TKDT Roving Reporter

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Mind, Body, Spirit: Training for World Competition

on JUL. / 26 / 2011 | 2 comments

  by Master Erica Linthorst
PART 1  “Going for it”
Pursuing my dream the training continues…It’s a daily pleasure to prepare the body for competition – mind and spirit also strong and focused.  Travel to do this, be it 30 minutes or 2 hours provides that key element – time – to think about how the next session should go or reflect upon how it has gone.  I plan by thinking about what I hope and expect to accomplish during the training.  I consider what happens if I do or do not meet these goals.

Training with my mentor is a privilege; practice with others a boon and I appreciate all the chances to receive feedback.  I respect the people around me as each individual gives of himself and I am determined to give back more than 100%.  What an opportunity lies ahead and I must remain ever conscious of the good fortune that surrounds me – strong body, strong will.

Whether I practice for 1 hour or 3 I remain mindful and in the moment.  Some people may perceive this experience to be tedious and repetitious yet in my heart I know each stance, hand motion, and breath is critical.  So, I persist.

PART 2  “From health to hospital”
The body gives medical notice.  For no apparent reason it shuts down with headaches, nausea and, ultimately, with Emergency Room care.  I want to will myself back to health – following doctors’ orders, mindful of the goal ahead.  No matter what we study and learn about mind over body – it is an entity to itself and will pronounce or dictate what you can and cannot do.  I end up hospitalized… sidelined for an all-important 6-day term.

In the tradition of perseverance I superimpose – the best I can – positive mental attitude, working with my heart now to keep my eyes on World Poomsae Championships.  With just a few weeks to go before I am supposed to fly out it is imperative to stay strong – strong-willed, strong-minded.   I practice mentally as much as I can.

Who am I against medicine?  The doctors require a contrast MRI, constant blood and urine monitoring.  I am nothing up against an inappropriate-acting pituitary gland.  The medicine men will have their way as the situation, apparently, is life-threatening.  You might see me and say “Nice weight drop” – I’ve now lost a rapid 15 pounds.  You might see me and say “You look good” – but will not see my hand shaking or feel the cold in this 100degree weather rushing through me.  I’m temporarily propped up by some hydrocortisone pills but they are certainly no solution.  Home these past few days, anger-provoking liquid limitation (down to as little as 1000cc per day!) at least for now lifted flights become a cancellation chore and Team notice the saddest thing I’ve done in a long time.  I will not be in Vladivostok this year to compete for Team and country.  Instead, I will be cheering from New York.  Resigned as I am becoming, the package yesterday containing all my gear, brings a tear of self-pity.  Small comfort the doctor’s words “There’s always next year.”  Yet, I mull over that thought.  Yes – setting a goal is the right way to go.  Let’s see if I have that strength…time will tell.

They Came, They Performed, They Conquered!

on JUN. / 17 / 2011 | 1 comments

Journey to My Dreams

on JUN. / 03 / 2011 | 0 comments

by Master Erica Linthorst

    I always believe that anything worth doing is worth giving 100%.  So, here I am, 1 week before National Poomsae Team Trials – 4 tournaments into the process.  Fortunately, I’ve had great support along the way from an honest, direct mentor, my family, and friends. 
    Truly, the journey would not be possible without a mentor.  The knowledge, guidance, detailed observation, and clear communication are without parallel.  It may be rare to find such a coach and gain regular access to him/her yet that, too, reflects the effort and sacrifice one is willing to undertake to achieve focused direction.
    In all honestly, one should never take for granted or assume complete support comes from all corners (family, friends).  After all, most of the people around us also have time commitments, their own objectives, and interests.  I applaud and appreciate them at every opportunity because they keep me going with their cheers.
    The self-discovery along this journey has been somewhat unexpected.  I have found out that it is fun to compete.  That particular awareness puts a big smile on my face and, with a little laugh I wonder why I never considered competing sooner!  I guess it just reinforces for me that it is possible at any time to set new goals and explore new options.  And the fun and fostering of new relations with like-minded people is a terrific environment in which to find yourself.
    Learning is motivational: re-learning and correcting basic techniques to a certain standard (WTF); learning new forms, learning about Accuracy and Presentation judging, learning about managing performance / crowds / nerves – all of it.  I count myself fortunate that my past experiences offer a treasure trove from which to draw.  When I look back, in actuality personal history supplies me with many instances when I competed and performed.  So, in some ways, I’m already in familiar territory.  In my youth, I danced and acted on a number of stages.  I’ve played on a number of high school and college teams.  In tennis, I currently play both singles and doubles.  My background enables me to understand and manage the situation I am approaching shortly.
    It is most accurate to say I am excited.  I work on the nerves by practicing and practicing some more.  I am self-critical and eager to hear commentary from others.  In my own determined way I keep listening to the inner voice and checking that it remains constructive at each moment.  I have learned to keep the criticism on the outside so my internal energy can remain strong and positive.
    I’m just about ready to go.  My starched neat uniform is looking good.  I hope I can fulfill its promise.  More after the results!!!

