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December 4, 2021 Wyoming Black Belt Class

Chief Instructor - Grand Master Stan Martin
Class taught by Master Flynn

Grand Master Martin stated that after this black belt class he would be decorating the school (Taekwon-Do do-jang) for Christmas. Each year there are shiny colored balls hung on the tree. Students write their names on the Christmas balls. If you are no longer in class or training...your ball(s) may be smashed!
Grand Master Martin asked newly promoted Master Flynn to teach this his first black belt class as a Master Instructor.


Master Flynn with Grand Master Martin
(Click on any photo to see a larger image)

Master Flynn teaches at a rec center in Rock Springs and adjacent space is very noisy. He explained that years of using his outside voice, necessary even at close range sometimes has a toll and he said his voice may crack a bit. He said he never sounded like this before. Grand Master Martin added that he never looked like this before either. We would notice that the color gray is sneaking in.
Master Flynn reminded us that by now everyone in red / black belt class should be teaching in some fashion in their home school. Through color belt ranks your instructor has always guided you and directed your training and each movement you made. Time to start thinking and doing some of this teaching for your own training and to help your juniors. (Remember the class still belongs to your instructor and you are an assistant.) When you can, get out there and start your own Taekwon-Do school and make another one (black belt) just like you.
It is a lot harder than you think but the effort you put in is rewarding in the same measure you give. There are many students who do not continue and you may never know why. Yellow belts who quit training could stretch all the way across the country. Each one takes a bit of you with them. It’s not easy.
Open a school and grow. If your school is a nest in a tree and the tree burns so does the nest or if the nest is too crowded and one gets pushed out (of their comfort zone) that creates another opportunity. The student must fly away and have the desire to find a way and continue. To build another nest. One example of this in Wyoming is from Sr Grand Master Sereff in Colorado to Grand Master Martin in Wyoming to Sr Master Sisco at the Rec Center to Mr McDill in Laramie to Mr Fezer in Cheyenne.
It is important for instructors to begin having students stand in front of a class and teach for them to become comfortable. People can feel if you are uncomfortable.
Master Flynn selected 1st gup Mr Corey to lead us in warm ups. Master Flynn didn’t just put him there to see if he could do it or fail, he gave him direction so he could be successful. When you exercise be sure to bring your head along. Mind and body work best when they work together.

Mr. Corey led warm-ups.

Chon-Ji > Master Flynn said, “I wish you could see what I can see.” When teaching students that are learning their patterns they are developing their technique and you see all kinds of different things. Black belts doing Chon-Ji look more the same. It is good to see.
Two things General Choi warned us against, boredom and lack of thoroughness. Taekwon-do training requires much repetition to perfect technique. Bring your head and do a little better each time.
Chon-Ji in a box > When we finished Master Flynn said look you are all smiling!

Chon-Ji
and then . . . Chon-Ji in a box

Next, 6 students were selected and directed to form an inward facing circle. They needed a little guidance to become evenly spaced. Master Flynn said this is a team pattern and no one would want to mess up and let the team down.
They did a terrific job!
Another 6 students were selected and the drill repeated. They were having fun. Same pattern, Chon-Ji, with a little change up to avoid boredom. An instructor must help their students want to be more thorough. With some thought and slight changes boredom and lack of thoroughness can be avoided.

Master Flynn organized the first 6 volunteers for group pattern Chon-Ji. Don't be the one that messes up your team!

group #1 pattern Chon-Ji - you must figure out how to make this work even in close quarters

group #2 pattern Chon-Ji - had an idea of what they were getting into, and also did very well

Students come to class day after day and their technique looks no better today than it looked yesterday and in some cases may look worse. It is the students responsibility to practice and improve. Clear out a spot somewhere to train outside of class. You do not need a large space. Thoughtful training on your own for even twenty minutes at a time regularly will change the quality of what you are doing. It takes a little bit extra. (Go the extra mile..it’s never crowded.)
From L stance > Twisting kick. Slow motion. Talk to it, use your own brain to get foot position correct.
From L stance > Each set of slow motion kicks are repeated fast.
Jump change > and repeat in slow motion Deep breath guys. All kicks are considered middle and at shoulder level unless stated otherwise.

