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Report on Special Training 2018

Andrew Benioff (Ee Dan, Ji Do Kwan; Ni Dan, Aikido) traveled from Philadelphia to serve as Guest Instructor during a…

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Superhero in Our Midst

If you're ever looking for an illustration of how our physical practice translates into the mental and emotional discipline that…

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Two Special Visitors to RVTKD this August

Most of you probably already know that Andrew Benioff will return to our school August 17-19 for another weekend of…

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Reflections on Conditioning from Our Newest Black Belt

Candidates for the rank of 일단 in our school (Il Dan, first degree black belt) undertake a demanding physical conditioning regimen…

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Black Belt Candidate Dylan Mawdsley – Conditioning Challenge Race Report

As most of you know, students testing for Il Dan (first degree black belt) at RVTKD must train to meet…

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Learn Korean, Part III

In the ongoing saga of my efforts to learn the Korean language, I have a third installment for those who…

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Poomsae Seminar at Chosun Tae Kwon Do Academy

Five RVTKD students traveled to the Chosun Tae Kwon Do Academy in Warwick, New York last Sunday for a four-hour…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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Ji Do Kwan Tenet: Respect the Elder, Part II

Outside the dojang I do whatever I want, but during a workout, I set all that aside and follow the rules. It's…

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May 20 Promotions

Hearty congratulations to these worthy RVTKD students who were promoted as a result of satisfactory performance on our May 13…

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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…

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Ji Do Kwan Tenet: Respect the Elder

In a previous post, I discussed the complexity inherent in translating the Five Tenets of Ji Do Kwan from Hanja—the…

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Deprive Opponents of Their Most Powerful Weapons

The successful deployment of this technique creates ripple effects that are difficult to quantify but impossible not to discern. In…

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Special Training in the Martial Ways 特訓 (Tokkun)

When one mentions the phrase “special training” with regards to the martial ways, it usually conjures up Shaolin Monks standing…

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The Empty Hand video by Sean Owen with Mr. Choi

As far as I know, this film contains the only existing video/film footage of Choi Bong Young, the Korean master…

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March 11, 2017 Promotions

Hearty congratulations to these worthy RVTKD students who were promoted as a result of satisfactory performance on our March 4…

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Timing and Timeliness

Andrew Benioff, Ee Dan I had recently moved to Hawaii and although I continued training in Tae Kwon Do, I…

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Ji Do Kwan Tenet: Loyalty to Country

Before continuing a series of posts interpreting the Five Tenets of Ji Do Kwan, I'd like to revisit my original post…

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Apps to Learn Hangul

One day last fall I got sick enough that I thought it was worth staying in bed to recover, rather than…

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How to Learn Forms

Yesterday I was asked an interesting question: what do you think about when learning a new form? I was a…

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An Improved “History of Ji Do Kwan”

I've meant to write an updated and expanded "History of Ji Do Kwan" for years to replace the "About the…

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Stretching for the Mind

Almost all Tae Kwon Do classes open with warm-ups and stretching, but RVTKD's stretching probably lasts longer than most martial arts…

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Following the Narrow Path: Choosing Correctly

My Aikido teacher, Yoshioka Sadao Shihan, used to describe the path that one takes in the martial arts to walking…

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Cutting Away the Illusions That Hold You Back

The cutting away of these illusions and the blossoming of the students’ ultimate abilities are the responsibility of the student…

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Distributing Flyers

It might seem like overthinking to make a blog post about distributing advertising flyers. Maybe so, but while I was…

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The Right Way

Although a quick web search shows that the most common translation of Ji Do Kwan is "Way of Wisdom" or…

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Learning to Kill

Hissatsu Waza. Noun: killer technique; surefire assassination method special or lethal move, usu. one unique to a certain fighter or fighting…

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student manual

The dojang is a formal training environment with special traditions that are unfamiliar to most new students. Many of these rules and…

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Searching for the Hard Path

The practice of the Martial Ways is really, in its most basic sense, a search for hardship. One of my…

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The Value of Public Evaluations

Instructors and students alike, we are all in this together. For most of the time since RVTKD was founded in…

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July 11, 2016 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our school's July 2 rank test. Advancing students include: Sam Dan (third degree black…

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Revisiting the Five Ji Do Kwan Tenets

For most of their history, the martial arts have existed as oral traditions. Only a few well-known texts predate the…

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Martial Arts Classes in Florence – Open to the Public

Although our grand opening won't be held until September 5, our new dojang is now open to the public. We offer…

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Merchant, Priest, Horsefly

I was looking into one of my favorite martial arts books this morning and rediscovered this passage, which I'd bookmarked…

