Saturday, April 30, 2016

One-Step Questions for Saturday, 7th May


Special note to candidates and their families:  Instructor Dan has made it mandatory this week for a parent to be present during the first 10 minutes of my class.  We cannot stress enough just how vital a role parents play in this process for your child - while you don't need to do martial arts yourself in order for your child to achieve their black belt, your support, understanding, assistance in keeping them on track and awareness of when they are hitting the wall are all vital in getting them through this journey and to their end goal.

I've been in your shoes and helped a child get her Black Belt before I was even a bodan myself.  As a parent the most helpful thing you can do is be there during class to take notes for your child.  We go through a TON of information each class and your child isn't able to take notes and believe me by the end of class they've forgotten most of it. I hope to see a full house next week at least for the first 10 and, as I like to tell my kids when I want them to do something for me, "bonus brownie points" for staying the whole time and taking notes for them!


One-Step Questions - Saturday, 7th May

1.  If I am under 14 years of age, I have a parent at the dojo to watch me cross the Red Rope today!

****Note - to complete the rest of the One-Step Questions you need to answer YES and take a step forward on Question #1.  We cannot stress enough how big a role you've just played in your child's sucess on this journey!

2. I have Taeguek Il Jang checked off.  This is at least the 3 week on this form  - if you have truly been working on this form but are still having trouble you need to schedule a private lesson or talk to an instructor. (Due May 21)

3. I have Taeguek Sam Jang checked off. (Due May 21)

4. I have Taeguek Il, Sam and Oh Jang memorized.  This means I can do the form on my own without any prompts or long pauses.

5.  I have physically practiced and mentally reviewed my three curriculum forms for three session this week.  I say sessions because if you are having trouble with a form you should practice it until you have it solid in your brain. 

6. I have video taped myself doing Taeguek Il, Sam and Oh Jang and watched it for form and technique.

7. I have done 20 Perfect Pushups and 7 Tricep Pushups 3 times this week.

8. I have done 50 round kicks on the bags 3 times this week.

9. I have done 40 crunches and 5 V-ups 3 times this week.

10.  I have done 2 training runs this week.
11.  I have two board break combinations written down in my binder.  I have shown my combinations to a Black Belt for feedback on how I can improve.  (Due June 11th)

Monday, April 25, 2016

One-Step Questions for Saturday, 30th April

Sorry I missed you guys on Saturday - being sick isn't any fun. Congratulations to all candidates who made it across the rope this past Saturday!  Instructor Dan was pleased with how many of you there were.  If you didn't get across make it your goal to get a couple of steps closer this week.

One-Step Questions - Saturday, 30th April

1.  I have Taeguek Il Jang checked off. (Due May 21)


2.  I have Taeguek Sam Jang checked off. (Due May 21)

3.  I have physically practiced Taeguek Il, Sam and Oh Jang three times this week and mentally reviewed these forms (speaking outloud, writing down or in your head) two times this week.

4. I have video taped myself doing Taeguek Il Jang or the form you are working on getting checked off.

5.  I have done 15 Perfect Pushups and 5 Tricep Pushups 3 times this week.

6.  I have video taped myself doing a set of Perfect Pushups so I can assess my form.

7. I have done 45 round kicks on the bags 3 times this week.

8. I have done 35 crunches and 3 V-ups 3 times this week. Go up slowly and count one Mississippi at the top of your crunch before you release slowly down.

9.  I have done one full 1.5 mile run and one additional run this week.

10.  I have one combination of Board Breaks written down in my binder. (Due June 11th)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

One-Step Questions - Saturday, 23rd April


The time between now and the October Pre-Test is going to pass no matter what you do.  It is up to you to decide if you want to do nothing or if you want to work hard and achieve your goals.  Think about what you want in October and do the One-Step Questions to get you "one step" closer to your October goal!

One-Step Questions - Saturday, 23rd April

1. I have reviewed the "All Taeguek Forms - What needs to be there for check off" document again after Saturday's class and added any notes based on class.

2.  I have Taeguek Il Jang checked off.

3.  I have Taeguek Il, Sam and Oh Jang memorized.  This means I can perform the form on the mats alone without any prompting or long pauses.

4.  I have physically practiced curriculum forms Taeguek Il Jang, Sam Jang and Oh Jang three times this week.

5.  I have video taped myself doing Taeguek Il Jang (or the form I am working on for check off) and watched that taping at least three times looking for the following three categories of items.  Ask yourself the following questions to see what you need to fix to get your form checked off.

