will still injure you. You must dallyon train with heavier contact on a hard surface. There are no shortcuts. Lots of training will create strong durable tools. We have a powerful art - we need powerful tools.

The proper tool for knife hand is the bone, not the fleshy part.
Showing the proper tool for outer forearm.
Dallyon with a partner, use full delivery of the technique
including the twist at the end.

Senior Master Martin has a soft heart and wants to take care of us, wants to make our road easier. However he recognizes that the tough road he traveled is what made it possible for him to develop and succeed in Taekwon-Do. He would have us be strong, accomplished martial artists, and there are no easy shortcuts to that end.

Drills - quick combinations to be able to do techniques successfully. Watch the levels of your techniques - technical mistakes will cost you in patterns competitons. Pattern speed is okay. Let's get to sparring again. How often do we spar in class? Instructors, set aside more time to spar!
He noted that our students who are in school are leaders, especially the Red and Black Belts.
2015 Nationals, probably on the east coast - Wyoming will be ready, let's make some memories.
It's important to travel to compete. We need to promote that within our schools. There was some discussion of holding mini-tournaments (intermural within Wyoming). Master Johnson said he would like to host one, the sooner the better. He will see about getting use of a gym, and invite everyone.

July 19 is the date set for a Black Belt / Color Belt Test in Sheridan.

May 4, 2014 Wyoming Black Belt Class

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