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Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

In 2011 I participated in the first "Beast" length Spartan Race. This is a roughly half-marathon length (12-14 miles) obstacle…

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New Classes in Florence

Beginning March 1, River Valley Tae Kwon Do will offer classes on Monday-Thursday evenings at a new dojang, located at 140 Pine…

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New RVTKD Website

As you can see, our school has a new website. Improvements include: a revamped responsive design, so the site works better on all…

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The Right Time to Teach

When I observe the individual training portion of each class, I'm often struck by both the self-discipline students show while working…

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Ji Do Kwan Tenet: Love of Country

This new blog will contain a wide range of posts, as described by its title: Traditions, Concepts, Stories. Some will…

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November 1, 2015 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our October 25 rank test. Advancing students include: First Geup Anna Paskausky Fourth Geup…

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August 9, 2015 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our August 2 rank test. Advancing students include: First Geup Jesse Gorham Fifth…

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January 25 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our January 18 rank test. Advancing students include: Fourth Geup Casey Krone Fifth…

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November 2 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our October 26 rank test. Advancing students include: Second Geup Jesse Gorham Fourth…

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June 15 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our January 26 rank test. Advancing students include: Il Dan Juli Averill Carin…

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June 8 Rank Test

The next River Valley Tae Kwon Do rank test will be held at the Northampton Athletic Club on Sunday, June…

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Feb 22 All-School Retreat (UPDATED)

The date and time for the open workout this weekend has been changed. We will not travel to Vermont but…

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February 2 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our January 26 rank test. Advancing students include: Second Geup Dylan Mawdsley Anna…

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Jan 26 Rank Test

The next River Valley Tae Kwon Do rank test will be held at the Northampton Athletic Club on Sunday, January…

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September 8 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our April 7 rank tests. Advancing students include: First Geup Carin Zinter Fifth…

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September 8 Rank Test

The next River Valley Tae Kwon Do rank test will be held at the Northampton Athletic Club on Sunday, September 8…

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April 7 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our April 7 rank tests. Advancing students include: First Geup Juli Averill David…

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Fundraiser for Westhampton Library

Matt Roncone's youth class had a successful fundraiser for the Westhampton Public Library on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Parents and…

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April 7 Rank Test

The next River Valley Tae Kwon Do rank test will be held at the Northampton Athletic Club on Sunday, April 7…

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March 24 Reading Group

We will meet to discuss Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse on Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 12:00 noon. Current River Valley Tae Kwon…

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Feb. 24 & Mar. 17 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our February 17 and March 10 rank tests. Advancing students include: Third Geup…

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February 17 Rank Test

The next River Valley Tae Kwon Do rank test will be held at the Northampton dojang on Sunday, February 17 at…

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Jan. 27 Reading Group

We will meet to discuss Jingwu: The School that Transformed Kung Fu by Kennedy/Guo on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 12:00 noon.…

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Dec. 16 Reading Group

We will meet to discuss American Shaolin by Matthew Polly on December 12, 2012 at 12:00 noon. Current River Valley Tae Kwon…

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Nov. 18 Reading Group

We will meet to discuss the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu on November 18, 2012 at 12:00 noon. Current River…

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Carin’s 50K Race Report

For those of you who know Carin, who trains at the Northampton school of RVTKD, here's a great account of…

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Oct. 14 Reading Group

The September meeting of our reading group has been rescheduled to Sunday, October 14. Current River Valley Tae Kwon Do…

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Sept. 16 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our September 8 rank test. Advancing students include: Il Dan (first degree black…

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Field Trip to Zendo

To supplement our new Reading Group and help everyone deepen their understanding of the meditative practices that underlie martial arts…

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June 17 Promotions

Congratulations to those who were promoted after our June 10 rank test. Advancing students include: Yi Dan (second degree black…

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July & August Readings

The dates/times and book assignments, as well as preliminary discussion questions, have been posted for the next two reading group…

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First Reading Group Meeting 6/17/12

The first meeting of the River Valley Tae Kwon Do reading group will be held at noon on Sunday, June…

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All-School Rank Test on June 10, 2012

Our next rank test will be held at the Northampton school on June 10, 2012 at 2:00. The dojang will…

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Martial Arts/TKD Reading Group

River Valley Tae Kwon Do will introduce a new reading group, open to all students, in June 2012. You must…

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New Youth Class in Westhampton

River Valley Tae Kwon Do is pleased to announce the opening of a new location at the Westhampton public library.…

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new RVTKD website

Our new website is under construction. All public content from the old site has been moved here, but some private…

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