Be aware, seminar or training course ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our days  there are countless invitations to participate in events called seminars. They are structured in a random agenda programmed by the opportunity.

Only one biomechanical, only one voice and command has to be present in hands of the conductor of the seminar. The other people with high ranks present there are assistants who must also take note about the commands to not distort the parameters established. Traditionally the seminars had a specific purpose and a well selected teacher for such an Instruction. Until the last active seminar given by Gral. Choi Hong Hi, to whom I assisted  as his Spanish translator just  as I did in the preceding years, he and only him, was the one to occupy such a place. This means that to conduct a seminar it’s necessary to take up a similar representation. This position demands a great responsibility and a well trained and actualized person, since the  seminar is the instruction place where the technical criteria, protocol and rules will be established as the unique valid information. That information will affect the training procedures and the sport competition evaluation.

The seminar has to be offered by an authorized person designated by the Institution involved and it is this entity who delegates on him the high responsibility of unifying the technical and philosophical details.

Such a top category  as a Grand Master rank must be seriously selected by the institution to fill this critical position. Even if in a particular entity there are several Grand Masters as it is the current reality, it is the institution’s undeniable duty  to choose the especial one to occupy this place. A Grand Master Category is required to perform such a job due to its utmost ranking position. It’s also supposed that this rank has the required knowledge to apply with the post, but regrettably it is not always the case.

Many people are in the same rank as occurs in all and each black belt category, but not all of them have the same knowledge and equal capacity, as required in order to transfer their experience.

Another phenomenon is actually tarnishing this rank. Not all of them were promoted under the rules already established by the Founder, who never changed it or authorized such a modification.

Never   was a Grand Master rank granted by only one person. It requires a Promotion Committee.

Gral. Choi wrote this rule and even him obeyed it to grant the first Grand Masters categories.

At present, this  command has been regrettably broken. Nobody knows who grant such power to a single person to promote to this top ranking place in his own name.

The Grand Master category is not one level more in the promotion scale. This rank will only be occupied by those who have achieved the necessary requirements to be considered a potential candidate for promotion to this honorable place,  always with ” the unanimous consent granted by a Special Committee which shall consist of 9 members who are holders of either 7th or 8th degree recognized by the Institution who rules the Art” (Page 96, book I Encyclopedia of Gral. Choi Hong Hi).

Record, minimum time required in the previous ranking, checked jobs in promoting Taekwon-Do  internationally and leading an Institution with several schools and Instructors, will be necessary and will be taken into consideration by the Special Promotion Committee. If you only have one of this conditions but not the other mentioned requirements, why do you need a Grand Master category? Being an old member of a party doesn’t mean that you’ll be a candidate to occupy the president’s chair, what about your capacity?. If you think that for being an old practitioner or a longtime competitor is enough, well…there’s no problem, it is possible to grant you a pensioned title, but not a Grand Master rank.

When this ” kind” of promotion appears, no serious member of Taekwon- Do will respect it and this attitude will put in evidence the commercial opportunism of both parts, who received this incorrect recognizing title and for that unscrupulous and not authorized man who granted it. This act fools the Art, the system and all those members who follow the rules.

Nobody will demand you a special skill in the sport fighting system, nobody cares if you were a champion or if you have a breaking power ability. It is supposed that you already dealt with it in the previous levels and you got the recognition for your achievements.

Your record, leading capacity, knowledge, experience and fundamentally Integrity will be the required items to take into consideration.

Pioneer is a word many times misinterpreted and used as a convenient adjective. Pioneers are the first persons to do something, as it is established in the dictionary. In Taekwon-Do, I don’t know any pioneer alive. The only living pioneers today are the national people of each Nation around the world, who helped develop the art in their particular Countries and who founded the actual legal institutions.

Many oriental people used to call themselves pioneers but they are not. They can only  be considered as old practitioners who accompanied Gral. Choi in some demonstrations in the late 60′s, but it’s hard to know if they are actualized in the bio-mechanical Taekwon-Do’s evolution promoted by the Founder in the last years or if they were close or not to him until the last moment.

Sometimes I think that Orientals are even allowed to break the fundamentals of the Art or to act with impunity just because of their ethnicity. Apparently for some kind of people, the oblique eyes is the key to such a permission. Well, definitely  this is not true and the serious intellectual members of the Art will be not disposed to accept it.

The knowledge is the only condition that transcends the race, and the rules are the only way to follow.

If the category scheme, places and attributes of these ranks are not clearly established, it will be impossible to understand the difference between a seminar and a training course.

Nowadays, several countries have many Grand Masters. If everyone of them would do all as they want due to their ranks, Taekwon-Do will be divided not only institutionally but also in the information and the only common thing will be the name of the art (meanwhile you don’t write it altogether, on the contrary even the name will be different).

Today, with the institutional atomization of Gral. Choi’s style, and to avoid the problem cited above, the entities who are ruling the Art, have to name only one authorized person to occupy the mentioned place, at least to unify the internal criteria of that entity and to keep the system alive and healthy.

With the actual existence of almost a thousand Masters and countless Grand Masters, it’s necessary more than ever to apply the criteria mentioned above.

