2011 Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation Master's Clinic

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 10:43pm — webmaster

The Atlantic Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia recently hosted their annual Ko Dan Ja or Master’s Clinic. Masters and Master’s candidates from across the U.S. traveled to the annual Ko Dan Ja and spent four (4) days focusing on the history, tradition, culture, philosophy, and physical skills related to the ancient art of Tang Soo Do. The clinic took place from Thursday, March 24th to Sunday, March 27th at Federation headquarters in Suwanee.   


Kwan Jang Nim John St. James, President and Founding Master of the APTSDF, led the team of Masters from Master’s candidate to 7th Degree. The program started with a general orientation on Thursday evening at 7 pm. The physical emphasis of this year’s clinic was placed on Master level traditional Tang Soo Do hyungs (forms) and ho sin sul (self defense). Masters also spent time working on various weaponry (staff, dagger, sword, short stick, and cane), and heightened awareness training. All twenty four (24) plus Masters and candidates in attendance trained on chi gong as well as advanced teaching principles or the art of pedagogy.
The first full day of the Ko Dan Ja went by fast as traditional Tang Soo Do forms were reviewed, standardized, and documented. Sessions included weapons training (dagger and sword) as well as basic and advanced self defense and practical application (shil ki) training. Night classes covered everything from nutrition to how to use state of the art automation on the Federation website. There was also an introduction to the Federation’s new judging certification course and a presentation on how to better develop leadership and build a team.  
On Saturday, the Masters and Candidates were treated to classes in ho sin sul which covered everything from the fundamentals of ho sin sul to specialized kicking for self defense. Classes were also offered on Il Soo Sik and Sam Soo Sik (one step and three step sparring) as well as joint locks from grabs, punches, weapons, as well as special use locks from the ground. Later, everyone participated in a ground fighting class that covered take downs, sweeps, throws, locks and hold downs, chokes, and counters from all of the above. Later in the afternoon, classes were offered in Dan Bong Sul (short stick techniques), Ji Pang Ee Sul (cane techniques), and Ji Ap Sul (acu-points, vital points, and anatomical points). Later that night, presentations included topics as diverse as the anatomy and physiology of the martial arts, key concepts, procedures, and protocol that all masters need to know by KJN, and ended with the Federation’s annual Board of Director’s meeting.
Also on Saturday, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) documented and standardized all master level hyungs (forms) as well as the Federation’s dagger form (Ho Rang Hyung or Tiger Form) and sword form (Yong Gum Hyung or Dragon Form).
On Sunday morning starting at 12:01 am, it was time for a final Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa (grading). Candidates tested to 5th Degree and reviewed for 4th Degree. As is the Federation’s tradition, the test had started on Thursday evening and concluded in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Everyone walked away from the experience committed to becoming a better practitioner.  
With graduation Sunday afternoon, each Master and Candidate left feeling thoroughly spent and yet enlightened and energized from another great mastery experience.

Written by Deborah K. Jett, 5th Dan
Board Secretary and Treasurer, Atlantic-Pacific Tang Soo Do Federation