2nd Annual Orlando Korea Festival

 

Thank you to the Orlando Korea Culture Center for inviting us to their 2nd Orlando Korean Festival Event. We had fun and we loved the reception we had from all the people present. We hope we have the opportunity again next year to continue contributing to the Korean Culture with this awesome martial arts that is ITF TaeKwon-Do. Thank you to all the parents and students for supporting this event and for helping us at the booth. Gamsahamnida!

Here is the whole video of our presentation and introduction to the public of what is ITF TaeKwon-Do. Thanks to Karianne for the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nL5bs-eDOs&t=5s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Viera TaeKwon-Do Tournament

Do-Martial Arts TaeKwon-Do students participated at the Viera Tournament today October 21, 2017. Congratulations to Anthony and Andrew for always represent the Dojang with pride and sacrifice, we also want to congratulate Nikita and Kayla because this is their first TaekWon-Do tournament here in the US. While Nikita is a veteran on these types of events he came from a different country and it was his first experience here in the US and for Kayla it was her first tournament on her starting ITF carrier, both did great and we are proud of all out students.

We also want to thank Dandeneau for taking some time to recognize and mention our friend Gato from Puerto Rico and his Dojang that was completely destroyed after Hurricane Maria.

It was a great event and great experience and like always you learn something new and build memories. Until the next one.

2017 Caribbean TKD Tournament

On Sunday July 16, our students compete at the 2017 Caribbean TKD Tournament in Puerto Rico. It was a great experience for all the students and for some it was quite a challenge.

Started the competition with Patterns where the students competed with other higher rank belts. They won performing their patterns 1st and 3rd place.

Then there was a high kick demonstration by some of the black belts and color belts. Students kicking as high as 9ft high, very impressive and entertaining. Later the sparring start.

Our students didn’t have competitors on their same belt category and they end up competing with higher ranks forcing them to give the best they can and they did obtaining 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Now back to the drawing board and continue their training.

Go to our YouTube Channel to watch the Videos

Great Job Guys!

 

TaeKwon-Do and the Olympics

OK I’m also being called or texted letting me know that the style that I practice TaeKwon-Do is in the Olympics. I don’t blame the people for not knowing there is more than one TaeKwon-Do and of course since the WTF entity is in the Olympics is more recognized than the one I practice and teach at my school. I was going to write a blog about the differences but it was too much to explain, so I will let the videos talk by themselves.

The WTF fighting has become very boring and like some say more like a Fencing Sparring. The competitors as you can see in the video below are concentrated more into making the point and not letting the other competitor make a point, this is why is more time they stay separated than sparring and because they wear those electronic vest and helmets that register points, they know sometimes is not very reliable. Because legs are longer and easy to make points the use of hands is very minimal, also is not allowed to punch the face, that’s why when they get close to each other you see the hugging and referee have to separate them.

This is WTF TaeKwon-Do (this is the one you see in the Olympics)

Compared that now with ITF fighting style, while they also need to be worried about how many points the opponent make, their concentration is more of how many points they can make against the opponent. Letting the judges decide how many points each competitor accumulated, making it look more like a kick boxing style. Here when they get close they are allowed to punch the face, this is a constant attack mode unless the referee stop the fight or they walk out of the ring.

This is ITF TaeKwon-Do (the one I practice and teach)

Why ITF Taekwon-Do is not in the Olympics?

Now you may ask yourself “then why the ITF is not in the Olympics” the faster answer is “politics and disagreements” General Choi who founded the ITF style with others, didn’t want to compromise the quality of the martial art they created as a self defense system and not as a sport. Of course he wanted the TKD to be recognized around the world and to be in the Olympics would have been a great exposure but a lot of rules had to be changed in order to participate and he didn’t accept them, so the Olympic Association turn around to the World TaeKwon-Do Federation and they agreed to do the changes.

So which one is better then ITF or WTF?

This is a dangerous question based on who practice the style. The right answer is they are both good, they are just different, they both demand training, stamina, agility and flexibility but if you want me to help you with a different answer. Here it is: If you are looking to get into the Olympics and just practice Sport Taekwon-Do go with WTF, if you are looking for Self Defense but also compete World Wide (just not in TV) go with ITF.

