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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27790
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: 4th Dan Testing Essay Reply with quote

My journey in taekwondo started nearly 20 years ago, in 1993, in an American Taekwondo Association (ATA) club in Colby, Kansas. My first promotional certificate dates to February 6, 1993. That was my 8th grade year in middle school. Looking at that certificate, I note that I have outlasted both of the instructors that signed it.

Taekwondo would become a mainstay for me as I went through high school. My family as a whole was involved in taekwondo for several years, with my brothers and my mother joining the club after I had been there for some time. All three of them attained black belt rank. My father was also involved in taekwondo, and he was the main reason that I got involved in it. Although he never attained black belt rank, he has taught me a lot about the martial arts. My brothers became involved in other athletic endeavors throughout high school, including football and wrestling, and eventually fell out of taekwondo. I decided not to participate in school athletics, and made taekwondo my choice of physical activity, attending classes as often as I could. I enjoyed the physical challenges provided by taekwondo, especially the kicking aspects. I loved to learn and practice technique, especially kicking technique. This was and still is one of the most enjoyable aspects of taekwondo for me, even though I'm not as athletic as I once was.

In August of 1994, I was promoted to 1st degree black belt in the ATA and began to assist in teaching classes. I would learn quickly that there is a difference in knowing how to do something and then knowing how to teach it. As a teacher, I was still a student, and I learned a lot about how to teach. I also learned that it was something I enjoyed.

In January of 1996, I was promoted to the rank of 2nd degree black belt. I also graduated high school that year. In August of 1997, I became a certified instructor and began teaching on a regular basis at our school, eventually taking on the duties of head instructor of the school. I was also enrolled in college at this time, and I would have to make a decision for my future. In 1998, I decided to continue my college education, and moved to Hays, Kansas, to attend to Fort Hays State University.

As a full-time college student, I found that I had less time to put towards taekwondo than I did as a high school student. I practiced inconsistently in some different locations for a time, and on my own, but it was not the same as being involved with a school, and I wasn't helping myself advance. I had gained a lot of experience that I was not putting to use.

One evening after my roommate and I had finished playing racquetball at one of the campus facilities, we stumbled upon a taekwondo class that was going on in a dance room. We stopped and watched, and when the class finished, I approached the instructor, then Jr. Master, now Sr. Master, Scott Biskie. I introduced myself and spoke with him for a while and learned that his taekwondo class was actually offered as college credit hours. This would be the second college I would accumulate taekwondo credit hours at. It's just too bad I couldn't have majored in taekwondo. Master Biskie explained Sun Yi's style of taekwondo to me and the differences in the forms and one-steps that Sun Yi's students performed. I was told that I would have to start over at white belt level, due to the differences in the curriculum.

For some martial artists, this might be a difficult pill to swallow. After being a black belt for around 7 years, I'm being informed that I will be a white belt again? But, for me, it wasn't a hard decision to make. I knew that my previous knowledge and experience would serve me well, and even though my rank might change, I would always retain my knowledge and experiences. I also knew that I would be receiving good instruction at this new school, so I stayed humble and enrolled in Sun Yi's Academy of Taekwondo.

This began a period of transition in my martial arts career. I was standing at the back of the class again, instead of in front of the class. I was learning all new material, instead of reviewing forms and one-steps I was comfortable with. I was also learning different nuances in technique from what I had done previously. The class format was also different, and it took me some time to pick up on the Korean terminology. Patience and practice were the keys to getting through this period of transition. One thing that I have learned throughout my martial arts career is this: it's not where you stand in class that matters; it's that you are in class.

I made my way through the colored belt ranks at Sun Yi's Academy, and Master Biskie's teaching method and overall expectations in regards to proper technique were a boon to my training. I felt that I was beginning to generate more power in my techniques, and I was becoming increasingly more comfortable with the curriculum. On October 5, 2002, I was promoted to 1st Dan black belt, once again.

Achieving the rank of 1st Dan, again, was not just a goal for me, but I viewed it as another step in the long journey that I still want taekwondo to continue to be in my life. My journey through Taekwondo has been very beneficial to me for several different reasons. The collection of skills I have garnered throughout my time training have been an advantage to me in my law enforcement career. They have also helped opened the door to defensive tactics training.

I achieved the rank of 3rd Dan and instructor in Sun Yi's Academy in 2007, and this provided me with another opportunity to teach taekwondo and assist Master Biskie at the Hays school. However, I would have to say that the most important thing that happened to me during my time in taekwondo at Sun Yi's Academy in Hays, was meeting the woman who would become my wife. Taekwondo brought us together, and although our lives have gotten busier, and she is no longer able to attend classes, she is still a driving force in support of my taekwondo journey. Let's face it; we martial artists are a special breed, and it takes a very special person to be the spouse to someone who enjoys getting punched and kicked in their spare time.

Now I stand on the precipice of testing for my 4th Dan. There have been some hurdles to overcome in order to finally test. I had to deal with a shoulder operation that put me out of training for nearly 6 months, and my work schedule has also taken its toll on the amount of time I have been able to put into class. I have three children that I also enjoy spending my time with, and perhaps, someday, they will join me along my martial arts journey in taekwondo, as well. I look at this testing as another step in my taekwondo journey, and I hope that I am able to represent my school and Master Biskie well. I plan to continue to do my best to be both a student and a teacher of this martial art, taekwondo. I hope that I can give back for all that taekwondo has given to me.

Brian Walker
3rd Dan
Sun Yi's Academy of Taekwondo
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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27053
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing this, Brian.

