What is Martial Arts
Lone Tree Branch
I’ve told the story of how I started Tae Kwon Do. My eldest son gave me a Dobok for Christmas, and told me that it would help my tennis game, which it did. I knew how much time he put into it, and did not think I had the time to spare. But I started, and who would have thought I would get hooked. I have always been active — played basketball in high school, led a life as an active farm wife, and at this time was trying to become an intermediate tennis player.
I began my journey in Tae Kwon Do shortly before my 53rd birthday, about the age my mother was when she died from the result of several strokes. For this reason I had tried to get plenty of exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.
I didn’t let anything interfere with going to classes, and continued until the night before my surgery for total knee replacement in 2006. Before surgery my orthopedist encouraged me to continue Tae Kwon Do after recovery, but one knee didn’t turn out as expected, and I had to discontinue.
For several months before my temporary black belt test – I was doing classes four or five days a week with double classes on two of those days. I really did enjoy them. I also very much enjoyed tournaments. I feel I have always been competitive in nature all my life. Still whenever I am witnessing Tae Kwon Do exhibitions or tournaments – my body feels like it should be out there.
During all this journey, Master Robert Wood, my instructor, my son, has been by biggest supporter. His love is always there; whether he is calling me Dolores in class, or mom or mother at home. I have three sons and something different has brought me closer to each of them, Tae Kwon Do being the bond for my eldest.
I thank Grand Master Woo Jin Jung for the honor of testing at this late stage in my life. I know he believes we are making history. I hope I did him and Master Wood proud. But I like to believe that I had a good test, not just a good test for an 81 year old lady.
Applause Changes People
Nothing makes a person happier than receiving applause. Applause signifies recognition. It also brings a person’s mind and body to an optimal state. The great feeling a person gets after cleanly breaking a pine board and receiving enthusiastic applause is difficult to compare! Parents feel proud when they bring their children to the dojang and watch them training diligently. When their children receive applause from others in the dojang, parents realize that their investments of time and money have been worthwhile. This is particularly true if a child has been bullied by his peers, or is perhaps just very shy. Even children who are badly behaved or stubborn tend to become more agreeable and compliant after they receive applause. This is because compliments and applause are motivating forces. The motivational aspect of applause is true for adults as well. Adults do not normally receive applause at their workplace, or at school, or from people around them. Praise from fellow trainees boosts self-confidence and brings a sense of self-assurance that lasts for a long time. A result of good martial arts training is that the body and mind are brought together. In this process, the phenomenon of ki, or energy, also plays an important role. The physical and mental elements of the individual combine with ki, creating supreme power and supreme energy. In the dojang, an applause outpouring is worth far more than applause received merely because of status or affluence. There is an unparalleled sense of pride in oneself gained through people’s applause, and students come to believe that the greatest honor is to be a martial artist. It exceeds the sense of worth generated by one’s place in society or one’s material possessions. Just as medical doctors and those with PhDs are referred to with respect by the title of ‘Doctor’, martial artists are addressed as Mr., Ms., Mrs., Master and Grandmaster, titles of respect in the dojang and anywhere that martial artists gather. *This is an excerpt of Grandmaster Jung’s latest book