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Mi Guk Kwan News: November 2022

Updated: Nov 19

In this edition:

 

6th Worldwide Tang Soo Do Family International Championships

Sponsored by the Tang Soo Do MiGuk Kwan Association, Inc.

By Kwan Jhang Nim Charles Ferraro (cferraro04@snet.net)

Grandmaster Charles Ferraro (TSDMGK Assoc., USA) and Grandmaster Theo Salm (EMTF - Netherlands) after meeting and discussing the lack of cohesiveness in the international Tang Soo Do community decided to create and develop an umbrella organization that would work towards uniting the various countries by promoting events like International Championships, clinics, seminars and opportunities for friendly fellowship among member nations.

The inaugural event for the Worldwide Tang Soo Do Family was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2009. We had nine countries and over 350 competitors participate at this event. Since then the WWTSD Family has held four additional International Championships in the following locations: Orlando, USA, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Dusseldorf, Germany and London, England. Each year we have had the wonderful fortune to see international support for the event increase. More countries have participated and the camaraderie among participants has been inspirational. Some of the countries that have competed in our past events have been United States, Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Belgium, South Africa, Malaysia, Poland, Chile, Aruba and Argentina. We have two new countries that have expressed interest in attending our event in 2023: Italy and Turkey.


The 6th Annual WWTSDF International Championships were originally scheduled to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2019 but due to precarious unrest the safety of our members could not be guaranteed; so the event was rescheduled for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2021. However, this time the COVID pandemic caused us to postpone the event once again. Since these challenges made it too difficult for these countries to host the event, the United States was selected for 2023. When I was contacted with the request to host the event I did not hesitate to accept.


Bringing together multiple nations is always challenging for the hosting organization. This is especially true given the vast cultural and political differences between countries and their people. Also many nations have their own currency and the exchange rates can vary immensely. These currency differences complicate the registration process.


Finally, since many of our visiting international friends are taking a family vacation in conjunction with attending the championship, it is important that we, as the hosting country, make sure that our international guests are comfortable and aware of the numerous amenities that are available to them. In spite of these many challenges, however, the friendships made and the camaraderie that is on display make efforts expended in hosting these events extremely rewarding for those who attend.


This event will feature competition for all ages (5 years and up) and all ranks (white through master level). Participants will compete in three individual events (weapons, forms and sparring). Additionally, competitors can look forward to the highly anticipated and exciting team events. These team events will pit country against country; master against master with each country entering one or more teams in each of the events. The team events are as follows: Team Form, Team Sparring and Team Demonstration.


The 6th Annual Worldwide Tang Soo Do Family International Championships will be held at the Doubletree Hotel at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida – July 20-22, 2023. Tournament packets will be sent to each instructor so that interested students can register and attend. A tournament website will be launched in coordination with the mailing of the tournament packets which will permit students to register online.


The Doubletree Hotel will be holding a block of rooms which will enable our members to make their hotel reservations. Be sure to mention either the Worldwide Tang Soo Do Family or the Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan Association when making your reservations in order to take advantage of our tournament room discount.


If there are any further questions regarding the Championships, please call Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan headquarters at 203-932-5335.

 

Upcoming Events

  • December 1-6, 2022 – 54th Dan; 26th Kodanja Shimsa and Clinic – Santiago, Chile…Contact Kyo Sa Clara Munoz

  • December 9-11, 2022 – Dan Training Camp – New Braunfels, Texas – Contact SBN Brett Riley

  • December 14, 2022 – Gup Testing – 10th gup white through 4th gup upgrade – 6:30 pm – West Haven Dojang

  • December 16, 2022 – Kodanja Class – 7:30 pm – West Haven Dojang

  • December 24 – January 2nd, 2023 – School Closed – No Classes Christmas / New Year Holiday

  • January 18 – 22, 2023 – 27th Annual Kodanja Shimsa / Clinic – West Haven Dojang – Contact KJN Charles Ferraro

​View the full TAC Calendar here.

