Stepdad's Thoughts

My thought and feelings.

Uncle Lost

My Uncle ET died on July 16, 2010. Services were on Wednesday July 21. All the family was there, some were crying others laughing and some were doing both. As for many families it was a sad reunion since we never seem to see each other under good times. One thing I found, I really already new it, is my cousins and I are real tight. Yes we don’t see each other as much as we should and with me not hunting on the family deer lease for a number of years hasn’t helped. One cousin, you could say my best cousin, and I saw each other and shared a BIG bear hug and we both started to tear up… both of us sharing how much we missed each other and vowing to see each other more and to hunt together as much as we can. It was odd to feel a void being filled that I didn’t know was empty until I saw everyone. There was the loss feeling of missing my Uncle but there was a feeling of being filled when seeing my cousins and other aunts and uncle. My uncle is the last of the generation, he has seen all his brothers and sisters die. I can’t imagine how that must fill, we all made sure to tell him we love him.

As one of my cousins said during the memorial service, my uncle ET cared much about family, never once did not ask about others. It was automatic when you saw him and said hello he was going to ask how you have been and your family. It was not just a greeting he truly meant it, at times he would question you more if felt there was more to be said. He was always able to find the truth and shared in your hurt and joy.

This has made me see that I am who I am because of my family. My parents, grandparent, aunts, uncles and cousins have all had a hand in shaping me and teaching me. I hope I am able to return the favor to them. I hope we will start the family visits/reunions again.


July 23, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Masters

In the early 90’s I was fortunate enough to study Tae Kwon Do under a Grand Master. During the four year I studied under him I was able to gain many skills both in Tae kwon Do and in life. He was in the Korean Military as are many Korean instructors in the USA. Mine however was also a seven time Korean National Sparring Champion. I never knew much more of his background from Korea but in the USA he was unstoppable. One year we all wanted to go to a local Houston tournament but he did not want to go, something about the timing. He gave us his approval so we went. About half way through the tournament he showed up, you could have heard a pin drop. The entire place nearly shutdown. He was so highly revered that the Masters sponsoring the tournament got up to greet him at the door. After about 10 minutes we continued.

Now in 2010; My Hap Ki Do Master is not as ranking, he is a 6th Dan in Tae Kwon Do and 5th Dan in Hap Ki Do. His skills and ability to teach are fantastic, he does know my former Master. I am continuing to learn more all the time, Hap Ki Do is similar yet different that Tae Kwon Do, and enjoy every minute. My current Master’s “qualifications” as he puts it are;

  • 27 Years of Martial Arts Experience
  • South Korean Military as a Special Forces Operator
  • South Korea Secret Service as an Anti-Terrorism Agent
  • World Taekwondo Federation 6th Dan Certification
  • Korea Hapkido Federation 5th Dan Certification

March 4, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange Belt

I passed my test to gain my Orange Belt rank in Hap Ki Do. During the short test of the skills I had to show that the pains I have been dealing with, shoulder and knee, disappeared.  After class the knee really began to hurt again. Fortunately the next morning, Thursday, it stiff but did not hurt like it had. The more I work it the better it feels but I still walk with a limp. Any way, my instructor told me after the testing that from this point on the techniques would be less escape and more defense. From what I have seen of the higher belts that is quite true; much more focus will be placed on counter acts or blocking then disabling your adversary. I am looking forward to learning more.

We have an instructor that has been visiting from Korea, Master Kim, who is going home at the end of the month. We have planned a party for him on 27-Feb. Master An has told him it is a party for all his students, family as he says, and that there will be demonstrations by Master An, Master Shin and Master Kim. I am looking forward to the demonstrations. A few times both Master An and Kim have shown techniques we are learning and the shear speed they have is amazing. Master Kim has been asked several times to show a 360 jumping kick and a few others, I hope he will show that and more during the party.

I am looking forward to my next class.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I was right

My wife and step daughter went to a “Women Only Weekend” training class that covered ‘accident avoidance’ and handgun use. My wife sent me a text message early on the first day saying she would get even with me for this. I later found out the message was sent because the driving portion was getting her car sick, she is quite inclined to motion sickness. At the end of the first day, driving, my wife was real pleased. She told me her son would be going to something like this when he was old enough to drive. I want to go also. She said her daughter did real good and that she feels she will be a better driver after taking the class, she is 17.

The second day was handgun use, in/out of the car and in the house if needed. First the ladies were shown how to handle the handgun. It was during this session that our 17 year old stated this is exactly what I had been trying to teach her. HA! I was right and she saw it… They were shown what would happen to a bullet when shooting through the windshield around the car and under. They also went through a house clearing drill and learned how to cut the pie when rounding a corner to best protect themselves.

I was the instigator for them taking this class and they both had a good time and learned a few things along the way. That is exactly what I was hoping would happen.

I want my wife and kids to be able to protect them selves in this ever changing world we live in. To be ever aware of their surrounds to be prepared to overcome all circumstances and obstacles that arise.  The 17 year old goes off to college next year, I hope she is ready. The 12 year old has more to learn, he will be more ready than his sister simply because he is more open to learning what I have to teach.  I hope all the words and examples I have given my step daughter will be useful to help keep her safe as she enters adulthood.

HA! I was right once… I love them all more then words can express.

The class was held near San Antonio, Texas in Diley. Here’s the link to International Training Inc. (, click on the ‘Responsible Civilian Training’ for all the information. I not associated to the place at all just passing on what I think is good information.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Concerns, General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Friend

I spoke to my former Tae Kwon Do instructor Master Park. He was shocked to hear from me since we haven’t spoken in nearly 7 years. He asked when I was coming back to practice…. I had to tell him I was too far away to work out in his school but that I was starting Hap Ki Do. He was pleased to here I was taking on new skills. He said it would complement my TKD training.

I really miss the days of working out with him. Being a 7 time Korean National Champion her never let anyone slack off. We would workout for 2 – 3 hours a day 5 days a week then 3 – 4 hours on Saturdays. For a long time I was always in pain either from the grueling workouts or the sparring. Even on the days I would call to say I was sick he would push me to come in. He always told us “if you don’t feel good, workout harder”. The sad part is if you called then came in he seemed to work you harder than usual. Eventually I figured out not to call and just workout, it was better than the alternative.

He reminded me of some of the self defense practices we had. He said that was all Hap Ki Do but he didn’t tell us. I can’t wait to get into the things he mentioned.

He asked if I had been staying in shape at all, I had to tell him I have not, boy did that set him off. His tone really hit me hard. It’s amazing what a former teacher can do to you just by the tone used. I know I need to really hit the workouts hard, both at home and in class. I have to take it easy at first but need to push to become better fit.

Let’s see what shape I am in after 3 months. I hope I will be able to show improvement.

October 7, 2009 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment