The Joy of Tae Kwon-Do


I was recently asked, “Master Gorino, when is it most fun for you to train? When is it the least fun?” 

I almost didn’t understand the question. 

The answer is simple: Tae Kwon-Do is always the most fun thing I do. The only way I can answer that person’s question is to say that it is fun for different reasons in different circumstances. 

Over my career, I have had training interrupted by illness or injury numerous times. But even then, being forced to adapt my training made it fun. 

For instance, when I was recovering from hip surgery, I obviously wasn’t able to kick very much. It didn’t stop me from training, I just had to figure out how until I was back to 100%. So, I focused more on my hand and arm techniques, rather than my leg and foot techniques. 

Over that time, my hands got so well-developed that once I started sparring again, I almost didn’t need to kick.

The reverse was true when I had shoulder surgery. I couldn’t punch, so my training focused more on kicking. Once I was able to get back to sparring, my kicks were so good that I didn’t need to punch as much. 

I was deadly.

But that’s what we do In Tae Kwon-Do; we adapt. General Choi always used to say, “If you can’t kick them, you punch them. If you can’t punch them, you bite them. If you can’t bite them, then destroy them with your mind.”

Regardless of what the context of the training is, I can always find joy in it. Doing patterns, working on technique, and perfecting stances gives me a certain satisfaction. When I’m sparring, I’m hitting, moving and sticking. I find joy in improving my timing and understanding what’s working and not working.

As you know, my family is also involved with Tae Kwon-Do, and that has given me new ways to appreciate it. When I train with my wife, Tica, it’s a bonding experience between us. We find joy on an internal, emotional level. When I’m training with my son, I get an immense amount of joy from watching my little boy progress and toughen up. It’s a blast!

When Grand Master Park was alive and I got to train with him, it was humbling. I felt the giant rush of knowledge and wisdom put into me. 

When I’m training with my students, I experience joy too. I get to watch them grow and share  the same techniques and wisdom that I learned from Grand Master Park, General Choi, and all of the other great teachers I have had. 

And finally, when I’m training with my black belts, I feel joy. Those are my highest ranking belts, and I am always excited to exchange ideas based on our unique experiences. 

I absolutely love training, and always have. There has honestly never been a single moment when Tae Kwon-Do has felt like a chore. 

And if it ever does, then that might be the day I finally hang it up.

Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, visit the Contact Us page or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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