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During June 2007 i decided to start martial arts again, last time i did i practiced Ju-Jitsu when in was 15 or so (15 years ago).

I did enjoy JuJitsu quite a bit, because it combined the Judo techniques with real self defense strategies. It was really hands on (Actually trying the techniques on other people).
I was looking for JuJitsu school, but could not find any close to my work with a good schedule.
So i decided to go to World Martial Arts and Health, which teaches multiple martial arts, mostly based on Tae Kwon Doe.

I also joined a Brazilian jiu-jutsu class in Seattle (Gracie-barra).

Here i will be blogging my Martial Arts experience (Newest at top)

Jan_Apr 2007

I kept going about twice a weak and work some more on the yellow belt poomse as well as new nunchucks and kicking drills.
Also worked on a few new Hapkido/Judo techniques.

Passed the green belt test on 03/28.

Oct-Dec 2007

I continued going twice a week to my TKD classes, but had to drop the BJJ, as i don't have enough time to do both.
I worked on my black stripe poomse (guumte), as well as new kicking drills (hook kicks etc...), as well as beginner nunchucks.
On 12/20/07 i tested for my black stripe and passed, the toughest thing for me was the Nunchucks, as my wrist are not very good. I now use wooden nunchucks by the way.


Sept 3-Sept 7

Monday: - Holliday -

Wednesday: BJJ: Learned about the new changed schedule and the new beginner classes. worked on another judo style hip/sweep throw. Then worked for the first time on doing some armbars.
Then grappled with other students, he taught me other techniques for reversal and some sort of arm lock (key lock ?). Grappled for a while, submitted him on armbar once !

August 27-31

Monday: TKD: had my last class as a white belt, did a lot of drills and learned with a new student.
Evening: Went to the belt ceremony and received my yellow belt !


Wednesday: BJJ: We did some more work on passing the guard by using a good posture and pulling a leg back. Also worked on a reversal sweep, by blocking the knee with underside of one foot and using the other leg as a lever on opponent hip, while pulling the arm. Did some grappling, submitted somebody for the first time (choke)

Friday: TKD: First yellow belt class, on to the next Poomse (difficult). "Gumti Poomse" i believe is the name. More kicks etc... . Also yellow belt includes nunchucks, so we started messing with that, not easy at all !

August 20-25

Monday: TKD: did some more Poomse for Friday's exam and then did a lot of drills (yellow belt).
Will test for yellow belt on Friday !

Wednesday: BJJ: Worked on breaking the guard and did a lot of grappling ... very tiring !
The teacher got to prevent us from breaking is guard one after another, and schooled all of us (~8) in about 10 minutes ! I felt i did ok, but he killed me in the end on a triangle/choke.
Grappled with others, i can tell my legs are strong (from ice hockey) and i can holf my guard very well against others.
I can break other guy's guard but don't know much after that yet, as in how to submit them.

Friday: TKD: Lunch time, had a last class before my test this evening. Went over the Poomse again.
6PM: Test time. This is quite a ceremony and we had to all lineup and then sit and see all the kids go first, that gave over 45mn to stress out and by the time i had to go i was pretty sore. I think i did OK, though i think i messed up once, but at least i managed to keep going and forget about it.
That was pretty stressful, we will get the results on Monday at the belt ceremony.

August 13-18

Monday: i did not do any practice today as i was sore from my weekend Hockey tournament.

Wednesday: BJJ: we did a long warmup (BJJ warmup's kick's ass), followed by some take downs (ipon, and hip throws).
Then we practiced trying to break from a guard and or defending it.
I tried that for the forst time, I did ok for a newbie. I broke my first oponent gaurd twice,and my second opponent once. The first opponent never broke mine, the second opponent got me once at the very end. Pretty happy about that for my first time grappling !

Friday: TKD: Did my Poomse a bit more, then Worked with master on many kinds of kicks and also yellow belts drills/combinations. Will be taking the yellow belt exam next Friday evening.

August 6 - August 11

Monday: Poomse, kicks etc...
Wednesday: I went to check out the brazilian jiu-jutsu(BJJ) place close to my work, in Tully's building, Seattle.
This is a gracie barra school and i decided to join.
I will probably be doing BJJ once or twice a week and TKD twice a week or so.
We worked on takedowns, mostly jusfo style ipons etc... no grappling for me yet.

July 31-August 3

Monday: Some more Poomse, now knowing it good, and kicking drills. A bit of Nunchuck practice while waiting for the teacher as well.

July 23-28

Monday: I was taught by a black belt. I now can do the poomse all on my own, alas a bit slow. Then we practiced a lot of jump kicks which got be exhausted. Couple the fact i had little sleep (<6 hours because of my kid) and had no time to eat before the class (no breakfast either), i started to feel dizzy by the end.
Wednesday: Did some more Poomse, now i know it well, learn some other words and kicked some pads.
Friday: Was taught by Master and learned a few things i had learn incorrectly in the Poomse (minor things), more varied kicking drills.

