In my past 57 years of training and 47 years of teaching martial arts to the masses, I’ve see plenty of new trends come and go. Some were good ideas, others not so much, and other ideas were simply trying to reinvent the wheel, which we all know is never a good idea.
I will say that I’ve been absolutely lucky in my training of martial arts, to have had the opportunities in my lifetime to have trained under some of the foremost names in the world of traditional Taekwon Do, and even luckier to have found the Song Moo Kwan.
I’ve watched my world of martial arts change as well as the people inside of it. To see these changes from “Korean Karate” to “Taekwon Do”, and to have personally experienced these changes has been an experience in an of itself, though not always changes I’ve welcomed or agreed with.
Over these years I’ve see masters join forces with one another for the common good, I’ve seen organizations fracture and repair but never quite be the same, while other individuals and groups focused on their own personal progress and status. I’ve been approached by almost all of them at some point, to join with them, to see things their way and even been told to “see ahead” to what I can “gain” from these unions. While some may have jumped at these opportunities, I never quite felt that their ideals were mine and in the choices I’ve made its always been to keep my eye on what’s most important, providing others with the absolute best possible means for defending themselves, and to pass on all of the values, not just physical abilities that the martial arts can offer to a person.
Again, I’ve been very lucky, more correctly BLESSED that there are those still out there who recognize what is practical, what’s real and what will work when you need it too. Those are the students in my Dojang, they aren’t focused on “Olympic Gold”, Trophies or personal fame, they are focused on being able to “Protect” others as well as themselves if the time ever arises. They understand the difference that a kick or punch executed with their utmost speed, technique, and focus will do for them when its needed, what it is to push themselves beyond what they thought physically possible, to believe that their efforts, knowledge, conditioning, and especially in themselves no matter the odds, and they will always succeed, these are my students and my ever remaining reason to have never compromised or changed the ideals and methods in my Dojang.
Its never been about how far I can go in the martial arts world, its always about how far I can take my students, and because of who they are and what they give back to me that keeps me on the true and correct path, because of them I am Blessed!H.T. Caraway
Recommended 8th Dan Black Belt