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|Posté le: Mar 4 Juil - 06:57 (2017) Sujet du message: My Life As A USTiger 3rd Degree Black Belt UCGC Vol 3 Nr
My New Life in Taekwondo began as one on the outside of Taekwondo. I was also on the outside of main stream America looking in.
Back in 1963, I was a young black man, a senior at all black Woodstock High School, in Memphis, Tennessee. I wanted to write a senior term paper on the topic of the martial arts. My school had only a small library with a limited selection of books. There were no books on Karate,Taekwondo, Judo, Aikido, Tai Chi or Kung fu in the school library. In fact there were no books at all on martial arts. When I inquired concerning any other library that I could possibly use for my research, the school librarian, Mrs. R. J. Roddy, informed me that there was a public library in downtown Memphis, TN. It was a much bigger one, and it had a large selection of books on many topics, but it was "For Whites Only".
Before I lost all hope for his term paper, Mrs. R. J. Roddy told me, she could call the librarian in the “whites only” library and see what books they had on the subject of Martial Arts. It turned out that there were quite a few books and magazine articles on the martial arts. The library sent over a two page list of titles. After looking through the list, I picked out some books that I thought I could use as references.
Mrs. Roddy called back and told the librarian which books I would like to see. The books were sent to my school by special delivery chartered limousine. I do not remember whether these books were the only books sent to my school, but looking back, I am amazed at what lengths they were willing to go to keep me out of the Memphis Public Library. But unbeknownst to me and to everyone around me, a little seed was planted in my heart and soul. That seed grew and grew until it consumed my entire spirit. I would not rest; I could not be satisfied until I had satisfied that hunger deep in my soul for the Oriental Fighting Arts, particularly the Korean Killing art of Taekwondo.
It was not until a few years later when I was a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) that the implications of the incident really hit home. I had been attending at an all white college and had access to a well stocked library, not like the small library at Woodstock High. The Woodstock library had little more than a few magazines, news papers, periodicals, and Readers’ Digest Condensed Books. The more I used the library at the USCGA, the more I became aware of the great deprivation that I had suffered in high school in Memphis, TN.
As a natural result Taekwondo and books became my passions. I read everything I could get my hands on. I purchased books on the martial arts and began to teach myself Taekwondo. I was sdetermined, but it was hopeless. I was fighting a losing battle. You cannot learn Taekwondo from a book. You need a teacher; a master teacher would be better.
After I graduated from the USCGA in 1968 and was stationed in Long Beach, California I enrolled in Chuck Norris' Tang Soo Do School in Redondo Beach, CA.
When I was transferred to Juneau, Alaska in 1970 I started teaching karate at Zack Gordan's Teen Center in Juneau.
I went on to study other styles of martial arts. I studied Japanese, and Chinese fighting arts. When my family moved to Hungary I studied International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) Taekwondo, Kung Fu, and Tai Chi.
I fought Ed Parker's karate tournaments in California. Eventually I fought full contact matches without protective gear, wearing only boxing gloves. In 1972 I fought in an Army/Navy/Marine Corps Open Invitational at the National Naval Medical Center. In that tournament we wore heavily padded Kendo gloves, helmets and chest gear. I won two First Place Trophies in sparring and Forms Competition.
I was promoted to First Degree Black Belt in June 2012. I made Second Degree or Second Dan in October 2014. And in April 2017 I was promoted to Third Degree or Third Dan.
bound: 35 pages
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