Emmanuel Reyes
Author

1st TaeKwon-DO Seminar

Yesterday we had our first TaeKwon-Do seminar in charge of Master Franceschi. We want to thank the schools and practicioners that trained with us that day. We did have few black belts practictioners of the ITF TaeKwon-Do and our own students.

We started practicing the SineWave on our forms. We will write more about what is the SineWave on our net blog. If you want to know about why we do forms and what are their purpose you can go here.

So after a few drills and excersices in sinewave, blocks and stances we moved on to technical sparring, where you learn how to control your legs while kicking. You learn how to control the balance of your body while you combine few kicks with one leg and of course using your hands and kicks at the same time is a nice work out.

We had so much fun that time flew by. After we ate we only had time to discuss about Self Defense and how TaeKwon-Do help you not only to defend yourself on a situation, but what are the legal issues as a practitioner but the most important try to avoid any situation where you will have to engage someone.

We want to thank Master Franceschi for coming and taking care of this first seminar but very important to the people that participated and supported the event. Thank you all for coming and we hope the next clinic is in one of our TaeKwon-Do friend schools until we plan the next event.

TaeKwon-Do Patterns? Why?

What are patterns?

Patterns (forms in English or Kata in Japanese) are a set of movements that combine defense and attacks at different directions fighting an imaginary opponent. Almost every traditional martial arts have patterns and some are necessary to be mastered in order to level up in your rank.

Why do we perform patterns?

This is a good question and is a question that creates a lot of debates, so I will spend a little bit of more time here and hopefully I can answer some of the questions and then explain the reasoning behind it. I can only talk about ITF TaeKwon-Do patterns since that is what I practice and teaching now. The patterns serve for a lot of purpose that sadly most of the instructors fail to explain to the student creating doubts about the purpose of the patterns.

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So what are the purpose? 

  • Memory – This is the first thing I will mention, memory; oh you will need to remember so many movements, which direction you go next, what technique goes next. Not only on one pattern but ITF TaeKwon-Do has 24 patterns to learn and they range between 20 to 40 movements each. That is a lot to remember, another way to keep your body healthy is training your brain and memory is one of those exercises.
  • Coordination – You need to know that while you are kicking or punching one way your body has to move with it. Let’s take the simple movement of walking. When you walk you have one leg in front of you and the other one back but have you noticed the movement of your arms, they are going the opposite way. If your right leg is in-front your left arm is in front, this is your body creating a coordinated movement in order to keep balance and create coordination while walking. Patterns are the same way plus it challenge the body to do things that you don’t think are possible, like punching one way while kicking the other way.
  • Balance – Who hasn’t fall before in their lives, I think everyone and if you don’t ever remember falling on the floor, ask your parents, I am sure they can tell you how many times you fall while you were learning how to walk. This is very important in patterns, because the pattern challenge your body to perform certain movements (sometimes more than one) at the same time but still keep your balance. This practice will train your muscles on how to react and your brain on what to do to keep your body balanced while doing so, eventually helping on fighting, defense or even daily life routine, like slipping on a banana peel or wet floor. I guarantee you that if you don’t practice any martial arts, a surfer will have more chance avoiding falling to the ground on a wet surface than you.
  • Flexibility – When you start learning ITF TaeKwon-Do the first few patterns don’t have any kicks, then by the third pattern a simple Ap Chagi (front kick) is added and after that different kick techniques between hands and legs are combined. How the pattern work on the flexibility? well very simple, when you start reaching the middle belts, now you will be doing high kicks, jumping kicks and steady kicks. By the time you reach the black belt level now you are holding your kick, moving your body with extended kicks, kicking two different places, etc. And since the patterns are not on a fast pace like a sparring you better have flexibility in order to have control. Yes you can achieve flexibility by training and stretching but mixing the flexibility with balance, coordination and control is something different.
  • Control – Talking about control, is easy to learn how to kick and punch then go to a shield or a sand bag and hit it with all your strength. But how about keeping control? How can you achieve performing kicks that look strong but since you are kicking the air they need to look real and not all over the place? Try to do this exercise, perform 10 Ap Chagi (front kick) or 10 Yop Chagi (side kick) but every time you kick with force keep it steady and straight, look yourself in a mirror and see if you look straight, postures are right, hands are where they suppose to be. Can you do it? Great! well you just did a pattern. Don’t believe me? Well look at the meaning of Pattern = “The element of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner.” If you can control all those 10 kicks without losing balance you are on your way, even the simple kicks can take you off-guard sometimes because your body want to do something else while you are kicking.
  • Breathing – Well I hope while you are reading this you are breathing, cause breathing is a very important part of a pattern. Now since I am talking about ITF Patterns I have to bring something in particular that we do while we perform the patterns and is the breathing. Why do we exhale with force when doing a pattern? Well because we need to breath between techniques and there is a difference between other martial arts patterns and ITF Patterns, ALL the patterns are suppose to be performed with strength, power and precision, not forgetting concentration. Well sometimes when you concentrate in one particular thing you forget something else, well you don’t want to forget how to breath right? That is why at the end of each technique we exhale with force, first we release the power that we are generating, second we are coming with a lot of strength to execute the technique which means we are tense and we have to release that tension somehow, third when we execute the technique we have a stop point so using our breathing that give us an idea on where to stop the block or the kick so we can continue with the next movement and last it give us rhythm, I’m sure you have seeing kung fu movies and their movements, they are different from TaeKwon-Do but they look so smooth, so perfect but at the same time you can’t follow them because of the multiple techniques they apply in a random way (but believe me they are breathing); in our case it give us a rhythm to follow kind of like dancing: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4…

