20th September 2008
So here I am sitting down a couple of days after reflecting on the the seminar with Master Lim and still smiling!
At the start of the seminar, when Master Lim walked into the dojang and all eyes turned, possibly every one had the own reasons for being there; for some it was deference, some to gain new application knowledge but for me personally, it was curiosity. In my short martial arts experience I have had the privilege of attending a few seminars by masters but none have been so accessible or so human. When my instructor handed over the class I honestly wasn't sure what to expect and if asked to describe it now I would call it a patterns application seminar but it was something else as well, something more, something special.
"I'm not teaching a drill but a concept" was often stated by Master Lim throughout the seminar, which at first I didn't comprehend. All Master Lim seemed to want to leave with us was the chamber position for low section outer forearm block and the shifting of body weight in a loose L-stance! I wondered if this was it, if this is what I paid the seminar fee for! Because, as an 8th Kup I already knew how to chamber and my instructor already teached pattern applications, but once it dawned on me, I realised it was so much more than a simple chamber of a basic block and the reality was it was worth every penny.
Master Lim's first demonstration was how to block a haymaker punch, the classic attack of any thug. With ease he took the blow on the outside of his wrist. This is what Master Lim described as the check he then swiftly brought in his right arm under their wrist in an x-block position. From there Master Lim was able to perform a number of locks, strikes and punches. By following the simple process of check, parry and counterattack Master Lim was able to utilise the basic movements hidden within every Tae Kwon Do pattern.
Master Lim gleefully asked the class to ask the application of any movements contained within patterns especially those that seemed to have no realistic application and to his credit a realistic and effective application was found for each one. Throughout the seminar Master Lim demonstrated so many applications no one in the class seemed able to keep pace as he flowed from one to another with the ease of a true master of the art.
If this happened in other seminars it might detract from the purpose of holding it in the first place but in this case it was the case in point. The seminar was not about Master Lim unlocking all the super destructive killer techniques hidden within Tae Kwon Do patterns. This seminar was the start of a journey, where instructors and we as practitioners would explore the treasure map of our fundamental movements. The purpose was to allow us as individuals to flow and find our own way. From that day I will always remember the passionate master who managed to find his own way and couldn't wait to help you find yours.
by Andrew Elliott, 8th Kup
Master Willie Lim
Taekwon-do Pioneer Seminar