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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 Taekwondo skills in achieving promotion. In other words, it was possible for Il Dan candidates to be promoted if they failed to…

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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 Taekwondo 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 board and…

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Complimenting Correctly

My first year living in Tokyo, I was so excited to be practicing at the Aikikai Hombu dojo (world headquarters of Aikido) that I immediately seized upon every opportunity to socialize or spend time with my peers. It was then…

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Jidokwan Tenet: Respect the Elder

In a previous post, I discussed the complexity inherent in translating the Five Tenets of Jidokwan from Hanja—the original written language of Korea, which was derived from Chinese writing. This one examines our school's second tenet, "Respect the Elder," which…

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