It’s 2020, and the year has certainly started off with a bang. In the midst of a worldwide novel coronavirus pandemic, there has been a lot of recent discussion about our history. Discussion of isolation, quarantines, cleaned out grocery stores, and general unease, and how similar these things are to the pandemics of the past, such as polio, the Spanish flu, and the H1N1 virus. We are also studying the behavior of these past pandemics for methods to help us contain this newest virus, and slow the spread to keep more people healthy and safe. In the midst of all of this, our training here at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute has changed. In order to do our part to lessen the spread of this virus in Colorado, schools are closed. Businesses, restaurants, and hotels are closed. People are working from home as much as possible, and are being asked to practice social distancing. As a result, our normal weekly classes here at the CTI have stopped. But the training hasn’t stopped. We’ve just moved underground.
The Grandmasters, Masters, and instructors of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute have put together a series of instructional videos for various ages and belt levels. They are designed for students to continue their training from home by having virtual classes that cover warm-ups, basics, poomse, self-defense, and one step sparring. With all of this discussion of history during recent events, our at-home training made me think of a different aspect of history- Moo Sul Kwan's history.
It wasn’t all that long ago really that Korean martial arts were an underground martial art. During the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1909-1945, all activities directly related to Korean culture and history were banned by the Japanese, including the practice of Korean martial arts. But that didn’t stop the martial artists of our past from practicing their art. They just did it underground. They practiced their art in the privacy of their homes, passing the art from parent to child, and instructor to student. And through their perseverance, Korean martial arts survived. And thrived. And is the most widely practiced martial arts in the world.
What we are going through now pales in comparison to what the Koreans went through during those 36 years. But the spirit of the training is the same. We can’t come together and train right now. We can’t attend in person classes with our fellow students and our instructors. But we can still train. We can use this time as an opportunity to become stronger. To fine tune our skills, and really focus on the areas that we need to improve on. We can train at home as an outlet to all of the stress we are experiencing right now in these times of uncertainty. And we can remember those martial artists that came before us; those men and women that didn’t allow the art to die. Think about Great Grandmaster Park, and the Moo Sul Kwan traditions. Don’t let your training slip- keep training, keep pushing. Today we have the advances of the 21st Century. We have computers, tablets and smartphones - so use the CTI REMOTE CLASSES videos and you're keeping our tradition going strong!
Keep that mind set of self directed learning, and set your own goals to keep you motivated. Then, when all of this is behind us, we can come back to class even stronger than we were before, and make new history together.