Well all that is great but how can I apply that in real life?

Oh! I read this a lot in forums and YouTube discussion videos. “Patterns are useless, you never use that in real life”, “Who is going to stand like that in a real fight” and a lot of similar opinions. Well I am going to tell you right now that you are 100% RIGHT! What? you were expecting a different answer from me? I practiced ITF TaeKwon-Do since I was 8 years old and stopped at 22 and started again at 38 years old. So believe me  I had seeing, read and experience a lot and yes I can tell you that a few things they teach me in TKD cannot be applied in real life. Now I will not say they are useless but I will say no one is going to fight like that in the streets. Believe me if I ever encounter a situation where I have to defend myself, the last thing I will do is a fancy pattern (or maybe if I do I will make the guy laugh and I don’t have to confront him) but anyways remember I mentioned Coordination and Balance? That is where the pattern applies to the situation. Your body will be trained to learn a certain way automatically and if you have to use your legs or your hands you will keep your balance because you’ve been training your body with so many repetitive movements that it will become natural, your arms and blocks will become natural. So even tho in the streets you will not do a high block in walking stance, you will know how to block and move away in order to counter attack. Another thing you may had not noticed is that on our ITF patterns, we do punch, hand strike, knee strike, punch to the groin, upset punch to the stomach, poking eyes, etc. So many attacks in a pattern that if you still think you cannot use any of that in the streets well I hope you have some other legal ways defend yourself.

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Can you accomplish the same practicing self defense or going to a MMA (Mixed Martial Art) school?

You may… But every person is different and not every training applies to everyone and that is why ITF TaeKwon-Do covers more than just kicking and punching, we also train in self defense and throw downs, arm breaking, and everything that you can break in a body and patterns is a good way to train on all the aspects I mentioned before for someone that maybe is bigger and cannot move at the speed of light or train like a MMA fighter. That is why ITF TaeKwon-Do is good for everyone while certain sports are good for athletes and fighters.

Summary

So patterns are very important in your development and growth in TaeKwon-Do, just be patience you may not understand the purpose of it now but when you start seeing the movements applied in real life, when you see how much balance and coordination you have after repetitive movements you then will understand the real purpose and i you ever have doubts just ask your instructor. You grow with the patterns and it feels good when you level your belt knowing that a more challenging one is coming to test you. If you like video games, is like when you already conquered a level and now you past to the next one. If you guys have any more questions just sign up and comment below or send us an email.

Here is a pattern at White Level

[youtube height=”315″ width=”420″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l9PX_wDVsI[/youtube]

Here is a pattern of a Black Level

[youtube height=”315″ width=”420″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUD7kqgPRJ0[/youtube]

Understanding the DO

UNDERSTANDING THE DO IN MARTIAL ARTS

The philosophy of the DO, in my opinion is the way to a better, happier and healthier lifestyle. Today, due to the sport aspect of the Martial Arts many practitioners practice only the physical aspects of the Art. This essay is an attempt to discuss the mental and spiritual benefits the Martial Arts offers to its modern day practitioners. I believe if we apply the DO throughout our daily lives we will help contribute to achieving the ultimate goal of the Arts which is committing ourselves to self improvement leading to a more peaceful world.

