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My Tang Soo Do Family

Posted on 23rd September, 2014

Well, what a time since my last blog. So much happening in such a short time.


I was privileged to attend and participate in the World Championships in Portugal. What a fantastic event it turned out to be and I have to extend my sincerest congratulations to Choong Jae Nim, the organising committee and our hosts Master Cristina and Dr Jorge Costa on delivering a championships that will live long in the memory.


I was honoured to see my Sa Bom Nim, Master Wynford Williams inducted to the Hall of Fame, the first European to receive this award. I was fortunate to work with a fabulously talented UK team who performed absolutely to their best, and even beyond. I was also very humbled by the respect and warmth extended to me by my peers and participants. It was truly heartwarming to spend quality time with old friends and new.


It was also a special event for me as it was the first time I've been able to take my family and both my sons competed in all events gaining much treasured medals. We were then fortunate to spend another two weeks on the beautiful SouthCoast of Portugal recovering from an intense week of training.


On returning home it was wonderful to see the spirit and enthusiasm of those returning to take part in both 2015 European Championships in Germany and the 2016 World Championships at the new training centre at Arlington, Texas. As such the planning was immediate and is keeping me quite busy. I'm also looking forward to the 2015 Instructors conference, currently planned for Las Vegas and to returning to Portugal in 2015. I'll talk more about these as the planning progresses.


Since my return I've also had to say Au Revoir to some of my Tang Soo Do family as they depart to seek to enhance knowledge in pastures new and to welcome back an old and dear friend into my life who I've very much missed talking to, you know who you are Master Wayne Boozer.


I've also seen one of my senior students, Kyo Sah Stuart McDowell obtain his Instructors Certification and then depart as he embarks on the next chapter of his life at university. He has been a part of my life for so long it's like having to see my own children fly the next, it has been a time of high emotion but I am very proud of him and I wish him all the best 


This last weekend we competed at the Dragon Tang Soo Do Championships in Bristol. Again it was an opportunity to catch up with old friends and share ideas with some new ones, most stimulating..


Next month we are off to Manchester for Master Robert Woodiwiss' championships. It's a long journey but very much worth it. Our road to Germany and Texas starts here.


in all these travels it never ceases to impress me ho impress me how respectful, humble and friendly Tang Soo Do students are. This is a true family regardless of which roof you reside under.


Master Richard Hellings


Posted on 20th July, 2014

Well, hello and welcome to our new look website, I hope you like it. At the moment it feels very similar to the old site but I will be developing it over the next couple of months as I understand the tools more, so don't forget to check back regularly.


This week has been somewhat stressful with all the last minute issues and preparations ready for the 13th World Championships in Lison next week. Organising the team wear with very short deadlines, resolving some accommodation issues, last minute tweaks to competitors and just yesterday recieving the Technical Advisory Committee update. I guess that latter one will mean some midnight oil will need to be burned.


I am just as excited and nervous about next week as all the competitors. Those who know me will tell you that whilst in my head I'm still 21 years old my joints don't quite work the same anymore. This leads to a lot of frustration. However, it does remind me of the difficulties new and junior students encounter when learning new skills and how disheartening it can be when those skills don't appear in the timelines we expect of ourselves. It reminds me that as an Instructor I must remain patient and guide each individual along their own path to personal success. After all we are built differently which is why Tang Soo Do practice is unique in that our main competitor is the one we see in the mirror.


It also reminds me that despite everything we are all still students, something Choong Jae Nim stressed to me the last time I practised with him. And like our students we sometimes think we know what our teachers are telling us without thinking long and hard about their message. I believe this in turn leads to an exagaerated assessment of our martial ability and our character. I have heard Choong Jae Nim speak many times about the need for us to develop as better human beings. Character traits such as Humility, Empathy, Perserverence and Respect are essential if we are to even start that journey.


Why am I mentioning this? It is the prospect of seeing my fellow Instructors (brothers & sisters) which brings this foremost to my mind as they demonstrate many of these traits and more, each time I am with them. It is a testament to our Choong Jae Nim that so many diverse individuals can be voluntarily brought together in such a way. However, we none of us are perfect and our journey continues.