Newsletter – Spring 2010

The Passion for Excellence

Recently, while at a tournament, myself  and several of my long time fellow masters were talking about the “good old days” and wondering what had changed. They were lamenting the fact that it seemed that people were not able to commit to a long term study anymore and wanted everything overnight.

As they watched my students compete, they commented that my students were still as intense and hard core as they were twenty years ago.

It was then I asked them if people had changed, or had they? I told them that my students know, from the start, that it will take five years to earn a black belt in my program. I told them that the level of expertise that was required of us thirty years ago to earn our black belts has not changed in my program. I asked them if they had maintained that “old school” mentality, or had fallen victim to a new softer approach to things. “Well it’s just so hard to keep students motivated that long these days”, was their answer.

I told them that I had not and will not change. That everyone was not going to make it to black belt. That excellence did not come easy and that I have always said that I will never teach again if it meant lowering my standards and disrespecting my masters and the way they taught me. Does this mean that I want my students to fail? Not in any shape or form What it does mean is that I will not let anything but the pursuit of excellence happen in my Dojang.

In closing, I will speak on this: Excellence does not just happen. It is a goal that we should be working towards each and every day in our lives. If I lower my standards, I am going against everything that the study of martial arts should stand for. I would love to see every person who steps on the mat be able to reach the goal of black belt. Myself and all the instructors here at Klamath Family Tae Kwon Do are committed to helping each and every one of our students reach their goals, especially the goal of black belt. So, stay focused, train hard and you will be successful.

God bless you all.

– Grand Master Vince ChurchSpring 2010

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