Before we can discuss the benefits of living the DO in our daily lives, we must be able to understand what is meant by living the DO. The DO defined as “the way”, encompasses philosophy, morals, ethics, humanity, and training your state of mind. This mental training will help the Martial Artist elevate his or her spirit. The study of traditional Martial Arts involves an equal balance of physical, mental and spiritual aspects.

Some Martial Arts Instructors are more concerned with acquiring medals and trophies from competitions to build fame and fortune. Focus is lost on developing the student into becoming a more peaceful, and productive member of society. This is unfortunate.

The DO is mentioned and practiced all over the world throughout history. Knights practiced Chivalry, and Samurai trained in Bushido. Knights would behave according to chivalry, because those individuals that possess the authority to take lives require a stricter moral code of conduct than other professions. Knights were responsible for protecting the vulnerable. Bushido placed honor as most important above all else. The term Samurai actually means “to serve”. The Samurai Bushido code stressed loyalty to their Master, filial piety and reverence to the Emperor. The tenets of Bushido were frugality, loyalty, mastery of martial arts and honor to the death. In Japan, DO is used as a suffix in Karate Do, Aikido and Judo. In Chinese, Tao means the “Way of”. Living the DO everyday should be viewed as a better way of life. The attacking and blocking tools that we train, and forge can be deployed as weapons and are readily able to take a life easily, if needed. Therefore, like the Knights and the Samurai we must also adhere to a strict moral code of conduct. This code of conduct is known as the “Way of the Warrior”. Similar codes of conduct have existed for other warriors throughout history. Some Martial Arts Instructors are more concerned with acquiring medals and trophies from competitions to build fame and fortune. Focus is lost on developing the student into becoming a more peaceful, and productive member of society. This is unfortunate.

How can these important values be useful to home and careers in today’s world?

We must stay focused, act responsibly, and feel free to question some of the values and virtues that are taught today. Once we are confident that these values taught are beneficial for improving our way of life we must continue to live honorably so that these virtues are never destroyed. This philosophy of Martial Arts should be applied to every aspect of ones life. If we make every effort to improve our mind, body and spirit we will become closer to the ultimate goal of building a more peaceful world. As Martial Artists we must always treat others with the utmost courtesy and respect. This is our code of Honor. Living this way in our daily lives will not only lead us to a path of enlightenment, but it will contribute to the goal of creating a more peaceful world.

In essence, it is having respect for yourself and showing the utmost respect for others.

We must stay focused in our daily lives, only then we are able to successfully “live the DO”, which is an honorable lifestyle. Honor can be described in many ways. In essence, it is having respect for yourself and showing the utmost respect for others. Honor is applying 100% to whatever task you undertake, and not letting anyone including yourself down. It is always doing the right thing, and standing tall against any injustice. It is being honest, treating others with dignity and humanity and keeping your word. Without strong morals and ethics we cannot claim to be a Martial Artist. We must try to devote our entire life to a strong sense of integrity, responsibility, and justice.

As we advance in age we compensate for our lack of agility with the great wisdom we have developed. This wisdom helps us achieve the balance that allows us to execute our techniques using less physical energy. Martial Arts training should include training our state of mind. Training our state of mind will elevate our spirit. Only then, we will feel like we are in harmony with ourselves. What I am trying to say is when our intellect is at rest; our inner self (subconscious) is wide awake. This type of mental and spiritual training forces you to take an internal voyage within yourself. One of the greatest benefits of training in the Martial Arts is learning how to breathe correctly. For the most sincere student breathing connects us with the beauty of nature.

The correct way of breathing helped me deal with the daily stresses of my job as a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Department. In 2001, I founded the non-profit NYPD Martial Arts Club, because I strongly believe the Martial Arts teaches both self-defense and harmony. This is extremely important for members of Law Enforcement and the Community we serve. I voluntarily taught and still teach the benefits of Martial Arts to my fellow officers, to do my part in society of building a more peaceful world.

