Training at Jung SuWon…the beginning


I had trained for 4 years when I was at Dartmouth College.  At that time, we were focused on competition training since we competed with other colleges in the region.  We competed against Yale, Columbia, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard…and a few others.  For a team with no black belts during my last 2 years, we did pretty well.  But I was really tired of the macho-macho attitude…when I was a Senior, there was a brand new white belt freshman who, on a drunken night, challenged one of the football players, and was pummeled into the ground.  We were happy about that because he was an idiot.

But I wanted something more.  I wanted something deeper.  When I was 10 years old, I used to watch all the Black Belt Theater, Kung Fu, Martial Art TV movies on Saturday afternoons.  I always thought it would be cool to run away to the mountains in Korea, find some old master who could train me like in those movies…

When I first started training at Jung SuWon, I was familiar with many of the basics, but Jung SuWon did things slightly differently than the taekwondo training I had had before.  I had to unlearn some bad habits and learn techniques in new ways.  One notable difference between Jung SuWon training and the taekwondo training I had had before, is that at Jung SuWon, everything was taught with a reason. There was a reason for everything.  Things started to make more sense for me now.  Before, it was just copying movements from someone and repeating them over and over again.

Now, I started to understand that every movement in the martial arts had meaning behind it.

Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim explained even the smallest details with great importance and I started to see how deep the martial arts really was.

When I was in college, I tested for my green belt at the school of the Master who came once a week to the college to conduct the PE classes.  My friend and I went to the school.  Our test consisted of breaking 1 board with a sidekick.  I actually fell and accidentally hit the board…and it broke.  Voila!  I was a green belt.  o_O

I witnessed the Black Belt test of one student…his father knew the Master well.  The Master tested the student…had him do several forms and kicking techniques.  One or two board breaks.  That was it.  He was now a black belt.

It seemed so superficial to me.

At Jung SuWon, just 4 months after I had started training, I witnessed a Black Belt testing… wow.

It was nothing like I had ever seen before in my life.  It lasted until 4am and I sat there with a few die hard audience members….watching til the very end.

The challenges that Grandmaster Kim gave these students to face…from being tied to chairs and sparring several people at the same time…to being blindfolded and sparring multiple partners…to having to form a human pyramid and breaking a board suspended from the ceiling while on this pyramid as they are attacked by several people below…then breaking bottles with their bare hands by striking the tops of the bottles and popping the bottoms of the bottles out…AMAZING.

I was awed during the whole thing. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life.  I had trained before. I had participated in and watched testings before. But this was Unreal. It was like being in one of those Martial art movies on TV.

*** Sure, some people think the whole bottle breaking is a gimmick…but not everyone can do it.  And people have tried over and over again…for hours and hours AND HOURS.  If it were such a simple break, then why can’t everyone do it?

Anyway, I was definitely impressed.  I called my dad the next day and tried to explain to him what I had seen but it was too hard.  I was excited and thrilled and full of energy.

I tested for my yellow belt right before that black belt testing that I witnessed.  I was so nervous.  It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.  When it came time for me to break the board, I chose middle punch because I was afraid to hit it with my knuckles… I broke it, but also bruised my knuckles big time.

Over the years, Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim taught me that there is a difference between using physical force to break a board and using energy.  For my black belt testing in 1997, one of my many breaks was a middle punch on a board and I didn’t bruise or injure my knuckles at all.  Complete evidence to me about the difference between using force and using energy.  But I’ll come back to this topic much later… there are still 6 years of training to go before I get to my Black Belt testing!

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One Response to “Training at Jung SuWon…the beginning”

  1. Jung SuWon Training | Belleverlasting Says:

    […] the article about Jung SuWon training it clearly stated that it will really take a very deep training before a person can think that […]

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