 

Practice – Body, Mind, and Spirit

By SBN Adam Sherman, edited by SBN Susie Cuseo


What is practice? Practice is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as a verb or action word meaning “to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually” or “to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient.” As martial artists we have all heard our instructors say, “Okay, students, that was a great class today, now make sure you all go home and practice!” Ask any martial arts instructor anywhere in the world and they’ve likely asked this of their students. On the surface, the concept of practicing martial arts seems fairly basic. A student should go home and repeat what he/she learned in class over and over again. This form of practice seems to work in the very beginning, but eventually the complexity of information begins to increase. This can leave students feeling overwhelmed when it comes to training on their own.

As a person progresses on his or her martial arts path, they begin to realize that it is quite hard to practice everything they’ve learned in one training session. Eventually, practicing everything would take hours and hours, perhaps days upon days. With the ever-increasing pace of life, this becomes nearly impossible for most people to achieve. In order to help students overcome this feeling of being overwhelmed, they can break down their practice into three different types: body, mind and spirit.


Martial arts practice utilizing the body can be as basic as performing one block 100 times or as involved as practicing all the physical movements that have been taught for any given rank. Physical practice does not mean that all techniques must be performed in each session. There can be times when only one hyung is performed or even just a section of a hyung. Just practicing Ho Hup Cho Chung (control of breath) while performing techniques can have positive results on a martial artist’s overall performance. A person can work on the correct stance, the best way to step, punching at the right target or kicking with the specific area of the foot while developing good form. As a student physically practices martial arts, their body builds muscle memory, as long as there is consistency and discipline applied during each practice session.

When time does not allow for physical practice, martial arts practitioners must depend on utilizing their mind. The mind can be a powerful tool. It is important to practice being where you are at any one given time. This is why Tang Soo Do starts each of their classes with Muk Nyum (meditation). It is important to come to each class with an “empty cup” of knowledge so that it may be filled with new knowledge. Practicing Muk Nyum can be achieved outside the studio by simply taking moments throughout a busy day and practicing deep breathing. There are several times in the day where this can be achieved: in the morning, when you wake up, lie in bed and breathe before you get up; when you’ve reached your destination in your car, after you shut off the engine remain seated and take a few moments to settle the mind; and finally, before you go to sleep, close your eyes and meditate on the good things that have happened during the day or practice in your mind something that was taught in class while inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This can help a person collect their thoughts, decrease stress, improve concentration, increase awareness and improve overall attitude. The body also benefits from the mind’s exercises by heightening the body’s metabolism as well as energy flow, particularly through proper breathing.


Practicing martial arts is also about your attitude, mindset and how you carry yourself as a person. Our Tang Soo Do gup/Dan manual teaches us the Seven R’s: Right Thought, Right Meditation, Right Faith, Right Resolve, Right Effort, Right Speech, and Right Action. Practicing these concepts in everyday life can ultimately increase a students’ spirit and have a positive effect on themselves and those around them. Developing the “can do, will do” attitude is an important tool inside and outside martial arts. Students develop an increased sense of calm and mental balance characterized by self-confidence, self-respect, courage, humility, and even compassion where they become more aware of who they are, their accomplishments and potential for continued growth in themselves as they mature in the martial arts.

In conclusion, as listed in the 10 Elements of Effective Training, “Martial arts practice is good for mental, spiritual and physical well-being.” It is also important to teach students that it is okay to not practice every technique that they know every time they train on their own. There are many different ways to practice martial arts.

As previously discussed, utilizing the mind, body, and spirit will aid in creating a well-rounded martial artist. Eventually, as students advance in knowledge and rank, they will be able to practice on their own, or in the words written in the Muye Dobo Tongji – The Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts of Ancient Korea (translated by Sang H. Kim), “When deployed in camp, soldiers should not wait for the command to practice to be given, rather they must practice the techniques of the sword and the spear whenever time is available.