Many people wrongly believe that the rank is an all inclusive (the authorization to give seminars, especial courses, some particular training parameters, promotions without rules, etc). This is another big mistake.

When you are promoted to any Dan category you will receive a certificate from the entity where you are affiliated, endorsing you in accordance with the rules and regulations of that institution, who recognizes you as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or whatever Dan you were promoted. It says nothing about your pedagogical capacity or any special right to do what do you want in the name of  Taekwon-Do or on behalf the entity where you belong.

To teach Taekwon-Do you’ll need another document authorizing you in such a topic.

To give a seminar you’ll need the authorization from the entity where you belong, doesn’t matter if you’re 7th, 8th or 9th degree. Of course you always can offer special classes for your own school or organization and in your own name, but not in the Taekwon-Do’s name.

While the use of the word “seminar” in the publicity of an event allows for higher fees to be collected for assistants, it doesn’t assure that the information transferred goes beyond a training course.

Under such a confusing and inappropriate use in the description of the event offered and the wrong frequency utilized to collect some earnings, which is the place that this army of generals conferred to the direct instructor?. What the direct Instructor will teach if the students gain all the instructions in the training courses and “seminars” offered so frequently?.

The use and misuse of such multiple events, its frequency and economical demands on practitioners, drain their capacity to fulfill the adequate fee to their direct instructors.

Only one seminar by country every two years, offered by an institutionally authorized Grand Master, would be the only reasonable schedule by Organization to keep alive the system and the direct instructors’ job. If a new information is transferred too much frequent it’s impossible to incorporate.

The rest of the black belt events which not apply the parameters mentioned above, are just training courses.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone 

To be aware read again the preceding notes

Official ?

There are several ways to institute a lie, though it is very hard to accept that Taekwon-Do is involved in such a scheme. In June 2015 I wrote  a note about “Taekwon-Do and its offers” which is actual even today.

Those who were involved for years in this activity, can certify how difficult it was in the late 60′s and even in the early 70′s to set up this discipline. Its demographic evolution was obstructed  by other already established martial arts who felt their hegemony in danger by what they considered a minor art.

The pioneer’s perseverance in the teaching field made possible to institute this Art as an efficient self defense method and, later on,  as a sport competition system.

In the early 70′s, Korean political struggles created a division that internationally surprised the students of the activity and eventually used them as hostages in that fight.

Millions of practitioners in the entire world who didn’t know anything about the reasons and details of that division are still involved and strongly defend the institution they belong to. Sometimes the students are in the middle of the unfruitful attacks that both parts constantly fire to each other since 1973 until today.

One part argues for an usurpation feeling in their unquestionable fatherhood of the Art and the other for their paternity in the political conquer to obtain an Olympic status.

The students  demographic increase allowed  this activity to be considered as the sport with the largest growth in the last 20 years.

Those who achieved the Olympic acknowledgement also gained their inclusion in the national sportive budget in their countries,  a fact  that economically supports the people involved in the national delegation (competitors, coaches and authorities).This detail confirms as official the institution with such a condition.

In other words, to be considered official the sport or the art needs the acknowledgement and support of the country involved.

On the other hand and as an undeniable fact: there is an exponential growth of members in the institutions who claim the fatherhood of the Art since its beginning, but without any recognition of the Olympics nor from the sportive authorities of the countries where they are acting. They are being supported only by their followers.

In accordance with this explanation, if you are selected as a competitor for the World Championship of a particular entity, but your plane’s ticket and expenses are not paid by the Country that you’re representing, you’re not in an official institution, just in a private enterprise called federation, association or whatever would be the convenient name used with a commercial purpose only.

This reality allows us to understand the effort of the Taekwon-Do’s Founder, Gral. Choi Hong Hi, who saw his Art growing in spite of the stones that  were set on his path.

There are documents that certify without any doubt what was explained until here.

It has been established in the entire world that Taekwon-Do was born on April 11th, 1955. It’s also true that his Founder created his  International Federation on March 22nd 1966.

But it’s also an undeniable fact  that on June 15th, 2002 (date of its President and Founder’s passing away), that institution begun its atomization and finally concluded in several enterprises that use the same name. All of them and without exception, have modified the legacy, granting themselves the nonexistent mandate for such a thing.

The nowadays  biomechanical development has modifications that very often are against the parameters already established as the axis of the Art. That technical considerations were several times shown by Gral. Choi himself in the International Instructor Courses he offered.

The badges used in the uniforms have curious suggestions that rapidly allow us to identify to which of the enterprises we are talking about. The uniforms were also altered with the same purpose.

The reasons used are various but cannot excuse what was done, only can be explained through the commercial intentions of those who did it.

Like in the preceding years, I was acting as the translator into Spanish in the last seminar actively offered by Gral. Choi Hong Hi (Buenos Aires – November 2001).

As  the President of the Argentine ITF Master’s Council, I was in direct contact with him until he stopped to be in charge of the administration due to his health. In no conversation nor seminar did he mention any of the alterations applied in the biomechanical after his death, and there’s no  document with his signature saying such a thing. Emphatically he asked to the top rank people of those times (8th and 9th degrees) that we had to preserve the patterns (Tul), its characteristic biomechanics and the protocol that identify our Art, in order to  avoid the activity to become just a sportive statement, losing its Martial base and finality.