 A) Hips, Shoulders and Feet:  Watch for foot, hip and shoulder placement - are your heels straight back, are your shoulders always directly in line with your hips (think of the four corners of a square), are your hips and shoulders flat to the wall you are facing in a front or walk stance, are both your feet flat on the floor with your back leg straight and heel straight in your front stance? Can you kick out of your front stance? How low can you go by dropping your hips to the floor and still be able to kick out of it?

B) Hands, Chambers, Punches and Knives:  Do your punches have a slight bend at the elbow so your shoulders stay in line with your hips and your fist is in line with the center of your chest?  Are your chambers symmetrical (same levels) on both sides? Do you have any wrist curls? Can you only see the side of your bone on the inside chamber in front of your body and the circle on the side of your fist? Check the chamber on your waist - is it pulled all the way back so no sunshine can show between your body and your elbow and is your wrist flat too (no curls)? On an inside chamber can you see your top fist out of the corner of your eye (fist should be forward from your cheek)? Are your knife hands straight (no curling the fingers upwards or cupping at the knife on your waist) with your wrist straight and your thumb tucked along the side? Are you able to curl just the first knuckle of your hand and engage the muscles along the side of your hand?

C) Timing and Striking: Are your feet and hands landing at their end motion at precisely the same instant? You'll feel it through your entire body when both upper and lower parts of your body land at the exact same time. Are you engaging your muscles when they are chambered, releasing when in motion and re-engaging at the end motion?  Do your hands waver or drift once they are in the chambered position? Are you placing your hands or are you able to break a board with each of your strikes?  Are your chambers precise and crisp motions or do you roll in and out of them? Are your Joonbees three distinct motions without any rolling and good timing on the foot and hands coming down at the same time with no wrist curls?

6.  I have practiced my high blocks, inside blocks, low blocks and knife hand in the mirror - 10 times each side and each block 3 times this week.  This one can be done at home or at the dojo. Check for symmetry, striking, hand and arm placement, no curls.

7.  I have practiced my Joonbees in the mirror 10 times to the front and 10 times from both sides so I can see all my chambers 3 times this week.  Make sure each motion is a strike.  Think about punching the sky at your eye level on the first motion, second motion is elbows straight back with arms level at sides and no wrist curls, third step has you punching the ground off your body with wrists centered above your thighs and no wrist curls - foot steps out at precisely the same time as your third motion ends.

8.  I have done 10 perfect pushups 3 times this week.

9.  I have done 40 round kicks on the bags 3 times this week.

10.  I have done 30 crunches 3 times this week.  Go up slowly and count one Mississippi at the top of your crunch before you release slowly down.

11.  I have done one training run this week outside of class.

12.  A parent is attending today's class for at least the first 10 minutes to watch where I get to for One-Step Questions.  It is best if a parent can attend the entire class and take notes for the student if possible.

Monday, April 11, 2016

One-Step Questions for NEW (November) Candidates - Saturday, 16th April

One-Step Questions are at the bottom of this post.  Please READ all of this information - both the candidate AND the parents so you understand what we are looking for in checking off forms and performing at a Black Belt level.

If you are viewing this message on a mobile device (phone, iPad, etc.) be sure to hit "Web Version" at the bottom of the screen to get full access to the bbcandidate site - there are tabs at the top with a whole lot of information that will help you on your journey!

This week we are focusing on getting Taeguek Il Jang checked off for all candidates.  The following two articles are at the top "How to Get a Form Checked Off" tab.  We will be reviewing this information in class this week and on Saturday.

Steps to getting a form checked off:

1.  Memorize your form.  You can't perform it at a Black Belt level if you don't know the next move.

2.  Film yourself doing the form.  You can probably "see" and fix 75% of things on your own.


3.  Watch your video and really look at each row of your form to see what needs to be fixed.

4.  Once you have done steps 1-3 THEN go to a black belt and ask them to review your form (video or live).

5.  Write down all feedback on a separate piece of paper labelled for JUST that form (a couple of sheets of paper should be behind each form in your binder). Note which Black Belt gave you the feedback and what day they gave it to you.

6.  Work on that feedback.  This is not taking 10 minutes to work on your chambers in the mirror.  This means taking it home, working on it, video taping to be sure it is corrected.  Don’t expect to be looked at again until the NEXT CLASS.

7.  Go back to the same Black Belt if possible and tell them EXACTLY what you were working on and ask them to review your form.  Expect NEW things to come your way – we only give 3-5 things each time to work on.  You will probably need 3-5 reviews in order to get a form checked off at a Black Belt level.  This is a PROCESS.

8.  When the Black Belt you have been working with gives you the go ahead, sign up to have Instructor Dan or Instructor Marcia look at the form.