twisting kick in slow motion, then repeat fast

From L stance > Side piercing kick in a slow motion. Deep breath and relax.
Jump change > repeat.
Jump change > Side front snap kick in a slow and controlled motion. The rules for the level of side front snap kick is a bit different than other kicks. Middle is considered at solar plexus height, low is at low abdomen. There is no high level.
If you are not used to this sort of training it is harder than you may think...do not get dead. Know your own body. Be thoughtful of foot position, extend the kick and retract.

side piercing kick
side front snap kick

If you are working out and get bored it is your own fault.
From L stance > Consecutive kicking and in slow motion; twisting kick, side piercing kick, side front snap kick.
When an Instructor notices fatigue more time can be allowed between sets to recover.
Mrs. Phillips, panting, commented that Mr Connell was using up all the air.
Case in point is that twenty minutes of training can be a lot of work. When you put in the work your Taekwon-Do will vastly improve.
Many people have many afflictions of various kinds which is not to say something is wrong with them but that all things are not right, maybe altered. “The glass tastes better on the short bus.” There is no intent to offend anyone just to push you out of your comfort zone. If a student is late to class that may be the time to show a little love. There are few people that are perfectly okay and without any affliction. Anger is many times misplaced due to what has happened to someone before hand and it comes out at a later time. There is every variation of issues that people have to deal with. If you only knew the demons some have to deal with you may want to adjust your own manner.
There are some classes that consist of a lot of talk. Take the time after class to review, to think, to practice and to study what has been said. When there is something you do not understand ask your Instructor. As an Instructor do not fabricate an answer, fully understand the question and research for an answer if necessary. Everyone's body is different and this should be considered for the sake of your students before and answer is given. Honesty is always best, do not be a part of the dishonest crowd.
Grand Master Martin has provided us with a fantastic place (do-jang) here to train. Nice and quiet, that is no basketballs bouncing in the adjacent space.
1st gup Mr. Hime was selected to lead the class in cool down stretching. Even though junior to nearly everyone in the class, Master Flynn said that when asked to do a job by your senior you do it knowing that is your task. As he did earlier Master Flynn gave Mr Hime a direction and guidelines to be successful.
Something ripped! Maybe it was a uniform or sticky feet slipping on the floor.

Mr. Hime led cool-down stretching, with guidelines from Master Flynn.

A beginner at teaching should be given a task a little at a time and learn to be comfortable in front of a class. Learning how to be comfortable in front of a group of people is also good for other areas in ones life.
It is our responsibility to keep Taekwon-Do going. Think of things as you train because one day you will be asked to step forward. Train your students to be able to carry on in the event you the instructor just tip over. It must continue!
Respect is earned. Mutual respect can be gained when you live your life with integrity.
Master Flynn asked the seniors to share examples of challenges they faced when they were asked to step up. There were poor training conditions like bent over nails in the floor, cracks in a cold concrete floor, broken out windows, bouncing basketballs, utilities, insurance overhead, the covid situation, parking lots, red dirt floor, small rooms, low ceilings, rockets exploding, excessive heat, and even Italian marble floors. See Taekwon-Do times interview with Master Giese teaching Taekwon-Do in Iraq. Through all that look what we have accomplished.
Mr Fezer has started a Taekwon-Do class in Cheyenne giving Wyoming another location to learn Taekwon-Do.
Certificates from ho-sin-sul course taught by Master Giese were handed out.
No black belt class in January.
April testing will include black belt and color belt.
Ground fighting and or weapon defense course to be scheduled in 2022.
Certificates were handed out to first-time participants who attended Master Giese's Ho-sin-sul Course in October.

Photos by Mrs Connell
Review by Sr Master Johnson



December 4, 2021 Wyoming Black Belt Class

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