Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So I just realized something. Competing in a national tournament here in the US is a lot of pressure. Unknown judges, unknown competitors, and all of the attention. Lots of pressure in that kind of competition. For me participating in those types of tournaments was always interesting because a majority of the competitors were caucasian and anyone who was a minority tended to stand out (namely me).

Now I've just realized that I'm going to go compete in a different country. So add to the normal tournament pressures that we (the US Team) will be competing in a completely different culture. Can we say, I hope I don't commit some sort of earth shattering cultural faux-pas! Which to say the least could be worse for me as I'm asian so they might immediately think I'm not Korean but Japanese maybe? Or worse, maybe I might trigger a renewed war between north and south Korea! Okay, so maybe nothing that bad would happen, but I do certainly feel a bit of added pressure to be on my best behavior.

So I have to do something help make myself stand out competing though. For once I'm not going to be in the minority. Maybe I should wear a kilt...

Monday, June 28, 2010

24 Days Left!

Wow.. Seems like time is flying by. I just counted and there are only 24 days left till I leave for Korea. Its been years since I've competed in any sort of tournament. Much less one as big as the World Championships. I just finished learning the last of my competition forms on Saturday. So now for the next 3 weeks I have to work on improving my form and making sure I have them memorized well enough that with all my nerves and such I'll still be able to perform them at the competition.

I'm scared, nervous and excited all bundled up in one. Its been a long time since I've been on a flight as long as the one to Korea is going to be. Not to mention the best way to combat the jet lag from such a long trip. I'm also going to need to get a couple of power adapters to take so I can charge my laptop while I'm over there. Fortunately new laptops are designed to accept voltages up to 240, which means that I don't need a power converter.

For the most part I've got everything ready. My passport is still good I've got luggage bags. The last thing I need to get clarification for is the best method for paying for stuff over there. Traveller's checks (exchanged for local currency) or use my VISA, but I'm thinking a mix of both.

I can't lose focus though even if there are 3 weeks left. Before I know it the time is going to be gone. Especially with all of the family and holiday things that will happen before then. 4th of July, a couple of family birthdays, and the Relay for Life will keep me busy till its time to leave.

Not much else to say at this time. Still looking for a video editing software so I can edit some of my videos and post them so people can see what I look like doing my forms. Also want to get some profile pics taken in my uniform for my Facebook page.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Post!

Wow.. So here it is.. my first BLOG post. You know there was a time when I never would have considered writing a blog. Now though... it seems like a good way to air my thoughts and such.

The primary decision for this blog however was to chronicle my advance through Haidong Gumdo. Please note that I will try not to make mention of anything regarding the dojang (school) or other students and masters. This blog is strictly my thoughts and observations about martial arts in general and specifically about Gumdo.

Secondary to this reason, I will most likely also use this space as a sounding board regarding my writing and sometimes just random thoughts.

So I'm sure the handful of people who are directed to this site (or perhaps who stumble onto it) are wondering who I am.

Well, I'm a late thirties Korean-American adoptee. From a martial arts stand point I've been a practitioner since I was six. I started in Tae Kwon Do but changed styles a number of times as my family moved from state to state and city to city. Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Wado Ryu, Shotokon, Kempo, American Karate... I forget sometimes how many styles I've been in. After all of my experiences I've become a big believer in individuals finding a style that fits them rather than trying to fit into a style.

What do I like about Gumdo? Well, for starters its all new to me. With all of the styles I've been in I've always felt that I've got nothing new to learn, that in order to get to a point that I might start learning something new again, I have to grind my way through every belt color again, waiting for the appropriate amount of time to pass, paying my monthly fees, and not being motivated by the prospect of coming into each class and learning something brand new. I've never taken a pure weapon style before and that means that every class I go to I'm learning something new, I'm discovering something I didn't know before, either about myself or about the sword. Not to mention the fact that as part of my heritage Gumdo appeals more to me than Kendo does.

Well, I think that's enough rambling for my first post.

Have a great day everyone!