27 January 2015

Visit to the ATC Pretoria Dojang

Taking students through warm-up drills at ATC Pretoria
I was in Pretoria last week and got to visit Sabeomnims Karel and Annari Wethmar, and Boosabeomnim Chris van der Merwe. On Thursday night I visited ATC Pretoria Dojang where I presented a workshop similar to the one I did at the Soo Shim Kwan Potchefstroom Dojang the week before, focussing on ground work (break falling and rolling), joint mobility and posture, and some thoughts on the Golden Move. I also spent a little time on the sine wave motion and how to ensure it is practised and applied sensibly. Afterwards there was a nice Q&A session.

The Dan Gun Kwan (ATC) and Soo Shim Kwan friendship has come a long way. Not only do we have our promotional tests together, but we also share seminars. Whenever I visit South Africa I'm always invited to ATC to share some of what I have learned during my stay in Korea. I'm always honoured to do so, and very much enjoy their hospitality and the students' eagerness to try new and somewhat unconventional things.

20 January 2015

Visit to the Potchefstroom Dojang

Last week Thursday I visited the Soo Shim Kwan Dojang in Potchefstroom during my visit to South Africa. Since it is still early in the year and many of the university students have not returned from vacation yet, there were only four in attendance. It was nevertheless nice to meet new members of the Soo Shim Kwan family.

During the session with them I covered some ground work (break falls and rolls), and spent some time on (power) posture work in Taekwon-Do and the importance of balanced musculature, pointing out how some muscles are overly stretched and under-streghtened (such as the hamstrings) while the antagonistic muscles are trained too hard, but not stretched enough (quads). Such musculature imbalances can cause injuries in the long run. I also covered some three step-sparring and explained the importance of angle-and-distance / positioning.

I opened the Potchefstroom Dojang in 1998. Seventeen years later it is still active and while not a particularly large school, it is nonetheless still going strong. The numerous medals won during tournaments last year is just one indicator that the current Potchefstroom Dojang instructor, Mr Philip de Vos, is doing a great job. I was pleased to present Bsbnim Philip with a black belt that I had embroidered in Korea just before I departed for South Africa with his name and "III" in honour of his promotion to 3rd degree black belt recently. I also presented the Potchefstroom Dojang with a new set of focus pads, which I'm sure will come into good use.