This past weekend, a small group of us were lucky enough to attend the APTSDF TAC Tour down in Lubbock, TX. This event featured clinics with KJN Washington and Master Reinhardt from Australia, who worked with us on practical applications of techniques. I won’t go into too much detail and ruin the excitement for anyone who has yet to experience this event, but it was amazing.
This was my second time visiting Lubbock, and while I once again had a cold, at least this time I was at the end of it and was able to actually have conversations. It was fun getting to know my colleagues in the Southwest region. Having previously been a part of the TSD Northeast region for about 23 years, it can be a little daunting to jump into a region of completely new faces, but everyone was welcoming and friendly and eager to learn. Next time, we’re going to try to get to Lubbock earlier so we have more time to spend with the other studios, and maybe even get a chance to explore the city a bit!
Once we arrived on Friday, my brother (Dave Farquharson) and I immediately jumped into the black belt test as pre-testers. It was a great workout, and I think it really helped us prepare to test later this year. Not only was it a testing experience, it was also a learning experience as the Grandmasters and Masters running the test made sure to take the time to talk with us and have us try new things. It was a great test, but it was also the event that made us think that we should try to get to Lubbock earlier so we don’t jump into a test after a very long drive and very little sleep.
On Saturday we had the clinics with KJN St. James, KJN Washington, and Master Reinhardt. Their wealth of knowledge in the martial arts was almost overwhelming, as I wanted to remember every single detail they said. I think between myself, Master Farquharson, Mr. Dave Farquharson, Mr. Jesse Bernal, and our gup level students, we can work together to retain our new knowledge. I only wish the clinic was several days longer, since there is so much we have left to learn. Hopefully KJN Washington and Master Reinhardt are able to visit again.
On Sunday, the Grandmasters and Master Reinhardt had to leave early to catch a flight. Master Farquharson and the rest of us were able to go to the West Texas studio to work with our colleagues on sparring techniques and forms. It would have been nice if we could have stayed later to keep working with them, but unfortunately we had a long drive back to Colorado.
My biggest takeaway from this event was the knowledge that there will always be more to learn, even with seemingly simple techniques such as a low block. The understanding is that we learn techniques differently depending on our skill levels as we move up through the ranks, adding on more meaning to each piece of a form, and building upon the basics. We should not be teaching our white belts every single practical application of a high block, since the knowledge is to be built upon as students move up in rank. Even master instructors are always learning new techniques and applications. Master Farquharson, for example, is always excited to work with other masters since each one teaches him something new every time they meet up.
It’s not about changing how we currently do everything now, but understanding a deeper layer of martial arts and where our techniques originated. The TAC tour was about sharing a wealth of knowledge about the historical impact of martial arts, the development of techniques, and the trust that KJN St. James and KJN Washington have with the new generation of martial artists to carry on the Tang Soo Do legacy.
Megan Farquharson – 1st Dan