Yesterday, I spent a nice ten hours with my study buddy, Myeong Seon. We stayed a while at the ELC talking Bible and so on, then went to the Cannon Centre. There, I found another copy of Wednesday’s school newspaper with a front-page piece about Stetson, so I showed it to her, discussing some of the implications of truth and justice, and my uncertainty about whether I could involve myself in the proceedings of his case at this point (his initial charge had been reduced to two lesser charges, to which he on Tuesday had pled “guilty”, but one of which he is probably innocent of). Then we went to the library where we stayed till closing, spending a great while discussing Jeong Mong-ju’s famous poem and some others, as well as relating world events, and some philosophy of military and foreign policy.
The more I think of it, the less certain I am that I should try to get involved, considering that I cannot predict whether involvement, if even possible, and if effective at all, would have a positive or negative out-come… I have an entire insufficiency of courtroom experience…
Hm. On Thursday evening I was walking nearby the Wilkinson Centre and noticed the sword club, and for some reason, having just watched at Manila those two movies I mentioned, I decided to go over and look in on their training instead of continuing home. There were three students there: Ian, Robert, and “Dante”, the former two fairly new, along with their teacher, Michael. They meet three times per week: Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6 and 8 at night, and Saturdays at 10:30 till 12:30. I was advised to come to an orientation on Tuesday at 7 before participating. I went again today, an hour late. Robert and another somewhat new student, David, were there, as well as a quite experienced student, Nathan. Also present were Michael and Eli, who is the senior teacher.
Eli finished a Church mission in Germany nine years ago and started searching for martial arts opportunities at BYU, having been made wary by his earlier study of Taekwondo, which he had begun to consider more of a “sport” than a fighting system. An appreciator of swords, he considered some re-enactment groups, but when he learned about the sword club, he quickly settled down with it. Eli reports that a man had brought the club up here from Texas, and two others (who later became instructors) had gotten involved, along with a lady who first welcomed him into the group. Michael joined at about the same time, practicing for a year before leaving for a Mexico mission, after which he continued training. Eli and Michael thus apparently constitute the third generation of instructors, and they have been responsible for a considerable transformation of the program, having pieced together a new “curriculum” from ancient manuals and texts that was much expanded from what they had first studied.