If the 2013 IMB Coaches Clinic had to be summarized in one phrase, I would say that would be a pretty insurmountable task. It’s not a phrase. It’s not even an article. It was an experience.
Having been to the IMB Torrance, CA school before, I felt a sort of familiarity and comfort with the upcoming week, but also slight apprehension as to what was going to transpire each day. Sure I had a syllabus, and I knew what the topics were, but spending 6 hours on a particular style each day was certainly going to be intense. So I decided to approach it with the same spirit as I approach most everything in my life: Open-mindedness with complete (and almost reckless) abandon.
Did I have my favorite days? Sure. Challenging moments? Of course. But I grew; in knowledge and technique. And I think that was the biggest take-away for me: Growth and Knowledge. The acknowledgement that the basics must be perfected in order to move forward into more complex techniques was a constant message every day. And learning all of this from you, Sigung, writing it down, sharing notes with one another, and v-logging the techniques in the hopes that we remember each and every detail of what you taught us might have been daunting, but certainly unforgettable.
I want to also humbly thank my training partners for a great week, especially ‘Doc’ Jameson. Not too many men would put up with me getting them in a fireman’s carry position, walking around in a circle, and then over to you (Sigung) exclaiming, “Look what I can do now!” without thinking I was the goofiest female on the planet. But he didn’t, because he’s exceptionally cool.
One of the highlights for me was the last day sitting on the mat together, asking questions, and listening to you answer them patiently and at great length. No topic was off limits, and you shared willingly. Hearing you tell us that it is your hope that we remember these things so that we will pass them down to our students was a very sobering moment. It reminded me of our mortality, your mortality, and it drives me even harder to learn all that I can in order to preserve (and expand upon) what has already been discovered for us.
I think also an important task of the IMB Coaches Clinic is to instill ‘Ohana’ again into everyone attending. The sense of being part of a great network and knowing that our international family is there for us is very encouraging. I never imagined I’d have such close ties with Poland, Columbia, Scotland, and Australia, not to mention all of the ones stateside.
I have a lot to learn and a long way to go. But I’m lovin’ the journey. Thank you, Sigung, for an unforgettable week.
Julie Loeffler owns and operates Julie’s Group, LLC, which makes personal defense and fitness training available to those who might hesitate to explore the traditional dojo or gym environment. Julie runs a variety of programs and seminars as well as a traditional class schedule offering training opportunities for both the novice and the experienced. More information can be found at her website: http://www.juliesgroup.com/Home.html