masterbOh yeah, this happened this past weekend…

So I am a master in the World Haidong Gumdo Federation.  Unlike other arts, Master is a title about role instead of rank.  A master has a school, teaches students, and promotes the art.  This can be done before and after black belt, but there are sixth and seventh-dans in other martial arts who do not dedicate themselves to teaching and serving others, and are therefore not the same as the masters we have.

In any case, I have had an awesome day.  In short: I trained for hours under Master Kim, the president of education for the WHGF (for the world).  His art amazes me!

Today I received my note that I will take my master’s examination (testing to be able to promote students to ChoDan and beyond) in the fall.  I have all of the material that I need, I simply need to train and master it.

That was my first “I am in the right place” moment.

The second feeling of home came after hours of training with Master Kim, when we had some free time.  Master Rose and Master Oz and I were talking in the parking lot, wondering what we wanted to do.

They came up with the very thing I was going to do on my own: Train more before that evening’s training!  So basically except for drive time I spent the whole day training!  This is exactly the kind of crew I want to know.  I aspire to commit to the hard work that will let me be worthy of their continued fellowship.  Where else am I going to find martial arts masters who believe that the best possible chaser to three hours of rigorous training is another hour or two of training followed by two more hours of training!?

Master Kim led an amazing all-belts class at White Tiger Martial Arts’ Twin Cities Dojang.  Instead of sweating to death I ended up working on my teaching skills with some beginner’s students!

A late dinner with Master Kim, Master F, Master K, and Master F’s family was excellent, and hilarious.  We talked shop, life, and the masters have already decided that as a lore addict I am not to be brought into the same room with a master who is a historian, as the excited conversation would not end for at least three days.

The World Haidong Gumdo Federation rules means that I cannot talk too much about what I have learned so far, but here are some summaries for the Nerd Posse members.  The thought of helping them train on these things, polish and improve them, gives me semi-sadistic fits of the giggles.  -In Christian love, of course.

*Side note: The cutest moment of the day was when a boy eating with us tried a slice of hot pepper, spent ten minutes saying “It’s hot!” and “I think I’m dying!” over and over while we laughed to tears, and twenty minutes later announced to the table that Jesus had given him a second chance at life since he hadn’t died yet.*

I’m so pumped from the day that it’s 1:30 in the morning and I still haven’t been able to sleep!

Nerds, you have heard it said that Kibon Doncha IS the martial art.  Let me tell you, Master Kim led a two-hour seminar on the basics, so basic that we didn’t even get to the six-cut combination!!!  So one third of the basics filled up two hours of training by Kwangjanim Kim and we STILL ran out of time.

Master Koivisto and I were both laughing off to the side at he thought of… helping…. you all practice these excellent techniques!

I learned a new set of push-ups that make judo push-ups from Mr. Park look like cake.

Stance Focuses
Ssangsu Gumbub
Kibon Doncha
Footwork drills (from the all-belt’s class)
Ssangsu Paldo Chuggums