In consequence,  the fancy modifications done by all and each one of the so called “Technical Committees”,  respond only to a particular convenience of the enterprise that using the same name as the other, need such a trick to differentiate itself from the rest.

The land where Taekwon-Do was born is South Korea, because it was there where Gral. Choi was acting as an Army’s company commander when he developed the Art. He died in North Korea because that is the place where he was born before the already known division,  and where he chose to die. Other interpretations are just political speculations.

Between the unequivocal details that he let established, there is the not dependence to any country or boundaries. That means it does not  belong to  South or North Korea (please read his memories – Book II).

Not in the past nor at this time is there  a controversial hearing in any Court in the whole world with a dispute about who is recognized as the real institution that represents the Taekwon-Do’s teaching system developed by Gral. Choi Hong Hi, its particular technical movements or the administration of its members.

If any of the enterprises called “official” would really have such a recognition, be sure that no other would dare to be called or mentioned in the same way due to its legal implications.

As one other institution, the International Taekwon-Do Organization (ITO) is an international body legally registered in Puerto Rico and USA that teaches the latest version of Taekwon-Do left by Gral Choi, without fancy modifications in its biomechanical and without using the same institutional name as any other.

ITO uses the real legacy of the Taekwon-Do’s Founder:  aptitude and knowledge about his creation. To occupy such a place, it’s necessary to have been in direct contact with him during many years to know that even in his last seminar he once more emphasized on not changing or distorting what was done until that moment.

To summarize:  the only official institution is the one recognized by the Government of the Country involved and who acts as the ruling entity of a particular sport or art, which will cover all the expenses of the sportive delegation of such institution in an international competition.  The other ones are only private enterprises.

If some high shot of any of the enterprises that uses the same name tells you that this is not true, ask him that the particular entity called official where you’re a member pay your air ticket and expenses.

Official or not, everybody has the option to be where they want. I don’t know if this is fair or not, but it’s necessary to know which is the actual institutional status of the Art called Taekwon-Do, which is ruled by several private enterprises that have the same rights to act in such a way and who have their own official activities in their particular private agendas.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

To be actualized read again the notes before

Knowledge

In Taekwon-Do the task of teaching has a strict way to follow, otherwise it’s impossible to attain the goal.

In a previous note  I’ve explained the unsuccessful method of the self taught, however, I’d like to enter upon other elements that can confuse and block the acquisition of the correct knowledge or an approach to the real capacity.

It’s already known that the institutions control the practitioners’ evolution  to avoid the self taught negative’s effect, because these people don’t acknowledge the necessary hierarchy order established by the Taekwon-Do’s Founder, Gral. Choi Hong Hi, since its beginning.

Nobody can lead an army being a Sergeant, the circumstances will demonstrate in the short or middle time the absolute need for  the Generals.

Besides this reality, some places are occasionally held by a non competent person, regardless of the category he has.

Taekwon-Do is where the knowledge is, besides the race, religion or the political actions that may try to hide that truth.  But, in Taekwon-Do, knowledge has a characteristic that differentiates it from other signatures, pedagogical instruments or professions. Here you only know what you can do.

The fact that you  have read the Taekwon-Do’s literature and remember it in detail, doesn’t make you  an expert or a critic of the art, you are only a well informed reader.

There is no doubt that literature will be needed in addition to the assistance of a “well trained” instructor/Master in order to achieve the right domain of Taekwon-Do, the only way for managing with the body the theory’s mandate.

If your body can’t do it, you don’t know it, you’re just a reader in this matter.

The several organizations that call themselves ‘officials’ and pretend to represent  the style without being such a thing, have allowed that some high hierarchies try to transfer a knowledge that their bodies can’t demonstrate.

In other words, they rigorously repeat the details they read or watched done by other but they can’t do what they’re teaching , establishing a dissociation between the explanation and the real personal knowledge.

The real handling demands a constant practice, without it all knowledge is an utopia.

Without the permanent training of the tools inherent to the art, is impossible pretending its domain.

In Taekwon-Do the physical evidence of the training is at the sight of everybody.

It’s impossible to teach about the great effectiveness of a punch if your hands don’t show any sign of the necessary work to attain the knowledge in this matter. In this case that instructor or master wouldn’t be different in his knowledge than the student that also has read about the item. It cannot be acquired with money or from our seniors but only through constant practice and sweat.   

The bibliographic reference  cannot be avoided or minimized because the training would be erratic and without a definite destiny, however, only knowing the theory is a hidden form of fraud to himself and to the people attending that “teaching”.

Some people try to imitate Gral. Choi in their style of leading a seminar and with the details rigorously required by him, though none of them take into consideration that he taught what he had trained with his body. His hands showed the hard job done and gave him the authority to talk about that item. He moved his body in syntony with his demands. The movements were done by him and not using other’s body as an example.

