This month’s DOJANG TOWN MEETING is Monday, Feb. 4. Starting at 5:55 pm, Master Cashatt gives a brief orientation for new students and parents- and reminds students of upcoming events. It is also a chance to voice questions, ideas or suggestions. 15 minutes in length.
TAEKWON-DO TRAINING LEADS TO A POSITIVE MINDSET
Dear students, parents and friends,
Dear students, parents and friends,
From the moment a new student enters the dojang, they are reminded of showing acts of respect. We bow and say “Tae Kwon” as we enter as our official salutation. We bow to the flag of USA on the formal front wall as we step on to the dojang floor. We then prepare our body for our instructional workout. We stretch our muscles and we practice techniques so we can perform well in class. We catch up with our fellow students will some small talk which encourages each one of us as we all strive for the same results: a wonderful workout physically and mentally as we gather more information to make our techniques even better!
We hear the instructor announce a technique or drill we’ve never seen before and we listen intently with our ears and watch closely with our eyes. Our brains analyze the information and we ask questions respectfully. We attempt the technique knowing that the more we practice, the more the technique becomes part of our martial art. We know that whether we fall down or not, if we keep practicing we will get better. We know if we put our heart and mind in to any challenge we can conquer it! Well, we can keep getting better anyway- to say we’ve mastered it is something a Master would not even say.
We work with the system of rank, showing proper respect to all students of a higher belt. As the lower belt we “look out for” the higher belts to see if there’s any way we can help them. At our dojang, we are also taught to show respect to our lower belts and younger students, knowing they deserve just as much respect. We also know that we can learn so much from our lower or younger belts. The pure action of learning is a very positive and inspiring things. The more we learn, the more we are ready for emergencies and we are ready to solve problems, not make them.
Then comes the challenge of testing for advancement. It teaches us to take responsibility for ourselves. Our instructors can and do help but it really comes down to the drive and attitude of the student to ready themselves. It is so nice that we have the requirement spelled out so we can be as ready as possible however there’s always the chance of promotional questions pulled out of the blue catching one off guard. This is also important for our growth in TKD and life.
To have the belt system also promotes positivity. Students can see and live and feel when they pass another promotional test, and then the next moment is in starting the next difficult journey to the next belt level. This teaches us to continue to learn in all aspects of life.
Breaking boards brings on the same feelings one has when they are presented with a near impossible task. Breaking boards helps us to gain confidence in ourselves. It teaches us to trust ourselves in knowing we can do the board break. It teaches us to prepare our weapons, just like we prepare our bodies for any challenge. The board breaking is a sign that the technique was done well and another milestone had been reached.
The “sir” and “ma’am” responses become a natural thing and we start to use it in our daily lives. This instant show of respect brings smiles and positive responses from just about anyone. The moral strength we gain helps us to stay calm in problematic situations so we find positive solutions without even having to use our awesome TKD moves….but we know if it comes to physically protecting ourselves, we are ready for that too. Not without fear though, fear of the attacker being very quick or that our strikes and kicks could be fatal.
Our instructors are trained to fill the students will positive feedback and encouragement as they go through all the TKD challenges. It all comes down to our attitude. The attitude can change everything one way or the other, but with our TKD background we know a positive attitude will bring a more peaceful and happy world.
Please let me know how TKD has helped change your attitude or life because that will give me, your teacher, positive inspiration and pride.
Respectfully, Mark Cashatt
THIS IS THE MONTH OF THE DOJANG CHAMPIONSHIPS!
Every February since before 2001 we have had a battle within our dojang just between our dojang’s students. From 2001 to 2007 we had two locations so it was our Souderton dojang against our Harleysville dojang. This history is displayed on the big wall formal front at the dojang. Souderton won in 2001. Harleysville won 2002, 2003 and 2004. Souderton came back to win 2005, 2006 and 2007. Then we moved to our present location in July of 2007. We still held the Championships, but no teams were established. Then in 2011 we separated our students into three teams as we know: Koguryo, Baek Je and Silla Dynasties. You or your child is on one of these three teams. At the beginning of every class, we “go to the clans” to shake hands and collect information on what every student needs. The DOJANG CHAMPIONSHIP history has Baek Je with 3 championships, Korguryo with 3 and Silla with 2 championships. It is a wonderful rivalry which always guarantees a show of good sportsmanship and unity of the dojang as a whole. Which Dynasty (clan) will be the victors this year?
