The Martial Arts are often misrepresented and misunderstood — as aggressive, excessive and egocentric by media “stars”, — as sloppy, silly or seeming to lack larger meaning by many students and instructors inadequately taught or driven by selfish agendas. Practiced to their potential however, martial arts offer a vehicle to a rich, balanced and connected world!
The ultimate goal of a true martial artist is to be a giver – a contribution to the context that he/she is operating in. So, let’s work backward from here. In order to be a contribution, one must be capable. And capability grows from awareness … of everything…
So, increasing our awareness is the first step in the process — that ultimately leads to a better world!
Now, while jumping to a BETTER WORLD may be too big a step for many of us – “too much to wrap our brains around” – “can’t get there from here”… all of us can get our heads around increasing our awareness – especially if we start with small accessible steps. One of the most effective ways to increase our awareness is to increase what we notice. Following are a few simple twists we can make with familiar tasks and everyday situations to notice in new ways and increase our awareness:
- use your less coordinated hand to accomplish ordinary tasks
- brushing your teeth
- holding and dialing the phone
- writing your name
- opening a jar or bottle
- inserting keys into a lock
- handling office equipment/tools (scissors, stapler, stamps, screw driver, etc.,…)
- holding your fork/spoon while eating
- holding vessels while pouring
- close eyes with ordinary tasks:
- put on socks/stockings/underwear
- wash hands
- fold clothes
- dial the phone
- walk (in a safe obstacle-free area)
- floss your teeth
- listen to music
- talk on the phone
- slow way down with ordinary tasks:
- chew food slowly and deliberately, noticing textures and flavors
- breath deliberately and slowly – see how slowly you can make it
- slow your heartbeat (through intention and concentration)
- get dressed at half speed
Of course there are many others. See if you can think of a few twists of your own, as you try some of these. Through it all – notice what you notice… How much are you noticing that you never noticed before? Now that you notice these things, what else is possible for you to notice? Notice all that you can, and keep noticing – and as you do – your awareness will rise.
A: Class Start Time. Classes start at the times indicated on your schedule. In order to obtain full benefit from class and to minimize disruptions, it is necessary for you to be on time. Plan to show up to class anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes early, to give your self ample time to get dressed and to warm up before class begins. Should you be late for class, simply stand near the entrance of the Do Jang mat and wait for your instructor to notice you, then ask your instructor ”May I please have permission to enter class, Sir?”
Water and Food. Water in bottles is permitted in the Do Jang in the lobby area only. Please do not bring any other kind of drink (soft drinks, sport drinks, etc.). Tae Kwon Do class can be a strenuous workout. You will perform better when you are well hydrated. So, drink plenty of water before class and drink water when permitted during class breaks. Candy bars and other food items should be kept in your workout bag or outside the dojang. Keep food and water off of the mats during class times!
Restroom Breaks. Please use the restroom before class begins, so valuable class time is not lost or disrupted. You may also use the restroom during water breaks and after class. If for some reason during class you need to use the restroom, raise your hand, get your instructor’s attention and ask permission to be excused. When you return from the restroom, stand at the edge of the mat, get your instructors attention and ask permission to return to class.
Illness and Injury. On occasion, you may come to class not feeling your best. If you are injured or not feeling well, inform your instructor prior to class about your condition. Even under the roughest circumstances, we encourage you to do your very best! Oftentimes, the greatest amount of improvement is made when you feel least capable. On the flipside, some injuries are worsened when the body is pushed too hard. Please listen to and respect your body. If you can not continue, raise your hand to get the attention of your instructor and ask permission to step aside or be excused.
Special Needs. Please inform your instructor if you have any special medical needs requiring medicine or medical devices. It is a good idea to keep any medication or medical devices close to you in the dojang. Such items can be kept in the changing room and/or in your workout bag in the waiting area. It is recommended that parents of children who have diabetes or asthma be present in the dojang the first few classes to see how your child responds to the workout.
Jewelry. Watches, rings, bracelets, chains, earrings and other jewelry can NOT be worn during class. Serious injury can result to you or another student if your jewelry gets inadvertently caught.
Personal Hygiene. Your uniform must be kept washed, clean and in good repair. Keep your body clean. Dirty and/or long toe and fingernails can be dangerous. Keep all nails clean and trimmed to avoid possible injury. Long hair must be tied or held back. If you need to cough during class, turn your head so that you can cough into your upper arm. Showers, deodorant and a washing machine are a necessity when people are working and sweating together in such close proximity.