The theoretical explanation about the geometrical references on which are built the stances, don’t indicate an expertise in Taekwon-Do. Deep knowledge is only acquired by the practice.

Imitation and repetition is the way that a disciple has to follow in the learning procedure. Because of this, a MASTER has the unavoidable compromise to show what he is teaching.

The right method demands a theory and practice communion, with a strong emphasis in the last one. The physical example will prevail over the theoretical consideration or any other intellectual speculation.

The permanent training is the way of the art in itself, without it , the art doesn’t exist.

To recognize an instructor or a master in Taekwon-Do and beyond his unavoidable handling in patterns,  look his hands. These have to show the evidence of the necessary job to be effective, the opposite is the obvious nonexistent knowledge.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone    

 To be actualized read again the previous notes

Qualification of an instructor

   

The permanent training is the way of the art, without it, the art doesn’t exist

It is evident that our Taekwon-Do is not the same as those practiced many years ago. The time and the perseverant effort of it Founder carried on a progress on its bio-mechanical.

This improvement were not only in the technical part but has also affected other areas  which are intrinsically related with that knowledge.

All technical improvement needs the Instructors’ presence to be implemented. The Instructors have to be updated with the last upgrading incorporated by the Founder until his last active seminar (Buenos Aires, October 2001).

No other modification will be accepted if the legacy is going to keep its meaning, on the contrary we would be talking about of another instruction but not about a legacy.

Is this commandment utilized today by all and each one of the institutions that call themselves representing of Gral. Choi Hong Hi?

The already mentioned technological improvement must be those inherited from the Founder and not another.

Until his passed away there was only one Institution and only one system to apply, but today we know that there are many who uses the same name but under different administrations and rules.

The pass of the time also brought another phenomenon which involve the people in charge of teaching.

Curiously some instructors and Masters only give examples of moving using the students’ bodies as references. Because of that and due the imitation procedure, the way to follow will inevitable has the student’s mark and not the Master’s one.

Some people like to use a phrase included in the Philosophy of Taekwon-Do:

Be the eternal teacher who teaches with the body when young, with words when old and by moral precept even after death (Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do Vol I by Gral. Choi Hong Hi).

The key of the sentence is with words when old. In none place is mentioned which is the precise age to be consider old. Taking into consideration the Gral. Choi’s example, we have to be present that he was active at his 84 years of age. Some instructors or Masters probable read the numbers in the inverse way and they consider themselves old at 48 years of age.

In the army there is a very solid line in the consideration of a person who hold a Grade.

Doesn’t matter if others have the same grade, the real importance is in the proper use of the Grade and the honorable behavior of the person who hold such position.

In Taekwon-Do the times enforce the same consideration. Some instructors or Masters has abandoned the regular practice to became in an administrative representing. Many Black belts like to use his goals won in the past in the sport area, to sustain their actual inactivity and out of fitness. Past is past and it is very important to understand that the experience in that item belongs to that area only.

The pass of the time is inevitable, however, it’s necessary a permanent and reasonable activity to keep oneself in good health and also to keep the good health of Taekwon-Do and it representing.

Nobody is asking for a champion of the world to be an instructor, however, it’s necessary the minimum physical aptitude to occupy such a place.

Imitation and repetition is the behavior that a student have to assume in the learning process.

Because of this, the Master has the unavoidable compromise to show what he is teaching.

An instructor (doesn’t matter the grade he has) who is out of training has not enough qualification to be in front of the class, because the student wouldn’t has a reference.

Just giving orders is not the right way to use in the task of teaching Taekwon-Do. This Art was taught in its beginning by people who doesn’t speak the national language of the country involved, however could be transferred by the permanent demonstration of the movements.

The mentioned process will determine the success or failure in the teaching job and will justify the place occupied by the Master.

Would be healthy to actualize the qualification of the people in charge of teaching. Their presence in a seminar only guarantee that the people was present there and  listened the items treated, but not their understanding, physical aptitude and qualification.

In Taekwon-Do the only record is today.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

To be actualized read again the previous notes 

 

A new literary support for Taekwon-Do’s practitioners

In the fall of 80′s the only written theory and illustration about Taekwon-Do’s philosophy and technical details, was the encyclopedia of General Choi Hong Hi in its English version. Then and knowing the increasing requests from the students, I begun writing a Taekwon-Do’s book in Spanish.

Different obligations as an Instructor and the administrative demands as President of an Association, in addition to the Taekwon-Do’s political turbulence, postponed the publication of my book. Seminars, press conferences, TV interviews and different magazine notes occupied me as the official translator of General Choi Hong Hi in all his visits to Argentina.  In the meantime and because the Founder’s necessity,  I was requested to translate his condensed version into Spanish. With the collaboration of other Argentine Masters, this Spanish copy was published in 1995 with General Choi’s approval. Due to the mentioned reasons, my own book kept waiting for a better opportunity. Many years passed and different actualizations were done to comply with the last details taught by the Taekwon-Do’s Founder until his passed away. In the meantime my book stayed in the drawer.  It’s publicly known the fact of the atomization of the institution founded by him after his physical departure, which propelled me as one of its protagonists in the leading movement, in the vain intent of pulling all its parts together again.