This year we are holding the DOJANG CHAMPIONSHIPS on Saturday, February 9th starting promptly at 10 am. It will start with surprise team competition. Two years ago it was a hacky-sack competition and last year it was a “tying the belt” competition. This just breaks the ice of good old friendly competition between the clans.
During the Dojang Championships, if a student gets 1st place, they earn five points for their clan. 2nd place is worth four points, 3rd place is worth three points and 4th place is worth two.
On February 9th, all participants will be tagged with their kingdom’s color: Korguryo is green, Silla is red and Baek-Je is blue. Then the competition will begin with individual patterns. Black Belts will go first and it will move very quickly. Allowing our lower belts and children to watch the Black Belt performances helps to create a picture of what pattern performances should look like. Then all the other students will be separated into groups or divisions of three or four participants according to age first, then belt. In each group, a participant will get 1st place, five points for their kingdom and a gold medal. Of course 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers will get their respective awards.
Next we take the 1st place finishers in each division and they battle, performing their patterns until there is one winner. That winner will get the “BEST OF THE BEST” trophy for individual patterns.
The next event is the GROUND PATTERN competition. This time, we separate all the participants, color belts and Black Belts, into three groups according to age. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers get their medals and points for their kingdom. The participants who get 1st place in each division then battle against each other, with the ground pattern, to see who gets the “BEST OF THE BEST” trophy for ground patterns.
The next event is the “FLYING HIGH SNAP KICK”. The entire group of participants will be separated in to 3 groups (possibly 4 if we have three or more participants age 40 and over). We will group participants according to their height. The participants keep jumping as the target rises until we have our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of each division. The participant who jumps the highest of all gets the “BEST OF THE BEST” trophy for the flying high snap kick.
The final event is sparring. We will separate the students age and weight. All adults will be in one division. Those participants age 17 and under will get weighed and put in three divisions for boys and two divisions for girls. The top four finishers will get medals and points for their clan. The first place finisher will go home with a CHAMPIONSHIP BELT! All sparring competitors will then get their names listed on the dojang wall and there will be times throughout the next year when challenges can be made- a student listed can challenge the student directly above them and if overturned will move up on the SPARRING LADDER.
So here it begins. We encourage all students to participate as there are many lessons to be learned during this day. It builds courage to perform. It gives us a showplace for all the practicing we have been doing. It challenges each individual to try to be the best they can be.
The atmosphere at our DOJANG CHAMPIONSHIPS is unlike anything anywhere. We are a family oriented dojang and even though we are separated according to kingdom, we all look out for each other and we all cheer each other on.
Statistics show that usually the team who has the most participants wins the big battle of points. Every clan member, every student participant will bring points to their kingdom. Above all, this even promotes good sportsmanship and healthy competition.
It costs $30 to participate. Each additional family member costs $25. Spectators can watch for free. Everyone who participates in individual patterns will go home with at least one medal. Refreshments will be available. We expect the tournament to be over by 2:30 PM.
OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Every month Master Cashatt chooses a youth Gup (color belt) who has shown outstanding characteristics in class. Every student has a chance to be named once in their Gup life. In Spring every year Master Cashatt names the dojang’s youth “OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE YEAR” from the youth roster of the dojang. This promotes a constant reminder for the kids to do their best! This month Master Cashatt has chosen:
Shawn has been training at our dojang since January of 2018 and has earned the rank of Yellow Belt. Shawn earned this award by showing his perseverance by not giving up preparing for his Yellow Belt. He is showing pride in his movements as he tries his best every class he attends. Congratulations to Shawn and the O’Brien family.