The DO is a lifelong journey, an ocean with no horizon. Living the DO means displaying a positive attitude and maintaining a lifelong commitment to understanding the DO. This lifestyle should be applied in all aspects of our daily lives. This cannot be taught. I tell my students an Instructor can only provide guidance to the student. We must choose our own path or way.

Respectfully,
John Connolly

Grand Opening

For those of you that missed our Grand Opening on March 7th let me tell you what an awesome day we had.

We first got together and thank everyone who support us, every single person that made the DO-Martial Arts possible, our Sensei, Parents and Students. Having a Martial Art school is not just a training location is a big responsibility, is a commitment to provide quality knowledge and training to the students that are following and trusting us, it force us to dedicate our time, give what we have for the new generation to come. This is why we are not only thankful for having a Martial Art School  but we are grateful to be with a lot of people that trust what we are doing for them.

After we cut the ribbon we had the honor of having Mr. Connolly and Mr. Leep taking care of a great ITF TaeKwon-Do demonstration. The two instructors didn’t give us a fancy demonstration like you use to see on YouTube, kicking boards hold up high or breaking 5 boards with a flying kick. This demonstration was down to earth in a real life demonstrations. We learned that not all TaeKwon-Do are the same, we learned that the Traditional TaeKwon-Do created by General Choi Hon Hi was not designed for Olympics but as a self defense discipline, a few self defense with knife and gun point were enough to show the real purpose of TaeKwon-Do. They also teach us that is not a perfect style and that we should combine more than one martial art in order to respect other disciplines and incorporate them to our knowledge. This not only will help us be better athletes and protect us in any unforeseen situation but most importantly it will help us grow as individuals.

After that we received the surprise from Mr. Leep who is also the President of I.A.M.A (Independent American Martial Arts) in making us the School #2 of his Association. We are honored to received such a privilege and belong to a new association that is willing to help other schools in Florida. We will be committed to that philosophy as well since the purpose of DO-Martial Arts is to unite schools and different martial arts styles under one family.

Then we had a small Judo clinic by our Sensei Shinjiro Sasaki and David Fukuda, instructors that not only had dedicated their lives training and practicing Judo but now passing those years of experience to our students. They told us that is not easy to be at the level they are now but is not impossible either and all you have to do is believe in yourself and commit to your training but at the same time they made us understand that we will never achieve our goals if is not from the help of the other athletes that train with you, thanks to their dedication and help we can achieve ours and we should respect and be grateful of having partners to practice with. After a few techniques and throws and the help of our other two sensei Takahiro Sasaki and sensei Rieko Sasaki we had the privilege of promoting two students to Black Belt in our Judo program. These two students train under Sasaki Judo School which is one of our partners under DO-Martial Arts so we are honored that these two students obtain their Black Belts in our School on our Grand Opening. These athletes worked as hard as the other students to reach this level, which is the beginning of another journey in their Judo career but very well deserved.

Congratulations to: Lakea Vargas and Nicole Stout for their promotions.

And why when they reached black belt is the beginning of their journey, our sensei David Fukuda couldn’t say it better “Shodan means is the beginning, which means when you get your black belt, you learned to read and write. You got that down, now you can go ahead and learn new things”.

Then the promotions kept coming, three other students were promoted to their next belt rank for their hard work and dedication to the Judo discipline. So today was full of excitement, joy, happiness, accomplishment and the start of a new goal to achieve. DO-Martial Arts is here to help you achieve your next goal and not your final goal and we hope that with the combination of the different disciplines we are teaching in our school you be, not only one of the best competitors but one of the best human beings, with enough knowledge to change some other peoples life in the future.

Congratulations to: Andrew Montañez, Kristopher Garcilazo and Nicholas Chung for their promotions.

  

I want to give special thanks to my two closed friends Hector Montañez and Karianne Andrini. They had supported me since day one and thanks to not only their support but their help we had reach to this point; be able to open the doors to Central Florida. Thanks to both of them and a big recognition for their hard work.

Thank you Instructors, Thank you Parents, Thank you Students and Thank you visitors for making this Grand Opening day so special for us.

Emmanuel Reyes
President/Owner
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Mr. Leep teaches at Leep TaeKwon-Do in Melbourne, FL if you live in that area stop by his school. http://www.leeptaekwondo.com/

Mr. Connolly teaches in Treasure Coast Martial Arts in Jensen Beach, FL