Patrick
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CredoTe
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 776
Location: Ohio, USA
Styles: Matsubayashi-Ryu (Shorin-Ryu), Hung Gar (Hung Siu Lum)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding story, well written essay, and great achievement. The fact that you've been able to find many different sources (instructors) as you search for the truth in your personal martial art on your journey is remarkable. This seems to have prepared you quite well for your career as an LEO and the defensive/combative tactics learned through your profession.

Being able to meld all these things together with a degree of internalization brinks on the realm of phenomenal. Many kudos to you, and we know you'll achieve 4th Dan in all worthiness.


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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a fantastic story, inspiring in fact. You say you started Tae Kwon Do 1993 and achieved a black belt in 1994! That's incredible! It took me 8 years to reach black belt. Then I was a white belt again in 1996, then again in 2008. Now in my present club, everyone's a white belt. I was given my 2nd Dan in Shorin Ryu Karate in 2000, 14 years after first stepping on the mat. The fact that you gained a shodan in your art after a year of training has blown me away. I can only congratulate you and wish you the best with your grading.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27790
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CredoTe wrote:
Outstanding story, well written essay, and great achievement. The fact that you've been able to find many different sources (instructors) as you search for the truth in your personal martial art on your journey is remarkable. This seems to have prepared you quite well for your career as an LEO and the defensive/combative tactics learned through your profession.

Being able to meld all these things together with a degree of internalization brinks on the realm of phenomenal. Many kudos to you, and we know you'll achieve 4th Dan in all worthiness.



Thank you for the kind words, CredoTe. I guess I could say that I have been blessed to have so many different instructors throughout my time in TKD, each with a different approach to teaching and different specialties.

I did pass my grading, and am currently 4th dan. Onward and upward from here!
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a cool run down of your TKD career, Brian. Liked it a lot.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27790
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harkon72 wrote:
That's a fantastic story, inspiring in fact. You say you started Tae Kwon Do 1993 and achieved a black belt in 1994! That's incredible! It took me 8 years to reach black belt. Then I was a white belt again in 1996, then again in 2008. Now in my present club, everyone's a white belt. I was given my 2nd Dan in Shorin Ryu Karate in 2000, 14 years after first stepping on the mat. The fact that you gained a shodan in your art after a year of training has blown me away. I can only congratulate you and wish you the best with your grading.


Thank you for the kind words. The ATA has a bit of a different testing cycle and curriculum than many other styles, so earning the black belt rank that soon isn't as uncommon in the ATA at it is in other styles. Looking back, it probably should have taken me longer, and I probably would have benefited quite a bit from it if it would have.

I can relate with you being a white belt multiple times over. It is kind of a refreshing feeling, in a way, and I gained much from the experience.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14453
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent article, Brian!! It's nice to know about ones MA journey, and that your MA journey, while it has its potholes, it's still continuing. Every paragraph reached into my heart and soul in ways that I admire, and in ways that I need.

I've had the extreme pleasure of sharing the floor with you, even though it's only been once. That one time, showed me a MA that was solid across the board and was starving for knowledge that could help improve his MA betterment; you were a sponge and you were quite affable and humble, a trait that can be hard to find...HONESTY beyond all measures!!

I was very happy to have meet your wife, Vicky, and your three beautiful children, Kayla, Kendall, and Kenneth; you're very blessed!!

I'm the lucky one to have meet and trained with you: An excellent MA through and through!! Your techniques are extraordinarily solid through and through, and I was pleased to see that your techniques were honest in their executions.

I wish that we had much more floor time together; we could learn so much from one another!! In our friendship, I'M the fortunate one, and I wish you the best in your continued MA journey, and I thank you for allowing me to walk, if for only that one brief time, side by side on your MA journey.

Thank you, Brian, for everything...past, present, and future!!

Your friend, now and forever, in and out of the MA!!




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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27790
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Excellent article, Brian!! It's nice to know about ones MA journey, and that your MA journey, while it has its potholes, it's still continuing. Every paragraph reached into my heart and soul in ways that I admire, and in ways that I need.

I've had the extreme pleasure of sharing the floor with you, even though it's only been once. That one time, showed me a MA that was solid across the board and was starving for knowledge that could help improve his MA betterment; you were a sponge and you were quite affable and humble, a trait that can be hard to find...HONESTY beyond all measures!!

I was very happy to have meet your wife, Vicky, and your three beautiful children, Kayla, Kendall, and Kenneth; you're very blessed!!

I'm the lucky one to have meet and trained with you: An excellent MA through and through!! Your techniques are extraordinarily solid through and through, and I was pleased to see that your techniques were honest in their executions.

I wish that we had much more floor time together; we could learn so much from one another!! In our friendship, I'M the fortunate one, and I wish you the best in your continued MA journey, and I thank you for allowing me to walk, if for only that one brief time, side by side on your MA journey.

Thank you, Brian, for everything...past, present, and future!!

Your friend, now and forever, in and out of the MA!!



Thank you so much, Bob! That really means a lot to me. It was so much fun to train together, and I really hope to be able to do it again soon. The time passes so fast, and we always stay so busy! Where does the time go?

Bob, training with you was quite an honor and a great experience, and I learned so much in our short time together. You are an excellent MAists through and through, and its a blessing to me to be able to learn from someone with so much experience.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27790
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tallgeese wrote:
That's a cool run down of your TKD career, Brian. Liked it a lot.


I'm glad you enjoyed it, Alex. So much of what I have done and read here at KF has gone into it, especially all the great and talented members I have met here.
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