I have been involved with martial arts for sixteen years, and I am honored to hold a First Degree Black Belt from the First Tang Soo Do of Fremont.
I began training in Detroit under Grandmaster Sang Kyu Shim, an early student of Grandmaster Hwang Kee. I was eleven years old at the time, and my goals were to develop self-defense skills and confidence. I achieved these goals, and was beginning a journey of self-discovery, character building, and spiritual exploration that would eventually show me a balanced approach to life that I try to apply today.
Mr. Victor David
My early training emphasized technique drills and forms over free sparring.The idea was that there was no need to free spar before one had proper technique and control.We were also encouraged to read about the philosophy of the martial arts to give us guidance in applying the techniques we were learning.
In 1993 I left my school to attend college. For the next five years I would train on my own occasionally. Then in 1999, I moved to Fremont, CA and began a search for a training environment that could offer a similar feeling to my school in Detroit. I visited a few schools in the area, not really feeling at home with what I saw. One instructor recognized that I was seeking a more “traditional” approach to training.He told me to talk to David Bell of the First Tang Soo Do of Fremont.
Master Bell did indeed offer the traditional approach I sought. Yet his approach is more practical than any I have ever experienced. He offers more than a textbook knowledge of Tang Soo Do and its philosophy. Master Bell truly lives the art, and expects nothing less of his students. He doesn’t explain the philosophy by quoting philosophers – he draws out the concepts by challenging us to open our mind during our training.
I have gained a tremendous amount of technique, knowledge, and life-balance in the five years I have trained with Master Bell. As I look behind me and see many hard-working students on the same path, looking to me for guidance and leadership, I am motivated to present my best technique and attitude. Since a black belt is a leader by definition, my future growth requires me to reach beyond myself to help inspire my fellow students. I am beginning to learn that a humble approach is the first step to true leadership. After all, how can I reach out to others ifmy ego is in the way? As I look to the future of my Tang Soo Do training, I realize that becoming a humble teacher is the ultimate goal.