Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Changed mindset

I'm in a pretty good mood today. I went to class last night and worked really hard. We worked on technique, which I can appreciate because I can see what I need to do to improve myself. I've decided that I am going to class not to compare myself with anyone else but to compare myself to myself from a year ago. I'm the only one I can compare to because I know where I was this time last year and where I am now.
Physically, I'm in worse shape than I was, especially as I haven't really been working out. Mentally, probably about the same, but again, maybe slightly better. Not overly sure of that. I know I have to stop comparing myself to other people. I'm going to work on that. I am enjoying my classes for the first time in a long time. I haven't felt so positive about my martial arts since I was working toward my black belt. I'm not working as hard as I was then, but...I do feel that I'm getting somewhere because I can SEE the changes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One steps and Ho Sin Sul

I really am enjoying myself again.  I've made two classes this week and they were wonderful!
Tonight was a continuation of the One Steps and Ho Sin Sul we were working on Tuesday night.  Tonight we picked up with Ho Sin Sul 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and One Steps 4, 5, 6. It was an eye opening evening.  I got to work with Ms. Mad.  She taught me a lot of things.  One of the things we worked on was judging our distances.  For example...Ms. Mad is taller than me by several inches.  She has to scoot backwards to get a good range for a kick.  Otherwise, if she's close to me, she'll be able to throw a punch, but she'll be squished up if she tries to kick me at that distance.
I have to pivot in order to be able to execute a good back kick for one of the one steps.  
I found a lot of correlation between the one steps and some of the forms.  One of the Ho Sin Sul that we were doing involved a bear hug as an attack.  To get out of that, you do a quick backwards hip thrust, drop into a horseriding stance (straight down) and raise your arms to break the attacker's grasp.  Then you give the attacker an elbow to the ribs, shuffle to the side and perform another elbow to the ribs while simultaneously punching with the opposite hand on the same side.  If you think about the ending of Pyung ahn Sah Dan, where you simultaneously elbow and punch, then jump and reverse your elbow/punch combination, you'll see what I'm talking about.

I probably couldn't have picked a better time to return to classes.  I got a LOT out of them.  I'm still focusing on the "I will do my best" and "I will put forth 100% effort in my learning" during the Muk Nyum because it'll help me leave the chaff from my day behind.   I feel great for having gone to class.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One goal met 2/18

I'm happy. I made my very first mini-goal tonight. I went to class, as I said I would! I feel incredible right now. I'm going to be sore, but I don't care. It will be a grand sore! I feel like I haven't left. In fact, I think I actually opened my eyes, ears and mind! I paid attention to what was being taught. I made sure I attempted anything and everything that was requested of me. I didn't give up. YAY for that!!

Tonight's class was one steps and Ho Sin Sul. First thing was a really intense warm up by Ms. M. We did some lunges that were "wood choppers". You step out into a lunge, then make a "chopping" movement on either side of your body, very much like you're swinging an axe. We also did lunges and did twists from side to side as well. There was also a kicking drill where you did a front kick, side kick, back kick and a round house kick, without putting the kicking foot down. That will definitely work your balance! I didn't manage to keep my foot off the ground, but...I'll get there.

After the warm ups (there were more but I'll get that written down later), we progressed into our one steps and Ho Sin Sul. I don't know why I have let myself be intimidated by the one steps. It wasn't hard. It was a lot of fun and as long as you pay attention to the technique, it's easy to do. I got to work with my friend, Ms. S. She attacked, I attacked. The drills were to do each of the one steps three times on each side, alternating right side/left side. That way, you get a good feel for how different the movement is for either side. It also helps you master the technique on your "off" leg. We did 1-6, then switched to our Ho Sin Sul. We only made it up to #3, but thanks to my working with the L's, I feel like I had a decent idea of how those worked. I just have to remember to move my hand out of the way on #2 or it WILL get kicked! (big grin and laugh!)

Notes from class: front kicks are good. Roundhouse kicks are NOT done with the top of the foot. Instead, if the kick lands on the ball of the foot and you pull your toes back, you will get your kick landed properly and you'll not break a toe or catch it on an opponent.

Looking forward to Thursday.

