The “Karate Girls” and Taekwondo

Sonya and Sydney prepared for their twice-weekly karate training

Please click on all images for the full effect

In Korean, tae is to kick, jump, or strike with the foot; kwon is fist, or to strike with the hand; do is the way or the art. Together they became tae kwon do, the art of kicking and punching, using bare feet and hands as weapons. [Source]

A two thousand year old martial art form, Tae Kwon Do is one of the most popular forms of martial artistry. Tae Kwon Do brings forth traditional Korean combat in “the art of kicking and punching.” Practitioners employ a variety of blocks, kicks, punches, and open handed strikes in competition, training, and sparring. The combination of kicks that are employed is one of the characteristics of Tae Kwon Do martial artistry that sets apart from other forms of traditional Asian combat.

Early Koreans first developed Tae Kwon Do techniques as a compliment to their weaponry skills, making them versatile warriors and formidable foes. For hundreds of years, Korean martial artistry underwent mainstream changes, innovations, and cultural influences without settling into a definitive art form. In 1909, Japan came to occupy Korea, thus influencing Korean culture, including martial arts. Following World War II, Korean martial artists returned to a purer form of Tae Kwon Do without the outside influences Japanese martial art forms. During the 1950’s, modern Tae Kwon Do was developed. [Source]

I visit my grandchildren in San Jose, California at least once per year. Last year I was mildly surprised to learn they were both, then at ages 6 and 9, taking lessons in the TAEKWONDO form of “karate” (although, strictly speaking, this isn’t a Japanese form as the word karate implies).

I was thrilled to see them at their exercises, seriously intent on performing as well as their young bodies would allow them, under the well-defined, consistent and loving leadership of Mr. Moore, their teacher. I was even more impressed by the written and verbal discipline encompassing all the young students, around 20 per class by my observation.

[Image Source]

Upon entering the classroom all visitors are encouraged, and the students are required, to shout out “Hello Sir! Hello Ma’am!” This is the greeting to Mr. Moore and Miss Rose, his associate, both in proper Taekwondo attire. One takes one’s foot covering off before walking on the exercise mat that covers the most of the room. Visiting observers can forgo this by sitting on chairs just outside the mat’s perimeter. Before walking on the mat, barefoot, one bows in respect to the spirit of the room.

All persons are greeted by all others as “Mr.” and “Miss” or “Mrs.”

At the beginning and end of each class the students shout out these commandments which are inscribed on the mirrored wall of the classroom:

I will practice in the spirit of Taekwondo,
with courtesy for fellow students,
loyalty for my instructor,
and respect for my juniors and seniors,

I will live in perseverance in the spirit of Taekwondo
Having Honor with others
Integrity within myself
and self control in my actions

Mr. Moore and Miss Rose

Mr. Brett Moore appears to be in his early to mid-20s. His upper exercise garment bears this legend on the back: “Mr. B. Moore, California State Champion 2005, ATA”

On one day, every six weeks, the students, when entering upon the main exercise mat, will encounter a small mat on which is inscribed the lesson for the session. After bowing to the spirit of the room, the student will shout out the word or phrase on the mat:

(“it’s not what you know, it what you do!”)

(“is to obey what is right”)

(“is the joy of being myself”)

(“is the link between the world and me”)

(“yes I can!”)

(Followed by “Sir!”)

On the outside windows of the classroom, visible in the photo above, are these words:

Karate for Kids
Goal setting
Self confidence
Self control

Karate for Adults
Self Defense
Stress reduction
Weight Control

Victory Martial Arts was founded in 1993 by four-time World Champion Senior Master Von Schmeling. Three years later Victory Martial Arts (VMA) was named “School of the Year” by the American Taekwondo Association. VMA now has 23 schools and over 400 students. The stated purpose of VMA includes this: “Beyond attaining physical fitness and practicing self-defense, our philosophy in the teaching of martial arts (has) the fundamental goal to shape successful human beings—true champions—who will help create a better world.”

“Honesty is the first step to an abundant life.” (Senior Master Sergio Von Schmeling)

Now visiting more than a year later I am proud to say that both girls have advanced in their “belt” levels and continue to derive satisfaction from their discipline.

It is very heartening to this older fellow to see sound values and discipline being instilled in the young people who will be the workers, voters and leaders of tomorrow.

Thank you Mr. Moore, Sir!

Thank you Miss Rose, Ma’am!

Victory Martial Arts
1375 Blossom Hill Road, #69
San Jose, Ca 952118
tel. 408-269-5425


About Ron Pavellas

Expatriate Californian living in Sweden with wife. Retired from employment in the USA. Currently focused on blog articles, memoirs, and creative writing.
This entry was posted in Family, Sonya Slosarik, Sydney Slosarik and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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