Four members of our school’s Forms Club attended a seminar on traditional poomsae at the Chosun Tae Kwon Do Academy in Warwick, NY. William Tuman, Matt Roncone, Zach Farrell, and Dylan Mawdsley attended the March 3 session, which covered two poomsae from the Pyung Ahn series, two Kuk Mu military forms, three from the Kibon series, and Chintae, a traditional black belt form with Okinawan origins. The seminar was led by Grandmaster Doug Cook, Head Instructor at Chosun Academy, with guest instructor Grandmaster Pablo Alejandro.
This is the second year that RVTKD has sent a group of students to train at this seminar. Students who have participated in Forms Club are welcome to attend future workshops. If you’re not currently involved in this optional but rewarding pursuit, but would like to be, please ask one of your instructors for more information. The RVTKD Forms Club is open to students holding the rank of Sam Geup (low brown belt) and higher.
Two Purposes for Special Training
When our students and instructors take up the challenge of Special Training—whether a one-day seminar like this, or a multi-day event like the sessions we’ve held in August the past two years—there are two valid ways for participants to think about these events:
- NOVEL EXPERIENCES that broaden one’s perspective, provide contrast with daily routine, and deepen understanding of familiar techniques and concepts by putting them in an unfamiliar context. These outings may fun and satisfying, a way to meet peers from different traditions but with similar values, or a lens to view one’s skills by comparing strengths and weaknesses with others within a mutually supportive setting (as opposed to the competitive landscape of a tournament, for instance).
- A COMMITMENT TO LEARN AND MAINTAIN KNOWLEDGE in the form of an ongoing commitment that expands the practitioner’s scope of training. For this type of participant, learning new skills implies an obligation to practice and internalize them, striving toward perfection in the same way as they train within the main curriculum of our style. After many years, as a practitioner attends many such events, the body of knowledge becomes significant, and it may require a daunting amount of time and effort to maintain it all without letting important elements fall away through disuse. Eventually a student may be forced to either increase their commitment to training, or to prioritize what they work to master. Each individual’s commitment may vary, but when a group of dedicated individuals pledges to train together to maintain these skills, it helps to ensure the preservation of that knowledge for another generation of martial artists.