In November, I received a visit from my personal instructor, Oliver Whitcomb Sa Bom Nim. He is a Yuk Dan (6th dan) and lives in Hailey, Idaho. It was a special occasion for me in many ways. This was the first opportunity for the majority of my students to meet my instructor, who I consider to be one of the art’s finest technicians. He was also in the area to present me with my newest promotion, Sa Dan (or 4th dan).
All of my students, for the first time, were together in one class. We were over 30 strong (though we have give or take 40 students to date) and completely filled the gym. It was quite a sight to watch, especially since our school has been open for only a year. All age groups and ranks were present, from my most senior green belts, to a few Tiger Tots who just started training. It was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to connect as a school and as an art.
At the conclusion of the event, I was presented with my 4th dan, which I tested for back in August in San Diego, California. The test lasted 8 days and was definitely one of the highlights in my martial arts career. It was an honor to receive my master’s belt from my instructor, who years ago awarded me with his very own dan belt he wore when he was a teenager.
It was quite an honor to have all of my fellow Moo Duk Kwan associates with me, both my instructor and my students. It’s quite awe-inspiring when you have various generations of Soo Bahk Do practitioners in the room. I’m sure my instructor was also honored to see his legacy continue through my students. I can’t wait for the dan shim sa in May where we will have my instructor’s instructor–Jeff Moonitz–who is a Charter Member, Hu Kyun In, and 7th dan in Salt Lake. At that moment, we will have 4 generations of Soo Bahk Do practitioners training side by side.