Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Dobak- a lesson in unity

Last week we purchased our dobaks, Uniforms. My wife and I worked to get the pants shortened as needed. I take the prize as having to have my pants shortened 8 inches! I have short legs, what can I say?

Tonight as we were leaving for class my 8 year old, almost 9, said, "Now we will fit in." I thought about that statement, does the uniform really make us fit in any more than not having it? The answer is yes.

It's not that we were treated any differently by the instructors or by Master Scota, We were not treated differently by our fellow classmates. The dobak gives a sens of unity with the class, and yes that you fit in with Tang Soo Do, I can't really explain it, but somehow the uniform does make a difference!

Tonight Instructor Scully tried to kill me, not specifically, just as part of the whole class. She had us start out with 15 or 20 jumping jacks, no biggie, then immediately 10 or 15 push ups, then 15 or 20 crunches, and right back for another round... three times!

I know it's really good it got my heart rate up, everything that those types of exercise are for it did.. but oh oh oh... I think I'm too old for that! Somehow I'll make it! I'll push on and on.

We also worked a lot on the walking Chun Gul Chase and the correct form for the Tora (turn) when you are moving forward. Instructor Rovner worked with us on this, sometimes I think I honestly forget my left from my right, how is that possible?

Like the movements of the walking front stance, and then the turn. I finally caught on when Instructor Sculley said that it's always the back foot that moves. much less confusing now! ;)

So when you have walked as far as you are going to in the Chun Gul Chase and need to turn depending on which leg is in back you draw that leg forward (turn about 90 degrees to the direction you were facing left for left leg right for right leg) then step out on the angle with the same leg once you have planted that foot swivel and Ki Hap. This is also when you we do a HaDan Mahk Ki ( low block) because we have either been walking forward with the low block or with a Chun Dan Kyuk (Middle punch). When turning if we have been doing Chun Dan Kyuk we always perform a Ha Dan Mahk Ki.

By the way, I'm not trying to sound like I know what I'm doing with all the Korean terms, I'm simply trying to utilize them in normal English so that I can get a better grasp on the terms for class.

I hope that this log is being read by at least a few and that it's able to help, and encourage anyone who is working in Tang Soo Do or other martial arts. We can do it! it's not easy, but we can do it!


  1. You have my utmost admiration by using the correct terminology. I learned my TSD at a school that did not emphasize the Korean. When we joined our then Federation, we were supposed to learn it, but it sort of fizzled out.
    My new school is very strong on Korean and teaches it along with the forms. It's a difficult transition to go from not using the terminology to using it, but it CAN be done. Congratulations on using it from the start.

    By the way, it sounds like Sa Bu Nim Scota (Instructor is Sa Bu Nim) has been speaking to the people at my dojang as far as the warm up is concerned!!

  2. Don't you just love karate uniforms? They are always way too long. It is great that you are taking classes as a family.

    Enjoy the journey!