A clear blue sky. A magnificient winter sun reflecting its rays in Oslo Fjord. Thus was the background for the towering building of the Norwegian Ballet and Opera House. A venue combining the harsh, snowclad mountains of Norway with modern art and architecture.
It was the perfect environment for introducing the RADIX project of combining techniques from our traditional patterns with comprehensive self-defence techniques.
Housing international artists of ballet and opera the Opera House was the perfect setting for this seminar also bringing international practitioners together. Participants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and England joined the seminar lead by International Instructors Roberts Boer VI degree from Netherlands and Roy Rolstad IV degree from Norway.
The first part of the seminar introduced a thorough historical background of the instructors and their experience with self-defence and applied Taekwon-Do techniques. Also the historical background of Taekwon-Do was outlined with respectful references to the legacy of not only founder Choi Hong Hi, but also of the martial arts influencing the early developement of our unique art of self-defence.
But theory alone stands weak, so of course participants were to practice new ideas and applications for self-defence. After powerful and aware repetition of patterns Chon Ji and Dan Gun with primary application discussions individual techniques where pinned out and applied in realistic self-defence situations. Thus all participants suddenly found themselves being able to adapt and improvise multitudious applications of low blocks and rising blocks.
An important part of self-defence and the RADIX approach is awareness, readiness and concentration. The intuitive and awareness approach was brilliantly demonstrated by Mr. Torfinn Katla Opedal from Norway. Being utterly blind he attended the seminar with the assistants of his father. Unprepared he was suddenly ask, if he would kindly perform pattern Hwa Rang. Without hesitation he rose and found the centre of the gym without assistance and performed a concentrated and accurate pattern. If not being told none of us would have thought him to be blind. It was an impressive and awe inspiring moment.
The second day of the seminar consisted of awareness training and teachings on stress levels, heart rates and the effect on motoric skills.
After an intense practice of awareness during performance of pattern Chon Ji, individual techniques from higher degree patterns were chosen and applied in various self-defence scenarios. All scenarios were practiced with intensity however within a 1-10 scale of speed and power, thus making it possible for all to improve and learn both simple and complicated graps and releasing motions. Emphasis was put on proper stance such as walking stance, L-stance and sitting stance. Also all techniques implied skills towards sine wave, breath control, reflexive training, personal readiness and how to judge safety environments.
An outstanding example of breath control was shown by Mr. Huw Raynolds, originally from England, who is a stage performer and member of the choir at the Opera. On request he sang the most beautiful song, resonating into the gym a sense of selflessness and proper breathing. When he ended several participants admitted to having the goose bumps.
The RADIX project is not regarded as a separate system, but merely a project to make practitioners and instructors capable of applying traditional pattern techniques in actual self-defence. It is inspiring and positively thought provoking as it helps us as instructors to think out of the box and act creatively and intuitively.
A weekend and a seminar with happy, dedicated and investigating practitioners in our wonderful Taekwon-Do family.
On behalf of the Danish delegation I recommend and thank Mr. Robert Boer and Mr. Roy Rolstad for this project and seminar