Courtesy and Respect. We expect all students to show courtesy and respect at all times. This means showing respect to all persons and their property in the following ways:
- Address all instructors and Black Belts as “Sir” and/or by their title (Mr., Mrs. Ms, Master, etc) followed by their last name.
- Bowing is a traditional Korean way of greeting someone, similar to our handshake. Bow to your fellow classmates when you first greet them.
- Bowing is also a traditional Korean show of respect. Bow to instructors and Black Belts when you first meet them either inside or outside of the Do Jang and when you enter or leave the Do Jang.
- Display respect and appreciation to your workout area by bowing to the American and Korean flags before you enter or leave the workout mat.
- Show courtesy, kindness and respect to your fellow classmates by treating them the way you would like to be treated.
- You are being trained as a traditional martial artist. Stealing, hiding or mishandling other people’s valuables is not tolerated. Treat other people’s valuables the way you would want yours treated.
- Treat your instructors, fellow classmates and yourself with respect. Profanity, rude behavior and horseplay in the school are not allowed.
Class Attendance. Class attendance is important. Traditional Tae Kwon Do is a disciplined martial art, which is intended to be practiced regularly. The more consistently you attend class, the more quickly you will learn the basic fundamentals and gain confidence. If you are planning to miss more than two regular classes in any given week, please let one of the instructors know ahead of time to alleviate their concerns.
You will be issued an attendance card, which will be listed alphabetically under your last name in the attendance box. Before class, pull your attendance card and give it to your instructor at the beginning of class.
Basic enrollment students (your initial student status) may attend one A-Day and one B-Day each week. You may also attend Saturday class (A&B-Day) for an additional workout or as a make-up day.
Black Belt Club students may attend an unlimited number of classes each week, in addition to the special advanced weekly Black Belt Club class.
Masters Club students may attend an unlimited number of classes each week, in addition to the special advanced weekly Black Belt Club class and the special hardcore weekly Masters Club class.
Uniforms. Our Tae Kwon Do students are required to wear a regulation Asheville Sun Soo Tae Kwon Do uniform during class. A uniform and two patches are supplied for you after you pay your basic enrollment fee. The patches must be sown on, with the JTF (Jun Tong Federation) patch on your right chest and the Sun Soo (white patch) on your left chest over your heart as pictured below. Only white clothing can be worn under your uniform top. Additional uniforms can be purchased for a modest cost.
Black Belt Club and Masters Club students can purchase the premium quality uniforms available to them. They may wear these uniforms during class. The official Sun Soo dress white uniforms are required during official Sun Soo testings, tournaments and events.
Equipment. belts and above are required to purchase and wear protective sparring gear during the sparring section of B-Day classes. This gear includes a sparring helmet, boots, gloves, mouth guard, shin guards, and arm guards. Chest protectors are required for students under 18 years old and are optional for everyone else. This gear can be purchased at a modest cost. If you have your own gear, it must be approved by your instructor for class use.
Tenets. Our students are asked to live by the following guiding principles of Traditional Tae Kwon Do: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit.
Courtesy (Ye Ui) To be thoughtful and considerate to others. To show respect and to treat others as you’d like to be treated.
Behavioral examples in the dojang include:
- Bowing to your instructors and fellow students.
- Allowing others to go first.
- Walking around people, instead of in front of them.
- Listening quietly and following instructions.
- Behaving and having a positive attitude.
- Responding to your parents and instructors with a “Yes Sir” or “Yes Ma’am”, etc.
Integrity (Yom Chi) To live by a code of moral values and principles.
- To be honest and speak the truth.
- To do what you say you are going to do.
- To finish what you start.
- To keep promises to yourself and to others.
- To perform Tae Kwon Do moves properly and powerfully.
Perseverance (In Nae) Never Give Up! To pursue achievement of your goals. To meet challenges head-on and work through them, because overcoming challenges helps you grow and improve.
- Coming to class, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Completing unpleasant tasks (like homework or housework)… even when you don’t want to.
- Consistently practicing your Tae Kwon Do moves with accuracy and power.
- Always working to improve beyond your present Tae Kwon Do abilities, no matter what rank.
Self Control (Guk Gi) To maintain control over your body and mind with the commitment to cause no undue harm to others.
- Controlling your temper and keeping your negative thoughts and emotions to yourself.
- Speak with respectful tone and words to others.
- When kicking or punching in class, to hit your target, without hitting or hurting your classmates.
- When self defense is warranted in a real life situation, to cause the least amount of physical injury necessary to protect oneself and others.
Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool) To have a courageous and strong spirit at all times… especially during times of adversity.
- To never give in to fear.
- Never allow yourself to be dominated or to have your spirit broken by another or by day-to-day life.