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William Tuman Promoted to O Dan

William Tuman, Founder and Head Instructor of River Valley Tae Kwon Do, has been promoted to the rank of O Dan (fifth degree black belt) following an examination in Berkeley, California on December 2, 2017. As most of my students…

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Buddhist Monks’ Take on Video Games

This article on Buddhist Monks' perceptions of the values/risks of video games is interesting and, in some ways, relevant to our practice of Ji Do Kwan. Two ideas of particular note: some monks believe video games are fine in moderation,…

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Ideal Brick Composition for Breaking

One unexpected benefit of my recent trip to Berkeley, California was having the chance to meet the Coordinating Instructor of UCMAP's Yongmudo program, Dr. Norman Link. My teacher and I watched an open dojang for his club for a while, and we…

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Sean Owen Promoted to Chil Dan

On December 2 in Berkeley, California, Sean Owen was promoted to the rank of Chil Dan, seventh degree black belt. This is the rank at which the title "Grandmaster" is commonly conferred. Having the head of our school promoted to…

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Promotions on 11/18

Although only one student tested on November 11, I'm pleased to report that two students were promoted. Congratulations to both for reaching these important milestones at River Valley Tae Kwon Do. Il Dan (first degree black belt) Anna Paskausky First…

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Learn Korean, Part II

For the very first issue of our school's newsletter, I wrote a blog post that noted several apps that make it possible to learn written and spoken Korean. These were useful but fragmented, requiring a significant effort on the part…

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A New Approach to Fitness for RVTKD

The fitness requirement created an untenable scenario in which physical conditioning became, in a sense, more important than Tae Kwon Do skills in achieving promotion. In other words, it was possible for Il Dan candidates to be promoted if they…

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Highlights from Special Training 2017

Over the weekend of August 4-6, 2017 many RVTKD students participated in Special Training led by guest instructor Andrew Benioff, Ee Dan, from Philadelphia. The participants trained seriously and with obvious enthusiasm, keeping the energy level high throughout a weekend…

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A Better Ridge Hand Strike

In our school, students learn a technique called Ridge Hand Strike at the Fourth Geup level.1 This technique uses an unusual striking surface—the muscle and bone on the inside edge of the hand, revealed by folding the thumb underneath the…

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Pain in the Dojang

All River Valley Tae Kwon Do students will experience pain with regularity. It comes in varying degrees and from many causes. To an outsider, the concept of pain in martial arts practice might conjure images of sparring injuries, bruises and swelling from…

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