Today and after 26 years from the initial text of a Taekwon-Do’s Spanish version about the complete development of the Art, containing the exact technical details of the legacy, I am finally able to present my Encyclopedia of five volumes. It is made in a light and useful carrying version, easy to be consulted for students and Instructors in all the Taekwon-Do techniques and in its 24 patterns.

This presentation was made in the Juana Diaz Wellness Center and was supported by prominent figures of Ponce Health Sciences University and relevant Plastics artists of Puerto Rico.  Members of ITO from USA, Puerto Rico and Argentina sent their notes of salutation and support.

The International Taekwon-Do Organization (ITO) is adding with this significant publication, another relevant event and have since this precise moment a written reference to follow and to be actualized with the General Choi’s legacy.

rpdesimone@hotmail.com

To be actualized, read again the notes before

A remarkable event

Attending to the invitation extended by Dr. Yaritza Lopez Robledo and Dr. Eunice Alvarado Diaz in representation of the Department of Forensic Psychology and Behavioral Science in the Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU), Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone as President of International Taekwon-Do Organization, offered his conference on Taekwon-Do and its effect on Physical and Mental Health. The speech was followed with particular interest by a group of students pursuing their PhD. in Forensic Psychology as well as by students from the Medical School. Once more ITO offers an event that places Taekwon-Do in an outstanding academic level: in 2014 it was at Tufts University in Medford Massachusetts, today at PHSU. Academic growth is priority for ITO, as the Organization holds as one of its objectives the theoretical and intellectual acquaintance of all of its members. General Choi personally  described the ideal instructor in his Encyclopedia (page 87, Vol I): ” a qualified instructor must combine the qualities of a scholar and a soldier if he is to produce pupils of noble character and outstanding skills”.

It is of great importance the teaching of technical capabilities together with the intellectual competence . The improvement in both areas give a hierarchical level to the student and to Taekwon-Do, therefore it  Masters cannot dedicate exclusively to the simple explanation of its attack or defense techniques, leaving aside the knowledge that makes this Art a relevant one.

SGM Desimone’s  detailed description to the Forensic Psychology post-degree students about the benefits of Taekwon-Do on the mental and physical benefits for those who practice the Art was received enthusiastically.  They manifested that they had never before listened such an explanation of  this Martial Art benefits, since it is normally advertised as a sportive variety of combat, leaving out the scientific aspect in which it was created and its direct influence in the human relationships.

The sportive rules restrictions leave out most of the Taekwon-Do techniques and minimize  the self defense usefulness. Both physical and mental health are closely related to its conception and are the ground from which Taekwon-Do evolved. The complete knowledge of the body, its biomechanics and vital spots are  unavoidable for the proper technical handling . It is undeniable the influence of protocol and culture in the human relationships, then its application have  direct impact in self defense. 

The success of the speech can be measured by the warm welcome given by the crowd followed by repeated requests for information about the schedule and location of the classes. In response to their demand, ITO offered to assign  a qualified instructor to teach the Art in the University grounds. 

rpdesimone@hotmail.com

To be actualized read again the notes before

The Self-taught

The Taekwon-Do’s evolve in the entire world and the technology development in the communications’ field,  has allowed the flourish of some people with a wrong attitude, the self taught.

Taekwon-Do is a Martial Art whose existence is sustained by a theory and its practical application, both acquired in hands of a qualified Instructor only.

To preserve that combination, different courses are organized to unify concepts, sport possibilities and different structures that will sustain the activity in the entire world.

Regrettably, some people with an erroneous attitude proclaim that their knowledge and skillfulness were developed unaided, without an Instructor or Master’s support.

They say that such a thing is the result of their great talent to acquire information, away from the normal circuit used by the institutions and avoiding all dependence of the hierarchical structure. They call themselves independent and advertise in this manner. However, in the Art doesn’t exist such a thing.

This idea emerges when the excessively flexible institutions authorize a non member to participate in their upgrade courses without any control of their record and belonging.

Part of this wrong thinking of some black belt holders is to consider that all higher degrees are not necessary and convince themselves that with their actual knowledge is enough to handle a structure. Nothing more illogical and absence of experience.

There was not and will never be a Taekwon-Do’s practitioner who can progress under these parameters.

The Taekwon-Do’s Founder wrote that everything can be replaced in a Dojang except the qualified Instructor that justifies its existence.

Books, videos and other sources of information are just aids or complements in the long way of learning, but never a replacement of the Instructor.

The danger is that such impostors use their supposed knowledge to teach as real instructors.

The true principles in Taekwon-Do establish the respect and exaltation of fundamental values as really helpful tools in the daily life. The unquestionable observation and loyalty to whom has dedicated his time and knowledge to educate us, also exist in other professions. Then: teach with the example is the way to follow.

The wrong use of the information and publicities permitted the misuse of certain concepts.

Raising the leg high is not a high kick. Spinning several times or showing fancy air maneuvers are not a handling of the art, just sportive abilities. Taekwon-Do’s knowledge is the real dealing with self defense under actual combat.

All places in the Taekwon-Do’s teaching process have an specific utility.

