Hi! My name is Gordon White, I run the Blue Wave Taekwondo branch in Burlington Vermont. If you are interested in The Blue Wave Taekwondo Schools, please visit our Web site: The Blue Wave Taekwondo Association

Monday, June 25, 2007

we can rebuild him...

So I went in to see the doctor today - my hope was to get a splint, not a cast, and that is what happened! Power of positive thinking! (HA - to all you that snickered at me)

Here are a few photos, 2 X-Rays and one of the splint, you can see the T Plate and screws pretty well in the X - Rays. (Taken with Cell phone, so they are not great quality, and yes, my thumb really hooks out like that)

(Click for larger version)

Honestly, I feel like now the real challenge begins. I need to be able to make a fist by the time I leave for Korea, and I am no where near that right now, the Physical Therapist gave me some exercises and said if I am good about doing them I should see improvement in the next week or so...lets hope so...all I know, is the "exercises" hurt more then getting it broken.

After a 3 week lay off - I am headed into the gym to start working on forms right now...lets see how much I lost.

I will do my best to get a good Taekwondo post up here soon, I know, my own personal sob story is not nearly as interesting as Taekwondo drills.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Korea, 1992, Basic Paddle Kicking

About 50% of the training at the high school, was the same everyday. Basic, or technique kicking was something we did everyday, sometimes twice a day. Here is a video clip demonstrating one session of this. There is nothing overly unique about it, and every team I visited in Korea had a very similar routine, first basic kicks in the air (single technique focused), followed by free kicking in the air. Then essentially the same thing on paddles, although the basic kicking on paddles was more combination focused.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Its never too late to make a mistake

So, my blogging will be slowed for a while as my typing skills have been cut to 50%.

if you are interested in the story....

I have been doing my best to suit up with my students for sparring over the last few months for several reasons. 1st - its fun, 2nd - helps me stay in shape and 3rd, as long as the rounds are not too long, I can still be a decent sparring partner for my competitors getting ready for nationals.

So, Wednesday i managed to get my fingers kicked hard enough to break them.(left ring and pinkie) After nearly 25 years of Taekwondo, you would think I would have learned to keep my hands closed, after lecturing my students to keep THEIR hands closed, you would think I would know better...not so much.

I have had my fingers jammed before, this was the same, just worse. Apparently the knuckle joint is involved, I am going in for a surgical consult on Monday...all I know is that one way or the other, the cast comes off prior to me leaving for Korea in July.

By the way, I highly recommend the new style WTF gloves as they are designed to help keep your hands closed.

yes, that was sarcastic. (I have them, just wasn't wearing them.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Korea 1991 - 92 and free Paddle Kicking

In 1991, I traveled to Korea to live for a year as a university student at Yonsei University.

Grandmaster Lee arranged for me to train at Sung Shil High School as it was being coached by one of his students, Grandmaster Lee Bae Gun. This high school was not as prestigious as some other famous Korean Taekwondo high school teams, but the training was great, and I spent about 25 hours a week at the gym with a group of dedicated athletes.

The Team (can you pick me out? ;-) Coach Bae Gun Lee and myself.

A friend of mine, Joe Anastasi had graduated from college, was painting houses and working towards his black belt (he was a red belt at the time). I convinced him to come to Korea for the last 4 months of my trip. He did and joined me at the High School. Joe was suppose to be getting ready for his black belt testing at Kukkiwon at the end of his stay. The High School training was a competition team, we trained for sparring, so Joe, relied on myself for Poomsae practice in the basement of the Yonsei Dorm and once in a while at the Yonesei Foreigners Taekwondo program. (BTW: He was successful in his testing.)

From Left to Right, Joe, GM Bae Gun Lee, GM Tae Sung Lee, me.

I recently purchased this DVD called Taekwondo Training in Korea. The reason I purchased it (other then it was only $19.95)was because I thought it featured Kuk Hyun Chung. Widely considered the best Taekwondo competitor of all time. (Much argument will ensue now that Steven Lopez has matched his World Championship record, and has two Olympic Gold to his one.) While in Korea I had a chance to take a seminar with Kuk Hyun Chung. He was very impressive, and humble and....scary. Fast, powerful, truley in a league of his own, and he was retired at this point!.

This is after the seminar with Kuk Hyun Chung, he is in the middle, my roommate Richard is to his left, I am to his right. I am not sure who the student all the way on the left is, but all the way to the right is Peter Lee, now the Master Instructor for the Harvard Sport Taekwondo Program.

Watching this DVD encouraged me to look at a video that was made on one of Joe and my last days training at Sung Shil I have included a short clip of some free paddle kicking we did that day as a lead in to the next paddle kicking drill I will cover on the blog.

A better Quality version of the video can be seen here (8MB)

There is so much more to say about the year in Korea, I will come back to this topic, and include some more pictures and video. I developed lifelong friendships while there, not just with Joe, but, my roommate Richard, and Scott Trafton,(
many of you know Scott) who also spent the last 4 months of the year at Yonsei, and got his black belt at the Kukkiwon.