martial art gumyeado

Not even a blizzard on a Sunday can defeat a warrior when he or she has committed themselves to practice. On 24 January, 2016, with many inches of snow on the ground, we were honored to host Grandmaster Hyo-Seon Jang who traveled from Korea to share his experience and insights in sword-training. Masters and students traveled from as far as 2 hours to attend this workshop guided by a fluid, impressive, and stoic Grandmaster Jang.
The first session was for advanced students, the Masters. The training began with greeting, bowing, and meditating; they then started warm-ups with simple kicking techniques and holding postures, intended to gradually but thoroughly get their energy flowing. Watching the Masters move through Kigong patterns and footwork got me thinking about how difficult it can be to make something look effortless. They demonstrated their sword skills through patterns, and seeing that I knew they had taken years to learn; and no doubt they fought hard against the desire to give in or give up.


The second session included both Intermediate and Beginner students, with Grandmaster Jang leading through the basic cuts and stances. We then split into groups, with Masters leading, and Grandmaster Jang overseeing it all. I tried to channel my excitement and nervousness into one direction only, and that was full concentration on what I was doing at the moment. I made a few mistakes, but I didn’t let them distract me from moving forward with the next cut, stance, or block. A few months of practice had made a significant improvement for me, but I was aware that I had many more things still to learn.
A few days after the workshop, I asked a fellow student what she thought of the training. Without any hesitation, and without any trace of doubt, she answered “I loved it. It was great.” Then between the two of us, we conspired to try to get more classes scheduled, because her husband, who’d attended the workshop, wanted to take the class, too.

martial arts

We look forward to receiving Grandmaster Jang again in the future; until then, we keep practicing, and we fight against the urge to give in or give up, because that’s what a warrior does, and not only on the weekends. We keep our vision close in our minds and work at it a little each day, so that months or years later, we can see just how far we’ve come.