A Coach is just that, a trainer. He programs a routine for a student who wants to participate in a sport competition. He will enhance the student’s sportive performance. In some cases he trains a team to coordinate the participants’ movements and strategies, but he is not the Instructor.

The Instructor is the one who teaches, who gives his assistance every day, who supports the student with the technical parameters, who advises with the philosophy of the Art and the student’s doubts. The Coach helps in the sport area to those competitors sent by the Instructors. Sometimes Instructor and Coach are resumed in the same person.

For a better understanding, it’s necessary to remember your beginning, the first time you arrived at a training center, when you dressed your first uniform with a white belt shouting that you  knew nothing. Who taught you the first steps in the Art and helped you to evolve in it, was your Instructor, not a coach.

You could participate in many seminars and tournaments, however, who is always to your side in each training session is your Instructor.

Of course he needs to be actualized in his knowledge to assist you in putting into action the information acquired in seminars and courses.

Your Instructor is who has helped you to walk and run in the Art. He has included you in a system that contains you.

It contains you because you’re a result of that Instructor’s job, who is loyal to that system, not because your abilities.

Are you loyal to your Instructor? or have you placed him aside because you think that you know everything and you don’t need him anymore.

Your Instructor is included in the system because of his loyalty to the hierarchies that integrate it.

Your instructor and the system support you because you are not independent, if you were so they wouldn’t contain you.

Without this relation between system, instructor and student, the art and its evolution wouldn’t exist. Whoever breaks this chain is denying the Taekwon-Do’s Founder, its rules and it hierarchical structure.

What  are we calling the system? The system it’s not written with initials, it’s not an association or a federation. These are names for administrative structures, which use the system to evolve.

The system in itself is different parameters used to keep functioning the vertical martial structure and the knowledge transferred over the years . Taekwon-Do already had a vertical and martial system before it was administered by associations or federations.

Actually many Entities use different names but the same system. The loyalty is to your Instructor and to the system.

In the mentioned chain there’s no place for the self taught. If you want to occupy such a place you have to create your own technical development and hierarchical structure, in other words you have to build a system, your own system.

When a self taught is talking about his ability to avoid Masters or his skillfulness to gain information away from all method or system, he is saying that he can occupy the same level as the highest categories and their knowledge, experience and record, acquired over the years. It is because of this reason that the system cannot include them.

However, the self taught pretends to avoid that his students do to him what he has done to the system. He will try to evade that his students steal the capital that he thinks he has. In other words he needs a system to protect his job.

Some people dare occupy an unjustified place, without the time required for it and without the necessary experience.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

 rpdesimone@hotmail.com

To be actualized read again the previous notes

 

 

Taekwon-Do and it offers

 The instruction and practice of Taekwon-Do is offered in different ways.

The name Taekwon-Do as a common factor allows them to occupy a place in the Martial Arts’ market.

Each one of these offers is an entity that groups some part of that market and regulate the activity of their members.

The way used to write the word Taekwon-Do will identify its belonging and its objectives.

For a better comprehension, it’s possible to say that there are details in the mentioned offers, that let us arrive to a rapid identification of which entity or group we’re talking about.

The uniforms are similar, but not the same. The commands are equivalent, but different, the history of each entity has something in common with controversial details; the competition rules are dissimilar.

The variation in the competition rules establish that the world champions of each category only can be considered in such top place in the entity where he or she obtained the title. It’s clear that different rules cannot guarantee the same result.

We also have: traditional Taekwon-Do, original Taekwon-Do, Olympic Taekwondo, official Taekwon-Do, unified Taekwon-Do, sport Taekwon-do, Self Defense Taekwon-Do and all a Pleiades that have very few things in common with the version gave by its Founder.

He was personally in charge to unify the criteria in his countless trips around the world, to avoid what finally occurred, the diversity and atomization of his work.

I’ve been part and witness of the obstinate effort of Gral. Choi Hong Hi to avoid the rupture, the distortion.

I had to assist him and translated his seminars and interviews during many years

I know his reiterated speeches about a unique Taekwon-do, a unique uniform, a unique biomechanics, a unique philosophy and a unique entity that include all these factors.

The first step to the feared atomization was done by those who wrote the word all together and said that the activity was only a sport.

Once the objective was reached and already inside the Olympics, they added martial details and records to be considered a martial art too.

The other atomization is from inside, different and with an enterprise’s context.

Here the word is written as it was originally conceived but with additional words to induce the public to adhere to a particular type of Taekwon-Do as the virtuous one.

These identifications permits a rapid conclusion about the objectives of each entity.

Many times these entities denigrate the others to gain students, but this only is a publicity strategy.

Of course there are people who add words to the name Taekwon-Do to justify their existence, their enterprises and with the only intention to conquer a greater part of the potential market.

To apply with it, some people add the word traditional to the name of the Art.

As it is explained in the etymology of the word, this would be only a static legacy without any change since its creation, to be transferred in that state generation to generation.  A pertinent question is: which is the old generation and which is the new one?.

This also is against the irreversible fact that Taekwon-Do is an evolutionary Art which exponentially evolved all over the world in his Founder’s hands.

