Sunday, April 29, 2007

kansas city in perspective

i think it's a fact of humanity that people will always be combative. there's always going to be competition, and people are always going to be against each other, not with each other. at least we do it in an organized and civil way that allows us to vent those carnal needs to fight by doing taekwondo. but in the end you still see the dark side of humanity, the ugly side of the sport.

kansas city was great. i think it was a breakthrough for me. or at least, the first visible quantifiable improvement in a series of slow improvements in my taekwondo game. i won my first round match against a young fighter from peak performance - coached by juan moreno. it definitely helps not to know who somebody is if their name is well known, because if i had known the opposing coach was juan moreno, i probably would have given dana willoughby too much respect. but i lost my second match (the first time i've ever been point gapped, 7-0) to someone i don't know still to this day, jesse kuhns. but he's much more experienced, and i found that experience trumps strength/height/youth/energy/talent most of the time. and in his case i think better thinking, knowledge of fighting style, and more flexibility on both me and my coach's parts would have helped.

but back to the dark side of taekwondo. no matter how happy you are coming out of a tournament, or how great a sport promotes sportsmanship and camaraderie, people will always be combative. people will always choose sides and mark things and "us vs them". i guess it's human nature to seek out those who are most similar to you and to alienate others. it's also human nature to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

the most obvious and shallow example of this is simply the amazing fight between marissa panzarella and brandy from gforce. it was literally a fight - two accidental face punches led to two on-purpose face punches and close to an all out brawl where all the referees from the ring and adjoining rings had to swarm around the players to separate them. i think that was the biggest breakdown of sportsmanship i've ever seen...but also the greatest demonstration of the passion people feel in taekwondo.

but the less obvious example of mankind's imperfections - factions, politics, alignments, and power struggles in taekwondo itself. i mean, it's a sport, created to entertain and occupy people who would otherwise may or may not be so special in this world. yet still it's easy for a group to become elitist, or for some fighters to favor others, or for people to have really nasty thoughts about other people and talk about them behind their backs, etc.

and the more competitions i go to, the smaller this world gets, and as you slowly get to know the names of everybody, you slowly realize that it's inevitable to start forming alliances, and that your friends may separately form alliances that are contrary to yours. and you might wonder how it will all end up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

kansas city this weekend

i think maybe this is officially as close to the close of the taekwondo season as you can get. ironically it's in the middle of senior nationals season for me. this weekend i will be off to Kansas City, MO for the 4th senior nationals qualifier. This one may be tough because the Collegiate Team Trials are being held in the same place the day before, so all of the big competitors at team trials will probably stay for the qualifiers too.

Well, i say, bring it on!!

at this point i've felt consistent improvement in each of my competitions. Like a new business, i have yet to make a profit (win a match) but i know that i will, if not this year, next year. and next year. and it brings me hope that i've seen people older than me qualify, and indeed dominate, in their divisions. so i'm not yet too old =P although my joints may say otherwise.

but looking back on it, i've done some ridiculous traveling this year. my mother has gotten over the fact that i buy airplane tickets once or twice a month. she's even gone from "another $200???" to "oh, it was only $200? that's pretty good." and my ucsd friends have gotten used to me leaving for the weekend. "which qualifier is it this time?" have fun at karaoke without me. I'll try to join in next time =/

A map of my taekwondo travels

i was playing around with google maps so i can visualize where all my money went. in the above map are all the tournaments i've been to recently. I haven't done much more interesting with it, like put down how much $$ i spent, etc. blah. also, i havent included my visits back to boston, and the bus trip to the INCTL tournament, and my eventual trip this may for Liza's wedding (and my birthday.) so, there's actually plenty more flying to do.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

facts for life

301 Useless facts from Single Grain

actually i think the facts are really useful. there's a lot of stuff i didn't really realize, but wouldn't be worth researching!

The ZIP in “ZIP code” means Zoning Improvement Plan.

