First Post - A little about me

I'm writing most of this on the assumption that someone, somewhere, at some point in time may be interested in reading this thing. Which, I can't imagine why, since I'm not particularly interested, can be rather dry, and I'm not a very good writer. Really, I'm much more effective in person...although even then, I tend to be kind of focused sometimes; not that this is a bad thing, but when I'm focusing on something, humor is generally lost on me.

So right now, I'm training in Soo Bahk Do and Haidong Gumdo. One empty handed art and one weapons arts. Aside from that, I'm in the Air Force and currently in Grad School. How someone as dense as me ever made it into Grad school I have no idea, but here I am....8 months away from turning in my thesis (I better get started soon). I'm actually rather clumsy when I'm not doing Martial Arts, so the fact that I am a martial artist is confusing to some people. I am married to my wonderful wife of a little less than a year right now, she's into Horses, so we both have our things. She goes to the Barn, I go to Karate.....and since she does lots of stuff, she lets me go on the occassional trip and to the occassional seminar, for which I'm grateful!

Now, my Tang Soo Do/Soo Bahk Do journey has been a bit weird. I started when I was in middle school. I was a fat, chubby, weak little kid with no self esteem. I also got beat on pretty frequently...imagine that. So I started Karate to try to break out of that (my parents' cousin was a black belt, so they thought it was a good idea). I enjoyed it and I lost a lot of weight and got into shape. It helped my self esteem a bit, but I was only involved for about 2 years. My first instructor kind of fell off the map, no clue what happened to him, but he was competing at the time with the local Martial Arts Magnate - Joe Goss. I just feel in with Pisarcyk because of my cousin. I got to about 6th or 5th gup, I forget. Then I trained with his competitor, Joe Goes for about 6 months during college breaks (about 6 years later). Much better teach, I learned a lot and really enjoyed myself there. I think I tested twice, but since I had to start over, I was only at 8th gup. Then I tried training again in New Jersey, where I trained for about 6 months (about another 2 years later) and started over again....I skipped a few ranks, since I still remembered so much, but had to leave because of work.

Then came Korea. Ah Korea...The land of the morning kimchi. All in all, I liked long as I completely block my job from my mind. That sucked, but I liked the country. About 2 weeks after I got there, I saw a sign in the gym for a Tang Soo Do class and I figured....Well, can't be any better than training in the country where it was created and I really decided right there that I wouldn't leave Korea without my black belt. I was sick of starting over, I was sick of every school repeating training, withholding training and treating me like a child. I knew that with a black belt from Korea, I could take it anywhere and no one would be able to bump me back.

So I started my training 1.5 hours per day, at least 4 days a week, some days twice a day. The last few months, it was 6 days times a week, twice a day, 1.5 hours at a shot. Pretty intensive and a lot of it was one on one training. Although the training was much better if others were there, since we could do one steps, self defense, etc. Either way, I earned my Cho Dan in Korea and came back here to train with the US Soo Bahk Do Federation in Ohio.

My School here is good, I love the instructor and have learned a lot, but it has its issues. A complete disregard for the Korean language, pronunciation, proper history, and lacks some of the "team building/social" aspects that I would like to see. You know, the outside the Dojang or special events kind of stuff. I'd like to do more demonstrations and community service, social events, stuff like that. But the training is good - when the instructor is there. When he isn't, it is a crap shoot. Sometimes it is a great class with new and exciting things, given by qualified competant isntructors, sometimes it is 45 minute warm ups and basics, i.e. waste of my time and gas. We have started a Dan class, which has helped quite a bit, although my timing has been bad in getting there.

So Gumdo....Well, I went to a Martial Arts Supply store in Columbus with the intention of just looking around, maybe buying some breaking boards or a new uniform....I end up signed up for the Instructor's program in Gumdo! I had never touched a sword before and had no experience in weapons. But I love it. Initially it was for the "cool" factor, plus being able to start teaching sooner. I was accepted into this program mainly because of the federation trying to popularize the art, and my ranking in Soo Bahk Do. I love it...did I say that? Well I do. Gumdo is great. I just wish I had a better memory and maybe wasn't so clumsy, but I'm getting it. I need to practice more and keep going, but I love it.

So that's about it for me...not that this is everything....but that's it for now, a decent introduction.


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