Today’s tournament was a great learning experience but some frustrating errors on my part suggested that Humility might be the tenet to discuss next.

Humility • 겸손

hu·mil·i·ty noun \hyü-ˈmi-lə-tē, yü-\

: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people

: the quality or state of being humble

Today marked the first of three Tang Soo Do Masters Alliance interclub tournaments for the 2015 season and my first martial arts tournament ever.

Division 17, adult beginners, aka Sean and I, with Master Capolupo and the rest of the judging staff


I brought home silver medals in the adult beginner division for Form, Sparring, and Breaking. (It sounds better if I don’t mention that I finished last in all three — there were only two of us in the division. The consolation is that my point scores were respectable in all three events.)

The humility comes from knowing that I made profoundly stupid n00b mistakes that I shouldn’t have made. I came into the tournament not expecting to do particularly well in sparring but to do a respectable job with my hyung, pyang ahn cho dan, and to do a respectable two-board elbow break.

Elbow strike, two boards, clean break

Part of the scoring in these events is in presentation and I think I did a decent job presenting my form. It’s a shame I omitted the kwan do from the third step and realized it a millisecond too late not to just keep going  and let it go… My break was clean and I felt pretty sporty about it especially since I had never done a break with an actual board before — nevermind two at once —  until one and then two of the judges mentioned that I had completely skipped my introduction before doing the break. Color me mortified.

I came to the event worried about two things: the soo dos in the last four steps of pyang ahn cho dan and not keeping the turns on my left ankle crisp (I managed to twist it badly a few days before the tournament.).  Neither of those ended up being a problem; overconfidence and lack of concentration in other areas altogether were.  I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll never make those two particular mistakes ever again. The trick will be not making mistakes in those categories again.

The most embarrassing part is knowing that I was trained better than that and that my error reflects on LTSD and SBN & KSN Krantz.  Live and learn: There are two more interclub tournaments to go this season to redeem past mistakes.