It’s estimated that at any one time around 0.7% of the world’s population is drunk.

A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.

For every memorial statue with a person on a horse, if the horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died of battle wounds; if all four of the horse’s legs are on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

The average chocolate bar has 8 insects’ legs melted into it.

Go, and take your knowledge and impress some girls at a bar. "can i see your tittle?"

read my blag!

where were u all my life xkcd???

it's like i've been living inside this webcomic. or, at least in secret.

lolz!! and this is why i get tired at work cuz i stay up all night reading webcomics.

Monday, April 23, 2007

reaping earth day

yesterday (sunday april 22) was earthday. and i spent most of the weekend driving. i know, im a pretty bad treehugger. overall, the weekend was about consumption. i think i would have been happier staying home and not doing anything. but it was good to get out to hang out with steve, spar with jason, drive around with jack.

i feel like california stores have let me down. i spent too much of my time on the road looking for home depots, walmarts, and 99 cent stores. i dont usually like to drive away from home to go shopping so if i have something i want to buy i tend to wait until i make a trip to LA to buy it. yeah, not really local, but its on the way.

this time i had my eyes peeled for home depot, because they were giving away CFLs for earth day. technically it was 1 per person, because they were only giving away 1 million across the us. but when i was there none of the cashiers seemed to care, and this other guy was basically grabbing an armful of them. so i grabbed four - i figure i could use a few and maybe have one extra. rick, do you want it?

so thats my contribution to earthday. other than maybe a hundred pounds of green house gases. but i did increase my mileage, from like 28 to 31 because of highway driving. i know, this whole entry sounds like something a nonbeliever would say. and i feel bad about it. but thats life.

however, 99 cent stores disappointed me. i was on my way to buy more of the 99 cent wine from the dollar store. saturday night i managed to stumble onto one without any maps, and i grabbed two bottles, thinking i would sample them and then come back for more. however the next two i went to didnt have wine sections. i guess not every 99 cent store actually has a liquor license, which was a huge bummer. guess im sticking to two buck chuck (which actually i feel safer drinking, because i know its not made from any sketchy materials, like gasoline.)

and finally, the thought to leave with is this:

defragment your hard drives often. do it especially if you use bittorrent or other torrent downloaders. do it because right now my D drive just got 40 gigs cleared up on it (from the compression, i guess) and is a pretty shade of blue, whereas my C drive is painted red like a department store barcode being murdered. and it took me a night and day to defragment, but hopefully now my drives wont go WHIRRRWHIRR every time i move my mouse.

Friday, April 20, 2007

tapioca zen

yesterday mike said something that was really deep. he was complaining about the jasmine milk tea with pearl, because they had put in too many layers of boba. the boba was about four deep and he said it really should be only two deep. that's for maximum enjoyment because of the ideal mix. and then glory said "they should charge you more because they gave you extra boba." sometimes they do that. but then i said "they should charge you less because you're getting less of the drink." although the drink part itself is probably cheap enough not to matter. and either way, the ice is the real filler item - put in a lot of ice, get less boba AND milk tea.

but then mike said, "no, they should charge me less because of how far from the ideal this is from." and then i realized that sometimes you can't put a price on something because you can't quantify it. the cost of boba or milk tea doesn't really affect the price - it's really about how close to an ideal something is.

life is all about ideals. obviously there's some sort of perfect world, and for every situation there's an instance where it's just perfect. but life is imperfect and often we find ourselves on a slippery slope falling away from the ideal. and that's when you should complain about the price, or do something about it to climb back up.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ucsd the giant

it seems that the ball is finally rolling now. ucsd has been "approved" for club status and we've been allowed, even encouraged, to start flyering and recruiting. so apparently sei and steve and paul and some others went out today and managed to hand out 600 fliers on library walk in two hours. it may have helped that there was another event on library walk around the same time - a vigil for the virginia tech victims. (i wasn't there, i don't know if they were in the same location.)