Happy Happy!

I am extremely excited today. I have been sitting here, annoying my co-workers, talking about class. I'm really happy that I'm going to class tonight. I may have forgotten a lot, but I'm not going to let that stop me. I have been reviewing my book (Tang Soo Do by Grandmaster Kang Uk Lee) and am going to make the best out of whatever happens tonight. I'm really excited. I haven't felt this "bouncy" in a while now.
I showed the guy on the other side of the wall bits of two forms, so they're kind of still in my head (yay!!). I just have to keep myself focused on the fact that I AM going to do this. I will do well, regardless of what happens tonight. They'll either have mercy on me or they'll work me over. Either way, it's a win-win situation!

I haven't done my Ho Sin Sul and I haven't done anything with the one steps in forever, so I have to re-learn those.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New goals

I'm a whiner. I have been whining and wailing and lamenting my weight gain, my lack of training, etc. I am tired of whining. I've talked to two people I greatly respect and am going to get off my rear and do something about it. I was talking to one friend about being bummed that I wasn't where I thought I should be. We've already established that I'm not ready to test for any sort of a belt. I am going to have to stop comparing myself to people I know who are testing or who have tested. They're at different levels of fitness than I am. I have to get myself into some semblence of shape and strengthen myself up and THEN I'll get to the point where I can go up before the heads of our school and if they think I'm good enough, they'll pre-test me. Instead of setting a date for that, I'm going to let the chips fall as they will.

I have set a new goal. I'm going to set myself the goal of getting fitter and healthier. I'm going to get myself into better shape by my birthday. A short-term goal is in order too, and I'm writing it down now. I plan on attending at least 11 classes by April. I say 11 because I have to attend meetings for Cub Scouts and they take place on the first Thursday of the month and the third or last Tuesday of the month. Cubs will be at a down-swing by May and I WILL be making more classes by then. I am a den leader, which my instructor knows. It's my responsibility to get the notes from class from people in class. It's my responsibility to train when I'm not in class. Obviously I am NOT doing that very well (not if I've gained 20 pounds, but that'll be changing soon!).

My first, very short term goal is February 17. I am going to walk into class and I'm going to participate in that class. On February 19th, I will walk into my second class and I will participate. I will most likely leave both of those classes wringing wet, tired and feeling either elated or discouraged. I can't let myself get discouraged by it. I know that I have to work harder than ever because I've gotten soft and "saggy". I have a LOT of re-conditioning to do.

I need to start today.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Karate pick me up

I received a lovely email today, encouraging me to stay the course. I had sent a rather whiny email to her and she responded by telling me not to give up, to get together with my instructor and let him know what was going on. In other words, she gave me another kick in the butt. I got one earlier in the week from yet another friend, who told me to make the commitment and stick with it. I'd been whining to (at?!) him about feeling like a loser with a capital L and he said pretty much, "YOU are the only one who can do anything about what you want to do. You can't expect other people to do what only you can do. Don't sit and cry into your drink because you're not living up to your expectations. Either lower your expectations or get off your behind and get on with your life." Pretty uplifting, both of them. Add that to another email from someone keeping me in the loop when she doesn't necessarily have to and I'm feeling better about things.

All of these things have one major thing in common...the emails are all from people at BTK. They care. That says a whole lot for my choice of schools.
Now all I have to do is to get my rear in gear and get to classes. Ms. M told me NOT to give up, Mr. L has told me not to give up and Ms. S also has said so.

Why am I such a hard headed person? I've been staying out of classes because of finances, because I've gained weight and because I feel inadequate. Nobody there is making me feel bad about that. They're all encouraging and are telling me to get to class. Mr. L went so far as to loan me a book and will answer my emails with a no-nonsense, "stop your whining!" email. I feel very encouraged.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Attitude and Action

Attitude Drives Action-Action Drives Results
Great Attitude=>Great Action=>Great Results=>Great Lifestyle!

