Posts Tagged ‘martial artist’

What It Means To Be Taekwondoin

        Many people are misguided and view martial arts as some kind of religion. It is not. Taekwondo is not a religion and I do not agree with what others say who claim it is spiritual. To me that is bogus. Taekwondo or any martial art is a physical activity and it improves your body and preserves you from violent attacks. There is nothing spiritual about that. I recommend you go to church and read the Bible and pray to God for spirituality.

When you improve your health through physical activity of course your mind feels better and stress is relieved and a positive feeling comes over you. That is to be expected with ANY physical activity, even playing basketball or another sport.
But the difference is that Taekwondo is a fighting art and gives you confidence that sports do not. It gives you the feeling of being able to protect yourself, be strong and powerful and stand up to aggressors.

Philosophy within Taekwondo is simply that, philosophy. Just ideas and concepts. Yes with any culture there may be a philosophical concept that also has basis in a local religion. For Taekwondo of course Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism have presented philosophical concepts in the art, but that does not mean you are practicing a religion. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and Korea historically was Shamanism and later Taoism and Buddhism from China influenced them and also Confucianism. You do not have to be a believer or practitioner or such religions to be Taekwondoin. In fact, I wholeheartedly disagree with all of those religions and vehemently dislike Confucianism, but I am still Taekwondoin and the moral concepts from various parts of the religions are good.
There is a moral code in Taekwondo called the 5 tenets. Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, and indomitable spirit. These tenets are trans-religious and can be found any simple morality. They are good things and guide a martial artist, who should be a warrior in his community, to direct them to use their violent power for good and not evil. This should be for any martial art.

Competition is an extra thing and a noble pursuit if you do it for good reasons. Self glorification and ego are the wrong reasons but that is why so many guys fight and wish to be tough. What does it matter in the end if you were a champion in a combat sport or not? Does what you did benefit society? Is what you do beneficial to others and to God? That is what matters.

After you get old will you be able to fight like you once could? Things happen. Accidents, injuries and life situations. Of course being a serious Taekwondoin you MUST be able to fight and know how to. You cannot neglect that. Simply performing movements with n purpose makes no sense. Or if your purpose is simply to impress judges at a poomsae tournament then you are not a real martial artist. You are just a performance artist. Another problem with ego is when people learn a martial art to show off “cool moves” and glorify themselves by showing how many flips and kicks they can do. This is a pointless pursuit as well and is not martial arts. If you can do it on top of actual martial arts then good for you, but it shouldn’t be a goal. I don’t do flips and nether do many great and dangerous fighters. They don’t really have any practical application.

So your goal with martial arts SHOULD be learning how to actually fight well. The second goal is personal health and well being. If you are someone who fights or does a combat sport yet you neglect basic motions and perfection of movement you are also not a martial artist. You are a brawler who also engages in MMA or whatever. The best fighters are the ones who clam down, practice basics over and over, perfect the movement and do the quiet side of martial arts. As a Taekwondo fighter neglecting poomsae is an ignorant thing. Just because you do not understand poomsae does not mean it is worthless. Poomsae is the essence of our Taekwondo movement and only helps your body. When you are old, have injuries and more life situations you will not be spending time competing. What do you have left of Taekwondo? Nothing? Just get fat and sit around? Poomsae is what you have and practical self defense applications. Taekwondo and many other martial arts are things you can do well into old age and become a lifestyle choice. If you do not train your poomsae you do not train in Taekwondo and you are NOT Taekwondoin. I don’t care how many gold medals in Olympic sparring, MMA, or whatever you have.

Likewise, if you ONLY perform poomsae and never so much as hit a pad with force and you do not spar or practice self defense you are also not Taekwondoin! You are a performance artist and dancer. I don’t care what color your belt is or what certificate paper you received with your name and rank on it says.

Taekwondo is a fighting art and for self defense. Taekwondo also brings health to your body. Spirituality is found in Church. Don’t get it mixed up and think about the reasons you even train in martial arts.

Remember, it does not matter if you are the best fighter in the entire world and can dominate every other man you challenge or who challenges you. What does it matter in life? When it’s all said and done you have God to answer to about the meaning and quality of your personal life…

Peace of mind comes from God alone. Figure that out. Taekwondo skills are what matters, not a belt rank, or a fight record. Just practice and improve yourself and worry about yourself and not how others view you or your martial art. Other people dance, swim, play basketball, do gymnastics etc….I do Taekwondo. I train in Taekwondo fighting. I get the benefits that come with that. Others do not and that is fine, that is their choice. But do not get confused on what real martial arts are and what a true martial artist is.

Just do your best people! Give up and just train in the true way for yourself and not others.

4 Year Old Bruce Lee Clone “Bruce Ryu”

        If you have read this blog for awhile you will know it never denies cute martial arts kids an article here and there. Whether it be an extremely cute child saying something super, super cute, or doing a cute move in a martial arts class, or a little kid doing something amazing and skillful, this blog will cover it. This article on the other hand features both super cuteness as well as amazing skill with a 4 year old Japanese boy who mimics Bruce Lee, and is basically a 4 year old child clone of Bruce Lee. His Bruce Lee clone name is “Bruce Ryu” and I believe he is Japanese because his name Ryuji Imai sounds Japanese. If he is Japanese it must be funny when he is watching the scenes where he beats the crap out of those “Jap-bastards” in “Fists of Fury.” Anyway check out his skillfull and powerful movements! His striking is really, really good as many 10 year olds cannot even move like he can!!! He also has impressive nunchaku skills. To see his videos go to his Facebook page: Ryuji Imai (Bruce Ryu).