and practice has consistently had three lines of four or five people. that means around 15 people have been coming to class. sure, they're still almost all "blackbelts" but i'm just glad to see the same faces returning. it's true what sabumnim used to say - if you can come to class consistently it helps everyone, including the instructor.

how soon will ucsd become a giant in taekwondo like mit did? will it ever go down the same path? or are the two leagues and schools too different, and will ucsd find its own way, with or without me? i feel that maybe the whole attitude is changing. people who have been here realize it's more than just a hobby for some people, and that is slowly catching on. people who come to classes have different reactions now i think - maybe because things are better organized and new people can feel comfortable joining. i'm learning to teach better, and lead more interesting classes, and talk with more people so that they stay. overall it's all a learning experience, for the club members, for me, for everybody.

leadership will be crucial for the survival of this club. mit had master chuang, and christina park for a few years, and consistently had people like richard to be a role model in its fledgling years. who will be around for ucsd? will we (me, paul, steve, sei, mike) have enough time to create a structure and framework stable enough for the club to grow on even when we've left? or will it tumble down like a matchstick house, when the marshmallows holding everything together either melt off or are carried away by ants? (imagine sei being carried away by giant ants. hehehe)

ugh...this weekend will be tough. starting tomorrow - hard ucsd workout. friday - hard oceanside workout. sat - hard tkd workout at LA. sun - hard tkd workout at kti studio. no time to drink!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

lost in portland

april 15 11 pm

portland's not that big of a city. it's not that confusing. there's a nice little public transportation system that's pretty easy to learn. so far, i've decided taht any city with a light rail or subway system is a good place. san fran has he best system i know of, with cheap tickets and quick stations. then there's boston, whose ticket prices are getting a bit steep but the stations themselves - park, government center, fenway, kendall, are all ingrained so deeply into my being that it doesn't matter. besides, i bike everywhere anyways. new york is still so intimidating to me that i can't even begin to comprehend its rail system. and finally, portland's is relatively easy to deal with, especially when you realize there's east and westbound, and all the MAX stations go to the rose quarter and convention center.

so that's why when i jumped onto the wrong trolley - park and COLUMBIA, not market, idiot - i sat in a train that took me back to where i'd been about half an hour ago. i got off and followed the tracks back, taking 20 minutes and having another trolley pass me along the way. i walked all the way back to park and columbia, past the library where i had gotten these shitty directions, passed for the 5th time this weekend the abandoned chinese eatery that was fenced and boarded in, passed the days in and bar and grill again...i really should have just walked 5 minutes to the yamhill MAX station from the very start.

then the bus took me 10 minutes to this stop where i actually drove in the OPPOSITE direction i walked to get to the bus station, past the grill, past the boarded restaurant, past my old hotel. and then i got off and walked for another 10 minutes, around the huge doubletree suite to find the entrance on the opposite i'd arrived at.

it's good that i'm drowning the pain of walking like 10 miles with a couple of good beers and a huge plate of deep fried onion rings. unfortunately i left my bag of food - including a bunch of "plane crackers" and other goodies the southwest stewardess gave me, and a box of delicious chinese leftovers - on either the trolley or the walk
back to park and columbia.

if you ever travel with me, be sure to either have a great sense of direction or someone else who has a map. because i will get you lost within a four block area.


april 15, 5:30

i left the venue at 4:15. when i left the building the sun was still out, and i realized just how much extra time there was. just how much of life i'm still missing, and that once the main event is over there's still the rest of the world.

so basically i wandered around for a while and decided that being homeless sucks. i didn't have a second hotel night, so i had two bags of gear to carry around. hopefully i'll drop it off at jacky's tonight. but when you realize you have too much time and no destination...i don't really feel that it frees you. i think being directionless really makes you less free than if you have a destination or an origin.