 

Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan Studio Profile: Chili

By Virginia Folger Dan #411 (virginia.middleburymaa@gmail.com)

In the Mi Guk Kwan, our world headquarters is located in West Haven, Connecticut. Yes, the Mi Guk Kwan has studios all over the world, not only in the United States and Puerto Rico but also in Argentina and Chili. Today we are going to take a look at the schools in Chili.


There are 10 active studios in all. Chil Sung Kwan Chile Institute owned by SBN Maricel Gatica, Pyung Ahn Institute owned by SBN Juan Madariaga, Bool Joo Hang owned by SBN Moises Miranda, Shinay SH'Y owned by SBN Cesar Rubio, Shenhai owned by SBN Esteban Ardiles, Ho Sin Sool owned by SBN Roberto Avila, Neh Gung Do owned by KSN Gabriel Mansilla, Dojang Ikigai owned by KSN Raul Vasquez, Club Pyung Ahn Hualpen owned by KSN Clara Munoz and Yu San Institute owned by Rolando Gallardo.

In total, these schools have 128 students. The first school was opened in 1996. These dojangs offer classes in the studio with the studio owner as well as online classes. They even have special classes for upper-level students. Although they enjoy traveling to the USA for tournaments when they can, they also hold tournaments among the schools in Chili.

The annual event they all look forward to is KJN Ferraro’s yearly visit. At the end of each year, Kwan Jhang Nim Ferraro visits and conducts a Kodanja event as well as training events for those students in Chili. Being able to get training from KJN is something they truly appreciate. We all have our reasons for joining the Mi Guk Kwan. When speaking to KSN Clara Munoz from Club Pyung Ahn Hualpen, she said, “She saw training in a gym and liked their tremendous energy.” Just imagine walking past a gym and the people inside exuding so much energy that you don’t just stop to see what it is but you join and eventually open your own school.

They value being kind, loving and respectful. They work hard at this to build their studios and to be able to pass on the teachings of TSDMGK to more students. Passing on not only the knowledge but also the passion that they have for the art.


Hearing all that they are thankful for and what has drawn them to training is a great reminder to us in the States to appreciate the access we have for our senior members. Often, those of us close to senior members of the MGK take this for granted and don’t value our training and relationships with them as we should. Take a moment to remember why you started training and why you continue to train. Be grateful for the training and events we can attend with KJN throughout the year. Such occasions include clinics before black belt tests, Nationals, States, Weekend with the Masters and local tournaments. Every one of these events is a learning tool to better yourself as a martial artist. Attend as many as you can as a fledgling learner in the art of Tang Soo Do. The potential for growth is boundless.

 

Sa Bom Spotlight: Master Bruce Rogers

By SBN Susie Cuseo (thecuseos@yahoo.com

At the age of two, SBN Bruce Rogers moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. While his father was in the advertising business, the family moved numerous times before he was born to finally settle in Connecticut. Although Master Rogers started out life in Mt. Vernon, NY, he calls Greenwich his home. He started his early years playing multiple sports like ice hockey, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, golf and baseball. He can attest that he received some of his athletic prowess from his father who after World War II played professional baseball for the Red Sox. He attended Brunswick High School and continued at Princeton University studying International Trade and Finance under a hybrid degree of Politics and Economics. He stayed physically fit playing hockey and golf at the collegiate level. Before graduating from Princeton, however, he started working in the field of insurance. In 1989, he took a leap of faith and bought the insurance agency that he was working for. He ran the business for 15 years before merging with another in 2004, only to be resold numerous times while the company grew to 450 employees and expanded throughout CT, NY, and PA. As part of the USI Insurance company, SBN Rogers currently leads the team that manages a large group of financial institution clients.