Why teach nowadays the 50′s,60′s or 70′s Taekwon-Do if its Founder was doing all as was necessary to do to improve it.

To answer some occasional arguments about modifications or little changes implemented by him in the biomechanics, he laconically used to say ….I am the Taekwon-Do.

The old practitioners who accompanied that evolution knows that the uniforms, biomechanics and competition rules of the 60′s or 70′s had nothing in common with those used in the nineties.

Can we call it traditional? No, except if you want proclaim that you are teaching the old and primitive Taekwon-Do.

However it’s also necessary highlight that the mentioned evolution was in the Taekwon-Do’s Founder hands only. Then the unique Taekwon-Do must be that, the latest version of Gral. Choi’s research which became as a legacy.

Some people and under personal interests, add the word official to the Taekwon-Do’s name, producing an additional confusion and of course giving to the activity a non existing status.

To consider official some activity, this have to be economically supported with public funds and must be transferred in the name and representation of the Country involved.

Only the activity written as Taekwondo, all together, which actually is an Olympic sport, can be included under this consideration.

All the other are not officials, because none of them have the economic support and acknowledgment of the state involved. They are private enterprises which used to be called Association, Federation, etc., many times without a legal registration of this status and with none appropriate dealing with the federation rules and regulations, just private business which uses this status as an speculative name.

Some people like to use the word unified, an absurd, just another publicity. All and each one of the enterprises that exploit the name Taekwon-Do, have their own interests in all and each one of the mentioned divisions.

It’s impossible to think in a unification that include and accept the other with their individual terms, history, philosophy, competition rules and authorities.

Each of them can be included in the other if each one of them wants to do it, however, who takes that decision is losing his individuality in this act.

What kind of unification are we talking about? biomechanics?, competition rules?, philosophy?, promotion systems?. Nothing about this exist until today. Only Gral. Choi Hong Hi had such a power summarized in only one person. Actually, nobody occupy his place.

MacDonald and Burger King sell hamburgers, however, hamburgers are not enough to merge both enterprises.  Both of them fights to conquer the same market. Which of them would accept to disappear to be part of the other?

Until today there has been no merger agreement between Taekwon-Do’s entities, so a unified Taekwon-Do does not exist.

It is said that Taekwon-Do was born in South Korea on April 11th 1955 because Choi Hong Hi was a General of the South Korean Army in those moment, but it’s not a South or North Korean property because so was the written desire of its Founder. Remember the Founder’s words, Taekwon-Do is a universal Art which have not national boundaries and not belonging to any particular country (TKD Encyclopedia Vol.I pag. 10/11).

If somebody told you that the Art is better in Asian hands because in that way it will be transferred with the original spirit, you were kidded.

Gral Choi Hong Hi, Founder of the discipline, was always vigilant to his original purpose. To put the Art’s teaching in each Country national’s Instructor hands, and under this prerogative he gave the Instructor Seminars all over the world.

If being Asian would be a prerequisite to become in an exponent of the Art and you have not this condition, why go through the effort? don’t you think so?

Taekwon-Do is where the knowledge is. Many Asian people are learning Taekwon-Do in Occidental hands.

In conclusion: each Organization has their own official Taekwon-Do and this Taekwon-Do is the traditional one of that institution. Each entity take the necessary steps to unify their internal criteria as the only unification possible.

Taekwon-Do has a unique truth, must be written as a composed word, it’s a martial Art with an sportive area and must be transferred by those who have the capacity and record enough to do it, independent of their race and religion.

Actually there are very good Masters and Organizations all over the world, however in that diversity and as occur in all human activities it’s possible to meet bad instructors or the wrong entity….it is your challenge looking for the right one.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone

                        President

International Taekwon-Do Organization

rpdesimone@hotmail.com

To be actualized read again the previous notes

 

Do

                                 Taekwon-Do’s Foundation

The word Taekwon-Do is a composed word because so was conceived by the Founder of this discipline. It is descriptive of the Martial Art developed by him and so was presented for it acceptance to the most prominent persons and authorities of South Korea.

Tae describes everything related with the lower extremities (movements, stances, kicks, blocks, jumping, etc) Kwon, all inherent to the upper extremities, particularly hands, and Do involves the philosophy, moral culture and protocol. This makes it distinctive from other Arts and fundamentally from a sportive expression as a unique intention.

All related with the physical actions is written together and separated by a hyphen, its philosophical aspect, which impose a particular behavior and a way of life.

Curiously, many years later of its creation, the word was written altogether by some people to name a sport that has nothing in common with the physical mobility and the philosophy originally intended by its Founder.

If the martial art is practiced in a nontraditional way, or if the priority is placed on the sportive aspect, the Do is being placed aside and easily degenerates in a dangerous pugilism.

The philosophical phase of a discipline makes it distinctive, so much as its characteristic biomechanics.

Five Tenets resume its Founder’s thought. The canon to apply by the members of the Art were established as a guide to improve their behavior as human beings.

As it is in any other activity, there will be those who will honor these parameters and those who will act against them.