but now i have an origin because i went back to my econolodge in the PSU campus and they were nice enough to open a room for me to leave my stuff. and now i'm sitting at the chit chat cafe drinking boba tea. the one i downed yesterday was so satisfying because i was starving/dying of thirst. the one i sipped today is so satisfying because i am in a college cafe sipping boba tea and writing emails. i almost savor the feeling because it's almost like boston.

and for once i have some time to explore a city that i have a tournament in. it's not just airport-hotel-venue-hotel-airport anymore. at least, not this time. i think that would be nice to make extra time to visit each place for real.

it's not enough

april 15, 5 pm

sometimes i think that i'm almost there. that i'm just so close to breaking through. but then i don't and i think that i won't ever be able to do it. and then i suddenly find myself up 6-5 with 8 seconds left. and then i wonder if it would have been better to just grab him in the final seconds and get a kyungo because i didn't have any at the time. but thinking does no good. and i went to another room and screamed, and i went outside and screamed, because i had so much tension starting last night (even though i seemed to have slept ok) and that tension turned into surprise when i realized that this guy i fought wasn't that great. and i thought i had a chance to medal. then i stopped screaming and watched some more matches and saw that portland is nothing like us open or senior is just a qualifier, after all. and i think i am so close. but then i watch some more matches and there's still so much more to go, and i don't know if i want to keep going or not.

maybe i cant stand to lose in an overtime anymore. i know i should even get to overtime. and i need to learn not to care or think about my opponent too much. and it's so hard to fight without a real team. i really could have used some tBos cheering, or even MIT cheering, because i think i would have won for them. i would have won the match for them, but just winning for myself right now doesn't seem enough. and what i can do for myself isn't enough.

airline antics

april 14, 1 pm

i'm not going to fly united or american anymore. there are so many other airlines out there, and they are great. i guess when you're the smaller guy you have to find something different. first, continental is great because they serve you food. i remember the first time i rode continental, and they offered me breakfast - cereal, milk and a banana, and i was so surprised that i couldn't speak, because i was thinking of how best to ask "how much does it cost" without sounding pretentious or ignorant. the next time i flew continental, i knew i'd get food, and it was bad because i was taking the plane to texas for collegiate nationals, and i was barely on weight. but then i figured, hey, i have that night and the next morning in case i wanted to run off the weight, and i'd been under for the past week anyways. then the cheeseburger came. first i said, "i'll eat the salad and save the cheeseburger. the warm, soft, gooey cheeseburger. then i ate the cheeseburger.

now southwest airlines is something else. rick had given me some inkling of what they're like - no assigned seats, funny pilots. the free seating was cool but no big deal, because it doesnt really matter where i'm sitting and i didnt really mind sitting in the middle somewhere because i was travelling alone. but then the flight attendant was funny and basically a sassy hispanic guy who said things like "please pretend to give us your attention for a second", "for those who haven't been in a car, these are called seatbelts", and "if you're flying with multiple children and the oxygen bags come down, choose the one with the most potential." i wonder if they write their own material, and if it's company policy: "low prices, no assigned seating, and comic relief."

i've decided that when i stop doing taekwondo i'm still going to travel about once a month...what it would be like to just take a vacation.

update: things i learned reading spirit magazine, southwest's in flight magazine:

1. you can choose not to withold money on your paycheck so that you can get the tax money now and pay later.

2. southwest will honor your tickets if you don't use them for up to a year. that means i could have skipped portland to avoid the $50 late reg fee.

Friday, April 13, 2007

laughter, the best medicine

I just found out that commencement speeches are a great way to become motivated again. it's a combination of reminiscence back to the days you were still in college and having no idea what the next few months of "real world" are going be like, and the idealistic, cloud nine attitudes that always go into graduation speeches and long talks where people are allowed to get on soapboxes, but are expected to give inspiring, politically correct commentary to a mass of their peers. like when i stood up to give my salutatorian speech in high school. it was all some dumb, safe shit about diversity and hope and future and potential. everyone says the same thing. then the valedictorian got up and said something while i went backstage to shoot crack to drown my misery.

