Part 3 – Development Of The NMAA Style
Due to the disgrace of teaching kickboxing (hands up fighting in a ring with 16oz gloves for safety Mr Hutchinson left the ATA. The Academy spent a limbo period being associated with the Guild of Black Belts, Mr Terry Lim’s LFP Karate, and various kickboxing groups, Zendokai, Kempo Karate and then finally the I.M.A (previously the I.K.A)
By this time the Academy was teaching students in Cheltenham (3 locations), Parkdale, Oakleigh, Woori Yalllock, Seville, Mr Evelyn, Ringwood,. Mentone and Clayton; the club instructors being Mr Hutchinson and Mr Cossari and later Mr Tomlinson.
Each club was taught the same core material but with different emphasis. Since many of the new students were only training a single night the Academy Curriculum was found to be unfair to the students (denying them grading opportunities) and cumbersome to teach.
The lead to NuTaoFit Taekwondo, Cossari Taekwondo and later Golden Eagle Taekwondo; with several other smaller clubs from outside the Academy becoming associated with this group.
The curriculum was further refined to a core baseline or set standard within the Academy group. As long as the standard was met the individual instructor’s preferences and quirks were allowable. The Academy set a minimum standard but refused to interfere with how this standard was met. To attain rank change a minimum of 75% pass mark was set, for all ranks up to 1st Dan Black Belt.
Poomse became the base line material and was to be taught in the most simple way, with large over exaggerated movements. As long as the performance fell above 75% the poomse was considered successfully completed. With each successive grading the previous poomse were reassessed with the expectation that through additional repetition the poomse would evolve with the maturity and knowledge enhancement of the grading student. However for grading purposes and when originally teaching the poomse where to be performed in the most basic way (Level 1).
It was acknowledged that a Black Belt with years of performing, say Gibon Poomse No.1 would never be able to deny their skill development in its performance and thus there was no comparison able to be made of said poomse by a white belt or any coloured belt with the black belt, and that the black belt was doing a dis-service to students teaching the poomse at anything but the most basic level. After all it is impossible for a coloured belt with no muscle memory to perform at a black belt level.
Since the Academy was founded on individual martial development it was expected that poomse performance at the higher levels would reflect the change of abilities of said black belts. Mr Tomlinson made this statement to the Academy’s senior group in 1996 at the Black Belt Group Grading. After those grading for 1st Dan had performed, he went on to show the fighting poomse performed at his level of mastery.
How his performance was vastly different from how his students performed or were taught but both sets were correct. He specifically requested the opportunity to perform his set of poomse in this manner from Kwan Jan Nim to show the crowd what was possible with maximum effort and how different the same basic set of poomse could appear in their performance.
Today the Academy has grown with the full time school and clubs in Woori Yallock, Mordialloc, Dingley, West Footscray and Point Cook teaching the core Taekwondo syllabus whilst having clubs teaching Karate, Kempo, Weapons, Kickboxing, Shootboxing, JuJitsu, Self Defence and Combat methods or under the Academy umbrella. Today the Academy’s importance lies in its position as an umbrella organisation to liase with the various governing bodies, provide affordable insurance, offer career opportunities, give credibility to it’s instructors, legitimise the students grading’s.
Anything is possible through N.M.A.A!
Look out for Part 4…Coming Soon!
Authorized by NMAA, Kwan Jang Nim – Geoff Hutchison, May 2010