In the late 1980s movies with David Carradine and Bruce Lee were the superstars of martial arts and strong proponents of becoming a martial artist. SBN Rogers’ fascination with those artists created a curiosity within him to seek out a studio. He had heard of SBN Joseph DeVita who owned DeVita Karate in Greenwich and had just established a new school in Stamford and became one of the first students enrolled. With a history of athletics, Master Rogers found that martial arts was a good fit for him even though he started at the youthful age of 26. While his wife, Mary, worked in the restaurant/banquet management business at night, he was able to train for two hours 4-5 times a week. He was joined by a fellow practitioner at the start of his martial arts career, Kent Lowell, who would train with him until second Dan when Mr. Lowell moved to California. Having a training partner like Kent with him provided him with the inspiration and challenge to keep going and making him better as they progressed through the ranks.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about his Dan testing: As was the case for all at the time, at each of his tests for first, second and third Dan, he would travel to Moo Duk Kwan Headquarters in New Jersey to Grandmaster Hwang’s fitness club that offered squash and racquetball. Master Rogers would process with a group of 8-10 testing candidates from court to court while a panel of five masters watched as they performed their forms, hand techniques, kicking, or self-defense. There would be a momentary respite in between moving from court to court as they would sit in the hallway awaiting the next testing section. SBN Rogers enjoyed these all-day testing challenges.

While studying Tang Soo Do, he also began taking up Tai Chi with Master DeVita. Tai Chi, also known as “Shadowboxing”, is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for defense training, health benefits, and meditation. Master Rogers continued to learn Tai Chi in Greenwich for over 10 years and has learned to incorporate it into his Tang Soo Do training. He studied under the father of one of Master DeVita’s students, Lou Termini, who was trained under Bow-Sim Mark and Grandmaster Victor Fu. Grandmaster Bow-Sim Mark is mother to martial arts film star Donnie Yen. She was the first to give a demonstration of Combined Tai Chi Chuan in the United States. Grandmaster Victor Fu offered a revolutionary approach to learning authentic Tai Chi and Qi Gong, emphasizing special stepping, paced respiration, corrective posture, and ever-deepening relaxation. He offered exercises that stretched the hips and waist, which in turn built balance, boosted the immune system, and rejuvenated the whole body. Tai Chi training to Master Rogers is not only a close-range fighting art that stresses hip rotation and power in short distances, but a path to better health through breath control and mental training. He sees its influences in a great deal of Tang Soo Do based on Grandmaster Hwang Kee’s studies in China. In fact, among the Tai Chi classics is an anonymous “Song of the Thirteen Postures” that very closely resembles the Tang Soo Do “Song of the Sip Sam Seh”. Tai Chi is clearly prevalent in the Chil Sung forms where it incorporates a lot of the breathing and slow-moving techniques, but is also evident in many other areas as well. It has benefited and augmented his continued training in Tang Soo Do by fostering the natural transition from hard to soft allowing the body and mind to transform naturally with age.

When asked what does your family and friends think about your martial arts training, SBN Rogers’ response was “They find it fascinating and are envious of my commitment.” He tried to get his son and daughter to train, but they were accomplished athletes in other sports and dance and were never able to find the time. His son would exclaim after being shown some rudimentary basic self-defense techniques, “I’m a white belt with a couple of black belt moves, if I ever need them.” Now that his children are grown and living in New York City, he has future plans on giving his 23 year old daughter and her roommates a crash course on self-defense basics that would be very useful in any situation they may find themselves in while living there.

Master Rogers feels that he’s been very lucky training under SBNs DeVita and McGuiness. He appreciates the different styles of teaching and has the utmost respect and admiration for both instructors. Master Rogers participated in Nationals in 1997 and won in sparring and continued to compete and won both forms and sparring in 1999.


He currently is a 7th Dan who teaches two classes a week for Master McGuiness and trains four times a week: two in Tang Soo Do and two in Tai Chi. His involvement in both arts has provided him with excellent mental and spiritual training. He states that, “Tang Soo Do has become a way a life. There is no end to learning. The longer you train the more you realize how much there is to learn and how much you don’t know yet.”


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