Reflections: USTF Instructor Course

Attending the USTF Instructor course was a positive and inspiring experience which has re-energized my desire to learn TKD and made me proud to be a part of such an honorable organization.

As the director of technique, Grand Master Winegar, spent the majority of his instruction discussing and demonstrating the finer technical points/purpose of each move in patterns and each kick at every gup level.

Here is the most important aspect of knowledge I gained in the art of technique:
It is not enough to be happy that you remembered every move of your pattern and did not have to do push-ups.  For example, even though you have earned a yellow belt & passed your written/oral exam, there is always room for improvement in the execution of the pattern Chon-Ji, associated kicks at that level, and mental knowledge.
When asked to perform any pattern in class, a good student will:

  1. Periodically glance down at his feet & torso to check for correct stance, facing, stepping and posture.
  2. Think about the purpose of each move as if facing an actual opponent (realism).
  3. Remember the category, class & tool of each move, the number of moves, and the diagram.
  4. Always do his best to execute each move with as much power as possible equally on right and left sides using sine-wave.

Of course there is more than the above mentioned (as listed in the syllabus) to observe while perfecting each pattern and those items should be observed as well.  If one forgets any physical or mental knowledge…do the push-ups.  When you go home, practice and study, so you won’t forget again.

High ranking black belts lined up with the color belts to work on patterns and were completely devoted to learning and improving, even though they have known the color belt patterns for decades.  All students have the duty to approach learning with that much unwavering dedication.

Grand Master Winegar also spent a good deal of time discussing the philosophy of courtesy, integrity, and the responsibility of the student to the student- instructor relationship.  He feels that the MOST important responsibility is loyalty.  I agree with his assessment. 

Although I already felt a fierce sense of loyalty to my instructors, the Grand Master eloquently described his feelings and those of General Choi to really drive this sentiment home.  I now see that with loyalty to the instructor, all other expectations fall into place.  The person who is loyal seeks to emulate the characteristics of the instructors and does not want to disappoint them.  Therefore, the student is always courteous, trustworthy, dependable, respectful, helpful, and tries to set a good example for others.  Our instructors tirelessly, skillfully and patiently teach TKD to all ages, devote lots of time and money to accompany their students to tournaments, camps, and seminars (this past weekend, they even missed the Super Bowl!).  Therefore, loyalty is well earned, and through that, the student has a further responsibility to follow the tenets and be a worthy, committed student.  Consequently, once a student exhibits loyalty, it is reciprocated tenfold.

Beyond the philosophical lessons learned at the course, I isolated very specific skills that I need to improve (i.e. L-stance, walking stance & punching form, tucking when executing a flying kick, heel up-heel down stepping, release skills in Joong-Gun, sine-wave in certain moves, and of course, my nemesis…the perpetual upper-body stiffness). 

Thank you for bringing us to the course…it was well worth the investment!

Lynne MacCaffrey,   Axe TKD, 1st gup



Last modified: 10/20/2007 Send mail to ustfneb@cox.net with questions or comments about this web site.