Grandmaster Kim Soo and Master Kim Geary demonstrate at the opening of the Kim Soo Martial Arts' new location.
Yolanda Horace, 5th Gup, Houston, Texas
I was on a quest to find an African American female martial artists who
were black belts and maybe teaching. After talking to many people on the
Internet, several martial arts groups, and even talking to masters of
various arts in different countries, I finally found several women with
whom I thought I could develop long lasting relationships. What I wanted
was to exchange knowledge.
Several women were introduced to me; they were in their 40's and were
black belts. One in particular was a 5th dan that dedicated her youth
and most of her adult life to Tae Kwon Do. The conversation with these
women was enlightening at first, but as time went on, I realized their
motivations were terribly dissapointing.
Several of the women told me that they wanted to be like Bruce Lee; to
be able to fight men, make money, and be stars. I asked them what made
them want to be like Li Xiao Long? (Bruce's Chinese name). I also wanted
to know if they realized that martial arts is about hard work and dedication
not only to themselves but also to teaching the skills that they have
acquired through their training. Did they think all martial arts was about
jumping high, yelling, making money, or being "one of the beautiful
people?" I was given the answer of "Yes", that was what
it was for them. I even asked if they had given back to their masters
or Grandmasters by assisting or becoming alumni to their schools. I was
asked, "What for???"
I started to introduce the art of Cha Yon Ryu to these ladies and the
question that was given to me was; "what are you getting out of it?"
I told them inner strength, courage, responsibility, peace, and happiness.
I advised them that when I am old and no longer able to teach one day,
I want other little girls to carry on the history of Cha Yon Ryu. These
ladies advised me I was not very bright for not thinking about profit
and fame. Our conversations died as fast as they started.
The 5th dan I spoke with was very arrogant in her conversation with me.
She bragged about her trophies, travel, and how no one in any country
could defeat her. I told her of my trophies, which consisted of better
conditioning, confidence, and dedication; this elicited only laughter.
I was going to ask her to come and speak with Grandmaster and maybe practice
with one of our classes. After talking to her for many nights I realized
that she was not a martial artist, but an entertainer. I did not want
to insult Grandmaster, the instructors, or classmates with an "entertainer"
instead of a martial artist. This (so called) "dan" does not
contact me anymore; I believe my talking about Cha Yon Ryu was not an
interest to her.
I realize now, that I see many strong and committed black belts who are
women every time I walk into the Dojang. This is enough for me. A lesson
was learned from the black belt women I spoke to; not to be arrogant,
rude, and selfish. A lesson is being taught to me by the black belt women
of Cha Yon Ryu; patience, commitment, and inner strength.