9.  Be prepared to do pushups AND a previously marked off form in order to get your form reviewed.

Last but not least - if you have been working this system for 2-3 weeks and haven't been able to get a specific form checked off you NEED to go see the Instructors to get help.  Tell them you have hit a road block and you need a push to get you across the line on that form.  Whatever you do, make sure you don't spin your wheels on one specific item for more than 2-3 weeks.  The goal is to always keep moving forward -whether you need a Private Lesson or just a few tips the only way to get help is to be proactive on it.


All Taeguek Forms – what needs to be there for check off:
1.   Joonbee – three distinct moves and timing on the step out. Step one has your fists under your eyes and “punching the sky” so they stay level.  Step two has your elbows pulled straight back so there is no elbow showing at the sides.  Step three has your hands off your body and centered over your thighs “punching the ground” with no wrist curling and your feet stepping out at the same time your hands strike.

2.  All Walking Stances have a little length between front foot and back foot, width is about shoulder width apart, hips square under shoulders and toes are straight forward with heels straight back.

3.  All Front Stances have knee above or behind the ankle (not over the ankle), back foot is flat on the ground with heel straight back, hips are directly under the shoulders and square, to deepen the stance you drop your hips towards the floor.  Your width should be wide enough for good stability and your depth should be as deep as you can go and still kick out of it.

4.  In a Walking Stance or a Front Stance your shoulders are directly above your hips and squared.  Your shoulders should be relaxed (not up by your ears) and back straight. This is the “squaring up” you’ll hear us mention.

5.  In a Back Stance – your front toe is straight forward, your back foot is pointed slightly back and 60-70% of your weight is on your back foot.  Your shoulders are directly over your hips.  Make sure you have some width between your feet and you are not “on a skateboard” – check for stability by having someone push you slightly – if you have to catch yourself you need to be wider in this stance.

6.  The Chamber in front of your body is always at a 90 degree angle and flat.  If you look in the mirror you should only see the side of your arm and the side of your fist.  If you can see any part of the top of your arm or the top of your hand you have a “roll” and you need to straighten it out.

7.  The Chamber at your belt should be above your belt line and at 90 degrees tucked tight against your body.  From the front you shouldn’t be able to see any elbow poking out the back.  Your wrist should be flat and straight – check for “curling” up or down.  Going higher or lower with this chamber can sometimes fix curling issues.

8.  All high block and outside block Chambers should be symmetrical and off your body.  When you look in the mirror you should only be able to see the back sides of your hands and arms (no rolling) and no curling at the wrists.  You should have two sides of a diamond shape in front of you with one fist over your opposite leg and one fist level with your cheek bone but off your body.

9.  All Inside Block chambers have one chamber at 90 degrees in front, the other chamber should be 90 degrees with your fist pointing up and visible in front of you (don’t pull it back to your ear).

10.  Your motions during Taeguek forms should be precise and almost robotic.  Every chamber and strike should be sharply defined and your timing needs to be spot on.  Your foot and your hand motions need to end at the exact same time.

11.  Knife hands have the thumb tucked in tight to the side of the hand and no curling the fingers up.  You should be able to bend only the top joint of your fingers with practice – the hand should be flat and flexed during a knife.  No wrist curls – to check this, loosen your arm muscles and pinch your wrist then tighten it up again.  This should help your straighten out your wrist. 

12.  In a double knife, the knife hand on your stomach needs to be flat (no cupping) and at the center of your ribs.

13.  All punches are with a slight bend in the elbow and a slight downward angle so a marble could roll from your elbow off your knuckle.  The punch should be centered on your chest so if you pulled your fist back it comes to the center of your body and your wrist is straight. The only high punch is the second row of Taeguek Ee Jang – all others are done this way.

14. All hand motions are strikes – no placement.  When you complete a hand motion, your muscles should tense so your arms and hands stay locked in position.  You release the muscles to perform the next motion and end the motion by tightening up your muscles again for the strike and locking in the placement.

15.  All elements from the Palchugi Cheat Sheet apply to Taegueks as well – chambering and re-chambering kicks at height, kicking to the line not over it, base foot backwards on side and back kicks, etc.  Use these two documents together to help polish your forms.


One-Step Questions - Saturday, 16th April

1. I have Taeguek Il Jang checked off.

2. My parents and I have read the two documents "How to Get a Form Checked off" and "All Taeguek Forms - What needs to be there for check off".  I have printed a copy of both and inserted it into my binder for class.


3.  I have done 5 perfect pushups 2 times this week.

4.  I have done 30 Round Kicks on the bags 2 times this week.  Make sure your belt knot is going back and forth, your foot is hitting on the top not the side and you are above the bag line.

5.  I have done one run (doesn't have to be the full 1.5 miles).

6.  I have done 25 crunches 2 times this week.