but you know who really, REALLY would have made my commencement, instead of ben bernankedanky? CONAN OBRIEN. i've decided i love standup comics, and comedians in general. maybe, every comic out there, despite the thick layers of satire, social commentary, self- and other-mockery, really are the people who speak with the most truth in our society. someone who is afraid to offend or afraid of retribution (like someone in a corporate line who's always being watched by a boss, or someone in government who's always in the eye of the media) will never tell you the truth like it is. and they will be even less likely to tell it in an inspiring way, or in a way that makes you want to listen. and the people who can do that, and need to do that to make money, are COMICS.

from february-7 blog via digg, here is Conan O'Brien's commencement speech for the class of 2000.

one of the realizations i had is that the first few years are never going to be fantastic. conan worked in some leather and suede shop...and spent the rest of his time writing and auditioning, and failing. of course, he has tremendous talent. but it's true what he says:

I've dwelled on my failures today because, as graduates of Harvard, (or MIT) your biggest liability is your need to succeed. Your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve. Because success is a lot like a bright, white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you're desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it in any way.

and i realized, i've never even gone to try on tuxedos before. (figuratively) if you can give me that opportunity to trash a white tuxedo, and get another one, and trash it, and keep doing it until i get one that fits...i want to do that. maybe i'll be afraid to do it at first, but i'm sure you get over your fears sooner or later.

or maybe i've been doing this already, with going to tournaments? because i've been lacking great success for a while. but i don't want to open a dojang, so that's not really the right path.

lets just say i hope to get some more inspiration from russell peters at UCSD, may 2. BE A MAN.

two types of taekwondoists

i think there are two types of taekwondoists. there's the stereotypical martial artist, who is self confident, strong, silent, and at peace with himself and the world. and then there's the one for whom taekwondo becomes a drug, an addiction at times that can be painful, yet drives him on, losing track of everything else but periodically rejecting it in a burst of violent anger. and in the end he is embittered. and anyone who claims to be the first can't be a true taekwondoist. you are just a poser. because how can you escape the emotional ups and downs? there's so much pain one must go through just to practice this art. it's not tai chi, and you're not david carradine.

i think so much of taekwondo is just a personal struggle. for me, it's simply a matter of keeping the faith - staying motivated, bearing the day to day life of work and sleep while counting the days to each tournament. partly, i do it because right now, without it, there is nothing else. without taekwondo it would be hours of oblivion (the game, but literally oblivion). but who can say that i'm not alone even though i'm at practice? they say it's hard being at the top. well, i'm not anywhere near the top but i think just wanting to be there puts me in an unreachable place. at least, no one else here is reaching upwards the same way i am, and that makes it all that much harder.

i can't even imagine what else i could focus on. i've thought about how many people start to make a name for themselves once they're out of college, or even while they're in college. you graduate, and after a year, people will know that you've made a lot of money coming out of mit - you've started a company, or hit a huge job, or become some sort of ambassador, or you're the next big thing in showbiz. and i bet other people focus just as much of their time on some personal project that will take them somewhere one day. when that project is a recreational sport that realistically won't bring me fame or fortune, then sometimes that leaves me wondering, when is it a good time to stop playing around? if i focused half this much time and money on something else, like...studying for the gmats, i'd be certain to be "sparring on the national circuit" of business school in no time. but you know, being a club member for the ucsd business team is just not the same as being on a competitive taekwondo team.

the only perk (?) is that it's keeping me in shape...ridiculously low shape. i weighed in at 133.6 after sparring practice, and i'm not even really tired or sweaty. i guess i'm turning into a flyweight slowly?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

ten ways to increase taekwondo club membership

since i read somewhere that even if you don't feel like writing a blog entry you should every night, and that the best way to pump out one that's interesting and easy to make is to use's my top 6 ways to make a club (ucsd) more popular. in no particular order. it would have been 10...but i ran out of ideas, lol

6. hand out flyers at the beginning of next quarter when freshmen are finding out the clubs available.
5. lower the intensity of practices or separate classes into competitive/traditional classes.
4. make cool videos to promote your sparring team.
3. kick in a public place, like out on the field in front of the dorms.
2. go to tapioca express every night after practice.
1. attract more girls. the guys will follow.


its my doggie!

i think i'll get a cat one day though.

