From The Editor
John Correlje is one of the co-founders of the All
Tangsoodo Organization (ATO) and Owner/Chief Instructor
Tang Soo Do Chon Kyong in The Netherlands. He is a
long time friend of mine and a regular
contributor to Tang Soo Do World, supplying
articles, news and photos for the many varied events
he organizes or attends.
recently mentioned a trip he made to England where
he participated in and taught in a number of
locations. I asked if he would write a short article
for us and as always, he graciously obliged. Here then is a
review of his weeklong experience.
Trip To England
by Master John Correlje, 5th Dan
Tang Soo Do Chon-Kyong, The Netherlands
I was invited by some English friends to teach some
classes and seminars in England, and I accepted. It
was an inspiring trip, meeting many hardworking
people. It was nice meeting old and new friends.
There were some who had physical disabilities who
trained very hard without complaining, trying to
conquer their handicap. We Dutch like to complain,
so seeing these guys train made me realize how lucky we
are and have no right to complain. I had much
respect for them and their instructors. They taught
me again that Tang Soo Do is not for winning prizes
in championships or gaining higher ranks, but
becoming a better person. This isn't measured by
rank or big trophies, but by mental and physical
I flew on Saturday morning to Birmingham to meet up
with Master Jacqui Fisher of the ATMA. In the
afternoon there was sword seminar with the
phenomenal Sensei Steve Iles in Coventry. He teaches
Iai / Batto Do, the art of drawing the sword. I
always thought, what's the purpose of this Art? I
found it to be very educational and it made think
differently. This really is Martial Art in its
purest form, not a sport. If you get chance to train
in this art, don't hesitate.
Iai-Batto-Do embodies the art of drawing and using
the single sword from a standing posture. It teaches
not only drawing and cutting techniques, but also
the mental and spiritual aspects which governed the
daily lives of swordsmen long ago. Iai-Batto-Do is
based on the practical application of the sword as a
weapon. It consists of basic cutting techniques,
basic kata, advanced two-man kata and a variety of
specific cutting patterns. It places significant
emphasis on the importance of actual cutting with
the sword and understanding the intricate details.
It focuses not only on the physical details of every
action involved in using the sword, but also the
mental and spiritual meaning which also must play an
equal part in understanding the sword as was once
done long ago.
The next day I went to the town of Nuneaton to teach a short
stick class. Here you could see the differences
between the handling of a short stick and a sword.
With a short stick you can hit with the points and
the side of the stick. With the sword you strike
with the cutting edge just beneath the tip. During
the training with the short stick we trained basic
strikes and blocks with the left and right hand. We
also did different defense combinations against
strikes and thrusts and a little sparring. Some had
blisters on their hands from the training.
morning I joined Master Fisher's Tai Chi Class and
in the afternoon traveled by train to Manchester
where I was picked up by Master Charlie Featherstone
and Master John Parkinson from Family Martial Arts
Centres. After visiting one of Master Parkinson's
other Do Jangs we went to Bury. In the evening I
taught a class of about 50 students, starting with
some basic kicking and combinations, followed by
Hyung applications. It was nice meeting these new
friends. Next time I will also go to Master
Featherstone's Do Jang In Hartepool.
After a good sleep in Manchester I returned to
Birmingham, and on Tuesday and Wednesday taught some Hyung Application classes in Bedworth and Redditch.
On Thursday I then left for Letchworth in the East
of England to visit Master John Brinda from the
North Herts Academy of Martial Arts. Thursday was a
day off and we went to visit the beautiful
university city of Cambridge. On Friday evening I
was teaching again, this time in a little town close
to Letchworth. Finally, on Saturday I went to see
Master Laura Drayton fight in her first MMA fight in
Colchester. She fought very well and won her match.
It was a good week meeting my friends! I want thank
all these good people!