Kicks, punches, jumps and other physical abilities acquired with the time and with the permanent practice are many times considered unique synonymous of this activity.

If so considered, the activity wouldn’t be a Martial Art with an sport area, but  just a sport.

If this would be accepted as a valid concept, we would also have to accept that the word Taekwondo written altogether wouldn’t be wrong.

Explaining the philosophy demands the gathering of various factors: place, time, the valid interlocutor and of course the people who already understood that this phase is absolutely necessary to be known, respected and in consequence proceed in accordance with it,  if they want to be part of this martial art.

Regrettably, the absence of these factors has induced most Instructors to use the class time only to develop the physical aspect, leaving out the philosophical knowledge. Under these circumstances the students receive a poor information about this essential item.

Many times I ask myself, why some people writes the Do together the rest of the word if they will use only the body? Why not calling it just Taekwon.

In Do inevitably are involved -between other things-, Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit, the five Tenets mentioned earlier.

How much do we know about these Tenets?; How much do we apply about that in our daily life?

Many times these are only named as a reply to a question done by a Test Board without a real understanding of each concept.

The questions are: Do we understand each  one of them?; Are we acting in accordance with them?

Some reflections could be pertinent.

If we do not pay respect for other people’s position or thinking, what kind of respect do we have for the Tenet “Courtesy“?

If we are not loyal, recognized and grateful with the person who has taught to us what we know, which is our “Integrity“?

If we are not ready to fight against the natural obstacles in our growth, how can we consider ourselves “Perseverant“?

Injustice or the absence of acknowledgement demand “Self control” as a previous step to solve it.

It is evident that to proceed permanently as it is demanded in the Tenets mentioned before requires “Indomitable Spirit“.

If we write Taekwondo altogether and we look the Art only as physical actions, we wouldn’t need the explanation mentioned above and we will be missing its philosophy.

Undeniably, the Tenets are very helpful in our daily life as human beings, and they go beyond the practice of this martial art.  Without doubt, these are also an unavoidable request in the sport area.  

 

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone  

                        IX Dan                                                                                                              

rpdesimone@hotmail.com

To be actualized read again the previous notes. 

Warming up exercises

 

 

     
The few examples shown above have to be executed in both sides

Like any other physical activity, the practice of Taekwon-do require a previous conditioning of the body to avoid possible injuries and to improve the performance.

In this Martial Art and due the total use of the body in its techniques’ development which include jumping and movements in all directions, demands an specific and previous physical conditioning.

Many times a wrong interpretation of this phase leads to give more importance to the aerobic aspect over the real conditioning of the body to improve the efficiency.

It is common that some instructors give the order to run at the beginning of the activity  as a preceding warming up exercise. The curiosity is, that in aerobics’ training their specialists suggest a previous conditioning of the body with stretching and muscle exercises before properly running.

The aerobic capacity is important, however this is a target to reach once the body is prepared to move into the specific technical aspect of this discipline.

The movements to perform the routine are already established. About it, the basic exercises inherent to this activity to warming up the body are unavoidable. After the mentioned routine it is possible to include other exercises which will be used as a complement.

The basic and traditional routine of warming up exercises was designed and proved for a better development of the practitioners in different aspects of the Art, in which must be  included the muscle stretching and joint’s flexibility exercises.

Sometimes, this traditional and basic routine is putted aside and replaced by exercises used in other physical activities. Probably many of them can be added to our traditional routine with good results, but never as a replacement of those.

The warming up routines utilized in other physical activities (kick boxing, boxing, aerobic, etc) are specifically designed for these sports because they are a basic support in that activities’ development.

It is necessary to remember that the biomechanical of Taekwon-do’s techniques are distinctive.

Many people wrongly believe that all fighting systems are the same, without taking into consideration that in this global concept, they’re mixing different sports combat  systems with martial arts and their different purposes.

The techniques used in  sportive sparring  are not more than 8 or 9. Taekwon-do holds almost 3200.

In the sportive combat it is a rule not to cause  serious damage to the opponent. In real self defense the intention is totally opposed. This dissimilar intention imposes a different preparing of the body to train psychophysically the diverse techniques to apply.

The real self defense is usually  almost anaerobic. The sport combat must always include the aerobic capacity of the athlete. The difference between the mentioned circumstances is remarkable, then, so will be the special conditioning of the body.

Taekwon-do makes it’s necessary to prepare the body to train a Martial Art with the practice and development of all its techniques, which will demand the basic warming up exercises already designed for this specific use.

It is more, many injuries suffered by the students occurred due a wrong warming up routine.

In the sportive phase, the athletes will add to the basic original routine other exercises designed to gain speed and continuity in their application.

In its implementation, the aerobic capacity must be taken into consideration because in this phase the confrontation will be longer than in real self defense actions, but of course under less risky circumstances.

The practitioner’s evolution in the technical aspect will be conditioned to the right information received about biomechanics. However to acquire it without injuries, the use of the already mentioned basic routine in warming up exercises is unavoidable.

Senior Grand Master Ricardo Desimone                                                                                                      IX DAN

rpdesimone@hotmail.com 

To be actualized,  read again the previous notes