Monday, April 9, 2007

hang that hang-a-star

taekwondo is taking its toll on me, i think. there was definitely the constant motivational factor of collegiate nationals, and now that it's gone, well, i'd still like to compete as much as i can, but i've become much more lazy about it.

every day it's an uphill battle to motivate myself to work out. why, i ask, am i torturing myself to lose weight, when all i want to do is eat delicious foods that i don't have to cook? (the joy of eating well cooked meals that you don't have to make is indescribable.) more importantly, like studying, there is a form of procrastination for taekwondo, and the guilt that comes with it. weekends are always the worst because i spend most of my time either sitting at home playing oblivion, or at the track/gym or surfing. and because the last two activities take up the tiniest portion of my weekend hours, my mind unavoidably berates my body for being so lazy. but damnit, i don't feel like going to the track, and i don't feel like going to oceanside.

well, financially it's also a pain in the butt, especially because i've been procrastinating about finalizing my portland trip. so today i decide to look up hotels and pay for the registration for the tournament this sunday. and i find that hang-a-star, the registration system, has charged me a $50 late fee because you have to have sent in all the materials (including payment) in order to be considered part of the early registration crowd.

that reason alone made me want to not go to portland - and considering that it'll probably be my only qualifier for nationals...i considered retiring from taekwondo. maybe it's just that time.

so it's funny how my situation can change quickly, because when alicia paid off her registration fees, the $50 charge disappeared. maybe a glitch in the system? maybe they'll charge me at the registration table? maybe they displayed the wrong info but really charged me $130? i don't know. but since at the current situation, cancelling my plane ticket would cost more than going even with the extra fee, i'm planning to go to portland. and this means i will probably be motivated enough to go to kansas city...then to senior nationals.

how does a glitch in a software system determine my path in life?

boston blues

yesterday it rained in la jolla. it was a light, feathery rain, with the sun hidden just behind a layer of grey clouds. but it was still warm, and slightly humid, and it smelled of damp spring. i was reminded of a boston april, where the streets are wet as usual but it was no longer the biting cold of the winter, and riding a bike will get the bottoms of your pants wet, but not so wet as if there were puddles everywhere. my glasses gathered a thin layer of raindrops - each one still an individual droplet, so that i could see where i was going but everything was distorted like through smoky glass.

i went to trader joes on my bike, and the whole ride smelled, sounded, felt like i was in cambridge again, riding down memorial drive, or going to the commons through the esplanade. but not quite so beautiful, i guess. maybe it strikes me the most because in five years you learn to appreciate the brief period of time each year when the weather's actually nice, and when you don't mind riding through wet streets because there's just too much life emerging from the city to mind. and when i saw the people at trader joes, pausing at the door to unfurl their umbrellas and tighten their raincoats i wanted to laugh and say, what's a little drizzle on your hair? enjoy the breeze, enjoy the water now and then. if you hide under plastic all the time, how do you know you're alive?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

nationals videos

my nationals videos are up. this is quite a collection: stephanie chiang, stephanie nix, han, tylor, (no videos of ning, gahh!) nathan, erica, kathy, sharon, rdc, alicia, me, fredson, and then a bunch of other matches that i recorded for my own studies.

the videos are hosted at Video/2007

however, it's also coincidence that i canceled my land internet and it will stop on april 11. i guess that's what they say. so for the next few days my computer will be on and serving the videos...your last chance to see my old blog, as well.

and once again i am cutting weight >:O because portland is coming up next weekend. and i'm over 140. gasp! tkd would be easier if i was just in boston....