Erica Linthorst won her division and has become a member of the National Team who will go to Vladivostok the last week in July 2011.

The 2011 Goodwill Tour

on MAY. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

Hot scoop – They’re coming!  They’re coming!
 Master Erica Linthorst

    The second Cultural Exchange visit from the North Korea TKD Demo Team is now scheduled for visits to Boston, New York, Chicago, and the Tri-State area!  Our very own publisher, Grandmaster Woo Jin Jung together with mover-and-shaker George Vitale have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen on behalf of the harmony of the greater TaeKwondo community at large.

    It should be no surprise that all diplomatic efforts have been brought to bear in this concerted effort to overcome bureaucratic obstacles in the name of Peace-through- TaeKwondo.  Many group and individual sponsors have risen to the occasion to support this effort and spread the word.  People on all sides of this “table” – from communist to democrat, from International TaeKwondo Federation to World TaeKwonDo Federation – have, once again, sat down together to enlighten the world at large and impress all people with the truth about overcoming obstacles.

    So, visas in hand, we’ll be honored and excited to welcome the North Korea Demo Team on their Goodwill Tour in June.  Precedent was set in 2007 when a similar tour was organized and this 2011 Tour promises to be an exhilarating experience for all attendees.  Historically, early on in the first decade of 2000, the first glimpse of connection through culture began when the New York Philharmonic was invited to North Korea.

Subsequently, the North Korean TKD Demo Team visited South Korea.  Although to most onlookers, there is enormous tension between North Korea and the rest of the world, perhaps these steps will begin to ease the way to warmer, personal relations.  The integrity, dedication, and hard work of the US State Department has also demonstrated a fine posture in regard to a cultural exchange that has potential for easing tensions.  So readers, our support of and attendance at these performances will strongly emphasize our appreciation of this valiant exercise in Goodwill.  See you there!

See more info for the Goodwill Tour at

TaeKwonDo Path to a Better Life: Focus on GrandMaster Byung Min Kim’s Lehman College series

on MAY. / 18 / 2011 | 0 comments

by Master Erica Linthorst

    Throughout the late winter months of 2011, GrandMaster Byung Min Kim and his staff went to Lehman College in the Bronx every Tuesday.  His mission was to deliver a “Self-Defense through Self-Improvement” seminar.
    Organized by Health Center Director Cindy Kreisberg, the attendees came from all walks of life: some were college students, some worked at the City University of New York institute (Lehman College).  As word spread the numbers rose until, by the last date, B.M. Kim’s TaeKwonDo had managed to reach over 75 people.

GrandMaster: Everyone say “I did a good job.  I love myself!”

    Imbedded in the physical training were many nuggets of philosophical beliefs designed to help improve the lives of everyone whom he touched and the social environment in which they live.    


GrandMaster Kim began by saying that “If you do not love and respect yourself, you cannot love and respect others.”  He spoke of happiness and asking how many people would like to be happy, he explained 3 simple means to achieve that.  He said, “First, you must eat well.  This is most important.  Secondly, you must rest well.  Thirdly, we must make sure to exercise daily.”  While many participants could claim to do one or all of these things, it became clear that no one was mindful enough to do them daily.

At right-Cindy Kreisberg

    In addition, B.M. Kim spoke about “appreciation in our lives.”  He firmly believes that the more we appreciate the people and things in our world, the happier life we can lead.  He too, of course, lives in the same world as everyone else but he asked simply if each of the participants, busy as they are, had 1 hour each day to devote entirely to themselves.  Devoting that time to oneself, he maintains, will enable us to be happier, healthier, and both respectful and appreciative.  He reminded everyone that if someone makes a mistake, it is normal.  It is through the desire to improve that people elevate themselves.

    As the series progressed, GrandMaster Kim stressed that we must eliminate our bad habits and strengthen our good habits.  Good habits, he suggests, include sharing what we learn with family, friends, and neighbors.  He believes that the more we share, the more benefit we, ourselves, accrue.

GrandMaster often encourages us to say “Yes I can!”  The power of positive expression enables us to better ourselves!

    Warmest greetings are exchanged with the College President Ricardo R. Rodriguez


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