Here are some videos from YouTube which show his incredible nunchaku skills for a 4 year old:

now that is soooooo cute and he is so fierce!!! He is going to be an amazing martial artist when he grows up if he keeps this enthusiasm. But hopefully he will not ONLY copy Bruce Lee, but also develop himself as an original martial artist as well. But maybe his impersonation skills will branch off into other areas too. He is very talented! please check his Facebook page to see other videos where he basically copies Jeet Kun Do movements with the lead punch and lead round kicks and spin kicking. He is solid!

A Great Camera For Martial Arts VLogging

        VLogging is a fun thing that martial artists can do. It is fun to see yourself on camera and see how you are progressing. Uploading videos onto social media is also exciting and can foster a community with other martial artists worldwide and provide encouragement, support, and training tips. Martial artists pay extreme, close attention to movement and that is why we need a high quality camera. I recently bought a new Full HD camera. Previously I had used an Olympus Master FE-370. This was from 2008. The quality was good for its time, and when YouTube used to have decent quality for all videos. Now YouTube has changed its quality for uploaded videos and having an HD camera is a necessity.

        My new camera is a Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS. What do the numbers mean? I have no clue, but I can tell you this camera has slick picture and sound. It is smooth and works great. I bought it at Best Buy because the sales person helped me out and it is the kind of quality I want for martial arts VLogging. Check out a sample test video:

What do you all think? Have any other cameras you think work great? Do you enjoy VLogging your martial arts skills? Has it helped you develop as a martial artist? Did you make worldwide martial arts friends? Let us know in the comments below!

Junsado Can Be An Enhancement To Your  Martial Art

        A martial artist must have strategy along with the theories he learns and be creative and full of ideas for combat. Bruce Lee started Jeet Kun Do with this kind of idea, and since his death Jeet Kun Do has become a concept and not a martial art style, except it is a style of no style. Some people have teaching certificates in it or whatever ranks. There is another concept, or idea, called Junsado which translates as “way of the combat expert” which is an idea based on strategy created by Sang H. Kim. I have known about Junsado for awhile but never really looked into it except for 2 DVD’s I bought from Turtle Press. They contained some pretty cool ideas on self defense. I recently found out about a book called Combat Strategy: Junsado: The Way of the Warrior, which was published by Turtle Press around 1992.

        This book is an interesting read and has 5 section within it which are called “books” in themselves. Each book teaches different concepts within the Junsado idea. There is the explanation of Junsado strategy part, the applications and basic skills part (which is the largest chapter), the strategy itself and maneuvers part, the beyond strategy part (which speaks of the mental game of combat and preparing oneself), and the philosophical or spiritual part (which is very short). This book is an excellent academic read on fighting strategy and uses scientific explanations for movements and maneuvers. I find it helpful to the martial artist who wants an intellectual approach to combat and self defense. It is also a must read for martial arts instructors.

        Hanho is the pen name of Sang H. Kim who is at least 8th dan in Kukkiwon and has master levels also in Hapkido and Kendo and was also a special operative for the Korean government and military. This book blends well with Korean martial arts because of Kim’s martial arts background. But it can definitely benefit all martial artists of any style. There is a lot of maneuvers talked about and attacking and defense techniques: various foot positions, reaction timing,. kicks, punches, throws, joint locks and more. The last book is the philosophical and spiritual teachings. It contains a lot of encouraging stuff but it also has the eastern religious aspect from Zen Buddhism and Taoist ideas. I ignore those since I do not hold to such beliefs and only absorb the psychological and encouraging parts.

        Junsado is not a martial art, a style, or program. It is simply a concept and ideas one can individually apply to his own martial arts training. It is not its own style, it is simply an enhancement to your own martial arts training. It will enhance your martial art itself and open your mind to strategy. There are no certifications, ranks, schools, teachers, or seminars on Junsado. It is simply something to study by reading and watching Kim’s various DVD’s. I own 4 DVD’s of Junsado. Two of them are self defense DVD’s which contain information on self defense preparation and standing and ground combat. The other 2 I bought were knife defense fundamentals and advanced techniques. I have never bought the various stick fighting and staff fighting DVD’s as I did not have an interest in them. But the 4 DVD’s I do own are pretty solid and if someone trains the movements they can have better knife and hand to hand combat self defense techniques.

        I will say that the only negative things in this book are the fact there are several typos or misspellings, and grammar errors. He is Korean so I think this has something to do with the errors. Also, a few of the photos did not line up with the captions. This book was also written in 1992 just before the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu boom. So it does not contain significant information on ground combat that would be effective today, but the little ideas in the book about grappling are still beneficial, but it is not extensive on it.

        There is another electronic book Kim put out called Junsado: Standing And Ground Combat that can be downloaded to a kindle device but there is no physical book.

I have not read this book yet, but it seems to be an update and more in depth than the book I have. The book I own and read was the only one physically published that I know of for Junsado. It is nice to have and can be bought on amazon used for less than a dollar (plus shipping though). Also, Kim has various Taekwondo and self defense books as well but are not labeled Junsado. If you want more information on Junsado go to http://www.junsado.com his official website.

Here is a short book review video:

        I found the book Combat Strategy to be motivating, encouraging, and intellectual and something a person living a martial arts lifestyle should check out. It will enhance your training and make you mentally better as a fighter.