July 16 to 23

Monday: The GM was still in vacation so i was taught by a black belt. I'm starting to know my Poomse pretty good now. We worked mostly on the "trickiest" part, the rotating knife hand neck strike (360).
We them moved on to do a lot more kicking drills/forms, which basically are the yellow belt forms. Things like arc kick,arc kick, step, axe kick etc ...

Wednesday: Basically same as Monday. Praticed the arc kick a lot, and finally understood how to do it right.

Friday: Session with Master, This time it was all "sparring" against pads. The master would tell me what to do on the fly, such as: arc kick, arc kick, spin, roundhouse. Step, kick. jump kicks etc ....
Learned many new things like the jump kick, the back kick and the horse stance.

Some of the "myth" i read about TKD from people who don't like it: (
  • You only do forms and nothing else.
As i explained here they do some sparing at my school, i would think no sparring at all would not be much good.
  • TKD students stands sideways and thus can't fight effectively.
Hu ? while we use a lot the "walking stance", front feet straight 12o' clock, back feet 10 o'clock at 45 degree angle, the feet are not spread FAR apart, not like a horse stance. The important part is the body is still facing straight FORWARD (12 o clock). Of course you want to be facing your opponent most of the time, not be sideways ! Also i've heard it's best for fighting to have your feet together (on the same line), that's not true, in that case you have no balance, you get pushed back, you fall.
  • TKD schools don't teach you to keep your hands up (protect your face)
I heard that so many times it must be true for some school. At my school they insist on that constantly, as a matter of fact it's the first thing the GM taught me. If he sees me with my hands down while practicing, he will usually punch me in the face with a foam pad ! He is fast too, so if you are even just a bit down, you won't have time to block smile

July 7 - 14

Well this week the GM was on vacations, so i was taught by black belts Mon,Wed, it was not quite as good as the GM but was OK .. learned the Poomse(Forms) some more.
Here are the forms i'm learning: TKD Forms
It was a bit hard to practice this week with temperatures in the high 90's and No A/C !
Friday i had my usual one one one instructions with Master tom, and that was great, he is a good teacher, knows his techniques and let you know what's going on.
Also as i got there early i got to watch red/black belts sparring (with head/torso gear but bare hands/foot), that was pretty cool to watch !
He told me i had good power and my technique was getting there, so i could probably test for Yellow belt at the next Evaluation in August (in a month) if i keep on the same pace.
It would be nice to get a bit more color on my uniform smile

While that is not used before the yellow belt, they also teach Nunchaku, and is part of the yellow/green belt program (later belts learn staff and shinai bamboo sword).
So i bought a Nunchaku to start playing with.
Of course i got a foam one for now, you would be stupid to learn with a real one and very likely to hurt yourself or even knock yourself out or get a concussion.
This things can be dangerous !
Hi got this:

07/02/07: third class

Once again i got almost "personal" training with Grand Master (only one other student)
I learned some more blocks and punches.
Then mostly worked on straight kicks (front kicks), it is fairly hard to do the techniques right, raising the knee straight up, while keeping the balance and body straight, then snap the foreleg from back to kick and back, then drop the foot to the floor.
However by the end of the practice i could feel my balance improving and my kick becoming harder.

06/29/07: Second class

I had this class with a Master, where i learned a lot (it was a black belt class), The Instructor teached me the basic of the White Belt Poomse, and that was quite a bit to take at once.
The black belts students went on to demonstrate me the whole poomse from yellow to black belt, and that was impressive (and scary) to say the least. I can see i got work to do smile
After that i worked with another black belt on stretching techniques, that was great.
My legs are poor at stretching.
Al;so my back is not very flexible at all, due to 20 years in front of a computer, TKD made me aware that i need to take care of my back better, and i hope the training will improve my back/posture.
I need to start to learn a few Korean terms:
1 to 10 Ha Na, Dul, Set, Net, Da Sut, Yo Sut, Il Gob, Yo Dul, A Hop, Yol
Dobok clothing/Kimono
Dojang TKD Gymnasium
Joon Bi Ready stance
Kamsa Hamnae Da Thank you
Kyungnet Bow
Poomse sequence of moves / Kata
Sabommin Master Instructor

I also bought this book to help me learn:

06/27/07: Signing up and first class

So i went to World Martial Arts & Health in Ballard(Seattle) i signed up right away, and started my first class right away with Grandmaster Yun, who is 9Th Dan the highest level and very seldom given, this is really an honor for a newbie like me to be teached by such a high level GrandMaster.

It became obvious to me than even if the class is advertized as multi martial-arts it is definitely Tae Kwon Do based, at first that was a turn of. Not that i don't like TWD but i have very poor legs flexibility, ice hockey does not seem to help a bit with that. But after thinking about it, this is probably what i need, to work on what i am the worst at.
GM went over the basic punches and blocks as well as a key/punch combo.
This was a great first class, i decided i need to seriously work on my stretching though.
The evening after the class, i had a Hockey Game, and i swear i fell better, i think it's due to the lunch time warm-up at the TKD class.


Forms: TKD Forms


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