TUL-A-THON FOR ST. JUDE
Taekwon-Do has the most beautiful and powerful techniques in martial arts. Our patterns (tuls) are well thought out with the scientific common sense of movement and power. If a person is good at performing the 24 patterns of Taekwon-Do, they will be good at breaking boards, sparring and self-defense. Performing the patterns quickens reflexes and tones all the muscles. The challenging kicks and jumps force us to excel at those techniques as we continue to practice.
A TUL-A-THON is a wonderful answer to “not having enough time”. The dojang will be open from 3 PM, Friday, March 8 until 3 PM, Saturday, March 9 in order for our students to come in and just practice their patterns (tuls).
All students are urged to perform at least 40 patterns. Participants must start at saju-jirugi and continue to their present test pattern before starting over. The patterns must be done in order or equal times so that we can keep accurate account of the number. Many records have been set to be broken. The DOJANG record for number of patterns done by everyone together in the dojang is 10,229 patterns set 2012. Present records to shoot for:
TOP MONEY RAISED AT TUL-A-THON $3858 2007
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS AT TUL-A-THON 87 2010
TOTAL PATTERNS DONE BY THE DOJANG RECORD
10220 patterns 2012
MOST NUMBER OF MOVES WHILE DOING PATTERNS
BLACK BELTS: KIERA THOMAS with 16,128 moves in 2015
GUPS: ADAM LUBY (blue belt) 26,426 moves in 2013
LONGEST TIME FOR BUDDY MARATHON 13 hours 25 min. 2011
(by Lawrence Loughery IV DAN and Myles Menardi IV DAN)
TOTAL TULS for each division:
Jr. GUP (age 15 and below) ADAM LUBY 1100 patterns in 2013
Sr. GUP (age 16 and above) KEVIN NICE/ LINDA NICE 280 patterns in 2013
Jr. BLACK BELT(age 15 and below) KIERA THOMAS 512 patterns
Sr. BLACK BELT (age 16 and above) LAWRENCE LOUGHERY
402 patterns in 2011
There will be lots of talk and explanation about the tul-a-thon in the next week. Our TUL-A-THON is a fundraiser for a charity every year. Our dojang has had a charity fundraiser every year of existence. This year we will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This important Hospital helps children with cancer and life-threatening diseases no matter what the patient’s family’s income.
Our goal as a dojang is to raise $1000. We have sponsor sheets available at the reception counter for our students to collect donations. We suggest asking for flat donations of $1, $5, $20 or more but participants can also set goals telling sponsors they will be doing “100 patterns” and asking perhaps for 20 cents per pattern. ($20).
The TUL-A-THON brings the strongest facets of TKD together. The patterns (tul) is the foundation of Taekwon-Do expertise and raising money for charity teaches us humility, selflessness, compassion and pride from knowing we are helping so many families.
Students do not need to raise money to be part of the TUL-A-THON. Please sign up on the dojang wall to let us know what time(s) you plan on doing your patterns.
GET READY FOR OUR BIG TOURNAMENT
Our dojang hosts one BIG tournament every year and this year it is March 23 at our dojang. All of our students can compete in Patterns and in Sparring against our area’s “affiliated dojangs”. It’s time for our students to prepare!
An event of this size has a lot of overhead costs and so please take notice to the sponsor forms and ask employers or businesses used by your family to put advertisements in our tournament program. Your friends can sponsor some of the tournament registration fee. If a competitor finds enough sponsors, they could compete for free! Every little bit helps.
SAVE THE DATES
FEB 4…DOJANG TOWN MEETING orientation for our students/parents 5:55 pm
FEB. 9…DOJANG CHAMPIONSHIPS start at 10 am
FEB. 21…GUP TEST starts at 6 pm.
FEB. 26….BASIX CLASS from 6-7 pm on Pattern Applications.
MARCH 8-9…TUL-A-THON for St. Jude
MARCH 23…SOUDERTON INVITATIONAL TAEKWON-DO TOURNAMENT at 10 am.
MAY 31, JUNE 1 & 2…2019 SPIRIT OF TKD SUMMER CAMP at Camp Innabah