Friday, April 6, 2007

lost and found

my bike helmet light apparatus has a use! aside from keeping my head safe and also helping to avoid large potholes, my helmet light lets me shine a bright led flashlight at anywhere i'm looking at on my bike. i feel like the biggest coolest nerd ever.

but the cool thing about it is, it also helped me pick up someone's keys on the ground. i don't know why people tend to drop shit near where i live but so far i've retrieved a wallet, a credit card by itself, and a set of keys. the wallet was easy to identify the owner because all their crap was in it, including a social security card. the credit card i had to just cut up because the bank was stupid and couldn't contact the person. and these keys have very bright identification - a picture of their dog and a key covered in disney's finding nemo pictures. but the cvs card they had didn't have any name/info on i won't be able to find the owner until they call me.

it's not that i am a good person, though. sure i hope a bit of the karma will come back, and one day i'll drop some stuff that someone will return to me, unharmed, unaltered, unlooted. but really the reason i pick these things up is that i like to hold your stuff in my hands. muhahaha. i like to know i have your wallet fool. even though i wont go through it except to look for a phone number...i have your keys and for a split second i am allowed to think of the possibility of driving off in your car. muhahaha. then i remember about karma and i decide to return it, eventually.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

weird japanese shit

from a blog via digg

Makes me want to go to japan. i think every day there would be a mental puzzle. aiy!

A human vending machine

i wanna play Boong-Ga Boong-Ga! sometimes u just have to get your frustration out.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

the week in taekwondo

firstly, i'm stupid. i didnt realize blogger had a photo uploader. i wonder whether there's a size limit?

my message to ucsd: Welcome back from spring break! Now stop slacking and come kick! i'm fresh out of collegiate nationals, and this time i videotaped a ton of awesome finals matches. so i'm going to kick like it's the only thing in the world. (it is.)

but also, SORRY about monday practice. lol. this is what happens when dojang and collegiate club mix, when korean tradition and western customs mix, when spring break and competition mix (or collide head on.)

master baik from oceanside studio will most likely be our coach this quarter. and he will most likely be our instructor in the future, when i leave the school. however, with nothing but respect, at the moment he is neither, and UCSD taekwondo is not oceanside studio #2.

i sympathize with his eagerness, however. when i arrived at ucsd all i wanted was to whip the competition program into shape. because i wanted something like CW boston - i hadn't found oceanside studio yet. but eventually i've come to realize that a collegiate club is about having fun, learning taekwondo, and being part of a social scene, much more than about training for competition. and the fluctuation of attendance, and the rise and fall of membership on our facebook group, reflects popularity of our club.

so basically i've come to realize that we NEED regular curriculum - we need demo teams, traditional forms and practices, lower key workouts, as well as high energy competition workouts.

of course you can't blame master baik. the workout we ran was like 1/3 of the tiredness i feel at a regular oceanside workout. but i think for so many people freshly back from spring break (annie, craig, michelle, jessica) and who we REALLY need to stick around this quarter, i'm afraid that it would scare them away. what's the balance between going easy and keeping a workout challenging? i may not be an expert but i think i have a better feeling about it, and i know monday was too hard.

well anyways. i know my time at ucsd will be limited. i almost regret having to leave the club next year or two, without having really established it under a model that our current generation would like. i have a feeling that eventually the club will either die or become oceanside studio #2. but hopefully we can work something permanent out...we've already started creating belt test curriculum, and it's just up to the future leaders to be able to enforce it and keep it up.

well, here are some cool images from nationals.

Monday, April 2, 2007


i leave the national tournament with one silver medal, a bruised shin, an overly stuffed stomach, two camcorders with three full tapes, around half a gig of photos, a larger credit card bill, and plans for the next tournament. come to think of it, nothing's different after this tournament than any others. and you know why? it's because taekwondo is life. i guess there was no peak after was just a continuous slope, and i'm still looking upward. and there's so many paths, but i know that i want to keep climbing, because mt everest is not the end but just the beginning.