• 66°

English black belt learns new moves

A second degree black belt from England discovered newtechniques and ways to improve his teaching during a stay inBrookhaven this summer.

Nicholas James Emerson, 23, decided to spend his summer trainingat the Academy of Korean Martial Arts on Whitworth Avenue after avisit to Brookhaven last year with his instructor, Bob Banham, fromEngland.

“I chose to come here so I could learn more because I want to bemore enlightened,” said Emerson.

He added how having the world headquarters for Han Mu Do, a formof martial arts, in Baton Rouge, La., also influenced his decisionto train here.

Emerson has been studying Han Mu Do for six years. He hopes toone day open his own academy, where his experience will help himtrain others.

While studying in Brookhaven, Emerson had the opportunity towork closely with Steve Kincade, a senior instructor of the WorldHan Mu Do Association and the master instructor at the Academy ofKorean Martial Arts.

Learning new ways of teaching martial arts was an experienceEmerson is glad he had because he believes the “American”techniques shed new light on his training.

“Over here the way they instruct is much different fromEngland,” he said. “It’s more hyperactive. Everything is in thefast lane here.”

Kincade has tried to share as much knowledge about Han Mu Do ashe could over the last three months.

“What I’ve done is try to show him the way things are taughthere,” said Kincade. “Having him here has been a pleasure. He’shelped out here so much.”

Emerson has not only learned ways to improve his techniques, hehas also helped Kincade teach some classes this summer. He workedwith all age groups, which he said also helped because he was ableto learn a few methods from the older students.

He also widened his knowledge about Han Mu Do by attendingseminars and training sessions in Gulf Shores, Ala., and BatonRouge, La.

Some of the techniques Emerson has worked on include pole andsword forms, which are sets of movements, explained Kincade.

“Basically you go through the motions of a set of techniques ina choreographed fashion,” he said.

Korean warriors used those forms to train for combat situations,and since then the forms have been passed down from generation togeneration.

Emerson decided to learn Korean martial arts because he wantedto possess self-defense skills. He has since discovered how martialarts can teach much more than that.

“Martial arts brings out your personality and character frominside you,” he said. “It’s umph in your life. It’sconfidence.”

He has witnessed how martial arts can raise self-esteem. Emersonhas also seen how people react when they accomplish a technique.His experience of teaching has showed him how excited and goodpeople feel when they accomplish something.

Emerson hopes to use his experiences in the United States whenhe opens his own school, but he knows that will be some time downthe road. He would like to increase his knowledge much more beforehe moves on to that next step.

He plans to work hard this coming year and come back next summerfor more training and hopefully to earn his third degree blackbelt.