If martial arts have given me anything, it is a fighting spirit; the spirit of a warrior exists in every Hwa Rang student and teacher, and this warrior is fearless and capable of the most incredible feats of strength and agility. Each new student begins at a different level of awareness of this fact, and it can often take years to fully realize what it means. These students that become warriors are brimming with confidence, as they have the power to train and fight their heart out.
I was jumping out of my skin with excitement the week before Grandmaster Lee’s Midwest Seminars. We trained our hardest at class and were ready to take on new material and challenges. That morning I had woken up early to prepare myself with a good breakfast and some stretching. While I went through my morning routine, I kept in mind that it would be a long drive to Minneapolis. While pouring some milk into my cereal, my dad came into the kitchen and casually said, “don’t forget to set your clocks for daylight savings time.”
My heart stopped. After a second to take it in, I understood that I was an entire hour behind schedule.
After cramming the cereal down my throat, I double and triple checked that I had all my gear, printed a map to the dojang, and headed out the door.
While I was driving, my mind wandered to the kinds of things people would think of me, say to me. I had been late to a class before, but this was my first seminar; I had to have it perfect.
My black Hyundai has a surprisingly good engine, so keeping thirty miles per hour over the speed limit was not difficult. As I cruised down the highway, I kept music playing to calm me down and try to forget about for the time being. The screen on my cell phone was consistently lit up due to my persistent checking of the time.
After an hour of listening to Pat Metheny and fretting about my impending doom, I arrived at the Minnepolis dojang. Parking had always been tight there, and this day was no different.
I marched up the narrow staircase to enter the building where the dojang is, and while I climbed, I could hear Grandmaster Lee’s voice growing louder and louder. They were fifteen minutes into session, so I quickly shuffled around bags in the cramped back room where I changed and took a deep breath.
I have competed and trained in this dojang several times, but it has never ceased to amaze me. The floor is entirely covered in a material that has a perfect balance between hard and soft; it feels like you are walking on a forest floor with moss and grass strewn about to catch your falls and support...