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    Pan Ams

    Congratulations to Charlie Buset, Gorilla's son, on his bronze medal at the Pan Am games. After watching him win at nationals, it's good to know he's finding more success. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
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    On your own?

    Away from classes, teaching, team or group training, beyond basic conditioning for strength, flexibility, etc., what Taekwondo do you train by yourself?
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    Collapsing arches

    Hi all, My arches are going. I can wear arch supports and shoes when needed in class, but need some help for sparring because I'm pulling arch muscles pushing off. Any suggestions? Thanks, Carl
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    Tag Team Sparring

    This was a demonstration even at a tournament (Milan, MI) this weekend, something that seems to be fairly new and was fun to watch. 5 v 5 (Olympic style, USA v Canada in this case); 2 x 5 minute rounds. First round was individual pairings with each pairing fighting for 1 minute, 5-10 seconds for...
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    Guiding the new black belt further

    To listen, read and watch, it wouldn't be hard for an outsider to think that a new black belt is a yellow belt "once-removed" (like cousins). Not asking for fault finding, but positive directions: What do you seniors find yourself focusing on to help the newer black belt continue growing. (I...
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    Defense v. multiple opponents

    Thought I'd fish here for suggestions. One of the challenges at my black belt test will be fighting 3 black belts at once. They get pads; I don't. Really the only rule is don't send anyone to the hospital. We really don't train for multiple opponents. I figure some things are clear: keep moving...
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    Basics not so basic?

    In the discussion of basics and 'where did they go', everyone agrees on their importance and works on them. I'm looking for more detail on what you see. Basic clearly doesn't mean easy. What do you see as most neglected? What basic(s) are tougher to master and aren't learned correctly? What...
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    The rank below white belt

    The rank below white belt is "I can't" (I would rather die than try.) Last night we had a relatively young guest in class. I was assigned to guide him through stretching before class and help from beside him, as needed, during class. To make a long story short, during the early part of class...
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    Family-friendly vs. ruthless: responsible teaching

    In a couple of hours I'm off to help with the kids' class before I workout. When talking about practical use of Taekwondo, I notice that (at least where I am) we're pretty careful to teach good technique to everyone, but less specific about targeting to do the most damage except with more...
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    State qualifier coaching question

    I registered online to coach at a USAT state qualifier today. Those running the tournament charged an additional coaching fee at the door. Is that acceptable? Common practice? Thanks, Carl
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    Experience...helpful but not necessary?

    I'm pulling this from the ATA thread to address separately: "I know this is off topic here, but while experience is helpful, I don't believe it necessary. I remember when our KJN had opened the branch school where I teach now, he was traveling 70 miles to teach. Obviously he could not come...
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    What's in a name: the rear leg roundhouse/turning kick

    A discovery for me (as I'm working with more junior students and teammates): I see a number of colored belts with poor turnover on the rear leg roundhouse kick, resulting in the '45 kick' or nearly a front kick sometimes when a more horizontal kick is called for. Focusing on turning the trunk...
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    Teaching the Tornado

    (no, not the hyper little kid in the back row...the kick) What tips or suggestions can you offer for teaching the tornado kick? I'm not teaching it to class, but at times am asked to help juniors with it and am looking for what you emphasize or a sequence if you break it down a particular way...
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    Goals for the first dan--and retention

    I see some new black belts continue to train and others who drift away within six months of receiving their belt. I suspect this is partly because the latter group probably viewed earning a black belt as their goal--the finish line--and moved on to other goals away from the dojang. I'm sure...
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    Developing spinning hook kick

    I'm in the process of learning this, and got in a rut yesterday. Sometimes I'm stopping my hip, sometimes my shoulder and hip aren't together, and when I get to focuses on fixing those I stop extending my leg fully or end up in a wheel kick. It was a day when, the more I worked at it, the uglier...
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    Role and responsibilities of junior/new instructors

    There's another thread discussing the drama of a young instructor-candidate and female students he is or has been involved with. I think it leads to a good question about what is the appropriate role/purpose/responsibilities of a new/aspiring instructor. Stories welcome as well. Carl
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    Staying with it--Taekwondo as you age

    Turning 48 this month, I'd like to continue with Taekwondo until I'm at least another 40 years. However I frequently hear that Taekwondo is for the young and is a martial art that requires more athleticism than most. It's already uncommon for me to have sparring opponents at...
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    Avoid or invite confrontation?

