2024 National Championships Reflections

April 29, 2024

CS Kim Karate National Championships

Always, Always, Always an Exciting Time!

It’s hard to believe that our Choong Jae Nim has been training in and teaching Tang Soo Do for over 70 years… and that he has been teaching in Monroeville, PA for 50 years! This Tournament marked a very special occasion, and we were very Glad to be there for it!

For me, even though I never actually lived in Western Pennsylvania, I found my way to learning from Master Kim in 1993. He tested me for my 2nd Degree Black Belt and my Kyo Sa Nim (Instructor) Certification, and I have been his student ever since. Headquarters Do Jang in Monroeville is my Home Do Jang and a second home to me always. The Masters, Instructors and Students there are as much Family to me (and to us) as you my students are to me…and as much as I hope that you all feel toward each other.

Every Year, Choong Jae Nim inducts someone into the Tang Soo Do Hall of Fame. This year it is Master Regis Holler. He and I (and a few others) went through a very intensive training week together when he and the others were preparing for their Master’s Test. Although I was not anywhere close to testing for Master at that time (I was still an E Dan), the honor to train with these people, at this very special phase in their lives, created a bond with us that has been very strong and taught me a great many valuable lessons! Needless to say that Master Holler and I have a very good friendship and respect for each other as a result, and we are all very Happy for his achievement!

In addition to the special circumstances, it is always wonderful to connect again and again with the people who mean the most to us. A month ago, I talked about Master John Nigro and his influences on my training and development. He informed me that he read what I wrote and thanked me for my words. I was surprised and moved by his acknowledgement. What was even more moving was to watch him (with what few opportunities that I had) work with KSN Marvel, showing him how to manage the responsibility of running a tournament ring throughout the day. Master Nigro mentored my development as a judge and referee, and I credit him with shaping me into a good one. It is wonderful to see the generational progression move forward.

Master Elizabeth Lindsay is like a sister to me…the sister I never had (I had 2 brothers biologically). I first met her when she traveled to Alaska to visit her brother for the summer after she graduated from college. Finding me through Choong Jae Nim, she acquired permission to train with me while she was there. She was an E Dan then, and I was still a fresh Sam Dan. She ended up staying in Alaska longer than intended and we developed a very good relationship, as well as her bonding with Master KT (at a very young age of 4). Arriving around shortly after I first began formally teaching KT, Master Lindsay was witness to some of KT’s first tournament experiences…and to see them competing alongside each other, as Masters, all these years later…to adequately describe these feelings, it is beyond words.

As you know, I am always saying that Tournaments can be an Integral part of your overall training and can be a Tremendous Learning Experience on many levels…Losses and Victories both have equally important experiences to give us, and it is important to pay attention to these lessons…however, it is also nice to Celebrate the Victories along with the Learning.

Be sure to extend Congratulations for placing and learning to:

Sa Bom Nim: Forms-2nd; Weapons-Learn

SBN KT: Forms-Learn; Weapons-Learn

KSN Marvel: Forms-1st; Weapons-1st; Breaking-3rd; Sparring-Learn

Chance to Compete for Forms Grand Champion

Winning Weapons Grand Champion!

KSN Campbell: Forms-3rd; Weapons-Learn; Breaking-1st; Sparring-3rd

KSN Johnson: Form-Learn; Weapons-Learn; Breaking-3rd

Windy Asmussen: Forms-2nd; Weapons-Learn; Sparring-2nd

Azumi Espejo: Forms-1st; Weapons-Learn; Breaking-2nd; Sparring-1st

Jacon Osborn: Forms-Learn; Weapons-Learn; Breaking-2nd; Sparring-Learn

Daven Whalen: Forms-Learn; Breaking-1st ; Sparring-2nd

Fio Whalen: Forms-2nd ; Breaking-2nd ; Sparring-2nd


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