10 February 2011

Pinetown Stingers Taekwon-Dojang

Pinetown Stingers Black Belts and I
Last night I attended the Pinetown Stingers Taekwon-Dojang. The Stingers Clubs are part of the San Kwan, which is the principle federation in the KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa. The Pinetown Dojang is one of the oldest Taekwon-Do clubs in South Africa. I think it has been at the same physical address for nearly 15 years now.

The San Kwan and the Soo Shim Kwan has a long history. I lived in KwaZulu Natal at one point and opened a dojang under the San Kwan. I was also on the organizing committee (as event designer) for the National Taekwon-Do Championships when it was held in Natal (Richards Bay) in 2003.

Last night was only my third or fourth time to visit the Pinetown Dojang. I've visited in the past as an assistant examiner with Sabeomnim Garnet Ronander. While my previous visits with the Pinetown Dojang have been few, my history and familiarity with the San Kwan and the Natal instructors made me feel quite at home.

Unlike my other Taekwon-Do stops in South Africa during this trip, the Pinetown stop was not on the original itinerary, so I did not plan to teach anything particular. Nonetheless, Sabeomnim Sean Cremer, San Kwan's chief instructor and head of the Stingers Clubs, asked me to share something with the students. I based the class loosely on the points I shared with the ATC dojang in Pretoria last week. My main purpose was to expand the students' understanding of the sine wave motion and to help them see that it is part of the wave / circle principle.

I also spend some time to show how Taekwon-Do was influenced by its two roots: Shotokan Karate and Taekkyeon.

The Q & A session after the class revolved mostly around my experiences in Korea, ranging from how it feels to be a foreigner in Korea, to what one can expect at a typical Taekwon-dojang in Korea.

I had a irritable stomach bug yesterday that caused for painful sporadic cramps. I tried not to show it while teaching, but I'm sure some of the more perceptive students must have seen my spasmodic frowning every so often. Nevertheless, I think the exercise did me good, since I felt much better this morning.
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