So it's been a solid month since my last post, and honestly I can't say that all that much has happened worth sharing. Training in my new Cho Dan curriculum is progressing fine, if more slowly than I'd prefer.
This past few months of training at the dojang has been very much in a drinking-from-the-fire hose vein: sleeve grab techniques, elbow techniques, Jin Do, Chil Sung Sa Rho, Naihanchi Ee Dan, Dando Hyung Cho Dan, plus plenty of additional non-standardized curriculum that Sa Bom Nim throws at Dans to keep them engaged during the longer times between rank testing (two years between Cho and Ee Dan, 3 -- I think -- between Ee and Sam Dan, and I'm pretty sure it's at least 5 years after that before you're eligible to be invited to test at Kodanja).
Prior to the Dan Promotion ceremony a lot of this stuff was just sort of ricocheting off of my head -- I think the attention I was paying to my vignette, as well as a generalized nervousness about being promoted, were dominating my mind and just not allowing new knowledge to sink in. But now things are starting to drop into place: my elbow and sleeve grab techniques are more or less memorized, -- which is not the same as doing them well, of course; my Jin Do is looking solid and, and I've begun working on making it crisper, faster, more polished; I can get through Dando Hyung Cho Dan as long as I'm working with others who know it well (I tend to get int the weeds about halfway through when I do it on my own); Chil Sung Sa Rho remains a big obstacle to overcome, but I'm managing to get through about 2/3 of it before I get lost (not bad for a hyung that is 150+ moves long). Only Naihanchi Ee Dan remains a complete mystery -- I've been shown it once, two months back, and haven't done it since. My goal is to have all of the new curriculum memorized and available to me mentally by the end of this year, which will give me a solid 17 or 18 months or so to get them all looking really good in time for my Ee Dan test (Spring 2011-ish).
I'm also finally going to get my butt in gear on teaching. Spoke with Sa Bom Nim about getting on the Saturday class schedule as a start (it's a rotating schedule, shared between 5 or 6 Dan, so the time commitment is fairly low). Once I've got that rolling and have had time to find my teaching style I'll add in more assistant teaching during the week, and maybe I'll see about rallying interest in an early morning forms session once or twice a week as well. All of this is to ensure that I've got the training and experience needed to get my Kyo Sa (certified instructor) certification along with my Ee Dan during my next test. I love doing this art, and want to learn how to share it with others correctly and effectively.
One thing that's been rolling around in my mind lately is something that Kyo Sa Nim Vasquez told me after I was promoted to Cho Dan. I'm having trouble finding his note, but essentially he said the key to being a good Cho Dan is to remember that we are responsible for the care-and-feeding of the gups, and that's what gives being a Cho Dan meaning. I've given that a lot of thought, and it's so clearly correct -- without that sense of responsibility, that desire to help others along the path, it's just a bunch of kicking and punching. What makes Tang Soo Do worth the time I dedicate to it is opening the art to others and sharing what limited knowledge and skill I've managed to gather over the past 4 years. That's what gives it meaning.
All of which is to say -- damn, I've got some good role models at our dojang. Thanks, one and all.
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