If you want to lead a great life, you have to be ready to take great actions.
The best way to prepare yourself to take great actions is to practice having a great attitude. Say "YES" everyday to prepare yourself for Victory!
Imagine that every time you prepared for class or your workout, you said "YES" with an eager and enthusiastic attitude. Every time you enter the dojang, you said "YES, I love my Martial Arts." You would soon develop a habit that would lead to you becoming a highly conditioned Black Belt Leader & Champion...
...Habits we train are habits we gain!
Anything you do repeatedly becomes habit. Good or bad.
Here are some simple daily Black Belt Leadership Practice Tips for daily development of your positive attitude in and out of the dojang:
  • Wake up every day and say "YES", it's going to be a great day!
  • Be the first to offer a positive and polite greeting, even in the morning
  • Look for the good in yourself and and ye shall find.
  • Praise and compliment your team mates and loved ones.
  • Think of what you DO want in your life, not what you DON'T want.
  • Be happy with what you DO have, instead of with what you DON'T have.
Simple doesn't always mean easy. However, if you give these simple suggestions a try, you may begin to see that your new attitude influences others as well. YES!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

About Commitment

This was sent to me to remind me to stay committed.

How Committed Are You?
by: Curt Fletcher (The Likeability Guy)

As I think about the different choices we make and how we decide what fork to take on the road of life, Robert Frost’s “Road Less Traveled” keeps popping up in my mind. I can't seem to shake his title. And in thinking about the meaning behind his words, I began to reflect on my life.

Life is full of so many choices and so many opportunities. You hold the key to each door that you choose to open. Throughout your life, you will face with many challenges, choices, opportunities, and hardships. It’s in those moments of decision that you define your future.

When faced with a challenge, how do you respond? Do you step up, get focused and meet the challenge head on with confidence and excitement? Or do you grow cautious with anxiety over the fear of failure?

Fear of failure is the leading reason that most people settle for a life of mediocrity. The fear eats away at confidence, leaving you stripped of hope and desire. Fear of failure is something that every person has; it just may mean different things for different people. Fear of failure prevents many from attempting to improve themselves -- from applying for a new job, attempting new things, embracing change, or pursuing their dreams.

The road less traveled defines those individuals that when faced with adversity, hardship, and change, they overcame their fear of failure, and responded with courage, confidence, and charisma.

As I think back on my life, I remember always wanting to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing. If my co-workers arrived at work on time or a few minutes late, I would arrive an hour early. When nobody would volunteer for an activity, I would be the first to stand. If everyone was being negative, I would be positive.

In my teenage years, I often had to travel the longer, more difficult path to my desired destination, not because I sought that out, but because the easy road never seemed to come my way. I believe those years were the springboard for my determination to succeed.

We all face adversity and go through hard times. It is important to rise up from the moments that test our will. Stare down the anger, sadness, and frustration that you feel. Use these moments as fuel to ignite your fire to future success. It’s in the hard moments that you will gain the strength to persevere with new knowledge and experience.

So how do you gain this strength?

The answer is one simple little word that carries a big meaning and takes your maximum effort. Desire. Zig Ziglar defines desire as “the ingredient that changes the hot water of mediocrity to the steam of outstanding success.”

Desire is making an extra effort to create a small difference in a given circumstance. The extra effort creates enough small successes to generate huge success over the course of your lifetime.

Take a look around you at work. What do you see? A group full of future CEO's or a group of dazed individuals going through the motions of the day?

Many people dislike the very thought of getting out of bed to begin their day. They dread going to work and do as little work as they can to get by. Then, when they get home, they plop on the couch, watch some TV and go to bed. It's no wonder depression is at an all time high.

I challenge you to “take the road less traveled.” To be successful, you have to want it bad enough and challenge yourself to be different. Wake up each day with a positive outlook, do what other people don't want to, volunteer yourself for a difficult job task, and most of all allow yourself to dream. If you believe it, YOU can achieve it.

Curt Fletcher aka The Likeability Guy is the author of the New Real Estate Sales book, “How To Sell More Homes and Increase Your Income.” Curt has been a leader in Real Estate Sales by building relationships and providing value. He is a Sales Trainer and Speaker that focuses on Creating Relationships, Building Rapport, and Improving your Likeability to increase opportunities for success. To subscribe to Curt’s Monthly Newsletter, click here. If you want to sell more homes, click here! To contact Curt, send an email to