Look ahead or look out


I’m a preparer. Some might say, an over-preparer. 

I look at it like driving a car. If you aren’t looking down the road, you can’t steer to avoid danger. And, if you try to drive with your eyes closed completely, then you’re going to have an accident. 

I believe that the same applies to life. If you go through life with your eyes closed, you’re going to have an accident.

Whatever my goal, target, or project is, I try to always put something in place to steer me in that direction. Whether it’s taking a class, going to some continuing education, practicing how I’m going to practice, watching videos of my next opponent, prepping class activities for the dojang, etc. 

The stoic philosopher Seneca once said: “if one does not know toward which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”

If you go out there and you’re winging it constantly, you’re just an aimless sail, flapping in the wind. You’re not really going in any one direction. 

When you’re in school, tests are easy. They tell you exactly when the test will be, what subject the test will be on, and how to prepare for it. 

Tests in life work differently. Very often, we find ourselves unprepared. Then, after the fact, we take a look at what happened and try to take steps to either make sure it doesn’t happen again or to prepare ourselves to deal with it if it does. 

But, I find that to be counter-productive. It’s a reactive mentality, as opposed to a proactive one. 

Many of the people who come to our dojang have never been in a fight. Then, one day, they get mugged,  find themselves being bullied, or worse. When they call me for help, I have to make a difficult decision about whether or not to train them. 

I want them to feel safe and prepared in case whatever happens to them happens again. But, this can be harder because the damage is usually already done. Also, people who have experienced violent trauma tend to be hyper-focused on addressing that specific circumstance. 

That runs counter to the overall philosophy we practice at this school, which is to reap the holistic benefits of Tae Kwon-Do. Self-defense is certainly one of those benefits, but it is not the only one. And it is hardly the most important. 

I began training Tae Kwon-Do 39 years ago, but not in reaction to something that happened to me. I wanted to train my body to be as capable as it could be, in preparation for anything that I encounter. 

I also thought it looked really cool. 

Of course, as I train, I’m honing my kicks and punches to be as strong and effective as they can be. I hope to never need them, but I take comfort in knowing that they will be there for me if I ever do.


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, register online 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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