    This came up in another thread, and poses a question separate from KKW vs. sport: "In fact, the last time I got into a physical altercation, I was at a bar watching Monday Night Football. I was wearing business attire and I was sitting next to some local guy who was taller, bigger and younger...
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    What makes a great lower level black belt?

    As a senior colored belt, I'm within a year +/- of testing for black belt. There's a thread going right now about what makes a great student, and all of it applies, but I'm wondering what makes a great 1st/2nd dan black belt? What more do you look for than the generics of what makes a great...
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    Looking for written sources on TKD

    Asking here rather than hijack a thread: I know that "A Killing Art" is available widely. Where can I get Gen. Choi's Encyclopedia? Preferably separate volumes. What early texts are available on the KKW side? Any others from ITF? Any other recommended readings that are more authoritative than...
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    Factors in the spread of taekwondo?

    If I have my information right, the 1960s and '70s saw the internationalization of taekwondo, with Korea actively sending masters out to spread the art around the world. This also was the period when sport/competitive sparring evolved. Can anyone address to what extent the development of...
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    Training speed and timing

    Right now there are a couple of sparring related threads up, one on contact sparring, and one discussing whether competitive sparring is counterproductive. These are interesting discussions to me as I had two tournament matches yesterday to remind me of both my progress and my challenges. In...
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    Red belt: twice in 30 years

    Last night my master awarded me a red belt as a result of Saturday testing. This is special for me because it's the rank I held when I left taekwondo in 1981 for college. It's a different experience at 47 as opposed to 17, and I wouldn't trade either one. With team practices, my classes, and...
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    The very young student

    As I help in classes with the youngest students, I see first hand the range of readiness that can happen even with kids of the same chronological age. What is your criteria for deciding when a student is old enough to start, or conversely--what tells you they are too young? Thanks, Carl
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    The Um of Perseverance

    Reading about's daughter Samantha, Terry's health, Shelley's recovery and red belt test (yeah!), and Manny's foot, etc.: Rest and recovery are critical aspects of perseverence--it's more than the undying effort that is the Yang of perseverance. I think it's important to think of time...
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    Need help with sparring games/structure

    I'm looking for sparring games/practice round rules to change a habit. With our younger and less experienced players, I see a tendency to just kick-kick-kick when rather than using footwork effectively to score and get out without getting hit back. Some ideas: You only score if you don't get...
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    What are you digging in to?

    We all share an interest in taekwondo, but our experiences and levels of expertise vary so much. Digging into new skills and getting some level of competence with them is fun, and with our art a neverending process. What has your interest and focus right now? What are you practicing, refining...
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    Colored belt ambassadors

    As I help with new students it strikes me how much the colored belts affect the overall experience of the rookies. The instructor and black belts are in charge, but are also a little intimidating because they are so senior. What do colored belts do that makes a difference? -Greet new people...
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    You'll never know when your dobok has a cape attached

    Some time you will be a hero to someone, and you'll never know when. I'm talking about your day-to-day influence in a person's life, not some physical action you take in a crisis. It won't be who you expect, and you may not find out for a long time, if ever. As a veteran high school teacher...
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    Ridge hand

    I'm curious if, when, and in what way you integrate ridgehand technique into your training. I learned it 30+ years ago and mixed it into my heavy bag work. The one time I had to defend myself after beginning TKD, a ridge hand to the side of the neck resulted in a one-shot KO. It's always been...